Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
COVID-19 Business Resource Centre
Last edited: April 3, 2020
We’re Here to Help You During the COVID-19 Crisis
If you’re a business in the Comox Valley join our e-newsletter for news and updates, including COVID-19 information.
Check the Comox Valley Businesses Services during COVID-19 webpage to view what level of modified business services are available locally during this difficult time.
Have a question that can’t be found on this website? Email Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism at COVIDemail@example.com
Comox Valley Business Impacts Survey
To help benchmark and track the impacts COVID-19 is having on area businesses and sectors, Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism has released a COVID-19 Comox Valley Business Impacts Survey and encourage all area businesses to complete it – click here to take the survey.
Latest News & Current Updates
April 3 – Pulse-check survey shows many BC businesses in need of life support
April 2 – Emergency support is on its way for regional businesses
April 2 – Government of Canada provides guidance on services and functions deemed essential to Canada’s critical infrastructure during COVID-19
April 2 – Premier’s task force to support BC economy during, after COVID-19
April 1 – Government announces details of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to help businesses keep Canadians in their jobs
April 1 – CVRD Board Approves Funding to Assist in Community COVID-19 Response
Small Business BC Digital Meetups – view here
- April 6: Small Business Community Chat
- April 7: Commercial Lease and Contractual Law – Your Questions Answered
- April 8: COVID-19 – Managing Your Cash Flow
Small Business Resources
Please find links below with resources for small businesses from a variety of government and industry sources around COVID-19 and emergency preparedness.
BC Economic Development Association: COVID-19 Resources for BC Businesses Guide here
- Weekly Economic Response & Recovery teleconference calls starting April 2: register here
- COVID-19 Business Impacts Survey Results here
- Business Retention and Expansion Tools here
- Community Tips for Response & Recovery here
- Planning for Coronavirus – A Guide for Businesses and Organizations here
- Workplace and Employer Resources and Suggestions here
Go2HR: Health and safety resources here
- Job Board (browse jobs by sector) here
- COVID-19 Human Resource information & updates here
- COVID-19 FAQs for Tourism Employees here
Google: for businesses affected by COVID-19 – Guidance on updating info and temporary closures here
Small Business BC: COVID-19 Small Business Resources here
- Supports for Small Businesses in BC here
- Sign this petition to save small business here
- Join Small Business BC’s Digital Meetups here
Work Safe BC: Information and resources for employers and employees here and latest announcements here
Financial Assistance Resources
Below are links to financial assistance and support programs for businesses and individuals.
Government of Canada: Support to Businesses here and Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan here
Business Development Bank of Canada: Resources here
Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19. With flexible and tailored solutions, BDC can help you through this situation with the right financing and advice for your business.
BC Hydro: offers billing help during outbreak here
- The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call BC Hydro’s customer team at 1 800 BC HYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss bill payment options. Commercial customers will be eligible for relief on a case by case basis.
- Customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member may also be eligible for BC Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund, which provides access to grants of up to $600 to pay their bills.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Response to Coronavirus here
- Dealing with Mortgage Payment Difficulties here
- Understanding Mortgage Payment Deferral here
- CMHC Expands Insured Mortgage Purchase Program here
Canadian Bankers Association: Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Decisive Action to Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19 here
Employment Insurance: Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine here
- New Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months here
- Benefits for the Self-Employed: If you operate your own business, or if you work for a corporation but cannot access EI benefits because you control more than 40% of the corporation’s voting shares.
- Work-Sharing Program: temporary special measures for employers affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19 here.
- EI Sickness Benefits: provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement. Canadians quarantined can apply for EI sickness benefits
- Emergency Care Benefit: providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. Application will be available in April 2020.
- Record of Employment: instructions for employers
- If your employees are directly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and they are no longer working, you must issue a Record of Employment (ROE).
- When the employee is sick or quarantined, use code D (Illness or injury) as the reason for separation (block 16). Do not add comments.
- When the employee is no longer working due to a shortage of work because the business has closed or decreased operations due to coronavirus (COVID-19), use code A (Shortage of work). Do not add comments.
- When the employee refuses to come to work but is not sick or quarantined, use code E (Quit) or code N (Leave of absence), as appropriate. Avoid adding comments unless absolutely necessary.
Export Development Canada: Information for Canadian exporters impacted by COVID-19 here.
- New domestic mandate enhances EDC’s role in supporting all Canadian businesses through COVID-19 crisis here
- Business Credit Availability Program here
Facebook: offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for eligible small businesses across the countries where they operate. Small Business Grants Program information here
Farm Credit Canada: FCC’s response to COVID-19, including additional lending capacity here
FortisBC: Supporting BC during the COVID-19 outbreak here. COVID-19 may have financial impacts to FortisBC customers. They encourage customers to reach out and let them know if you are having difficulty with your bill so they can help find a solution.
- Ad credits for Google Ads small and medium-sized businesses here
- COVID-19: $800+ million to support small businesses and crisis response here
Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada: ITAC Launches Stimulus Fund in Response to COVID-19 here
Microsoft Teams: Rogers and Microsoft are offering a 6 month free trial of Microsoft Teams here
Work Safe BC: defers Q1 2020 payment here
United Way: COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund here
Call to Action
Supply products and services to support BC’s COVID-19 response here
Canadian manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19 here
Help Canada Combat COVID-19 here
Foreign Trade Zone – Vancouver Island (FTZVI): If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed. If you can say yes to the following, they want to hear from you by sending a short summary of your offer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You manufacture in Canada and/or have ready access to necessary inputs through your supply chain.
- You have equipment or facilities that can be rapidly re-tooled to meet medical needs, including for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies.
- You have skilled workers who are able to respond and who could be available for work in the current circumstances.
Prevention & Planning
COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information here
Resources for Canadian businesses here
Plan Templates & Guides
Pandemic Preparedness for Business here
Emergency Preparedness BC: Find the below plans and more here
Pandemic Planning e-Course (Free): Understand a pandemic and what you need to do to prevent one. Offered by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety here
Checklists and Recommendations
- Business Preparedness Checklist COVID-19 here
- 5 tips for extending cash flow amid times of uncertainty here
- Working from home: Securing your new workplace here
- COVID-19: Managing and Pivoting During a Time of Crisis here
- Tech Soup Canada: Tips on Working Remotely here
- Small Business: Financial checklist before you call your banker here
PwC’s COVID-19 Navigator: Digital Assessment Tool to help you understand the potential impact to your business and gauge your readiness to respond here
Videos or Recordings of Recent Webinars
The Conference Board of Canada recordings and videos here
Sector Specific Resources
Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic here
Food Services and Agriculture
For our new Agrifood Resources during COVID-19 list of resources click here.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Industry questions and answers, as well as related links here
Guidance to Retail Food and Grocery Stores here
BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association: resources here
- OneTable asking restaurants to share their story and make their voice heard here
- Restaurant Sector COVID-19 Impact Survey here
- Need for temporary staff, March 24 release here
- Support your local restaurant with take-out or deliver image here
- For updates follow BCRFA on Twitter
- Printable signage for restaurant owners and operators here
Restaurants Canada: Resources for foodservice operators here
Destination BC: Emergency Preparedness for BC’s Tourism Industry here and specific info about the Coronavirus here
Destination Canada: COVID-19 Updates here
Hotel Association of Canada: Information for Hoteliers here
Tourism Industry Association of Canada: Updates and resources here
Western Economic Diversification Canada: Support for tourism operators and SMEs here
Construction and Manufacturing
Canadian manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19 here
Province of BC: Guidance to BC manufacturers & construction sites during COVID-19
Work Safe BC: Industry information for construction and manufacturing here
BC Forest Safety: COVID-19 resources here
Work Safe BC: Forestry field work and COVID-19 safety here
Mining and Smelting
Province of BC: Guidance to mining and smelting operations during COVID-19 here
Province of BC: Interim Communicable Disease Control Guidelines for Industrial Camps here
Local Government Resources
City of Courtenay
Town of Comox
Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD)
Province of BC– Provincial news releases here. List of COVID-19 Essential Services here
- April 1, 2020 – COVID-19 Supply Hub connects needed medical supplies to health workers
- April 1, 2020 – Province supporting people with relief on power bills during COVID-19March 31, 2020 – Province extends state of emergency to support COVID-19 response
- March 29, 2020 – Guidance to retail food and grocery stores operating during COVID-19
- March 27, 2020 – Minister’s statement on COVID-19 support for arts and culture sector
- March 26, 2020 – Province takes unprecedented steps to support COVID-19 response
- March 25, 2020 – Supporting renters, landlords during COVID-19
- March 23, 2020 – BC announces $5B coronavirus aid package for individuals and businesses or view factsheet here
- March 23, 2020 – Prime Minister announces support for farmers and agri-food businesses under Canada’s response to COVID-19
- March 22, 2020 – Increasing hand sanitizer production to keep British Columbians safe
- March 21, 2020 – BC orders closure of ‘personal service establishment’
- March 20, 2020 – BC’s top doctor bans dine-in guests at restaurants across the province
Government of Canada: Resources for Canadian Businesses
- March 29, 2020 – How the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services
- March 27, 2020 – Trudeau promises 75% wage subsidy for businesses hit by coronavirus pandemic
- March 25, 2020 – Government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses
- March 25, 2020 – Trudeau’s $82B coronavirus support package gets royal assent, officially passes
- March 18, 2020 – “COVID-19 financial help: EI benefits, bill deferrals and other emergency funds in BC”
- March 18, 2020 – “First Phase” of Canada’s “Economic Response Plan” announcement
BC Ferries: Travel advisories here
- Keeping Vital Goods and Services Moving here
BC Transit: Coronavirus Information here
- BC Transit and the Comox Valley Regional District implement services changes here
Comox Valley Airport: COVID-19 Updates here
Harbour Air Seaplanes: COVID-19 service updates here
- COVID-19 Epidemic Operational Update here
Personal Health Resources
The Public Health Agency of Canada is actively monitoring the current outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and working with the World Health Organization and other international partners.
A program that matches seniors who need support with non-medical essentials, to volunteers in their community who are willing to help. To register for services, or to offer help, register here. More information available here
BC Centre for Disease Control
Information about COVID-19, how to protect yourself, your family and your community and what to do if you suspect you have the virus here
Lush Valley Food Action Society
Emergency Food Share Program is aimed at providing food to those in need in the Comox Valley, including those in need of financial and/or food delivery assistance.
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
Public health risk is being continually reassessed as new information becomes available. For up-to-date and reliable information about the coronavirus and Canada’s response to this issue, visit PHAC’s online resources here.
Prevention and Planning
You can find preventative information here on the PHAC’s website and call the Health Canada 2019 coronavirus information line at 1-833-784-4397 with further questions.
BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool and new support app here. The app will let you receive the latest updates, trusted resources, and alerts. The Self-Assessment Tool is built in.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have issued a joint statement on international cooperation as key to the containment of COVID-19. Read it here.
Bank of Montreal (BMO): COVID-19 support page, including updates here
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC): Financial assistance form, services, and updates here
Coastal Community Credit Union: Service updates, financial relief plan, FAQs here
Coast Capital Savings: member financial relief program, branch closures, and updates here
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC): Updates, financial relief program, and FAQs here
Scotiabank: Latest updates including message from CEO, financial relief, and COVID-19 FAQs here
TD Canada Trust: How they can help, mortgage payment deferral online application, and other information here