COVID-19 Updates and Resources
The affect of COVID-19 continues to evolve. Now, more than ever, it’s critical to follow the directives of our health authorities on social and physical distancing measures so that we can flatten the curve. Stay calm, don’t hoard supplies, don’t back-log the health care system unnecessarily AND STAY HOME if at all possible! Another critical reminder is that many local businesses are having to make difficult decisions for their businesses and employees. They need government and community support to get through this difficult time. We will get through it by supporting one another.
The Chamber has created this page with useful links, tools and surveys for businesses.
- Business Support
- An average 25% reduction in commercial property taxes in 2020
- $10 million to increase value-added manufacturing in BC by supporting small- and medium-sized businesses to make their products more accessible to customers and an additional $6 million in grants for businesses to help strengthen BC’s supply chain
- $44 million for Launch Online, connecting businesses with BC technology companies to create or improve their e-commerce and provide digital marketing training to help businesses boost their online sales
- An ongoing PST exemption on capital investments in select equipment and machinery to help businesses pivot or upgrade operations with an anticipated 110,000 incorporated BC businesses eligible; exemptions on select machinery and equipment supports in 2021-22 estimated to be $235 million
- $500 million over three years for the “InBC Strategic Investment Fund” which will attract and anchor high-growth businesses and help local firms scale and grow
- $71 million towards wholesale pricing for hospitality licensees
- $150 million towards the Increased Employment Incentive Tax Credit
- $195 million towards the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant
- $806 million for ongoing supports for businesses in 2021-22, including:
- Childcare Support
- Over $2.2 billion in childcare funding over 3 years
- Support for the creation of 400 new spaces for children of Indigenous families and the ability of 2000 more families to access supportive childhood development programs
- Increase the wages for 11,000 licensed early childhood educators by $4 an hour
- Doubling the number of $10-a-day childcare spaces and increasing the early childhood educator wage enhancement to $4 an hour
- $233 million invested in the New Spaces Fund over 3 years to create an additional 2,500 – 3,000 spaces per year and improve access to ECE training by adding 110 more post-secondary seats in B.C
- $4 billion in new funding over 3 years, including $3.1 billion to improve the quality of health and mental health care for people, and $900 million in 2021-22 allocated for pandemic response.
- $585 million over 3 years to hire new health care workers to build capacity
- $500 million over 3 years to expand and improve mental health and addictions services and respond to overdose crisis
- $748 million over 3 years to expand urgent and primary care centres and reduce wait times for surgeries and diagnostic services
- $11 million to implement free transit for youth aged 12 and under.
- $7.5 billion in transportation capital investments to maintain the flow of people and goods to support BC’s economy, such as the George Massey Tunnel replacement and planning for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain
- $3.5 billion more in capital spending thank Budget 2020 for projects in the healthcare, education, and transportation sectors
- Employment and Skills Training
- $96 million over three years for skills training to build health sector capacity
- $33 million in 2021-22 for student and youth employment initiatives
- $500 million over 3 years in financing for InBC to attract and anchor high growth business, talent, and good jobs in BC
- $6 million to support work-integrated learning placements for 3,000 students
- $4 million for short-term skills training programs to support training more workers for in-demand sectors
- $15 million in incentives to hire students for tech-enabled jobs.
- $32 million to continue training launched through the StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan, including:
- $17 million to partner with Indigenous communities and organizations to expand access to skills training
- $5 million to expand micro-credential training for people looking to retrain and pursue new careers
- $10 million for work-integrated learning opportunities and short-term skills training
- $100 million to support tourism and anchor attractions, plus $20 million more for grants that will help communities prepare for future visitors through new tourism infrastructure
- Affordable Housing
- As part of the 10-year Homes for BC strategy’s $7 billion, Budget 2021 will add $2 billion to expand the Housing Hub program, a division of BC Housing, to facilitate the creation of 9,000 units of rental housing and homeownership options over the next three to five years, which will help increase the supply of affordable housing middle-income households
- Greater funding for non-profit housing providers and $1.6 billion in capital investments over the fiscal plan
- $7 million to expand BC’s food hub network and support farm innovation and food processing
- $35 million to support B.C. farmers in safely accessing and accommodating temporary foreign workers to support crop harvesting
- Communications Technology
- Investments of $40 million per year over 3 years to provide reliable high-speed broadband to rural, remote, and Indigenous communities and unlock opportunities for businesses to better access local, regional, and global markets
- $3.5 billion in capital investments over the fiscal plan to expand, replace, maintain, or renovate schools in communities across the province
- New funding to support post-secondary education, including new spaces to build training capacity in the health care sector
- Environment and Green Technology
- $130 million for zero emissions vehicle incentives, electric charging stations, technological development and electrification of school buses, ferries and government fleets
- $60 million to support the development and commercialization of clean technology in B.C
- $96 million for the CleanBC Program for Industry to reduce emissions, further expand British Columbia’s clean tech sector and support global competitiveness in the clean economy
- $10 million over three years to develop policy on reducing the carbon intensity of fuel and develop the hydrogen economy
- Business Support
- $101.4 billion over three years in proposed investments as part of the government's plan to create jobs and support economic recovery, which proposes to extend business and income support measures through to the fall and to make investments to create jobs and help businesses across the economy.
- The reduction of the federal debt as a share of the economy and the unwinding of COVID-19-related deficits, with the federal deficit projected to decline to $154.7 billion in 2021-22 despite an increase in the federal debt this year.
- The proposing of the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which would aim to offset a portion of the extra costs that eligible employers take on as they reopen.
- Future investments for improvements in child care offerings, including reaching an average of $10 a day by 2025-26 for all regulated child care spaces country-wide. annual growth in quality affordable child care spaces across the country, and progress in improving and expanding before- and after-school care
Regional Resource Guides for Small Business Resiliency:
Government support programs for businesses:
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
- Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
- Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
- Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
- Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP)
- Funding through the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NAACA)
- Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility
- Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
- Support for entrepreneurs impacted by coronavirus (Business Development Bank of Canada)
- Export Development Canada: COVID-19
- Work-Sharing Program: Temporary special measures
- Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
- Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
- City of Surrey
- City of White Rock
- Surrey Schools
- Utility Companies & COVID-19
- Local news through Peace Arch News
- Provincial news: BC GlobalNews
- National news: CBC News and CTV News
- NOTE: The BC government does weekly media updates every Tuesday at 3 pm, which are streamed live by major media. Daily written statements will still be available at approximately 3pm everyday here.
Information for patios:
- The PHO order on food and liquor-serving establishments remains in place- click here to read more
- City of White Rock:
On May 10th, White Rock City Council approved closing the north lane of Marine Drive to extend patio space for restaurants. The plan is currently being prepared by city staff with input and support from the Chamber, White Rock BIA, representing restaurants, for a safe, effective closure.
- City page for updates on Marine Drive lane closure
- Report and Mayor's interview on Global BC
- City of Surrey
- Facade Enhancement Grant - Program will provide a grant matching up to 30% of the eligible costs to a maximum of $3,000 to commercial property owners who want to improve their storefront facades. Can be used towards temporary patio installations - See application
- Parking to Patios and Sidewalk Queuing Space
For information on how to get in touch with your local elected officials, check out our Political Representatives page here.
For a list of upcoming town halls, Chamber Chats and webinars from the Chamber, our members and partners, visit the Chamber's Event Calendar.
In case you missed one of our virtual events, they are recorded for your convenience. If you follow this link you will also find useful recorded webinars, online events, and virtual interviews.
As a member of the Chamber, you are eligible to join the Chambers Plan, Canada's leading group benefit plan for firms with 1-50 employees. If your business is currently enrolled, you have access to Teladoc® telemedicine service, allowing employees to consult with a physician by phone* or video conference, within an hour, from anywhere in Canada or the United States. Should you or your employees have additional questions in relation to your benefits, submitting a claim, please contact the Customer Service Centre at 1-800-665-3365.
For businesses who receive insurance via the Chambers Plan, the team behind the plan is offering the following credits, retroactive to April 1st, to your May billing.
- Dental: 50% premium reduction adjustment
- Extended Health: 10% premium reduction adjustment
Certificates of Origin (COOs)
Certificates of Origin are shipping documents detailing information on the type of goods being exported, their destination, and most important, their country or countries of origin. Validation is a key service provided by the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce with a preferred rate given to SSWR Chamber members. All Certificate of Origin clients must provide a notarized letter of waiver to be kept on file for 2 years.
In partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the SSWR Chamber is pleased to offer the services of TradeCert Canada – a simple, secure and timesaving solution to COOs. Through the TradeCert program, the SSWR Chamber is able to process COOs entirely online (with the exception of accepting letters of waiver). Once you have been set up in our system, you can submit COO applications and print out approved COOs all from the comfort of your desk.
For more information on pricing, accepted documents, and other details on how to get started, visit our COO page here.
Business Resources and Tools
Crime Prevention Tips for Businesses:
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Tip Sheet for Securing your Business in relation to COVID-19 Closures.
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers for Virus Hoaxes, Fraud Prevention & Tips
Surrey RCMP Business Poster Campaign: deter potential thieves and reinforce proper security measures against theft.
Resources, Toolkits & GuideOnline Certificate of Origin Processing (essCert)
Border, Ladner, Gervais LLP:Bromwich & Smith:Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB):Canadian Franchise Association:Canadian Payroll Association:Deloitte:Facebook:Fasken:GardaWorld:The Globe and Mail:Gowling WLG:KPMG:Ontario Chamber of Commerce:Professional Meetings & Conventions Assocation:RDC:Small Business BC:Surrey Board of Trade:World Health Organization:
- In partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the SSWR Chamber is pleased to offer the services of TradeCert Canada – a simple, secure and timesaving solution to certificates of origin. Head to our Certificate of Origin page for more information.