• BC Chamber Insight: 4/6/2021

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    April 06, 2021
    ISSUE: April 2021

    COVID Pulse Check Survey 6

    We are at a critical stage in the pandemic. With a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, new provincial health orders announced, and the vaccination program well under way, we're launching our next COVID-19 'Pulse Check' Survey to understand how your business continues to be impacted during this critical time.  

    Government is listening - have your voice heard and complete the survey before April 20, 2021 at 5:00pm PDT.

    This information will inform our discussions with government and help secure the critical supports that your business needs. 
    Take the survey (~8-min).

    Updated Pandemic Restrictions

    Last week, the provincial government announced that to address rising COVID-19 case counts, the provincial health officer had amended the provincial public health orders from 12:00AM PDT Tuesday, March 30, 2021 through April 19, 2021.

    However, the new restrictions are having real consequences. See our media release for details on how the BC Chamber of Commerce will continue to advocate for timely access to existing programs that support cashflow, and clarity around program criteria where there is now some confusion. 
    Read about the Restrictions

    Immunize BC: Pharmacists move up vaccines for ages 55-65 in the Lower Mainland

    To help combat high numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Lower Mainland, Immunize BC is partnering with community pharmacies in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health regions to provide vaccinations ahead of B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan’s age-based schedule.
    Effective March 31, 2021, those aged 55 to 65 may call their local pharmacy and book an appointment to receive their vaccine. Drop-in service may be an option at the more than 150 participating pharmacies
    Read More

    Policy Win! Mandatory commercial truck driver training to improve road safety

    In 2019, the BC Chamber of Commerce submitted a policy resolution pertaining to MELT – Mandatory Entry Level Training for Commercial Truck Drivers. 
    Last Thursday, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced the introduction of mandatory entry-level training (MELT) for new Class 1 commercial driver’s license applicants starting October 18, 2021.

    B.C.’s program will include best practices from other Canadian jurisdictions, and emphasize safe operating practices for mountainous geography and diverse driving conditions to ensure commercial drivers are prepared for B.C.’s highway network and the changing weather patterns encountered in the mountains. 
    Read the News Release

    Meet our Mindful & Grow Partners

    Innergex’s latest Annual Report is now available
    In 2020, Innergex celebrated their 30th anniversary and reached important milestones with the Strategic Alliance with Hydro-Québec and two acquisitions in Chile and the US.

    Read the report here.

    Export Navigator Win!
    Comox Valley Chamber Member

    After learning about the Export Navigator program, the Comox Valley Chamber arranged a meeting with an Export Navigator representative and one of its members who exports goods to Europe.

    Export Navigator was able to offer $20,000 to the member to create a German website for their business. The Comox Valley Chamber has learned more about how the Export Navigator program works and helps businesses grow their market, and will be continuing to promote the program to bring more success to its members.

    Learn more about the Export Navigator program and how it can help your members sell their products and services to other provinces and countries, and in turn, help them achieve their business goals.
    Learn more about Export Navigator

    More commercial recreation businesses
    get a break on rent

    The B.C. government is providing an additional $1.87 million to assist more businesses that hold eligible tenures for fishing and hunting lodges, guest ranches, ecotourism lodges, seasonal campgrounds and other commercial recreation operators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The total amount of rent forgiveness that has been provided to eligible commercial recreation businesses is $3.23 million for 1,473 tenures and permits.
    Read the News Release

    New grant program helps set up B.C.
    manufacturers for growth, innovation

    The B.C. government is supporting innovation and diversification in the province’s manufacturing sector with a $10-million investment in small and medium-sized businesses. Grant applications will be accepted between April 15 and May 31, 2021.

    This builds on the 100% PST rebate for machinery and equipment in September’s Stronger BC recovery plan (which was recommended in our Big Thinking for Small Business economic recovery plan) and will further help manufacturing companies invest in machinery and equipment to grow their business. 
    Read the News Release

    Find the Right Student Talent for Your Business 

    Did you know that there are multiple ways your business can engage with student talent?  The Talent Forward program makes it simple for you to find the right-fit student for your business needs. 
    Many employers think of apprenticeship, internships, and co-operative education (co-op) as an option to bring a student into the workplace. However, BC post-secondary schools also offer other types of student talent programs including community service learning, entrepreneurship programming, field learning, practicums/placements, and research projects.  
    You may have heard it referred to as work-integrated learning (WIL) in post-secondary institutions. To find out more about types of student talent available in BC, visit the ACE-WIL website or connect with our Talent Forward advisor, Kristin, who can guide you in identifying the right student talent options for your business needs. 
    Read More

    Paintillio and their success with the Export Navigator program

    Friends Jess Devenport and Lyssa Kayra brought art to the world when they launched their business, Paintillio on the Sunshine Coast in 2017. After hearing about Export Navigator, Jess and Lyssa knew that joining the program would be their best next step.

    They were quickly connected with an export advisor who started working with them on growth opportunities in new markets, including seeking funding for tradeshows and opportunities to promote their business, as well as developing a solid business plan and bringing another employee onto their team.

    Read the Export Navigator Success Story here.

    BC Chamber in the News

    We've been making headlines!

    Mar. 27, Burnaby now

    Webinar shows Burnaby-New West businesses how to find student talent

    Mar. 14, Vancouver Sun

    COVID-19: Vaccination passports likely on way for travel, though fraught with concerns

    Meet our Mindful & Grow Partners

    Canada's Oil & Natural Gas Producers (CAPP):
    Clearing the air on subsidies

    As the world acts to implement emission targets, natural gas is forecasted to be one of the fastest-growing sources of global energy for the next two decades. British Columbia can produce some of the lowest emission natural gas and LNG in the world. 

    But, you still hear a constant refrain calling on government to stop subsidizing “big oil.” When you see vague reports and claims about subsidies, dig a bit deeper. The oil and natural gas sector is vital to Canada’s recovery and contributes to communities across the country. We need to think about ways to attract more investment, not drive it away.

    Read the article here.
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