Resources for Businesses
Explore this page to see what resources are available for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Latest Updates
- B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service
- Federal Resources
- Provincial Resources
- WorkSafeBC Resources
- Town of Sidney Resources
- Town of Sidney Business Liaison Program
- Business and Pedestrian Use of Public Space in the Downtown Core
- Business Associations
June 19, 2020 PHO Order Amendment - Food & Liquor Service Establishments
The Provincial Health Officer's order for restaurants and pubs has been amended to provide greater clarity around the size of barriers. Additionally, if there is an event on the premises, the names and phone numbers or emails of patrons at the event must be collected in case there is a need for public health officials to conduct contract tracing.
The B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service has been set up to serve as a single point of contact for businesses throughout the province looking for information on resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic. The service is operated by Small Business BC and will act as a one-stop resource to answer questions about supports available to businesses from the provincial and federal governments, industry and community partners.
Visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan - Supports for Businesses page to explore a number of federal programs and subsidies for Canadian businesses, including programs directed towards:
- Avoiding layoffs and rehiring employees
- Deferred payments
- Access to credit
- Supporting financial stability
- Support for self-employed individuals
- Support for industries
Canadian Business Resilience Service
The Government of Canada has supported the launch of the Business Resilience Service, operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The Business Resilience Service allows you to connect with experienced business advisors from across Canada for guidance on which government relief programs will be most appropriate to support your small- to medium-sized business, not-for-profit, or charity on how to respond and reshape amid uncertainty. The program, delivered to your organization free of charge, provides:
- Guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility
- Direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations
- Help to make decisions to support recovery plans
- Real time insights and feedback to policymakers
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance now open for applications
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants and meet operating expenses on commercial properties. Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020. Click here to learn more and to apply.
Visit the Provincial Health Officer's page to review provincial health orders, notices, & guidance.
Visit the B.C. Government's BC's Restart Plan page to learn more about the province's phased approach to ease restrictions.
Visit the B.C. Government's COVID-19 Supports for Businesses page to explore a wide-range of supports for businesses in British Columbia affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Supports include:
- Credit & financing options
- Changes to taxes
- Wage supports
- Additional resources
WorkSafeBC has released industry-specific guidelines and resources. Businesses in all sectors are required to use these guidelines and resources to develop their COVID-19 safety plans and post those plans for employees and customers as they resume operations.Click here to access WorkSafeBC's guidelines.
WorkSafeBC has also made available a COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan template and printable informational posters for businesses. Click here to access these WorkSafeBC resources.
- The Town has created physical distancing floor decals that we have been distributing to local businesses. If you would like some floor decals for your Sidney business, please contact the Town's Emergency Operations Centre by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: 250-655-6900. If you would like to print additional decals for your Sidney business, you can use the PDF file below.
- Physical Distancing Floor Decal File
- Some local businesses have expressed interest the type of physical distancing signage that the Town has posted around the community. We have created a general template that local businesses can print and post in your work spaces.
- Physical Distancing Sign - 8.5" x 11" File
- Physical Distancing Sign - 11" x 17" File
- Physical Distancing Sign - 24" x 24" File
- Property Tax Information
- Council asked staff to bring forward options for eliminating the general municipal tax increase for the year, and options for further reducing the tax impact on businesses. Over the course of three meetings, Council considered a series of options, and at the April 27, 2020 Council meeting amended the previously approved 2020 financial plan as follows:
- Reduced the previously-approved 1.79% general tax increase to zero for Residential and Commercial properties;
- Provided an additional 10% reduction in the municipal portion of taxes for Commercial and Light Industrial properties.
- In addition to the tax reductions, Council, in combination with the Province, also delayed the penalty dates to be applied to unpaid taxes, effectively providing property owners with more time to pay their tax bill this year. The 5% penalty date for Commercial properties shifts from July 3 to October 1, 2020. A second 5% penalty date for Commercial properties shifts to December 15, 2020.
The Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) appreciates all the measures that our business community has taken to keep their staff, customers, and the community safe and healthy. We also understand that some businesses that are currently closed are looking at safe ways to reopen; the Town’s EOC is here to provide assistance and advice to ensure this can be done safely.
Sidney businesses can call the Town of Sidney Emergency Operations Centre to book an appointment with one of our Business Liaison Ambassadors who can come to your business and offer advice and suggestions geared towards your particular operation. You can contact the EOC by phone email at email@example.com or by phone at 250-655-6900.
What the Town of Sidney is Doing
The Town of Sidney is moving forward with options for increasing public space for pedestrians and businesses in the downtown commercial area.
Town staff are monitoring pedestrian levels, lineups for commercial businesses and demand for outdoor seating for food vending businesses. Pinch points will be addressed by repurposing on-street parking spaces as protected pedestrian spaces or outdoor seating areas. Staff will ensure that accessibility is maintained. If closing streets to traffic or repurposing entire block faces of on-street parking spaces is warranted, staff will report back to Council and initiate public engagement.
On June 8, 2020, Council adopted an amendment to Sidney’s Off-Street Parking and Loading Bylaw which allows restaurants, cafés, and pubs to use a maximum of 50% of their privately owned parking spaces for outdoor seating for patrons, while still ensuring that the number of designated accessible parking spaces is maintained. Businesses looking for more information on the Off-Street Parking and Loading Bylaw amendments can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council also adopted an amendment to the Sidewalk Café Regulations and Licensing Bylaw which allows business owners to apply to the Town for a permit to place outdoor café seating for patrons in public on-street parking spaces in addition to the previously permitted outdoor café seating on public sidewalks. The amendment also increased the minimum width of sidewalk space to be kept clear for passing pedestrians from 2 metres to 3 metres in order to allow for safe physical distancing between all users of our downtown public spaces. Businesses looking for more information on sidewalk and roadside cafés can email email@example.com.
Regional, provincial, and national business and economic development associations are working hard to compile resources for our local business community. If you have any questions regarding resources available for businesses, visit their websites or contact them directly.
- Sidney Business Improvement Area
Contact info: 250-893-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
250-656-3616 or email@example.com
- South Island Prosperity Project
- BC Chamber of Commerce
- BC Economic Development Association
- Canadian Business Resilience Network - operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce