In the last two days, the BC Chamber has received over 2300 responses to the Chamber network’s COVID-19 Business Impacts Survey on Please add your voice – the survey will be live until Wednesday March 18th.
Above all else, business are asking government for three things:
  1. To work with banks and lending institutions to offer zero-interest loans, loan guarantees, or lines of credit
  2. To be more flexible around timelines for tax remittances
  3. To enhance EI access or wage replacement for employees
Over the weekend the BC Chamber took your feedback to government. The province is working to remove red tape and get cash flowing to the business community. In the meantime, some immediate measures have been announced to assist with your liquidity, operational concerns, and business continuity plans.
Our network has compiled a list of these measures on the BC Chamber of Commerce website, and will update this on a regular basis.
Here is a sample of what you’ll find there:
  • BC Hydro: The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Call BC Hydro’s customer team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss options.
  • CMHC is working to address mortgage payment difficulties. They’ve said on Twitter that they are collaborating with lenders to allow payment deferral of up to six months.
  • Export Development Canada (EDC). In partnership with the federal government and Canadian banks, EDC will ensure customers impacted by COVID-19 have access to credit (more information to follow).
  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has resources available including:
    • Small Business Loan: Up to $100,000 can be obtained online in as little as 48 hours from time of approval.
    • Working capital loan: Get extra funds to bridge cash flow gaps and support everyday operations.
    • Purchase Order Financing: Increase your cash flow to fulfill domestic or international orders with very flexible terms.
At the Sooke Region Chamber we have launched our own COVID-19 News Updates which we will be updating regularly. If you have time, we encourage you to share impacts to your business on this page to grow our local knowledge. We have also launched a Sooke-specific survey similar to the BC Chamber Survey referenced above but very local in its reach and outlook. This will enable us to serve you better.
While our office is closed to foot traffic until at least March 27th and events into April are cancelled or postponed, we are nonetheless very much here to help you navigate these choppy waters.
Please feel free to contact me via e-mail at or by phone at (250) 642-6112. You can also follow us on Facebook, where we will be posting updates and links on an ongoing basis.