Dear Team Richmond,
Much has changed in the industry – and the world – since my last note to you in February. We were still watching the health crisis unfold in the world and wondering if it would come to our shores. Now, three months later, we’re faced with a new normal for everything in our lives. As we all navigate these unprecedented times together, I wanted to keep you updated on the work Tourism Richmond and our partners are doing on your behalf, and how we are focused on supporting our community during this time.
Metro Vancouver Tourism and Hospitality Response and Recovery Task Force
In partnership with Tourism Vancouver, the BC Hotel Association and TIABC, Tourism Richmond has guided the work of the Metro Vancouver Tourism and Hospitality Industry Response and Recovery Task Force. As a co-chair and founding member of the task force, it was extremely clear to me that banding together with our industry partners was the best way to advocate for the tourism and hospitality sectors to both the Federal and Provincial governments about Metro Vancouver’s unique needs.
I am pleased to announce that in the past two months, industry associations, individual entrepreneurs, business leaders and sector representatives joined to lend their voice to our efforts. The numbers of our Task Force membership have swelled to over 50 well-known and well-respected BC organizations.
The Task Force sent out a press release last week to raise awareness of our industry’s needs and to advocate for the tourism and hospitality sector in Metro Vancouver. The areas of concerns outlined include:
- Addressing liquidity issues for small businesses
- The creation of an enhanced wage subsidy program to supplement the Federal program available
- Full government backing for Business Development Canada loans to small business, and
- Greater availability of funding through the Canada Emergency Business Account.
There’s quite a bit of work to tackle. As such, I am leading the Sector Recovery Strategy working group for the Task Force to ensure Metro Vancouver’s – and by extension, Richmond’s – visitor economy is viable at the end of this global health pandemic. We’re paying close attention to the early signals of recovery, as well as creating various resources such as a Business Recovery Toolkit to deliver useful information to you on how, when and what’s required to reopen when the time comes. I look forward to sharing these resources with you when they’re ready.
We Are Richmond BC
We have joined forces with the City of Richmond and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce to create WeAreRichmondBC.ca, a new hub and connection point for residents and Richmond-based businesses.
WeAreRichmondBC.ca was designed for both residents and businesses. The site not only links to City services, pandemic supports for businesses and regular updates from the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, it also aims to connect the community with ways to support local businesses. Residents can view a comprehensive list of restaurants, stores and other businesses that are still open. WeAreRichmondBC.ca identifies locations that are open, lists their contact information, and services available – whether via takeout options or curbside pickup, or offering online services.
We’re excited to officially launch WeAreRichmondbc.ca next week. Your VisitRichmondBC.com listing will appear on this new site, so if you haven’t updated your listing to let everyone know you’re still open for business, we urge you to do so now.
The #RichmondHasHeart social media campaign launched by the City of Richmond is one that really makes me smile. So far, the hashtag has over 250 posts on Instagram already from the community, showcasing everything from at-home workouts posted by community centres, to specially painted rocks displayed throughout our biking and walking trails. See how the community has shown their pride so far on Instagram and Twitter, and we encourage you to showcase your community spirit with this hashtag as well.
Thank you all for your trust and support as we work through these difficult times together. There’s no question things are difficult now, but I remain optimistic that our industry will thrive once again. We are very proud to see what the community is doing to be supportive of one another during these times.
Please keep our team posted, or feel free to reach out to me about how we can help. We are here for you.
Tourism Richmond Team Member
Chief Executive Officer