Tourism Richmond is committed to providing our stakeholders reliable, accurate and timely information relating to the ever-changing novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in our community. We are working closely with our tourism counterparts in Metro Vancouver and at every level of government. We would like to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on the work we’re doing on your behalf.


Tourism Richmond Update

Resources for Stakeholders

Takeout and Delivery: If you run or operate a restaurant, please update your amenities and let everyone know if you're offering takeout or delivery services. Download the guide here.

Open for Business: For all other businesses, please update your business status and let your customers know if you're open in-person and/or online. Download the guide here.

Google My Business Listing: If you haven't claimed your Google Listing yet, please contact Ceri or Rebecca. They can help you verify your business.

We would like to hear from you about what you’d like to see in our COVID-19 updates from us. Your input from our new survey will help us better determine what type of information is important and useful for your business.  Please take a moment to complete our survey.


Good News in Richmond

We've been making a point to end every week on a positive note, highlighting the feel-good stories of Richmond businesses going above and beyond. Here are some great examples:

  • The Steveston Seafood House donated and delivered 40 Easter dinners to BC Children's Hospital on Easter weekend, as well as additional meals for nurses. Read the story here.

We'd love to hear from more Richmond businesses, so please get in touch to let us know what you're doing!


METRO VANCOUVER TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY RESPONSE AND RECOVERY TASK FORCE UPDATE

The Metro Vancouver Tourism and Hospitality Industry Response and Recovery Task Force, co-chaired by Tourism Richmond CEO Nancy Small, BC Hotel Association CEO Ingrid Jarrett and Tourism Vancouver Acting CEO Ted Lee released their first press release last week, advocating for the tourism and hospitality industries in Metro Vancouver. 

The Task Force recently sent two letters to Federal Minister Mélanie Joly and Provincial Minister Lisa Beare, outlining a list of actions considered key to the survival of thousands of businesses supporting the visitor economy. The areas of concerns outlined include addressing liquidity issues, the creation of an enhanced wage subsidy program, full government backing for BDC loans to small businesses, and greater availability of funding through the Canada Emergency Business Account. Read the full release here.


City of Richmond Updates

#RICHMONDHASHEART

Launched last week, the #RichmondHasHeart campaign encourages the community to share their thoughts, ideas and images through social media posts, physical-distance appropriate appreciation activities and creative displays at home, at their business or in the community. Learn more about the campaign here.

CITY OF RICHMOND TO REDUCE TAXES & DELAY DEADLINE TO SEPTEMBER

Last week, the City of Richmond announced that City Council would be asking the Province to make a ruling to allow all municipalities in BC to defer property taxes. However, if the Province rejects this, the City has said they would invoke the community charter to do it themselves. The City of Richmond will be lowering property taxes by two per cent, and not expect payment until September 2 - deferred from the original date of July 2. Read the full release here.

CALL FOR ARTISTS: #RICHMONDHASHEART

The City of Richmond Public Art Program seeks artist-initiated proposals, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, that explore new and meaningful ways to find connection while maintaining physical distancing protocols as directed by B.C. public health authorities. Working within these limitations is not only a creative challenge; it is an opportunity to demonstrate the power and potential of the arts to support our communities and our frontline workers. Learn more here.


DESTINATION BRITISH COLUMBIA UPDATE

WEEKLY MESSAGING GUIDE

Destination BC is offering Messaging Guidance or media channels for you to continue to share the #exploreBClater over next week. And, we encourage you to continue to showcase your local experiences, virtually. Read the guide here.


GOVERNMENT OF CANADA UPDATE

The federal government has announced the Canada Commercial Rental Assistance program to help small business cover their rent for April, May and June. Federal government will work with individual provinces and territories to develop program and more details to come in the following days.

Restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border have been extended. The Prime Minister announced that an agreement between Canada and the U.S. to close the border to all non-essential travel amid the coronavirus pandemic has been extended by another 30 days on Saturday. 

The federal government has also revised criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account:

  • CEBA allows businesses to receive an interest-free, government-backed loan of up to $40,000, 25% of which (up to $10,000) is forgivable if repaid before December 31, 2022
  • Eligibility has been expanded to businesses that spent between $20,000 and $1.5 million payroll in 2019 (previously between $50,000 and $1 million)

For small businesses that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Business Account:

  • $962 million will be allocated to regional development agencies and the Community Futures Network, to assist small businesses without a relationship with a traditional financial institution
  • $270 million to innovators and start-ups that do not qualify for the wage subsidy

Eligible employers will be able to apply for the CEWS through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal. More details about the application process will be forthcoming.


GOVERNMENT OF BC UPDATE

BC BUSINESS COVID-19 SUPPORT SERVICE

The B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service is operated by Small Business BC (SBBC), a non-profit organization that is well known and respected by the business community. The service will act as a one-stop resource to answer questions about support available to businesses from the provincial and federal governments, industry and community partners. Advisors are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (Pacific time) and Saturday from 10am to 4pm at 1 833 254 4357. Inquiries can also be emailed to covid@smallbusinessbc.ca or raised on the live-chat feature available on the website. Learn more here.

1 800 COVID-19 HOTLINE LAUNCHED

The Province has created 1 888 COVID-19 to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about COVID-19. This includes the latest information on travel recommendations and physical distancing, as well as access to support and resources from the provincial and federal governments. The call line is available seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific time), in 110 languages. People with questions related to their health and COVID-19 should call 811.


OTHER UPDATES

TOURISM INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA SURVEY

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada and Destination Canada are working with the federal government to understand impacts on, and the needs of, the tourism sector in the face of COVID-19. They need your feedback to better understand the needs of the tourism and hospitality sector once public health restrictions begin to be relaxed and market activity can resume. Please take a moment to complete their survey.

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW: FREE RESOURCES

Like many publications, Harvard Business Review has removed its paywall access to Coronavirus-specific articles. The complimentary access to Coronavirus-related articles include topics on innovation, succession planning, management tips, motivational stories, leadership stories, crisis communications and much more. Start reading today.

WEBINAR: THE ROAD(S) TO RECOVERY

Resonance Consulting has identified three board potential recovery scenarios for travel and tourism that are likely to occur. While we can’t predict the timing for each of these, or which scenario is most probable, understanding and evaluating the implications of all three potential roads to recovery is the best way to plan for an uncertain future. 

Resonance’s President Chris Fair, EVP Richard Cutting-Miller and VP, Marketing Strategy, Scott Erickson will discuss each of these scenarios and the key management and marketing implications of each for the travel and tourism industry.

When: Tuesday, April 21 8:00am PT

Click here to register now.

VIRTUAL TOWN HALL WITH MINISTER FORTIER

Join the Richmond Chamber of Commerce for a conversation with the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, Mona Fortier, on Wednesday, April 22nd. She will provide an update from the federal government and answer COVID-19 questions from the business community.

When: Wednesday, April 22 4:00pm PT

Click here to register now.