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
UPDATE YOUR BUSINESS LISTING
Many people would still love to support their favourite local restaurants. Let everyone know if you're still open for business, and if you are offering any takeout or delivery services.
Please take a few minutes to update your business status on the Tourism Richmond Information Portal, which will update your VisitRichmondBC.com listing and be featured on the Takeout and Delivery Landing. Click here to download a step-by-step instruction guide on how to update your listing.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING
Google My Business (GMB) is a free, digital tool for business owners to manage their presence on several Google platforms, including Google Search and Google Maps. It provides businesses with the ability to connect with current and potential customers online.
Now is a great time to make sure your GMB listing is up to date with the most accurate information for your customers. If you haven’t claimed your listing yet, we can help you verify your business. Download our toolkit to get started now.
GOOD NEWS IN RICHMOND
The City of Richmond Economic Development Office has 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 Richmond Olympic Oval is offering FREE online classes via Instagram and Facebook. Click here88 for the weekly schedules and more information.
- Herbaland Gummies has committed to donating 10,000 bottles of Immune Plus Gummies to nurses and doctors across BC and Canada
- London Drugs offered to warehouse and sell 12,000 boxes of cookies on behalf of the Girl Guides of Canada
- PressReader is offering a free daily collection of COVID-19 news stories from around the world through their digital news platform
We'd love to hear from more Richmond businesses, so please get in touch to let us know what you're doing!
CITY OF RICHMOND UPDATES
The City understands that many workers, especially in the tourism, hospitality, aviation and service industries have been temporarily displaced during this economic downturn. As such, the City put together a list of employment support resources that have recently been announced and developed for individuals and businesses. Click here to learn more.
TOURISM INDUSTRY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA UPDATE
On April 1, TIABC attended a webinar hosted by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade on how small businesses could access government funding. The webinar introduced 10 things small and medium businesses could do to address cash flow issues, some of which you may already know. TIABC has put together a helpful synopsis in their daily C-19 Bulletin. You can read it here.
DESTINATION BRITISH COLUMBIA UPDATE
MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER OF TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE, LISA BEARE
I want to start by thanking everyone who has provided feedback, offered support, and stayed engaged as we gather information about the impacts of COVID-19 to communities, businesses and people.
I continue to brief my Cabinet colleagues frequently and your feedback has helped me paint a fuller picture of the impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism sector. We are considering the needs of your communities at every stage of the planning process for mitigation, relief and eventually, recovery.
We are living through both a health crisis and an economic crisis, and I know people are worried about what the future holds. We have been working around the clock to protect people’s health, but we’ve also announced relief measures for businesses and people.
On March 18, the federal government announced a package for businesses and workers. These measures will offer some relief of the economic stress, but we know more will be needed. On March 23, the provincial government announced the B.C. COVID-19 Action Plan, which builds on the federal government’s strategy and represents our first step to provide relief to people and businesses in British Columbia.
The B.C. COVID-19 Action Plan has several measures that will offer some immediate relief to the tourism and hospitality sectors. These include delaying several tax filing and payment deadlines for personal income tax, EHT, PST, MRDT, motor fuel tax, and carbon tax. Businesses will also benefit from government’s announced 50% cut in the provincial school property tax rate for commercial properties.
People who have had their income affected by the outbreak will soon be able to apply for the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers for a tax-free one-time payment of $1,000. That is in addition to the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit. As well, the federal government has introduced a temporary wage subsidy up to 75% and is providing additional business financing support through its Business Credit Availability Program.
For more information about supports for businesses and workers, click here.
As the tourism, hospitality and culture sectors are amongst the hardest-hit by this pandemic, we are working on sector-specific supports to help you come back strong in the future. I will be sharing more details about this in the coming weeks.
Tourism is one of the most resilient industries in B.C. I’ve seen you overcome great challenges like wildfires and floods. Your leadership and your swift response to this unprecedented situation is a sign of your strength and it gives me confidence that, together, we will get through this and welcome the world once again to beautiful B.C.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, responsible for Sport
WEEKLY MESSAGING UPDATE
Destination BC is currently in the early Response phase of their three-phased recovery program for the tourism industry - Response, Recovery, Resilience11. During this phase, we are providing weekly messaging guidance to industry to rally our collective voice in supporting the health and safety of our province. The Messaging Guidance for April 2-April 8 has a series of images, messages, and a video you can easily share with your network. Read the guide here.
TOP 5 RESOURCES FOR TOURISM BUSINESSES DURING COVID-19
With many new resources becoming available every week, it's hard to know where to start. That's why Destination British Columbia created a simple, one-page guide of the top five resources for tourism businesses to start with now. Read the guide here.
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA UPDATE
Last week, the Federal Government of Canada announced the details of the wage subsidy program. This program helps companies of all sizes, non-profits, and charities that have faced revenue decreases of at least 30% by providing employers a 75% pwage subsidy, back-dated to March 15. The Federal Government has provided some clarity on eligibility:
- Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30% in March, April or May, when compared to the same months in 2019, will be able to access the subsidy. However, there is no clear guideline yet for businesses that just opened in 2020 or for seasonal businesses that are typically closed in March, April and May.
- The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75% of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
Learn more about the wage subsidy program on the Service Canada website.
GOVERNMENT OF BC UPDATE
On April 2, Premier John Horgan announced a new Economic Recovery Task Force11, which will bring together leaders from business, labour, First Nations and not-for-profits to help ensure the Province's economic response to COVID-19 is effective and responsive to the needs of British Columbians.
In partnership with Small Business BC, the Province has also created an excellent financial resource: COVID-19 Supports for Businesses in BC11. This handy PDF includes a wide range of government and private sector supports for businesses in British Columbia.
gO2hr CREATES TEMPORARY JOB BOARD FOR DISPLACED WORKERS
go2HR has created a job board to help tourism and hospitality employees that have been displaced and are looking for temporary work at this time. It is free to post jobs from other sectors such as grocery, agriculture and healthcare on their job board. Visit now.
For the most up-to-date and accurate information about COVID-19 and other business resources, please visit these sites:
- Tourism Richmond’s COVID-19 Updates & Resources22
- Richmond Chamber of Commerce's COVID-19 Business Resources
- Small Business BC COVID-19 Supports
- Business in Richmond COVID-19 Resources22
- Destination British Columbia – Coronavirus Update
- Tourism Industry Association of BC - COVID-19 Updates
- Government of Canada virus update
- Vancouver Coastal Health – Coronavirus Update
- BC CDC Coronavirus Update