One of our primary advocacy goals at this time is to train, resource, and equip our membership and the wider Delta business community to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Questions? Contact Lydia Elder, Manager of Policy Development, Government, and Stakeholder Relations. Or call 604.946.4232
The BC Chamber of Commerce has addressed the regionally specific needs of businesses by launching the Regional Resource Guides for Small Business Resiliency. Click here to explore resources specific to our region.
- Locally, you can stay up to date with news from the City of Delta and participate with the Delta Chamber of Commerce and our fellow Community Resiliency & Economic Recovery Support Team (CRERST) members through our joint initiative: We Love Delta. Be sure to check it out and submit your Delta business to be featured—let's highlight the innovation and resilience of the business community here in our community!
- Patio Permit Program: In light of pandemic challenges, Delta City Council supported an initiative to work creatively and collaboratively with Delta’s restauranteurs and café owners to find innovative ways to increase the number of patrons while also respecting physical distancing requirements. A simplified process has been adopted to implement sidewalk patios. Restaurant and café owners can simply submit a request to the Engineering Department. Fees associated with liquor licenses (in order to accommodate patios) have been waived. The province has also been expediting liquor license extensions for these patio areas
- Utility Fees: The City of Delta passed—and then extended—a Utility Flat Rate Penalty Deferral Bylaw, which allowed for no penalty on late payment of late rate utility bills until Sep. 30, 2020
- Grant funding of $1,000 - $10,000 (based on number of employees) for businesses closed due to PHO
Businesses already in the system from the BC Circuit Breaker Grant will be fast-tracked through the system.
Stay up to date on provincial financial supports here.
- Can cover up to 75% of wages and rent, depending on revenue lost due to local PHO ordered closure
- Provides $300 a week to eligible workers (including self-employed workers) who are unable to work due to a temporary local lockdown anytime between Oct. 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022
Stay up to date on federal financial supports here.
- BC Hydro: Small businesses forced to close due to COVID-19 had their Apr.-Jun., 2020 BC Hydro charges forgiven. Major industry businesses saw a 50% deferral in rates for three months. BC Hydro rates were reduced by 1% for all customers beginning Apr. 1, 2020. Bill deferral and payment plan options are also available on a case-by-case basis. Call 1-800-BCHYDRO for more details.
The Employers’ Advisers Office (EAO) is a branch of the Ministry of Labour. Independent of WorkSafeBC, the EAO is a resource for employers in British Columbia, providing complimentary advice, assistance, representation educational seminars to employers, potential employers and employer associations concerning workers’ compensation issues.
The BC EAO can help you with business issues such as:
- Advise and support you in registering your business online and determining appropriate WorkSafe BC classification
- Advise & educate you with reporting or managing an injury/illness claim at your workplace as well as with matters such as how to appeal a claim decision, how to plan & implement a return-to-work program, etc.
- NOTE for COVID: For health & safety matters (including COVID-19) they can help you navigate the safety regulations governing your business activities; explain your obligations for your workers & workplace, and describe “due diligence” and how to achieve that
- A BC EAO Representative can represent you at both the Review Division & Worker’s Compensation Appeal Tribunal regarding a WorkSafe BC decision if you wish you appeal; will write submissions on your behalf; and will attend and participate in hearings
The BC EAO provides a number of free seminars on claims management, occupational health & safety, and more.
You can call the EAO’s toll free duty line at 1 800 925-2233 and speak with an adviser from Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm, or email them at email@example.com. They have 8 offices in BC and their closest one to Delta is in Richmond at 620 - 8100 Granville Ave.
Human Rights Considerations (from BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner):
- Guidance from BC’s OHRC on Developing Vaccination Status Policies in the Workplace (Updated October 14, 2021)
- Key Note: “No one’s safety should be put at risk because of others’ personal choices not to receive a vaccine. Just as importantly, no one should experience harassment or unjustifiable discrimination for not being immunized when there are effective alternatives to vaccination status policies”
- Guidance from BC’s OHRC on Developing & Implementing Mask Policies in the Workplace (Updated September 29, 2021)
- Key Note: “No one should have to be exposed to the virus—or excluded from public spaces—because others refuse to follow public health directives merely as a matter of personal choice”
- Mandatory Vaccines in the Workplace – Article at Business Council of BC from Roper Greyal LLP
- Key quote: “Employers have a right to manage their workplace and to protect their business interests. This overarching power is not set out in any law; rather, it is an inherent right of every employer implied in every employment contract, including collective agreements. This does not mean “management rights” are unrestrained. Restrictions are found in several areas, including specific laws regarding employment standards and human rights, contracts between employers and employees, and in the “common law” (judge made law). Along with the right to manage a workplace, employers also have obligations, one of which is providing a safe workplace for employees”
- Step by Step guide from Ottawa Public Health on how to create a workplace vaccination policy
- Note: this is based on Ontario employment standards and health guidelines but the steps to follow and questions to work through will be relevant here in BC as well
Due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, all businesses must reactivate their COVID-19 Safety Plans for the protection of our workers, our loved ones, and our communities.
In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.
CBRN's summary of resources and insights specifically for small businesses.
A quick reference guide to federal and provincial business COVID-19 health and safety regulation updates across Canada.
Guidance on COVID-19 prevention that can be applied to your business, what to do if you or your employees experience symptoms, and where to find mental health resources.
Please ensure that you take the time to understand your obligations as an employer at all times, and especially right now as there are ongoing changes to many levels of legislation pertaining to employment; including leaves of absence, temporary layoffs, employee & employer rights, duty to accommodate, safety requirements, etc. Please refer to your Lawyer, Accountant, Human Resources, and/or Payroll professionals for specific advising on your business' particular situation to minimize unnecessary risk.
NOTE: Employees working from home ("working remotely") are subject to Employment Standards Act & OHS Regulations which cover employer and worker responsibilities for workplace health & safety. Please take some time to review WorkSafeBC's guidance on ensuring that your business has the right policy and practices in place for those who are working remotely in their homes.
BC CDC: cleaning and disinfecting resources (including how to dilute bleach and a link the Health Canada’s approved cleaning products for COVID-19)
Business Continuity & Recovery Planning Guide from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Crisis Communications Planning Guide from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Financial Management: Deloitte's COVID-19 Economic Recovery Dashboard
Restaurants Canada: COVID-19 Reopening Best Practices
Physical barriers guidelines including cleaning: National Collaborating Centre on Environmental Health
PPE Suppliers: As businesses in Delta implement their COVID-19 Safety Plans, some have been looking for local sources for personal protective equipment (PPE,) physical barriers for their workplaces, and for more information on cleaning protocols. Each industry and business will have different needs and requirements and the BC CDC and WorkSafe BC are the best places to start, however below are some additional options available for your research and sourcing as well.
Updated Nov. 9, 2020
- HOW TO MANAGE AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS STRUGGLING TO WORK REMOTELY article by Harvard Business Review
- RESPECTFUL WORKPLACES IN THE TIME OF COVID webinar, by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce and Forte Law
- REOPENING FOR BUSINESS guide by Fasken law firm
- CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): RETURNING TO THE WORKPLACE GUIDE on Human Resources recommendations for employers by CPHR BC & Yukon
- This is a helpful article by law firm McCarthy Tetrault on the federally-announced EI program changes and options available to employers when addressing temporary reductions in work, temporary layoffs, and/or employees facing quarantine or self-isolation: READ ARTICLE