The Provincial Health Officer’s new restrictions, announced on the afternoon of March 29th, came out with very short notice and required action the same day in order to be in compliance for 12:00am March 30th. These new restrictions have hit the business community hard, with very real consequences - from suddenly unwinding employment contracts, group class cancellations, and contracts for food, alcohol and other products already placed in anticipation of a busy holiday long weekend, to the practical realities for many of losing their jobs again on Monday.
The future of many small and medium-sized businesses in already fragile industries has been again brought into question. The stress of these constant changes is an escalating concern and growing mental health crisis for many individuals, whether they are the owner or employee of the business.
Here at the Delta Chamber of Commerce, we have been actively engaging with our membership, local business community, and government to ensure that all Delta businesses have the support they need to access government financial programs; get introductions to local professional service providers and fellow Delta business owners; and that the Voice of Business in Delta is heard by decision-makers at all levels of government.
One of those opportunities includes the upcoming Fireside Chat that the Delta Chamber of Commerce is hosting with The Honorable Ravi Kahlon, Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, and MLA for Delta-North. This event will be held Thursday, April 8, 10:30am. You can also join us to hear from the Leader of the Official Opposition, The Honorable Erin O’Toole. Mr. O’Toole will be joining us Thursday, April 16, 12pm. At any time between April 6th – 20th you can participate in the BCMindReader C-19 Pulse Survey #6 that will be issued on April 6th. The insights of this survey will be shared with government and inform future government programs, services and policy.
This morning Minister Ravi Kahlon (Jobs, Economic Recovery & Innovation) announced that the BC Business Recovery Grant Program has been expanded to provide access to more BC businesses. This consists of a simplified application process and streamlined qualification criteria for SMEs including the following:
For more information or to apply go to https://bcbusinessrecoverygrant.com/.
For more information or assistance navigating programs and supports available to businesses in Delta, contact Lydia Elder at the Delta Chamber of Commerce.
Delta Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Yvonne Anderson recently wrote to the Honourable Ravi Kahlon, MLA for Delta-North, congratulating him on his recent appointment to Cabinet in the role as Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.
In her letter to Minister Kahlon, Anderson wrote that "at the Chamber we recognize that Delta is uniquely situated at the nexus of the international border with the United States for cross-border transport, Deltaport for international shipping, and on high quality agricultural land for food production. Tens of thousands of excellent jobs – many in the skilled trades and technology sector – are based here in Delta. These jobs represent numerous essential service industries and offer the opportunity for immediate training to re-skill workers (many of whom are frequently women, Indigenous, or racialized individuals who are under-represented in the sector) to fill needed positions and to provide employment for those whose industries may not recover in a timely or fulsome manner.
In addition to the existing opportunities Delta offers for jobs and re-training/re-skilling in the Trades & Technology sector, there is also significant opportunity to facilitate partnerships between Agriculture, Industry, and Academia in the development of innovative local Agritech start-ups. As you know, and have been advocating for some time now, Delta is uniquely positioned to be a leader in this developing field, and with the effects of COVID-19 on our supply chain, local food production and food security have never been more top-of-mind."
Click here to read the full letter and visit the Advocacy section of our website to learn more about the work that the Delta Chamber is doing to ensure that the Voice of Business for Delta is heard by decision-makers in all levels of government.
The Delta Chamber of Commerce has gained support from business organizations across the country in its work to advocate for the federal government to partner with provincial and local governments to provide guaranteed, flexible funding and a streamlined approval process to address long term climate change related disaster mitigation projects.
This week, a Delta Chamber of Commerce policy resolution, supported by co-sponsoring neighbour chambers, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and Surrey Board of Trade, entitled “Funding for Climate Change Adaptation – Severe Weather Disaster Mitigation Through Flood Protection” was adopted at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce virtual AGM. As a result, the resolution will now become a policy of the national chamber, which represents over 200,000 businesses across Canada and will form part of its advocacy agenda with the federal government.
The resolution includes recommendations to develop and implement a national action plan to address the specific issues of flood prevention and adaptation and asks for collaboration between multiple stakeholders. In a letter to Delta MP Carla Qualtrough about the adoption of the Chamber’s resolution, Delta Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Yvonne Anderson said that the low-lying areas of Delta and Tsawwassen First Nation are protected by “67km of dikes which need to be upgraded and raised by at least 1.2 metres in order to meet sea level rise by 2100”, and a 2009 report by the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning at UBC showed that over 25,000 people were at risk of displacement and $5.85 billion in land and building value were at risk of damage at the time. These figures have only grown since the time of reporting.
Recent estimates have the cost to raise and upgrade the dikes and seawalls around Delta, to meet the 2100 sea level rise, at $2 billion. Other communities in ocean and river-front communities across Canada face similar challenges. The federal government’s funding program to support communities in building, upgrading, or repairing large-scale infrastructure projects (Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund) currently totals only $2 billion for all projects across all of Canada.
“We thank our fellow Chambers and Boards of Trade for their support and are pleased to report that our assembly voted 97% in favour of adopting our policy resolution. This level of support shows us that the issues of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures are becoming critical for communities across Canada.” said Garry Shearer, Executive Director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce. “We’re calling on the federal government to take collaborative action in order to develop a strategic plan for funding and approval of flood prevention infrastructure investments over time through taking action on these recommendations before it’s too late.”
The Delta Chamber of Commerce is a member-based organization of business and professional people, which works to promote our members’ collective commercial interests; to build a healthy economy and improve the quality of life in our community and to advocate for the interests of the Delta business community with all levels of government.
Today the federal government introduced new, proposed legislation for targeted supports to help hard-hit small businesses and other organizations experiencing a drop in revenue. These program changes are intended as “go-forward” measures (not retroactive) to help support businesses “safely get through the second wave of the virus and the winter, cover costs so they can continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery.”
The proposed funding includes the following:
This proposed legislation follows on the passage of legislation last Friday which created new federal financial supports for individuals facing income loss due to COVID-19 and takes over with the end of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit program. You can find a summary of these individual federal financial supports here.
Application Process for Provincial Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Program Now Open - Apply Now!
The Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Program will invest up to $300 million in targeted financial support for some of the hardest hit businesses that employ between two and 149 BC residents and have experienced declines in revenue since March 10, 2020. Grants of $10,000 to $30,000 are available. An additional $5,000 to $10,000 grant is available to eligible tourism-related businesses that have been hit especially hard by COVID-19.The program runs until March 31st, 2021 or until the funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first. Learn more at:
The Delta Chamber of Commerce is here to support you and your business during this challenging time of COVID-19. If you have any questions around the programs, services, and supports available, please contact Lydia Elder our Manager of Policy Development, Government & Stakeholder Relations who will glad to assist you. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 694-946-4232.
With the announcement Monday, by Premier Horgan, that government has been dissolved and that a provincial election will be held on October 24th, the Delta Chamber of Commerce and our province-wide BC Chamber of Commerce network of 150 Chambers and 33,000 businesses will be paying close attention to the election platforms presented – and will be doubling down on our efforts to ensure the parties that want to form government know that more work is still needed on the Economic Recovery Plan.
Last Thursday, the provincial government shared details of its Economic Recovery Plan, Stronger BC. In addition to broad consultation and recommendations, the Stronger BC Plan took into consideration the BC Chamber of Commerce Economic Recovery Submission, which urged big thinking needed to keep BC competitive, innovative, and inclusive.
At this year’s BC Chamber of Commerce AGM in May 2020, the Delta Chamber of Commerce, with the support of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the Vancouver and Surrey Boards of Trade, received the endorsement of 125 Chambers and Boards of Trade representing 33,000 businesses across the province for our policy resolution entitled EXPEDITING THE GEORGE MASSEY CROSSING PROJECT. This resolution was adopted and as a result has become part of the BC Chamber’s advocacy agenda with the provincial government.
This was reflected in the recent province-wide and local media coverage of the BC Chamber’s advocacy on this issue, including the Delta Optimist.
The Delta Chamber of Commerce would like to acknowledge our Delta Business Community and our 500 members for enabling us to present policies that address critical issues affecting our economy and employment to our provincial and national governments. We value the opportunity to speak for our business community, deliver educational training and resources, extensive networking and promotional opportunities and access to affordable employee benefit plans.
Join with us and our provincial and national network of chambers and boards of trade, representing over 200,000 businesses across Canada and share your feedback on issues important to you and your business. The Delta Chamber of Commerce is a strong, effective Voice of Business for Delta and membership provides you the opportunity to amplify your perspective and make an impact!
COVID-19 has impacted each of us as individuals; from our personal lives to the global economy. As we work to navigate the realities of what it means to live and work in this next phase of “life with COVID-19” until a viable solution is available, families, businesses and industries are constantly looking to pivot and adjust in this ever-changing environment.
One of those concerns has been that of food security, knowing that the supply chain of the basic staples of everyday life are available for us. In Delta, we are fortunate to have such a rich farming tradition; with over fifty percent of all British Columbia’s green beans and potatoes grown right here! From local blueberries, bell peppers and tomatoes to locally, ethically raised dairy and beef from family farms, Delta is a suburban community setting an example for the province of a whole community ecosystem. Over the past number of months our member businesses have reported a significant increase in consumer interest and participation in personal home vegetable gardening; growing their own fruits and vegetables or intentionally buying more often from farm markets.
To continue to promote the establishment and development of the agriculture technology (agritech) sector, the Delta Chamber of Commerce has been hard at work advocating for support from business organizations across the province. In May, the Delta Chamber put forward a policy resolution to the BC Chamber of Commerce Virtual AGM, which includes recommendations on how the provincial government can ensure food security and a reliable local supply chain and consumer base for food and beverages in B.C.. This resolution was adopted at the B.C. Chamber of Commerce virtual AGM. This resolution was adopted, and as a result is now part of the province-wide network’s advocacy agenda with government.
By promoting agritech, we are encouraging innovation to bridge the gap between our rich farming history and the next generations’ involvement in continuing the growth of the industry. We are encouraged that there is bipartisan agreement to recognize the importance of supporting our farmers through innovation, education, and policy development which will sustain and enhance our agricultural lands and maintain our efforts to mitigate climate change.
As new generations of farmers grow up in our community, the Delta Chamber is excited about education programs that instill the value of locally grown and sustainable food in students.
Click here to read the editorial and more in the Delta Optimist.
The Delta Chamber of Commerce has gained support from business organizations across the province in its work to promote the establishment and development of British Columbia as a global leader in the agriculture technology (agritech) sector.
Over this past weekend, a Delta Chamber policy resolution entitled INVESTING IN BC’S GROWING AGRITECH SECTOR was adopted at the B.C. Chamber of Commerce virtual AGM. As a result, the resolution will now become part of the provincial chamber’s advocacy agenda with the provincial government.
The resolution includes recommendations on how the provincial government can ensure food security and a reliable local supply chain and consumer base for food and beverages in B.C. through specific action steps; consistent with the recommendations outlined in The Future of B.C.’s Food Systems report.
“By harnessing the innovative thinking and technological advancements we see in our private sector and by working in partnership with the best minds in agriculture, Delta will be on the forefront in ensuring a strong and vibrant economy,” said Yvonne Anderson, Chair of the Board of the Delta Chamber.
“Delta is already playing a key role in developing the agri-tech that will allow our province to be an agricultural world leader,” said Ravi Kahlon, MLA, Delta North in a March 6th, 2020 column on agritech in the North Delta Reporter. “Helping farmers, addressing climate change and increasing food production are top priorities for our government, and Delta can continue to build on the momentum we have created to drive the success of the agriculture sector in our province.”
The Delta Chamber of Commerce is encouraged that there is bipartisan support for the need to recognize the importance of supporting our farmers through innovation, education, policy development which will sustain and enhance our agricultural lands and maintain our efforts to mitigate climate change.
“Now is the time to consider bold ideas rooted in new technological developments,” explained Delta-South MLA and local farmer, Ian Paton, in an April 23rd, 2020 column in the Delta Optimist. “Recently, B.C.’s new Food Security Taskforce recommended a certain amount of ALR land be set aside specifically for agricultural-industrial use. This will be critical if B.C. is to bolster our packing and processing industries, as well as to provide local cold-storage facilities to help keep produce fresh, retain its value, and increase its shelf life.”
“We thank our fellow B.C. Chambers for their support in this policy resolution and were encouraged to have full endorsement of it by our network. This level of support shows us that the matter of food security and the key role of developing agritech solutions is not only key for communities like ours here in Delta, but for many others across B.C.” said Garry Shearer, Executive Director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce. “We’re calling on the provincial government to support the innovation pathway of the growing agritech sector through taking action on these recommendations.”
The BC Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in British Columbia. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce is The Voice of Business in B.C.
Categories: Policy, BC Chamber of Commerce
We understand that the uncertainty of these times can be overwhelming. We want you to know that your Delta Chamber of Commerce remains here as a resource to your business and the community of Delta.
The Delta Chamber of Commerce will be cancelling all events requiring the physical attendance of our members and the public for the next 30 days. We care about the health and safety of all those in our network, and we plan to assess next steps for future events at the end of the 30 days.
With the suspension of Parliament until April 20, we will be cancelling the Chamber Budget Luncheon on April 7 with the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, PC, MP. Due to recent restrictions on large gatherings, our Annual General Meeting on April 30 will also be cancelled. If you have registered for either of these events your registration fee will be refunded.