COVID-19

Get ahold of us at contact@abcmi.ca ✉️

Tell us about the impact COVID-19 is having on YOUR business!

What help does YOUR business need?

Useful Information

The Government of Canada is taking action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  A very useful site to get information on all of the federal government measures is at Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.  This site is continually updated and should be your first stop for information and links on federal measures.

The Province of British Columbia is also taking actions within its jurisdiction dealing specifically with the COVID-19 issue.  A very useful site to get information on all of the provincial government measures is at COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information.  This site is continually updated and should be your first stop for information and links on provincial measures.

 

 

The Government of Canada Programs related to COVID-19 are currently as follows:

 

Support to Businesses

Avoiding Layoffs

  • Extending the Work-Sharing program
  • Providing small business with wage subsidies – Up to 75 percent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020.   This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll.   The federal wage subsidy that is to cover three-quarters of salaries will go to any company — large, medium or small — charity or non-profit that can show it has seen revenues drop sharply due to COVID-19.  The 75-per-cent subsidy on wages meant to cushion the blow from the pandemic will be available to employers that can show their revenues have fallen by at least 30 percent due to COVID-19.  The wage subsidy will be 75% of annual employee salary, up to an annual salary of $58,700 (i.e., up to $847 per week per eligible employee and be backdated to March 15, 2020.  The size of the company or the number of employees will not bear on whether it qualifies for the help.  For more information on this initiative please monitor the Government of Canada site on ‘Support to Businesses
  • Backgrounder on Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – Read this for specific details
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy update: April 1 – Further details that you want to know about.

Access to credit

  • Canada Emergency Business Account – To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges, the Government of Canada is announcing the launch of the new Canada Emergency Business Account, which will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC).  This $25 billion program will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.  This will better position them to quickly return to providing services to their communities and creating employment. Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).
  • The Business Development Bank, Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, and Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada’s export credit agency, will launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee Program that will enable up to $40 billion in additional lending.  The program will operate as follows:

o    Small and medium-sized businesses can get support through a new Co-Lending Program that will bring the BDC together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to these businesses for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million, 80 per cent of which would be provided by BDC, with the remaining 20% by a financial institution.

o    EDC will also provide funding to financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized businesses, as a result of a new domestic mandate enhancing EDC’s role in supporting Canadian businesses through COVID-19 crisis. These loans will be 80 per cent guaranteed by EDC, to be repaid within one year.

o    Eligible companies could obtain up to $12.5 million through these two lending streams.

Supporting financial stability

More flexibility

 

Other sites of interest - Business Supports:

Resources for Canadian businesses: COVID-19 

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/maintaingrowimprovebusiness/resources-for-canadian-businesses.html

Department of Finance - Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian businesses: 

https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/campaign-campagne/ressources-entreprises-COVID-19-business-resources.aspx?lang=eng

Work-Sharing Program - Temporary special measures:

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing/temporary-measures-forestry-sector.html

Canada Revenue Agency - Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic 

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Export Development Canada COVID-19

https://www.edc.ca/en/campaign/coronavirus-covid-19.html

Business Development Bank of Canada

https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19

COVID-19: 7 steps to sustain your business through the disruption – comprehensive steps that every business should consider taking

Department of Finance: Details on Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/government-announces-details-of-the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy-to-help-businesses-keep-canadians-in-their-jobs.html

 

For more information on BDC's initiatives, visit bdc.ca/coronavirus. The Bank will be updating the page regularly with tools, financial solutions and additional measures to help entrepreneurs through the situation.  For more information on the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) initiatives, visithttps://www.edc.ca/en/campaign/coronavirus-covid-19.html

 

 

Support for individuals

Support for individuals and families

Support for people facing unemployment

Support for people who are sick, quarantined, or in directed self-isolation

Support for people who are unable to work

Support for people who need it most

Support for seniors

Support for students and recent graduates

 

External Links

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

http://www.chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness/

Learn how your province or territory is taking action on COVID-19

https://www.canadaspremiers.ca/covid-19/

World Health Organization COVID-19 -  Business and Employees

https://www.epi-win.com/advice-and-information/business-and-employees

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters COVID-19 Resources

https://cme-mec.ca/coronavirus-covid-19-resources/

Facebook

Business Resource Hub: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/resource

Canadian Federation of Independent Business:

https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/tools-resources/covid-19-coronavirus-business

Save Small Business.ca

https://savesmallbusiness.ca/

 

The article Preliminary Estimates of the Impact of COVID-19 and Related Containment Measures on the B.C. Economy in 2020 is of interest in that it gives a number of scenarios on how the COVID-19 pandemic may play out in BC and what the projected economic impact of each scenario would be.

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Webinar “How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business” - Watch the webinar on YouTube:  https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/webinars/pages/how-cope-impacts-covid-19-on-your-business.aspx?utm_campaign=Covid19-In-Business--2020-03--FR&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua&elqcst=272&elqcsid=9995

 

Prime Minister announces support for small businesses facing impacts of COVID‑19 - March 27, 2020

The Government of Canada is focused on helping Canadians and businesses through this tough economic time. We will continue to protect the health and safety of Canadians, while supporting families and businesses and keeping our economy strong in the face of uncertainty.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced additional new measures to support small businesses dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. These measures will help Canadian businesses protect the jobs that Canadians depend on, and pay their workers and bills during these difficult times.

Today’s announcement is a part of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which already commits $107 billion in support to Canadians so they can buy groceries, pay rent, and care for their loved ones, and also supports businesses through this difficult time. 

To further support small businesses, the Government of Canada will:

  • Announce a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.
  • Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
  • Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.
  • Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank, for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19. This is intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

These new investments will help Canada’s financial institutions provide the credit and liquidity options that a range of Canadian businesses need immediately.

Quick Facts

  • The deferral to June of GST/HST payments, as well as customs duties owing on imports, will generally apply to remittances that become due in March, April, and May. These amounts would normally have been due to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of this month. This measure will take effect immediately, through existing authorities.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency is introducing a series of administrative measures to remove some of the burden on businesses experiencing financial hardship.
  • The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide funding to eligible financial institutions so that they can provide interest-free loans in the form of lines of credit of up to $40,000 to businesses with payrolls of less than $1 million. A quarter of this loan (up to $10,000) is eligible for complete forgiveness.
  • The new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program will operate as follows:
  • Export Development Canada will provide guarantees to financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized businesses. These loans will be 80 per cent guaranteed by Export Development Canada, to be repaid within one year.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses can also get support through a new Co-Lending Program that will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to these businesses for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program, which will be risk-shared at 80 per cent between the Business Development Bank of Canada and the financial institutions. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and funding directly for customers.
  • The government has already introduced several measures to support businesses affected by COVID-19:
  • Providing eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10 per cent of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration.
  • Extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program, from 38 weeks to 76 weeks, for workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
  • Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses, through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. These organizations are working closely with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, and tourism.
  • Increasing credit available for farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.
  • Deferring the payment of income taxes. The government is allowing all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of income tax amounts owed on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

 

Related Link:

Additional support for Canadian businesses from the economic impact of COVID-19

 

 

Letter Sent from ABCMI to Government Ministers and Senior Government Officials - March 21, 2020

Additional Recommendations for COVID-19 Economic Response Measures

 

The Association of British Columbia Marine Industries (ABCMI) continues to reach out to its members and over 1000 businesses that constitute the industrial marine sector in British Columbia.  This is in order to provide the provincial and federal governments some feedback in order to understand the market impacts of the COVID-19 virus and thus, be able to form an appropriate industrial response strategy and measures.  We hope that our feedback will get to those in the federal government that are working on formulating Canada’s economic response measures.   

At this time (Saturday, March 21st, 2020) – we would like to highlight 4 areas for consideration as the federal government continues to refine and add to its economic response measures.  It is recognized that the Government of Canada may already have, in some way, addressed some of these points – things are changing so rapidly – but we thought it won’t hurt to emphasize these points. These are:

 

  1. A temporary deferral of ALL payroll deduction remittances – In the federal government’s economic measures that we heard about on (Wednesday, March 18th – we now have a deferral of income tax instalment payments as well as measures that allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18th and before September 2020.  What we would like to see added to this initiative is the temporary deferral of ALL payroll deduction remittances, including CPP, EI and income tax payroll deductions.  This will reduce pressure on businesses cash reserves and will allow those same businesses to pay their employees, suppliers, rent and service their debt.

 

  1. Making capital available to SMEs – Further initiatives that see the Government of Canada work with financial lending institutions to provide much-needed capital to small and medium businesses (SMEs).  This could include zero-interest loans, extended lines of credit, and deferred payment terms – all backed by and underwritten by the federal government.  Initiatives like the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) offered through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) are an excellent start but need to become even more accessible to SMEs that are not existing BDC clients.  Another idea, is much like the pending Facebook Small Business Grants Program, is to set aside money as cash grants to small businesses that are struggling with overhead and operations costs, while also trying to retain valuable employees that will be key to their longer term survival and recovery.  Finally, where businesses have been working and delivering on government contracts, consideration should be given to expediting immediate payments to these firms, upon receipt of invoices, and not delaying payment as per NET30 terms.

 

  1. Maintaining and expanding on government Innovation Programs – Many of our businesses have been working with federal government innovation programs like those offered through the National Research Council (NRC), Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) and the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS).  Certainly, we applaud the creation of the NRC's new COVID-19 Challenge Program and having the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) build on its existing relationships with SMEs to expedite technology development for the COVID-19 innovation response, and the new NRC COVID-19 Challenge Program.  It’s also encouraging to see NRC IRAP bring promising solutions for procurement into Innovative Solutions Canada.  However; in our marine sector, many companies do not have the ability to pivot immediately into creating innovative solutions and products required to address COVID-19 needs and yet are still reliant on getting federal government funding to progress with innovative ideas, research & development, proof of concept, and commercialization of products that expand the horizon and capabilities of the marine and defence spaces.  Instead, we are seeing a postponement and indefinite hold on new challenges being issued by the IDEaS Program and a delay of challenges being issued by the ISC Program.  We ask that the government innovation programs continue, or be re-energized, to support our SMEs across the full range of innovation so as to allow them to receive much-needed fiscal support in maintaining their businesses.

 

  1. Calculated COVID-19 tax/business payroll credit for those facing staffing shortages – Many of the businesses in British Columbia’s industrial marine sector require their employees to work on shop floors, in workshops and industrial facilities, and/or marine platforms.  Thus, the concept of ‘working remotely from home’ does not work for them and they are seeing substantial reductions in their workforce as employees are following through on ‘social distancing’ and ‘staying at home’ messaging coming from federal, provincial and municipal governments and health authorites.  In British Columbia, the on-line COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool asks a number of questions including whether or not the person is exhibiting symptoms including fever, cough, sneezing, and sore throat.   Should ‘Yes’ be indicated in the survey against this question, the outcome recommendation is for the person to self-isolate for 14 days.  At a time where many people have been experiencing the common cold – the messaging around COVID-19 is really having a devastating impact on the availability of labour for many of our businesses.   We are very much support the health precautions being taken in order to ‘flatten the COVID-19 curve’ – what we are advocating is some sort of calculated COVID-19 tax/business payroll credit that provides a real reduction in business expenses payable for those losing their employees to these precautions.

 

We commend Prime Minister Trudeau, his Cabinet, and the federal government team for making an outstanding effort to support individuals, employees and businesses in these unprecedented and uncertain times.  We, the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries, look forward to continue to assist and support the federal government in this effort.

 

Useful Information for B.C. Businesses Coping with COVID-19 ABCMI March 19 Email

Useful Information for B.C. Businesses Coping with COVID-19 

Thank you to those that responded to our call to provide the federal government some feedback in order to understand the market impacts of the COVID-19 virus and thus, be able to form an appropriate industrial response strategy and measures.  We received substantial feedback from you and have passed that on to those in the federal government that are working on formulating Canada’s economic response measures.

Please note that we are advocating that the government of Canada approve a temporary deferral of all payroll deduction remittances (ie. CPP, EI, and Income Tax) and income tax installment payments.  This will reduce pressure on businesses cash reserves and will allow those same businesses to pay their employees, suppliers, rent and service their debt.

The vast majority of the responses, we have received to date, indicate that our industry is very much in support of this proposed action.

In the federal government’s economic measures that we heard about yesterday (Wednesday, March 18) – we now have a deferral of income tax installment payments but not yet the rest of what we have been asking for.

To ensure you understand what economic measures have been taken and are being put into place, we provide you a number of useful links for your information and some very useful input that we have received from KPMG.  On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period.  These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide direct support to Canadian workers and businesses. 

Support for Canadians

Support for Businesses

For other links that provide more information on the federal government measures that are being put into place, see:

The firm of KPMG has summarized and offered further clarification on the federal government measures released yesterday in the presentation titled “COVID-19 — Tax Deadline Delay and More Relief Announced” (link below) and provides useful guidance to employers in the formulation of their COVID-19 contingency plans in the document titled “Employers — Prepare Your COVID-19 Contingency Plan” (link below).

You may also be interested in these additional resources for businesses affected by COVID-19:

Additional business resources featuring advice on exporting:

This is a rapidly-evolving situation, and it's possible that guidance for businesses may change. For live federal and provincial directives and recommendations, please consult The Government of B.C.'s COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information page.

Finally, your health and safety, and that or your employees, are of paramount concern thus, please be aware of the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

The Association of British Columbia Marine Industries (ABCMI) will continue to advocate to the federal and provincial governments on your behalf and work to let the governments know what is happening in our industry.  Thus, we very much continue to welcome your feedback and input as this unprecedented activity takes its course.  We will also work hard to keep you informed as more information becomes available to us.

 

Tax Deadline Delay and more Relief Announced

Employers Prepare your COVID-19 Contingency Plan

 

 

Need your Input Soonest - Federal Government Industrial Response Strategy/Measures to COVID-19 ABCMI March 17 Email

Federal Government Industrial Response Strategy/Measures to COVID-19 | Respond in Order to Help Your Business!

As the Government of Canada is crafting its industrial response strategy to the COVID-19 virus, the federal government is looking to hear from Canadian industry and businesses to understand the market impacts of the COVID-19 virus, in order to be able to form an appropriate industrial response strategy and measures.  

As such, ABCMI would very much appreciate hearing from you if you have identified any impacts on your company and its supply chain, as well as any mitigation measures that you have implemented or would like to see implemented.

One suggestion that has come to us already, is a solution that can be implemented quickly, can provide an immediate cash infusion to businesses and can be reconciled with the Government of Canada (GoC) at a later date when more time is available to determine who is eligible for GoC COVID-19 program funding.

IT IS PROPOSED THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA APPROVE A TEMPORARY DEFERRAL OF ALL PAYROLL DEDUCTION REMITTANCES (ie. CPP, EI, and Income Tax) AND INCOME TAX INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS.  This will reduce pressure on businesses cash reserves and will allow those same businesses to pay their employees, suppliers, rent and service their debt.

IF YOU ARE IN SUPPORT OF THESE MEASURES BE SURE TO LET US KNOW SOONEST as the federal government is now formulating its responses to help the Canadian industry.

Also please find below, links to support your company though the upcoming period.

Key Information Tools - Business Supports:

  • Work-Sharing Program - Temporary special measures / Programme de travail partagé - Mesures spéciales temporaires:

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing/temporary-measures-forestry-sector.html

  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada

            https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

  • Export Development Canada COVID-19:

             https://www.edc.ca/en/campaign/coronavirus-covid-19.html

  • Business Development Bank of Canada – Support for Entrepreneurs impacted by coronavirus:

             https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19

  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian businesses 

    https://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/campaign-campagne/ressources-entreprises-COVID-19-business-resources.aspx?lang=eng

  • COVID-19 subscription for Public Health Updates:

       https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/corporate/stay-informed-stay- connected/public-health-updates/subscribe.html

These are unprecedented times with challenges that we are only beginning to understand.  The Association of British Columbia Marine Industries (ABCMI) will do everything it can to help businesses in Western Canada’s marine sector cope with these challenges and help them get through this very difficult time.

Support for Small Business - From Small Business BC

More than ever - we are here to help you 

We believe this is a time for the small business community to come together to help each other overcome challenges and find solutions.

At Small Business BC we've been working hard to provide you relevant resources to help you navigate the current business landscape. 


1. Get the latest COVID-19 small business updates - please continue to check our COVID-19 resources page, we update it daily with any new announcements and support information.

2. Share your impact and feedback with government -complete this short survey and share what would help your small business directly with government.

3. Download the B.C. Gov small business directory - most of the information in one document - with contact details for major programs, support networks and more. 

4. Read our Frequently Answered Questions re:COVID-19 - got a question? We may already have the answer. Read our FAQ's.

5.April at Small Business BC - here's our monthly article about what's going on at SBBC - education, resources and updated COVID-19 opening hours.

On Our Radar

BDC Support for Entrepreneurs

BDC is taking additional measures to provide relief to Canadian entrepreneurs during these difficult times. These include:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to six months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less;
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans;
  • Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.

To read the full press release, click here.

Over the past couple of days, we’ve received many questions from partners and clients about BCAP, so we’ve compiled some of the key ones below: 

  1. How do I access BCAP?

·       Businesses seeking support through BCAP should first contact their financial institutions for an assessment of their situation.

·       Financial institutions will refer to EDC and BDC their existing clients whose needs extend beyond what is available through the private sector alone.

·       Existing BDC clients should reach out to their account manager for additional information.

 

  1. Why financial institutions first?

·       Canada’s financial institutions have made a commitment to work with small business customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through these challenges.

·       Financial institutions have a longstanding history of standing by Canadians through challenging times, like now.

·       BDC complements the work of Canada’s private-sector financial institutions, with whom we work closely.

 

  1. Why is it taking so long?

·         We are receiving an unprecedented volume of requests. We understand the urgency of the situation and have mobilized all BDC teams to respond as quickly as possible.

Information and Links to Updates on COVID-19 ABCMI March 12 Email

Information and links to updates on COVID-19

At the risk of over-loading your incoming information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our Association is sending you some information that you will want to consider.  A very helpful source of information is the Government of Canada site - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Being prepared  - which outlines tips for individuals and for workplaces amongst others.  Also, on the Government of Canada site, is information on the following:

  • Outbreak update
  • Symptoms and treatment
  • Prevention and risks
  • For health professionals
  • Canada's response
  • Travel advice
  • Awareness resources
  • Guidance documents

For the workplace, the following are some good points, provided through the Washington State Municipal Research Services Center (MRSC), that you should consider:

  • What are the infection control measures being put in place in your company?  What special policies or procedures are being considered to cope with a widespread outbreak of this disease within your geographic area or the larger population?
  • Are there any special infection protocols being implemented for your workplaces?
  • Schools are critically important to your own employee’s ability to be at work. Under what conditions will they close a school?  
  • If your child’s school or daycare closes for several days/weeks, is there any provision for workplace childcare or perhaps telecommuting for employees?
  • What type of internal personnel policies do you have in place concerning your ability to send people home if they come to work sick?
  • What protocols will you use for the wearing of protective masks?
  • Consider how your own elected body will be able to continue to meet with a quorum of members, when and if social distancing is implemented.
  • What is entailed with social distancing in your respective workplaces?
  • There might still be time to do some limited cross-training of critical positions. Everyone has a person who knows everything about a particular job.  What happens when they are not available and there is an issue that needs fixing?

As individuals, remember the hygiene basics:

  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use your sleeve, not your hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. Don’t go to work, or school, or anywhere else, particularly care homes, hospitals, or other places where vulnerable people are.
  • Stay away from others. Engage in what is called social distancing. 
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • The virus can live on surfaces for several hours, but normal household cleaning products are good at dealing with it, so use them.
  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water.  Scrub thoroughly.

This is certainly a challenging time for us all, our businesses, our country, our world – we will continue to work with you in order to represent and support our membership and the industrial marine sector in British Columbia.