The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce says the loss of an entire tourism season in Victoria due to COVID-19 means the loss of majority of revenues for businesses that depend on tourism. (Black Press Media file photo)

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce asks feds, province for more support for businesses

Chamber says current measures not enough for businesses to survive

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has penned a letter to the prime minister, premier, minister of finance and minister of middle class prosperity to ask for greater supports to help businesses survive in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the provincial and federal governments have announced measures to help Canadians financially – such as the deferral of taxes, help for renters and an expansion of employment insurance – the Chamber says these measures are not enough to ensure the survival of businesses.

“We are adding our voices to the many across the country saying it is important to help businesses rapidly reduce costs so they can continue to exist, and then recover from the drastic stoppage of economic activity due to government measures to control COVID-19,” the letter says.

READ ALSO: How Greater Victoria’s non-profit sector is handling the pandemic

The Chamber letter says businesses need help retaining staff and that current measures to enhance employment insurance are an incentive to lay off staff instead so they can access these payments. Instead, the Chamber suggests “higher levels of subsidy for wages to employers affected by the COVID-19 measures so they can continue to employ as many workers as possible.”

Reducing “federal and provincial business tax costs of all kinds rather than just deferring payments” is also “critical,” according to the letter, in order to avoid debt and pushing bankruptcy and closure to a later date.

Financial support for business owners to pay their rent or support commercial property owners to pass along rent reductions is another ask from the Chamber, which says “rent is the second-highest cost for most small businesses.”

READ ALSO: Economic impact of COVID-19 on Victoria’s tourism industry will be ‘devastating,’ experts say

The final point in the letter touches on the loss of an entire tourism season in the region, which the Chamber says means the loss of majority of the year’s revenue for businesses that depend on tourism.

“We need a very generous emergency recovery fund to provide financing to these companies at no interest and with a long payback period as it will take them years to recover,” the letter says.

The letter was signed by Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce chief executive Catherine Holt, Destination Greater Victoria chief executive Paul Nursey and Downtown Victoria Business Association executive director Jeff Bray.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronaviruslocal business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Garden-sharing map connects Victoria landowners and gardeners

U-Map created by Young Agrarians after COVID-19 created uptick in garden matching requests

Saanich wins award for climate plan cut from 2020 budget

‘It’s truly an exceptional plan,’ says councillor disappointed with lack of funding

Oak Bay Grade 8 students end time at Monterey with drive-through goodbye

School holds socially-distanced completion ceremony

CRD warns of toxic algae bloom at Thetis Lake Regional Park

Visitors advised to avoid swimming in lake, keep pets out of water

Saanich police, pound respond to possible cougar sighting

Cougar possibly seen in area of 4500-block of Chatterton Way

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read