INDIGENOUS TOURISM BC RESPONSE TO COVID-19
This is a challenging time for families, communities and businesses. COVID-19 is now having a major impact on all of us. Collectively, we are following the direction of health authorities to focus on the health and safety of our staff, families and communities, to social distance and flatten the curve to slow COVID-19 in BC.
Indigenous Tourism BC is in regular communication with Indigenous, federal, and provincial governments, Destinations BC, the provincial Tourism Emergency Response Committee, Regional Destination Management Organizations and other industry partners to monitor the situation, to learn about the impacts of COVID-19 on the Indigenous tourism industry and to ensure there is support as we move forward in these uncertain times.
CONNECTING WITH STAKEHOLDERS
Our relationship with the Indigenous tourism businesses is crucial. We have been reaching out one-on-one, through phone calls and emails. Please connect with us if your Indigenous tourism businesses is being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indigenous Tourism BC is hosting a weekly call with Indigenous tourism businesses in BC to share ITBCs latest COVID-19 response and learn how this pandemic is affecting businesses directly. A recording of the call will be available soon.
We are asking that Indigenous tourism businesses join Indigenous Tourism BC so we can maintain and strengthen our lines of communication during this crisis. Due to COVID-19, we are waiving all Stakeholder membership fees.
For more information about connecting with ITBC, please email Samantha Rullin, Marketing and Stakeholder Coordinator.
ITBC COVID-19 RECOMMENDATIONS
At this time, Indigenous Tourism BC is recommending the following to support the Indigenous tourism industry to manage the uncertainty and financial loss due to COVID-19.
Our Chair, Brenda Baptiste is in regular communication with Minister Lisa Beare, Ministry for Tourism, Sport & Culture. The message from Minister Lisa Beare to the tourism operators in BC is reassuring in that there will be support for the tourism industry. Indigenous Tourism BC is working closely with Destination BC and industry partners as we prepare for the times ahead.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
There are mental health resources available in response to COVID-19. In rapidly changing times, maintaining balance can be difficult. First Nations Health Authority has a list of resources that are available for you, your family and your staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you, or someone you know is struggling, please reach out.
Button ‘LEARN MORE’ [LINK TO MH RESOURCES DURING COVID-19 CRISIS https://www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-COVID-19-Mental-Health-and-Cultural-Supports.pdf]
INDIGENOUS TOURISM GRANTS
In response to COVID-19, the Indigenous tourism community responded quickly. Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) and Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) have both reprofiled dollars to support Market-Ready Indigenous Tourism businesses. ITAC has up to $25,000 available to support recovery plans, and ITBC has up to $5000 to support immediate, short-term needs. Visit us online to learn more.
COVID-19 BUSINESS RELIEF UPDATES
Indigenous businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the provincial and federal business relief programs. Indigenous Tourism BC has information about the programs available online. Our team is available if you would like support or have questions about these programs.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit gives $2000 per month, and is available for anyone EI eligible, having made at least $5000 or more in 2019 or in the last 12 consecutive months. Please note, this is considered a taxable income, and although income tax will not be deducted upon receiving funds, it must be reported as income for the 2020 year.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): The Canada Wage Subsidy Program supports you in keeping your staff employed. A 75% wage subsidy is now available for those employers who have seen a decline in revenue of at least 15% in March 2020, and at least 30% in April and May 2020. To calculate your revenue loss, you can either compare your revenue loss to the same months as 2019, or take an average of your revenue in January and February 2020. Applications can be made through your business CRA account. If you are eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and have employees on leave with pay, you are eligible for a full 100% refund of your employer and employee contributions, including EI and CPP.
Canada Summer Jobs Program (CSJ): Recently announced, the Canada Summer Jobs Program will provide up to 100% wage subsidy for minimum hourly wage for each employee. The end date for employment has been extended to February 28, 2021, and will allow employers to hire staff on a part-time basis.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): The Canada Emergency Business Account is now available for businesses to apply through their financial institution. THE CEBA is an interest-free loan of $40,000, with $10,000 forgivable, if the full amount is repaid on or before December 31, 2022. You are eligible if you have a CRA business number and a T4 Summary of Renumeration showing an annual payroll of between $50,000 and $1million, you have a CRA number. You can apply through your financial institution. It is best if you have access to online banking.
Small Business Recovery (SBR) Consulting Rebate Program: The SBR Consulting Rebate will reimburse small and medium sized businesses (operators) for contracted consulting services. Businesses that are impacted by the economic downturn in Northern Development’s service region are eligible to apply. A rebate of up to 85%, to a yearly maximum of $25,000, can be recovered for the cost of hiring a consultant to assist with business efforts.
NEW BUSINESS RESOURCES
As the world responds to COVID-19, there are an increasing amount of resources available as the pandemic evolves and we work to adapt to a new normal.
CONNECT WITH US
We want to hear from you. If you have questions or concerns about the impact of COVID-19, please email us.