The Surrey Board of Trade is pleased that the BC Government announced a Phase One COVID-19 Economic package to help businesses and workers.
“The Surrey Board of Trade called on all levels of government on March 17 to instigate measures to help businesses and workers to: keep people employed, increase business cash flow by reducing expenses and provide creative measures to stimulate sales,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
https://businessinsurrey.com/2020/03/surrey-board-of-trade-calls-on-city-provincial-and-federal- governments-for-business-support-initial-covid-19-business-impact-survey-results-show-cash-flow-staff- shortages-trade-challenges/
Many of last week’s Federal Government economic measures and today’s BC Government Phase 1 economic measures addressed our requests. Details on measures are being announced daily.
“We were pleased to see that the BC Government’s $5 Billion package focused on the principles of health & and safety, supports for business/individual pressure, and long-term economic recovery.”
$5B package providing support for business and individuals and a long-term economic recovery piece – specifics to come (This is $5 Billion in additional budget spending); the first step is recognizing that the trajectory of COVID-19 is unknown; $1.7B for critical services: health care, long-term care; BC Centre for Disease Control; additional support for vulnerable populations; shelters; mental health; additional support for First Nations; and, support for not profits, child care, and the arts.
$1.1 B for financial support for BC workers – BC Emergency Benefit for workers enacted to provide a one-time $1,000 payment whose work is impacted by COVID-19, PLUS boosting the climate action tax credit in July. This piece could provide $2,400 in new income support for a family of 4.
SUPPORT FOR RENTERS/HOMEOWNERS/HOMELESSNESS
Housing supports, no evictions, working with LandlordBC by looking at eviction policies, working with banks and credit unions working onto examine mortgage payment delays, expanding rent supplement programs for seniors, deferring student loans for 6 months, BC Hydro (payment plans – crisis applications), ICBC (90 days deferment programs), and additional funding for essential services.
Instigating measures to enhance cash flow, defer tax filings to September 30, 2020, deferring or postponing EHT, carbon tax, tobacco tax, and PST, cancelling – April 1 carbon tax increase cancelled, deferring new PST changes with e-commerce and sugar beverages, providing relief for property owners/commercial tenant owners with school property tax cut in half (- not a deferral for 2020) -, to encourage landlords to pass savings on to tenants, stopped all routine audits, and looking at regulatory pieces to reduce red tape.
LONG TERM ECONOMIC PLAN
Economic roundtable to be implemented to focus on economic strategies now and $1.5 Billion for economic stimulus-partnership with business/labour.
“The Surrey Board of Trade has indicated to the Finance Minister that business needs simplicity and easy to access application links as well as information in other languages.”
“The Surrey Board of Trade, as I am sure other business organizations in British Columbia are, will work actively invoking ground zero principles to help business.”
MORE INFORMATION: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0013-000545