Alongside the support programs announced by the Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada, there are plenty of community resources designed to help individuals and businesses during this time.
Here are some of the community resources available:
Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC): The Women’s Enterprise Centre is committed to supporting women-owned businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. They have created several invaluable resources to help achieve this aim, including free one-on-one appointments with a business advisor where WEC’s business advisory team is available to discuss your situation, review your cash flow and generate ideas for how you can navigate this difficult time.
WEC will also share new developments in the supports available to women business owners, answer questions and share inspiration and ideas for moving forward. This includes offering free webinars, including:
- Women Entrepreneurs: Strength in Numbers
- Negotiate Naturally: Tips for Women Entrepreneurs
- Financial Fitness Webinar Series Recordings
- Women's Enterprise Centre Receives Additional Funding
BC Economic Development Association: The BC Economic Development Association has created this shareable, live document that is being continually updated with the most relevant information, tools and resources for the BC business community. They are also offering additional support, including:
Vantage Point: Aimed at non-profits, this resource provides information on advisory, virtual workshops and other supports for non-profits during COVID-19. This page will be frequently updated as new supports come online.
BC Chamber of Commerce: This live resource list from the BC Chamber of Commerce contains updates on the business landscape in British Columbia, as well as a series of bi-weekly opportunities to provide feedback on how COVID-19 is impacting on your business. This feedback is vital to informing future government supports.
Futurpreneur: Futurpreneur announced new measures to support the young Canadian business owners within its network during these unprecedented times. These include temporary loan relief, interest rate cuts, peer-to-peer support, a national collaboration Slack channel, and an up-to-date digital resource guide.
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade: In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade created this resource to ensure Members and the broader business community can find answers to the most pressing questions facing their businesses. Through a series of free webinars, experts will provide guidance and answer questions to help companies navigate their next step.
The Conference Board of Canada: Check this resource often for the latest updates, data, forecasts and research on the growing spread of COVID-19, as well as useful tools that will help you and your organizations navigate these challenging times.
VanCity Credit Union: VanCity is working with partners, including Small Business BC, to put together classes, talks, and webinars that cover a wide range of subjects to help you and your business thrive.
Canada Post's Think Small Program: Canada Post supports small businesses with offers and incentives, including shipping discounts. Until July 31st, 2020, small businesses can receive discounts and savings on regular rates for shipping in Canada, as well as additional savings on local shipments.
Business Development Bank of Canada: BDC offers financial support and resources to businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Alacrity Digital Marketing Bootcamp: Build your digital marketing skills through 228 hours of online content and access to experienced mentors and connections in the tech sector. Businesses can send one employee free of charge. The bootcamp is open to businesses and employed and unemployed British Columbians, with priority given to employers and individuals impacted by COVID-19.
Webnames.ca: Build a free .CA website for your business with Webnames.ca. This offer, free for one-year to Canadian small businesses and freelancers, includes the following:
- free .CA domain
- branded email account (eg. firstname.lastname@example.org)
- powerful DIY 1-page website builder
- mobile-ready web templates tailored for small business
Destination BC: Small Business BC has partnered with Destination BC to provide tailored advice in accountancy, law, and other business areas to Destination BC clients through our Talk to an Expert service.
Innovate BC: The Digital Economy: Rapid Response + Resiliency (DER3) Program offers free, one-to-one business and technical expertise for companies that want to better engage with the digital economy. When required, the program will also match businesses with regional service providers who can deliver contracted solutions.
UBC Sauder-Mitacs Business Strategy Internship program: An internship program starting in January and May 2021. The program will enable Sauder students to undertake a 4-month internship with businesses and non for profit organizations that need additional assistance in modifying their business operations to adapt to the new economic reality in an environment disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible employers must be willing to contribute $5000 towards each internship grant, and able to supervise a student's project work and provide mentorship.
Spring Activator: Free online courses, support calls and other business resiliency resources for entrepreneurs in select communities across B.C.