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Message from the President: COVID-19 Recovery in our Communities

June 8, 2020


To our Chamber Members and Community, 



The Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce is working with Government, business, and non-profit organizations to understand the local impact of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. There is no doubt about the harsh realities rural British Columbia and our communities are facing, and now is the time to pull together in business and community for the greater good. On the Chamber front, our Board of Directors and membership has volunteers with extensive knowledge in Community Economic Development, finance, and business, and we are collaborating to ensure we take a cohesive and streamline approach to business recovery. We aim to take action in areas supported and guided by the direction shown all levels of Government, and perform advocacy and policy recommendations in areas where we see the need.​


While we aim to serve and promote access to resources, your best most up-to-date information on financial supports, health information, and more comes directly from the Government of Canada, Province of British Columbia, Island Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control who update information daily. Locally, we will be working to find ways to best communication opportunities and options to support you, our business community, the backbone of society.

Please feel free to volunteer, reach out, ask questions, and engage during this time. We can use "all hands on deck" in our regional economic recovery. Action and success only occurs as a result of effort. We acknowledge people are tired. We acknowledge the Forestry labour dispute in 2019 followed by COVID-19 was an unprecedented economic blow to our community. That being said, we maintain an abundance of hope. We are a resilient community in one of the most ecologically abundant regions in the world. We have increasingly inclusive communities, and we are focused on reconciliation and equitable business for all. We are entering a new age. Together we can optimize and maximize opportunities that are still present in times of hardship.

Please, have a look at the resourced we have compiled for business and community, keep in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce, and be inspired by the strength of collective action and the gritty determination found in the heart of the entrepreneur.



Eric Dutcyvich, 


Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce


President's Message COVID-19
General COVID-19 Information
General Covid Info
Links to websites & COVID-19 resources in your community 

Regional District of Mount Waddington 

There is an Emergency Operations Committee formed to help manage the COVID-19 situation. It is comprised of the leadership of each North Island community and key staff members.

Town of Port McNeill

Community Organizations: Working Together

North Island Employment Services (NIEFS)

  • Providing services virtually and by phone. Official message is on our website here: 1-866-286-6788

  • Will continue to work with people in any capacity they can. They have a sign posted on our door with instructions for clients.

Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL)

  • All locations are closed. Free WIFI is available outside Library facilities.​

Community Futures Mount Waddington

Economic Supports to businesses are being provided. Offices are closed but staff remain available in business hours.


Continuing to assist job seekers and employers by phone and online; through our physical doors are closed to in-person service.

  • Job Seeker: Here to support our current and new job seekers during this challenging time. If you or someone you know would like to connect with an Employment Counsellor at Work BC, please call 250-334-3119

  • Employers: COVID-19 has changed the way businesses operate. We know that employers are and will be looking for ways to support themselves, their employees and their business. We're here to help, whether is be information on wage subsidy, links, hiring or planning for future events. 

Mount Waddington Health Network 

Links to health resources in the Mount Waddington Region

Funding Boosts Available for Program Delivery 

Food Banks BC

  • Funding boost to Food Banks British Columbia, who will distribute the money among food banks province wide


Kids Help Phone

  • Funding boost to Kids Help Phone, which provides young people with mental health support


United Way Canada

  • Funding boost to United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors, such as: 

  • Delivery of groceries

  • Medications or other needed items

  • Personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports

Hospital parking

  • Parking is free of charge at all health authority owned/operated health care sites.


Emergency Child Care Funding

  • Child care providers receiving emergency government funding cannot charge parent fees for any periods of closure or for vacant spaces and must reserve spaces for families, starting April 2020

  • Check with your childcare provider to see if they are in this program

BC Transit TransLink

  • Fare-free boarding on all buses. Enter through rear of the bus, unless accessible loading is required.

Plans, Relief and Payment Deferral Options

BC Hydro 

BC Municipal Affairs and Housing: Freeze on Rental Rates

  • No rent increases are allowed in BC, effective April 1

  • No action needed. Contact RTB with questions

BC Municipal Affairs and Housing: Rental Supplement

  • Provides up to $500/month towards rent, paid directly to landlords

  • Check back for application instructions

Mortgages (CMHC-Insured)

  • Mortgage payment deferrals available for CMHC-insured loans

  • Check with your lender

Mortgages (non-CMHC)

  • Check with your lender about payment deferral options

  • Check with your lender

Emergency Housing

  • Existing shelters are still active and have modified their practices and protocols with COVID-19

  • Additional emergency options may be available, communicate with your current provider

  • Call 2-1-1 or search online for more emergency housing information

  • See more re: Housing


BC Non-Profit Housing Association

BC Housing

  • BC Housing is working with the Province of BC, BC's health authorities, the BC Centre for Disease Control, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and other partners to monitor COVID-19.

  • Website:




Employment Insurance (EI) - Government of Canada

  • Existing EI benefit continues to be available.

  • EI provides up to $573/week to people who have lost income

  • Apply online

EI Sickness Benefit - Government of Canada

  • One-week waiting period has been waived

  • Call 1-833-381-2725 or apply online.


Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) - Government of Canada

  • Provides $2000/month to workers who lose income due to COVID-19, including contractors and self- employed people.

  • (Note: Previous description implied only those who donot qualify for EI are eligible for CERB. However, CERB may actually take the place of EI for new applicants when available. In the meantime, those who qualify for EI should continue to submit for EI, as it is a benefit that lasts up to 45 weeks and can continue after the CERB benefit ends on October 3, 2020.)

  • More info here

BC Emergency Benefit

  • One-time additional tax-free payment of $1000 to those on EI or CERB

  • Check their website for application instructions.


Individual ​

GST - Credit - Government of Canada

  • One-time boost of up to $600 per eligible couple, $400 for eligible individuals in May

  • Benefit is paid out according to your income tax return. 

  • More info here



Climate Action Tax - Credit - Government of Canada

  • One-time boost of up to $564 for eligible families of 4 and $218 for eligible individualsin an enhanced payment in July

  • Children under 18 years old must be registered for the CCB to qualify.

  • No other action is needed; benefit is paid out according to your income tax return 

  • More info here


Canada Child Benefit (CCB) - Government of Canada

  • One-time boost of $300 per child in May

  • No action if you are already registered for CCB. Otherwise, apply online

Youth in Care

  • Youth in care will not age out of services during the pandemic

  • Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program payments will continue despite school closures and training interruptions

Young Adults Program(AYA)

  • Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program payments will continue to former youth-in-care despite school closures and training interruptions

Income Assistance - Government of Canada


People with Disabilities


See a full list of additional supports here:

Seniors - Government of Canada

Existing programs continue to be available, including:


Government of Canada, British Columbia​


  • Monthly payment deferral for up to 90 days with no penalty

  • Call 1-800-665-6442 or apply online

BC Student Loans

  • Six-month interest-free moratorium on repayment, starting April

  • Repayment will be paused automatically


Canada Student Loans

  • Six-month interest-free moratorium on repayment, starting April

  • Repayment will be paused automatically


Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)

  • Minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) has been reduced by 25% for 2020

  • Learn more here


Emergency Travel Loan

  • Emergency loan of $5000 available to Canadians travelling abroad

  • Dial +1 613-996- 8885 or send an email


Income Tax Return

  • Filing due date is deferred to June 1, 2020

  • Payments owed are deferred until after August 31, 2020



Business, Non-Profit and Organizational Supports​



  • Bill deferral and payment plans

  • Call 1-800-BC- HYDRO


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

  • Covers up to 75% of wages for businesses, charities, and non- profits that have lost more than 30% of their revenue. Max subsidy of$847 per week per employee, backdated to March 15

  • Check backfor application instructions

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

  • Financing support for small and medium-sized businesses. Available mid-April


Canada Emergency Business Account

  • Loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits, interest-free for one year. A portion may be forgivable. Available mid-April


Loan Guarantee:

  • Operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs. Available mid-April


Co-Lending Program:

  • Co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.

  • Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program. Available mid-April.

  • Speak with your financial institution. 

  • Learn More


Federal Income tax

  • Payments owed are deferred until after August 31

B.C. Business Taxes

  • Payments for Employer Health Tax (EHT), Provincial Sales Tax (PST), Municipal and Regional District Tax, Tobacco Tax, Motor Fuel Tax, and Carbon Tax are deferred until after September 30, 2020

  • Scheduled April 1, 2020 increases to Provincial Carbon Tax and PST are deferred


  • Cut of 50% for business and industry property classes, to be passed onto tenants on triple-net leases


  • Payments owed deferred to June 30

Customs Duties & Taxes

  • Payments owed deferred to June 30, 2020


See more:  About business reliefs.

See more: BC Government Small Business Support List




Sector Specific

Child Care Sector

  • Emergency funding is available for both child care providers that remain open, and those who choose to close

  • Learn more.


Arts & Culture Sector

  • $3-million Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to give operating and eligible project clients a supplement of up to$15,000

  • Clients will receive a 50% advance on 2020-21 funding.

  • Via BC ArtsCouncil.


Publishing and News Sectors

  • Simplified process for Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund

  • Journalism Tax Measures available in coming days

Broadcasting Sector

  • CRTC Part I licence fees waived.

Tourism Businesses in National Parks and Historic Sites

  • Tourism operators in national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas will have payments on commercial leases and licences of occupation deferred without interest until September 1, 2020

  • Wait to be contacted by Parks Canada.


Seafood Sector

  • Seafood growers, shellfish farmers, and processors, will have access to the $5 billion Farm Credit Canada loan program.

  • Via FCC

Farmers and Agri-Food Sector

  • Access to the $5 billion Farm Credit Canada loan program

  • Via FCC


  • Rents paid on ground leases waived


See more re: Businesses

NI Gov Links
Local Community Support
Funding Boosts - NGO
Infrastructure Reliefs
Housing and Tenancy
Workforce Assistance
Personal Income Suppliments
Additional Government Supports
Business Financial Support
Sector Specific Support
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