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Downtown Victoria's Business Buzz: What you need know when doing business in downtown Victoria.

In this issue... 
  1. COVID-19: How is the DVBA Responding? 
  2. Your Business, your Employees, and YOU During the COVID-19 Outbreak
  3. DVBA Member Survey - Extended
COVID-19: How is the DVBA Responding?
Update as of March 17, 2020
Wondering what the DVBA is doing around COVID-19?
An update: 
  • Together with the Chamber and Destination Greater Victoria, we wrote a letter to Justin Trudeau, Bill Morneau, John Horgan, and Carole James requesting urgently all governments not charge late filing penalties and installment interest on balances owing to government from today until COVID-19 is under control. Read the letter here.
  • Executive Director, Jeff Bray, is having meetings daily with our partners at the City of Victoria, Destination Greater Victoria, and The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to coordinate the dissemination of information and to advocate for immediate actions to support our members. 
  • We will be increasing our communiqués via this newsletter to ensure our members have all information available from the various levels of government. 
  • At this time, the DVBA is remaining open, with some staff choosing to work remotely and others working with hygienic diligence at the office. 
  • We are researching questions received through our office around Employment Insurance, severance, and any other challenges faced by our members. 
  • We are sharing member messages about changes or closures while promoting supporting local businesses through social media. 
Click here to email us with a specific question or concern around COVID-19 and your downtown business
Your Business, your Employees, and
YOU During the COVID-19 Outbreak

We will be providing regular updates and links as they pertain to both federal and provincial programs and your business. Changes are happening rapidly, and we want to help ensure you have the best information.
General support for Canadian businesses:

The Government of Canada created a webpage specifically for Canadian businesses in the face of this crisis. Find information and resources here

Employment Insurance (EI) 

We have been receiving questions related to Employment Insurance for member staff. The government has made some changes to support those newly without jobs due to the pandemic. 
  1. The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
  2. Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support inquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
  3. Priority EI application processing for EI sickness claims for clients under quarantine
  4. People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
  5. People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay
Information found from
DVBA Business Member Survey
This is your final reminder to complete our second annual survey. The survey closes on Monday, March 23. 

The survey is focused on business performance, issues faced by downtown businesses, and the experience of operating a business in downtown Victoria.
Business owners should have already received a link to the survey. If you didn't receive the email, please email

Participating business owners will be entered to win prizes! Nicole Sleeth, owner of the art studio with the same name on Fisgard Street won the second prize. There's still one prize left!

Data collected will be compiled to form the second Annual Report on Downtown Business. This report will be made available to members and the public in Summer 2020.
Questions? Ask away!
Copyright © 2020 DOWNTOWN VICTORIA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
20 Centennial Square
Victoria, BC, V8W 1P7

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