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

Hello Downtown Businesses, 

Below we have rounded up some essential information for our downtown business members. But first, a request: 

If you are a restaurant continuing to offer takeout/delivery, or if you are another type of business still offering gift cards, please email Becca to let us know. 

Thank you, 
The DVBA Team
In this issue... 
  1. Closing shop? Suggestions from VicPD
  2. CRA Wage Subsidy Information 
  3. BC Support for Business 
Closing Shop?
Some suggestions from the Victoria Police Department
*This is an excerpt from the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce newsletter*
Are you a business that is closing down for the extent of this COVID-19 pandemic? 

With non-essential businesses closing shop to help fight the spread of COVID-19, there is a concern that vacant stores might become more vulnerable to criminals.
VicPD Chief Del Manak is encouraging shopkeepers to remove any items that might prompt "smash-and-grab" thefts. This is a good crime-prevention strategy at any time, Manak says, but of particular importance now when there is very little street traffic.
Manak also reminds businesses to remove all cash from their premises, and suggests leaving tills open to discourage unnecessary damage from someone searching for money. Also, make sure to regularly check on your business to confirm it remains secure. This will help police track crime trends so they can better adjust the deployment of officers to respond to property crime downtown.
CRA Wage Subsidy Information
The CRA has announced more details surrounding the wage subsidy to assist employers:
  • Employers eligible for the subsidy include Canadian controlled private companies (certain restrictions to larger companies), non-profit organizations and registered charities.
  • The subsidy is equal to 10% of renumerations between March 18 and June 20, 2020 up to a limit of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
  • The subsidy is received in one of two ways: employer reduces the amount of CRA remittances by the subsidy; or if CRA remittances are not reduced, then the employer can request the subsidy to be paid at the end of the year.
More information can be found here.
BC Support for Business
The Province of BC has announced an initial program for support for both BC businesses and individuals. Details are pending, but below are the basics:
  • Class 4, 5 and 6 properties will see their school property tax cut in half for the 2020 tax year. This provides relief to property owners with the hope it will be passed to tenants on triple-net leases.
  • Businesses with payrolls over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until September 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt.
  • Payments for provincial sales tax (PST), employer health tax, municipal and regional district tax, carbon tax, motor fuel gas tax and tobacco tax are also deferred.
  • Scheduled increases to the carbon tax rate, and application of PST to e-commerce transactions and sweetened and carbonated drinks will be delayed.
Changes to the Employment Standards Act was mentioned but no specifics were given.
In addition, there will be support for people losing their jobs, facing decreased hours, or missing work due to illness. A new BC Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a tax-free $1,000 payment. This payment will be tied to those individuals who are eligible for Unemployment Insurance, the newly announced Federal Care Benefit, or the new federal Emergency Support Benefit. Information on these federal programs can be found here.
Information on these and other components of the BC Action Plan can be found here.
The Downtown Victoria Business has been working with the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the City of Victoria to ensure there is an easily-available website specifically for businesses to get the most up-to-date information on federal, provincial, and municipal programs available to you. This website will be regularly updated and provides relevant business-related information pertaining to COVID-19. 
Check out the page now
Copyright © 2020 DOWNTOWN VICTORIA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, All rights reserved.

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

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