COVID19

COVID-19 DigiBC Member Resources


LAST UPDATED: August 27, 2020

DigiBC recognizes that our members are having an array of business challenges during this crisis, ranging from a few issues to very significant business threats. As your trade association, we are working to ensure our industry, as diverse as it is, comes out of this in the most positive way possible. We have put together this resource page for our members that has pertinent information on government policies, industry responses, and tips on getting through this challenging time. We will continue to keep this updated as information comes in.

 
Quick Links:

Government Announcements / Policies / Funding


Find Business Support During COVID-19 [Online Tool]

Find available government COVID-19 support and other programs and services.

FOR BUSINESSES

Support Description How to Access

 

 

 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program
(CEWS)


  • It was announced that the program will be extended until December 2020
  • Available to all businesses, non-profits and charities, who have experienced a 30% decline or more in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Cover will up to 75% of a salary on the first $58 700, or as much as $847 a week
  • The 75% subsidy does not replace the 10% wage subsidy originally introduced a few of weeks ago, so small businesses concerned they do not meet the criteria for the 75% are still able to apply for the 10% subsidy

 

 

 

 

Click for more info

Temporary Layoff Period Extended To ease financial hardship on businesses and to keep employees connected with their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, government has extended the temporary layoff period to 16 weeks for COVID-19 related reasons.
Click for more info
GST & HST payments delayed until June This will assist businesses with cash flow challenges. The government says these measures will best position small and medium-sized businesses to weather the pandemic and prepare for Canada’s economic recovery. 

 

Click for more info

BC Hydro

Bill deferral and payment plans

Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) More than $10 billion will be available to Canadian businesses for financing and credit insurance solutions through EDC and BDC

 

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.

Will roll out in the three weeks after March 27 and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions

 

COVID-19 Supply Hub

The BC Government has partnered with the Digital Technology Supercluster and the Business Council of BC to create the COVID-19 Supply Hub. Organizations interested in offering support, equipment and supplies to help health workers fight the pandemic can access the online platform here.

 

Click here to access the online platform


The Recovery Project

An international coalition of think-tanks, research institutes, and organizations designed to start the conversation about recovery, even if it seems a long way off.

 

Click here for more info

Federal Income Tax Payments owed are deferred until after August 31, 2020 to help businesses with cash flow. Click for more info
Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) The federal government and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have partnered to create the CBRN to help businesses of all sizes weather this pandemic and drive economic recovery.
Click for more info



 

Emergency Program Act

Companies, societies, co-operatives now able to meet electronically. A temporary change will allow electronic meetings during the province's state of the emergency. The order helps corporations hold annual or special general meetings, in accordance with the provincial health officer's order against gatherings of more than 50 people.

 

 



Click for more info

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

The federal government reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the CECRA program. This will lower rent by 75% for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for April, May, June, July, August & September (extended).

 

Click for more info

*Click here for info on extension

 

ESAC's Summary of Canadian Economic Stimulus Packages - updated June 16 (click to download)

ESAC's Summary of Provincial Reopening Plans - updated June 15 (click to download)

  • Alacrity Canada now accepting applications for new virtual Digital Marketing Bootcamp

    Alacrity Canada now accepting applications for new virtual Digital Marketing Bootcamp

    Alacrity Canada now accepting applications for new virtual Digital Marketing Bootcamp

    Alacrity Canada now accepting applications for new virtual Digital Marketing Bootcamp

    Alacrity Canada now accepting applications for new virtual Digital Marketing Bootcamp

    CMF COVID-19 emergency relief funds for IDM companies - August 27
    The Canada Media Fund is making available $10M to Canada’s interactive digital media companies. The funding is being made available to applicants who have not previously received COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds from the CMF Allocation and who meet the eligibility criteria. Eligible Applicants will receive between $5,000 and $100,000, to be determined through a formula-based approach.

     
  • Government of Canada Support Innovation in British Columbia - July 28
     Small- and medium-sized businesses in British Columbia's technology sector have never experienced an economic crisis like the one brought on by COVID-19. Even seasoned entrepreneurs are struggling with uncertainty as they reassess budgets, redesign marketing strategies and prepare cash-flow projections.

  • Adapting the CEWS to Protect Jobs and Promote Growth - July 17
    The Government of Canada has taken immediate, significant and decisive action to protect the health of Canadians,
    support Canadian workers and businesses, and stabilize the Canadian economy during the global COVID-19 outbreak. 

  • More support for Canadians through the Safe Restart Agreement - July 16
    The Prime Minister announced a federal investment of more than $19 billion to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies and make our country more resilient to possible future waves of the virus.

  • Innovate BC's Tech Co-op Grant Program
    Tech companies of up to 500 employees are eligible to receive wage subsidies to hire a BC co-op student. Each employer is eligible to receive a max of four grants per program year valued at up to $5,000 each.

  • Startups Among Companies to Benefit From New $961.4-million Relief Fund
    Canada’s six regional development agencies will focus $961.4 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding on companies and industry sectors critical to the economy in each region. The funding is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises that have been unable to access the government’s existing support measures.

  • CMF COVID-19 Info Hub for Screen-Based Industries
    Canada Media Fund has put together this list of assistance programs for workers and businesses in Canada’s screen-based industries, as well as news from the CMF and pandemic-related headlines.

     

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FOR INDIVIDUALS

Find Financial Help During COVID-19 Online Tool
This provides individuals with info on federal, provincial and territorial benefits programs available, including the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the Canada Child Benefit top-up, as well as mortgage and student loan deferrals.
Support Description How to Access

 

New Job-Protected Leaves for Workers

  • Allows workers to immediately take unpaid, job-protected leave if they are unable to work for reasons relating to COVID-19.
  • Provide up to three days of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for people who cannot work due to illness or injury.

 

Click for more info

BC Hydro

Bill deferral and payment plans

Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO
Income Tax Return Filing due date is deferred to June 1. Payments owed are deferred until after August 31. No action needed

 

(CERB) Canada Emergency Response Benefit

 

 

  • Extended until December 2020
  • $2,000/month to workers who have lost their income and do not qualify for EI.
  • Eligibility rules now include individuals making $1,000 or less/month, those who have exhausted EI benefits and seasonal workers who have exhausted EI benefits and will be unable to undertake their usual seasonal work.
  • There is also a planned wage boost for essential workers.



 

Click for more info

BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
 

One-time additional tax-free payment of $1,000 to those on EI or CERB.
Apply starting May 1
(click for more info)
EI Sickness Benefit One-week waiting period has been waived. Call 1-833-381-2725 or apply online
The Canadian Mental Health Association The CMHA has put together some resources and suggestions to help support your mental health at this time of uncertainty. COVID-19 & Mental Health Startup Survival Guide
BC Psychological Association In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the BCPA has compiled a list of helpful resources. COVID-19 Resources

 

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

Support of nearly $9 billion for post-secondary students and recent graduates. This plan will help provide the financial support they need this summer, help them continue their studies in the fall, and help many get the experience they need to start their careers.

 

click here for more info

 

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Signal Boosting / #GiveBack / How Can I Help?

Resources

  • East Side Games has put together this handy list of local organizations that are currently looking for support and donations.
     
  • Small Business BC has created a digital marketplace website where you can find out about and support some of the amazing small businesses still operating in the province.
     
  • GamesIndustry.biz has put together a comprehensive list of organizations and initiatives supporting racial equity in the global games industry. From funding and training to online communities and advocacy groups, there is a growing number of resources encouraging racial diversity in the game industry.

_____________________________
 

  • Klei Entertainment felt it was important to help out where they can during this moment in US history and have donated $1 million USD toward helping fight for equality, civil rights, and racial justice. Funds will be going to ACLU and NAACP.
     
  • Electronic Arts is contributing $1 million to organizations dedicated to the fight for racial justice in the US and against discrimination around the world. Beginning with the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and with more partners to come. Additionally, they will double any employee donations made to these organizations via its YourCause program throughout the month of June.
     
  • The Coalition has donated 200 Xbox One X consoles to the Gamers Outreach. They will then be distributing the hardware to children's wards in US hospitals.
     
  • The Vancouver Makers for Emergency Response & Support (YVRMERS) is a grassroots non-profit initiative that has a few projects on the go for providing free PPE to frontline healthcare workers. Click here to read more about what they are doing or to make a donation.
     
  • Trent Shumay is a seasoned programmer, having previously worked at Slant Six, Next Level Games, A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. and Electronic Arts. A successful entrepreneur, he went on to co-found Finger Food Advanced Technology Group and then later Moody Ales. One of his current endeavors, IoT Design Shop, has retooled its production line to print out protective gear for nurses, doctors and other frontline healthcare workers. They have partnered with LNG Studios and created a GoFundMe to help raise money for the cost of materials. Click here to support this awesome effort!

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Companies Currently Hiring

The following job boards are also great resources:

DigiBC Job Board
VFX Vancouver Job Board
VIATEC Job Board
(Victoria & Vancouver Island)

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Workplace Guidelines & Resources

Guides & Resources


Working From Home

  • WFH Digital Guide (by LocalGlobe and Latitudevc)
    - continually being updated so is a great resource to have bookmarked

 

Key Priorities

  • Ensure your team members and their family members are safe and cared for
  • Ensure you can continue studio operations as best as possible
  • Ensure your staff are tech-enabled to work at home for an extended period
  • Provide ongoing communication to employees in response to information provided by health officials as the situation progresses


 

Who do you want to be during COVID-19?

 

Credit: Oxford Leadership's Self-Managing Leadership Community Group

 

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Connectivity


TELUS Employee Purchase Program

Are members of your team struggling with bandwidth? The Anim&VFX Alliance and DigiBC have been working with internet providers to ease the pain a bit. TELUS subscribers can now access our new Employee Purchase Program (EPP) which provides a $10 monthly discount to internet service, based on the best current pricing at market. While this requires a two-year plan, the benefit is both a monthly discount and flexibility. The plan can revert back to prior bandwidth once the increase is no longer needed. Find out if you can get PureFibre:

  • List of connected communities here
  • Check your address here


How to access the DigiBC / Anim&VFX Alliance Employee Purchase Program?

Have the appropriate person at your studio contact Scott Simpson at TELUS (scott.simpson@telus.com) and mention the applicable industry association.

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BC's Restart Plan

The government's plan is a four phase strategy that outlines the gradual restarting of the economy. It is a series of careful steps to protect people and ensure that the province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before. We are now in Phase 3. Click here for further details.

 

COVID-19 Information


COVID-19  Testing
  • Have symptoms? Anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19 symptoms can be assessed and get a test. Testing is done through a primary care provider, walk-in clinic, urgent and primary care centre or community collection centre. Additionally, drive-thru testing is available in Vancouver at the St. Vincent's location (4875 Heather St). Click here to see the full list of collection centres in the province.
     
Physical Distancing Orders
  • Violations of Public Health Orders can carry fines of over $25,000 or jail time
  • Gatherings are banned
  • Maintain 2 metre distance from others
  • Stay home as much as possible, do not visit with friends (call them instead)
  • It’s okay to go outside for fresh air and exercise, but stay away from others
  • Self-isolate if you are sick, even if it is not COVID-19

Hygiene Tips
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing and then wash hands immediately
  • Consider no longer shaking hands and instead use another form of greeting (fist bump, elbow bump or our favourite, the Spock Vulcan greeting with LL&P)

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