COVID19

COVID-19 DigiBC Member Resources


LAST UPDATED: July 30, 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

The Prime Minister announced an expansion for CEBA to include many owner-operated small businesses, These changes will allow more small businesses to access interest-free loans to help cover operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced, due to the pandemic.

 

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 (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

    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.

     
  • Ottawa extends Commercial Rent Relief Program (CERCA) into August - July 31
    The federal government has extended Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), its rent subsidy program to support small businesses, by another month.

     
  • 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.

  • Hotline for Small Businesses Needing Financial Planning Advice
    The Government of Canada will support the launch of a four-week hotline service called the Business Resilience Service. This will help entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of financial planning advice, particularly those who may not have access to an accountant. The service will also be open to not-for-profit organizations and charities.

  • Global Affairs Canada Trade Commissioner Service: CanExport SMEs
    Apply online for up to $75,000 in CanExport SMEs funding to cover up to 75% of your international market development activities. Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may choose up to (5) export markets to target, where your company has no or minimal business.

  • Recording of DigiBC's Webinar on Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis
    PwC and BDC presented information on how businesses can access the new financial measures that were recently put in place by government and institutions.

  • 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

Canada Child Benefit (CCB)

One-time boost of $300 per child in May

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?
  • 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.
     
  • 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.

  • #DifferentTogether Campaign: Pledge to Fight Racism in BC
    DigiBC joins The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of BC, the Business Council of BC and many others in pledging to uphold the Canadian values of diversity and inclusion and to oppose racism and hate in all its forms. We’ve all read about some of the recent attacks in BC. Let’s fight COVID-19, not each other. Please join us and support the #DifferentTogether campaign. 

     
  • Congrats to DigiBC member, 81monkeys for the recent launch of The Chore App. The app turns chores into a game and kids can unlock prizes for doing housework. It's currently in Beta launch but will soon be available for Android and IOS devices.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • The Digital Technology Supercluster is supporting Canadians in the fight against COVID-19. It is investing $60 million to deliver solutions to some of the biggest health and safety problems created by the virus. The Supercluster has advanced four projects – each making a meaningful contribution to the health and safety of Canadians. 
     
  • One of the four Supercluster projects is run by Finger Food Advanced Technology Group. Alongside their partners, they are developing a new tool for decision-makers to better forecast emerging pandemics. By predicting regional needs and allowing for fast and effective planning we can have targeted deployment of resources.
     
  • Electronic Arts has committed at least $2 million to support COVID-19 relief efforts around the world. Until June 30, the publisher will match-fund employee contributions made through the EA YourCause program, which allows staff to choose local organizations to support.
     
  • The World Health Organization is using video games to share the importance of social distancing and proper safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, nearly 60 gaming companies, including major publishers such as Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, and Sega, have officially teamed up with WHO for its #PlayApartTogether campaign.
     
  • East Side Games has put together this handy list of local organizations that are currently looking for support and donations.
     
  • 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!

  • Hyper Hippo announced that their players will soon have the ability to make donations to the United Nations Foundation directly from their Facebook pages.
     
  • East Side Games contributed to the 'High Fives for the Frontline' initiative that Lee's Donuts recently started. They are delivering donuts to frontline workers throughout the city and each day they pick a new essential service to thank. ESG is also supporting local breweries by organizing Friday beer run deliveries to their employees.
     
  • Blackbird Interactive is taking money that would have been spent on office expenses (coffee, snacks, etc) and using it to give each employee a local meal delivery gift card. This injects cash back into the local economy and helps the restaurants that have been so badly hit during this crisis.
     
  • Kano Apps has initiated a few tactics to keep spirits up while working remotely. One of those is a Slack channel where the team can share their adorable WFH companions. Check out Team Kano: Pet Edition!
     
  • Phoenix Labs is putting out a weekly Spotify Quarantine Playlist.
     

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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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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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Workplace Guidelines & Resources

Guides


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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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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