COVID19

COVID-19 DigiBC Member Resources


LAST UPDATED: January 4, 2021

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

Small & Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant

(Provincial)

  • Grants of $10,000 to $30,000 are available to small and medium sized B.C. businesses impacted by COVID-19. An additional $5,000 to $15,000 grant is available to eligible tourism-related businesses. 
  • The program runs until March 31, 2021 or until the funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first.
  • Eligibility criteria changed as of December 18, 2020. 

 

 

 

Click here for more info

CRA & COVID-19 Info for Employers

(Federal)

  • New T4 reporting requirements, Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Temporary wage subsidy for employers, deferral of GST/HST remittances

 

Click here for more info

Innovation Assistance Program (IRAP IAP)

(Federal)

  • IRAP IAP is an emergency wage subsidy provided to eligible firms on a priority basis
  • Has been extended to December 19, 2020 with an additional $155 million investment

Click for more info

 

 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program
(CEWS)

(Federal)


  • It was announced that the program will be extended until June 2021.
  • 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


Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

(Federal)

On October 9, the government proposed the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to provide direct relief to businesses, non-profits, and charities that continue to be economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rent subsidy would be available retroactive to September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

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

(Federal)

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)

(Federal)

More than $10 billion will be available to Canadian businesses for financing and credit insurance solutions through EDC and BDC

 

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

(Federal)


Loans of up to $60,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits, interest-free for one year. A portion may be forgivable.


CEBA support has being expanded from $40K to $60K. This is available to all eligible previous and new CEBA applicants.

 

COVID-19 Supply Hub

(Provincial)

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

Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN)

(Federal)

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

(Provincial)

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

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 Bootc

    BC announces $500 million investment fund for high growth potential firms - September 22

  • 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

BC Recovery Benefit
  •  A one-time, tax-free payment of up to $1,000 for eligible families and single parents and up to $500 for eligible individuals. 
Online applications open December 18 & phone support available from December 21

 

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

 

(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.
     

  • Canuck Place Children’s Hospice has partnered with EA Sports to put together an exciting team building opportunity for tech companies in Metro Vancouver. Want to give back to the community while participating in an online hockey tournament? Register by November 10 and entry fee is $1,000 (charitable donation to Canuck Place). Click here for more info.
     
  • 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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#CRUSHCovid Campaign

#CRUSHCovid is a great initiative from ESAC and the Public Health Agency of Canada that was created to reach Canadians aged 13-29. By sharing trusted health messaging, the hope is that gamers in this age demographic will continue to step up and help keep each other and our communities safe by encouraging and engaging in four health measures that can stem the spread of COVID-19.

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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