COVID-19: Be safe. Stay Connected.

COVID-19: We See You Strathcona

Dear Strathcona BIA members,

We want to take a moment among all the other COVID-19 related communications you are inundated with right now to say: we see you. In the last few days we’ve seen Strathcona BIA members demonstrate incredible bravery, resourcefulness, resilience, and sacrifice while navigating through this vulnerable and uncertain time. Several Strathcona businesses and organizations have heavily altered or temporarily ceased operations in a valiant effort to slow the advancement of the COVID-19 virus. These are extremely difficult decisions to be making, all while weighing the impacts to your businesses, your personal lives, the lives of your staff, and our community members. Know we are holding this close as we try to aid in resources and advocacy as the situation unfolds.

Strathcona Actions

Here are just a few examples of Strathcona members we know about that have altered operations that we want to acknowledge:

  • Belgard Kitchen is closing their doors until further notice.

  • Fazakas Gallery will be closed to the public this week.

  • Luppolo Brewing  and Container Brewing have decided to close their tasting rooms for the time-being, but are still open for beer to-go purchases.

  • Mackenzie Room has temporarily shut it’s doors, but they are putting together a new menu of 500ml meals ranging from $5-$10 that you can purchase for pick-up fresh to eat or freeze starting Wednesday. Find out more here.

  • Dosanko Restaurant will be open for take-out only with an abbreviated menu from 11:30am-7pm.
  • Agro Roasters is now open for takeout only.
  • The Garden Strathcona is implementing a number of measures including encouraging phone-in orders for take out.

  • les amis du Fromage is also implementing several measures with safety of customers and staff in mind.

  • UGM is implementing a Pandemic Plan and helping to ensure information sharing, care, and proper measures are taken to support their guests and community.

  • Enterprising Women Making Art have cancelled all workshops until further notice, but are still operating regular business hours.

  • Railtown PR firm, We Are Reformation, has created a crisis communications planning guide and are offering 100% free public relations, social media, and communications consultations to small businesses right now.

How are you pivoting?

Has your restaurant moved to online orders and deliveries? Are you hosting online tutorials and want help to get the word out? If you have specific changes in operations that we can help promote, get in touch with us. Email johanna@strathconabia.com. Or message us on instagram @MadeInStrathcona.

Update on SBIA Programs

Our Safety Patrol team continues to operate in the neighbourhood, while taking measures to keep safe social distance. They are keeping vital extra eyes on the street and continue their regular duties of reporting activity and debris and offering support where needed. They can be reached at 604-789-4143. If you decide to close your business temporarily, please inform the SBIA, and we will alert the Safety Patrol team to keep an extra eye on the property during their regular district patrols.

At this time, our Graffiti Removal program and majority of our Street Cleaning programs will continue so long as employees are able to keep safe social distance from others.

Additional Resources and Information

There are lot of COVID-19 Business Resource lists in circulation. If you are looking for a comprehensive jumping off point, Vancouver Economic Commission has developed a helpful webpage.

The Government of Canada has also launched a webpage for Canadian businesses that addresses key considerations for businesses at this time.

Note that 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.

Employment and Social Development Canada is doubling the length of time that employers and workers are eligible to use the Work Sharing program from 38 to 76 weeks. This is an adjustment program designed to help avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond an employer’s control.

We know that not everyone affected by this crisis will necessarily be eligible for current government programs. The Federal Minister of Finance has also announced a $10 billion stimulus package through the Business Development Bank of Canada, which will support businesses impacted by this crisis. More details are to be shared in the coming days and we are following this closely.

The SBIA is joining efforts with all 22 BIAs across Vancouver to pull together all levers and tools available to advocate to all levels of government for policy supports and for promised relief to reach small businesses impacted across our communities.

As we continue to work to support our business members across the district of Strathcona during this unprecedented time, please do not hesitate to be in touch with us. We are closely monitoring all calls that come through at 604-258-2727 as well as emails at info@strathconabia.com.

Please be well and let’s stay connected.

Warmly,
Theodora Lamb
Executive Director, Strathcona BIA