BC’s Restart Plan: What you need to know
The BC Restart Plan outlines the careful reopening of the economy in a four-phased approach. We are currently in Phase 1, during which “essential services” have been able to operate.
If your business has been ordered to close by a provincial or regional health order you cannot open before the order is officially lifted. BC will enter into Phase 2 from mid-May onward, which allows industries including the retail sector, hair salons, art galleries, and restaurants and cafes (with sufficient distancing measures) to reopen, among others. At the bottom of this post we’ve listed which industries will be able to open during the different phases.
Once you are able to reopen, businesses will be required to develop a COVID Safe Plan. Businesses that have operated as essential services during Phase 1 of the pandemic may need to update their COVID Safe Plans to fit with updated guidelines and best practices. WorkSafeBC won’t be reviewing or approving individual plans, but businesses could be subject to a WorkSafeBC inspection where employers will be asked about the steps they have taken to protect their workers.
How to develop and communicate your COVID Safe Plan
Employers preparing to resume operations must develop plans to reopen safely, which includes assessing the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your workplace, and developing measures to reduce these risks.
A guide developed by WorkSafeBC is a starting point for developing your COVID Safe Plan. It covers the following steps:
- Assess the risk at your workplace
- Implement measures to reduce the risk e.g. cleaning and hygiene, maintaining physical distance
- Develop policies e.g. who can be at the workplace, how to address illness that arises
- Develop communication plans and training
- Monitor your workplace and update your plans as needed
- Assess and address risks from resuming operations
In addition, WorkSafeBC is currently working with industry stakeholders to prepare industry-specific protocols that employers can use to help develop their individual plans.
- The British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association has built a set of best practices for the re-opening of in-restaurant dining: Blueprint For Reopening In-Restaurant Dining
- The Retail Council of Canada has prepared a document detailing best practices from retailers around the world on operating their business during the COVID-19 pandemic: Playbook on Customer Health and Safety – Retail Council of Canada
- Small Business BC has written on article with additional tips for earning customer trust: Earning the Trust of Customers As BC Reopens
Good News for the Restaurant Sector
- On May 13th the BC government announced B.C. restaurants will be able to purchase liquor at wholesale prices and get expedited provincial approval for expanded outdoor liquor service. This will help ensure restaurants that want to extend patios don’t face significant delays from the province.
- Also on May 13th, the City of Vancouver Council passed a motion for “Flexible, Innovative & Expedited Patio Permitting” in order to help move dining outside when restaurants reopen. More information will be available soon.
The Phases of BC’s Restart Plan
Phase 1 enabled industries designated as “essential services” to operate including:
- Essential health and health services
- Law enforcement, public safety, first responders and emergency response personnel
- Vulnerable population service providers
- Critical infrastructure
- Food and agriculture service providers
- Industry and manufacturing
- Communications and information technology
- Financial institutions
- Other non-health essential service providers
BC will enter into Phase 2 from mid-May onward. During Phase 2 the following industries are allowed to carefully reopen:
- Restoration of health services
- Re-scheduling of elective surgery
- Dentistry, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, and chiropractors
- Physical therapy, speech therapy, and similar services
- Retail sector
- Hair salons, barbers, and other personal service establishments
- In-person counselling
- Restaurants, cafes, and pubs (with sufficient distancing measures)
- Museums, art galleries, and libraries
- Office-based worksites
- Recreation and sports
- Parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces
- Child care
Phase 3 takes a staggered approach to reopening. The following industries are set to reopen during this time:
- Hotels and Resorts (June 2020)
- Parks – broader reopening, including some overnight camping (June 2020)
- Film industry – beginning with domestic productions (June/July 2020)
- Select entertainment – movies and symphony, but not large concerts (July 2020)
- Post-secondary education – with mix of online and in-class (September 2020)
- K-12 education – with only a partial return this school year (September 2020)
The timeline for British Columbia’s Phase 4 is currently unknown.
As directed by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, our province can only move to Phase 4 when one of the following conditions is met:
- Widespread vaccination against COVID-19
- “Community” immunity
- Broad successful treatments
Activities/Industries Reopening under Phase 4
- Live audience professional sports
- International tourism
Note from Theodora Lamb, SBIA Executive Director
Dear SBIA Members,
The notice of your latest property assessment arrived on January 2nd, 2020. For tenants who have not seen a copy you can reach out to your property owner or manager or look up your assessment at bcassessment.ca. The SBIA has created a toolkit for members to help guide you through your property assessment decision and navigate the appeal process if that’s a step you choose to take.
We know that rising property tax has been one of the greatest challenges facing local businesses in Strathcona. Last year, the SBIA introduced the Strathcona Tax Empowerment Program (STEP). As part of STEP, every member of the SBIA benefited from a commercial tax agent’s opinion on their 2019 commercial property assessment. Approximately 14% of members chose to engage the agent, and nine of those properties were successful in their appeals. They achieved a combined tax savings of $195,000 and an overall reduction in property assessment value of $15,237,395.
For 2020 we want to equip you with the tools to investigate the appeal process. Working with a tax agent is also an option for those wanting professional support. Tax agents give you the option to pay a pre-determined rate or work on a contingency basis. Please reach out to the SBIA office at 604-258-2727 or email email@example.com if you would like an agent recommendation.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the SBIA with any questions you have regarding the property assessment appeal process.
Executive Director, Strathcona BIARead More
Dear Strathcona BIA members,
Please join us at the Annual General Meeting & Members? Luncheon:
Please contact the Strathcona BIA office for a copy of the membership form to be eligable to vote at the AGM. Forms must be completed and emailed, faxed or mailed the to the SBIA bySeptember 23. Forms will not be accepted after this time.
To be a voting member you must have been a property owner of tenant of a class 5 or class 6 property within the Strathcona BIA’s boundaries for six months prior to the date of registration as shown on the current City of Vancouver Tax Assessment Roll.
Non-members, unless invited otherwise are not permitted to attend this event.
To RSVP for the event please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the SBIA office at 604-258-2727Read More