COVID-19 / Coronavirus Updates

COVID-19 Updates & Resources


Updated: March 25, 2020: An ongoing outbreak of respiratory infections is currently spreading through many countries in the world, caused by a new virus now known as COVID-19. As the virus spreads, there are concerns around the health impacts on infected individuals, travel and quarantine restrictions, disruptions to global supply chains, and impacts on economic growth.

The Burnaby Board of Trade has curated useful resources below to assist local businesses with accessing relevant information from the appropriate authorities and finding helpful tools to prepare for and mitigate potential business challenges: Read below for general information, or click one of our quick links for more details on specific programs and resource areas:

COVID-19 Supports and Programs:

UPDATED – Provincial Measures and Supports – Just announced March 23

10% Wage Subsidy for Businesses – Immediate subsidy for small businesses to cover 10% of wages

Business Credit Availability Program – $10 billion in special loans from BDC and EDC to help businesses bridge the next few months

Taxes Cuts and Deferrals – Businesses and individuals can delay filing income tax and defer remitting various provincial taxes

UPDATED – Support for the Self-Employed – The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit ; $1000 BC Emergency Benefit for Workers

Changes to Employment Insurance for COVID-19 – Changes to make it easier for workers to get benefits and employers to reduce hours while keeping staff

UPDATED – Supports for Individuals/Workers – The Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canada Child Benefit, and GST Bonus Credit will provide additional financial support federally, and the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide $1000 payments provincially

Travel Restrictions – The Canada-US border has been closed; Visits by non-citizens/permanent residents banned; Canadian international travel severely restricted

Sell to the Federal Government to Support COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 General Resources and Information:

Precautions to Take

Reasonable precautions that are recommended by health authorities to limit the spread of this virus include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands;
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
  • Coughing or Sneezing into your sleeve and not into your hands or into the air;
  • Staying home if you are unwell to avoid spreading illness to others

If You Feel Sick

The Public Health Agency of Canada encourages individuals to stay home if they are feeling unwell. Symptoms of COVID-19 have included fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing symptoms and think that you might have COVID-19, Fraser Health suggests you call your family doctor or 8-1-1 for assessment and access to testing. If you visit a health care provider, it is important to call ahead and inform them that you may be infected with COVID-19.

Health Resources:

Public Health Agency of Canada – This Government of Canada site provides updates on current cases, the current risk to Canadians, and latest updates on prevention, travel advisories and more.

BC Centre for Disease Control – The BC CDC has useful, BC-specific information on the virus, current risks, and tips for prevention available in English, Farsi, Punjabi and Traditional Chinese

Fraser Health – Our local health authority, Fraser Health has a Q&A section answering common questions about COVID-19

BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool – Check your symptoms to determine if you need further medical attention

Government of Canada COVID-19 Information Service

  • Phone: 1-833-784-4397 (Interpretation services are available in multiple languages for those who do not speak English or French)
  • Email:

Business Resources:

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Pandemic Preparedness Site – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has a pandemic preparedness website which provides best practice guides on how to prepare your business for COVID-19, including a Pandemic Preparedness Guide, Crisis Communication Guide, and Business Continuity Guide

Infectious Diseases – Business Continuity Plan – The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has created a business continuity guide specifically tailored for infection diseases

Getting your Workplace Ready for COVID-19 – This guide from the World Health Organization outlines measures businesses and employers can take to prevent the spread of infections in your workplace

Employer Legal Considerations (Yeager)

Key Business & Legal Implications (Blakes)

Coronavirus: Best Practices in the Workplace (Blakes)

PreparedBC: Guide for Small Business (Government of BC)

Managing cash flow during a period of Crisis (Deloitte)

Workforce strategies that put your people first (Deloitte)

Pandemic Planning for Employees: Labour, Employment & Human Rights (Fasken)