COVID-19 Resources & Support

Women’s Enterprise Centre is focused on supporting women-owned businesses through this crisis so that when it is over you can get back to business as usual.

We’re here for you!

We know this situation is fluid, and is changing on a daily basis. We’d like to encourage any of our clients to utilize our complimentary Business Advisory Services if you need an understanding person to talk to about your particular situation.

Please see below for the concessions we’re making for loan clients and some helpful resources for business owners and employers.

We keep this page updated with the latest information.

Click here to view WEC loan and service updates
Loans up to $60k for women entrepreneurs, from Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, is providing loans of up to $60,000 for eligible women-run businesses to help businesses cope with financial hardship and recovery from economic disruption resulting from COVID-19.

Women’s Enterprise Centre is pleased to provide access to this Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to women entrepreneurs in BC. If you think your business requires additional financing to recover this could be a good option for you.

This option is available for sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations.

Learn More or Apply
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Government Updates

Resources from Women’s Enterprise Centre

Access to the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) for BC women entrepreneurs

Women’s Enterprise Centre is pleased to provide access to this Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) to women entrepreneurs in BC. The RRRF provides loans of up to $60k, and the chance to convert up to $20k into a forgivable grant!

If your business was healthy prior to Covid and you could use a financial cushion to cover your non-deferrable fixed expenses while you work on your business, then this is a low-cost lending option for you. Deadline to apply is March 31, 2021! Learn more >>

Update April 1, 2021, Regarding the Application Deadline
Please note that we are continuing to accept applications after the deadline of March 31; however, we cannot guarantee that any applications received after that date will be assessed or approved. If an extension to the RRRF program is announced, as it has with CEBA, then we will proceed with processing applications received after April 1, in the order they were received.

Free one-on-one appointments with a Business Advisor

Our Business Advisory team is available to discuss your situation, review your cash flow and generate ideas for how you can navigate this difficult time. Connect with a Business Advisor >>

Unity Women Entrepreneurs Program, in partnership with Vancity

Women’s Enterprise Centre is excited to partner with Vancity to support women entrepreneurs as you navigate your business through COVID-19 and beyond! Access a line of credit or loan from Vancity, and receive complimentary support from us. Learn more >>

Webinar recordings

Resources

Tell us: What Help Do You Need?

  • Have an idea for an upcoming webinar or resource on a topic that would help you and your business during this time? Please submit it here!

Community Links

Financial Response Measures


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Upcoming Events › COVID-19 Support

May 2021

Mental Health Tools and Resources for Small Business

May 6 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Webinar Canada

In recent years, workplace mental health has taken on greater importance for conscientious leaders. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this mindset, amplifying these ongoing struggles and heightening our awareness. As a small business owner or leader, you may feel at a disadvantage in coping with these challenges compared to larger organizations with more resources. This is why WorkSafeBC has initiated this webinar to help you with practical resources and tools you can apply at an individual and team level. Join…

Find out more »

June 2021

Business Networking Skills for Success

June 9 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Webinar Canada

COVID-19 and the need to maintain physical distancing has dramatically impacted on our ability to network and make new contacts. Don’t despair, there are still plenty of ways to make the connections you need for your business to succeed. Now is the perfect time to assess your network and increase your connections so your business is well poised to benefit as our economy gradually reopens. Join Cathy Kuzel, Business Development Strategies and Advisor, and learn key tips for leveraging your…

Find out more »
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Options for WEC Loan Clients

Options for WEC Loan Clients

We know COVID-19 is having a serious impact on most small business owners. To support our loan clients during this period of uncertainty, Women’s Enterprise Centre is making the following concessions available:

1) Existing loan clients

In March, we offered the initial loan relief measures to defer principal and/or forgive interest for 3 months (April, May and June), and advised regular loan payments would re-commence in July.

We are now moving into the next stage of COVID-19 recovery and have two options available to help you stabilize and endure the pandemic. Below are our current options for existing loan clients who would still like some support, updated as of July 16:

OPTION 1 – If your business has not recovered enough for you to start making full regular payments then Women’s Enterprise Centre may be able to offer you an additional 3 or 6 months of interest only payments.  In order to apply for additional interest only payments you will need to fill in an application. 

OPTION 2 – The Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, is providing a loan of up to $60,000 for eligible women-run businesses to help businesses cope with financial hardship and recovery from economic disruption resulting from COVID-19. If you think your business requires additional financing to recover, this could be a good option for you. This option is available for sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations. Learn more >>

OPTION 3 – If you are unsure what is best for your business and you would like to talk with a Business Advisor please call our office 1.800.643.7014 ext. 112 or email inquiry@womensenterprise.ca.

If you would prefer to return to your pre-COVID payment schedule, then no action is required and your regular payments will automatically resume in July.

2) New loan clients

You may take advantage of a 6-month period between the time your loan is approved and when the funds must be drawn down. This additional flexibility will allow new loan clients the time to decide whether to continue with their original plans for their business. If there are extenuating circumstances, we are able to discuss lengthening this draw-down period for new loan clients.

Please contact our Loan Portfolio Officer if you would like to take advantage of these options.

Other Service Delivery Updates

We have modified how we deliver our services.

Skills Training Workshops

Until further notice, all upcoming WEC-hosted training events are being delivered by webinar. View upcoming webinars >>

One-to-One Mentoring, Peer Mentoring Groups and Taking the Stage®

Since mentoring is shown to greatly succeed your chances of success and help you overcome obstacles, we are continuing with our mentoring programs. Until further notice, all groups and mentor meetings are virtual. Check out our upcoming Virtual Peer Mentoring group for Northern BC women >>

Meetings and Business Advisory Appointments

We’re here to support women entrepreneurs! If you’d like to speak with a Business Advisor about your situation, please call us at 1.800.643.7014 or fill out this online form and we will be in touch to schedule a phone call or Zoom meeting.

Please note: All our offices are currently closed to the public, so all meetings will be done virtually.

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