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 are keeping our eye on the situation and may provide other offerings in future to address needs as they emerge.

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

We will keep this page updated with the latest information.

Click here to view WEC loan and service updates

Government Updates

Resources from Women’s Enterprise Centre

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!

Strength in Numbers: Free Webinar Forum

Our Business Advisors will share the new developments in the types of supports available for business owners, plus we’ll focus on a timely topic based on the types of questions our Business Advisors are hearing from clients.

You’re in charge! This is an open forum and a chance to tell us what you need help with, so we can source some resources for you or brainstorm some solutions. Register for upcoming sessions >>

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 >>

Webinar recordings

Resources

Where to Start

(From Global Affairs Canada)

  1. Visit this website for businesses for information about supporting your employees and your business. It will be constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves.
  2. Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.
  3. Consult the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare you business in the days and weeks to come.
  4. Contact your bank. Canada’s banks have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate way. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institutions.

Community Links

Financial Response Measures

  • We suggest you contact your primary bank to ask for what types of supports are available to you.
  • Small Business Relief Fund, from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Will provide 62 small Canadian businesses with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts.
  • COVID-19 Relief Fund, from BC Hydro – up to three months of business electricity usage waived, for eligible customers
  • CEBAQuestions.ca, from the Government of Canada – info about the Canada Emergency Business Account
  • FortisBC Billing Support During COVID-19

Loading Events

Upcoming Events › COVID-19 Support

June 2020

Strength in Numbers: Meeting privacy compliance during COVID-19

June 2 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Join us on June 2 to have your questions answered by a privacy expert! Working from home might be the safest option for your employees and clients right now, but are you taking the right steps to ensure it’s also a secure option? On June 2, we’re hosting privacy consultant, Marilyn Sing, to share how you can maintain the privacy of your customers’ and employees’ personal information. Marilyn will outline BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) to cover:  COVID-19-related guidance…

Find out more »

Strength in Numbers: Conversational Intelligence: Shift your conversations from Good to Great

June 9 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

When the going gets tough, women entrepreneurs band together for solutions and support! Everyone is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – but for many business owners, this can be a scary time. Where do you turn for support, what do you do for clients and employees, how can you survive this? Whether we are networking, negotiating, or talking to our customers, having conversations that are effective improves our business outcomes.  With some simple tools, insights and understanding of what is happening in…

Find out more »

Business Reinvention Series: Labour & Employment – Legal Considerations for Re-Opening in B.C.

June 9 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Webinar Canada

As British Columbia companies return to work, there are many Labour, Employment and Human Rights legal considerations for companies to think about as they look to re-open. This virtual event will feature Andrew Woodhouse, an Associate in Fasken's Labour, Employment, and Human Rights group. Learn More or Register

Find out more »

Using “The Big Feet” to Kickstart Tourism Recovery

June 16 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday June 16 from 11am to 12pm for a conversation with Marsha Walden, President and CEO of Destination BC, and Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President of Big White Ski Resort Ltd as we come together as a region to take big steps forward and kick open new doors of opportunity in BC's tourism sector. The panel will discuss the impact of the tourism industry within our regional economy and the recovery efforts…

Find out more »

Business Reinvention Series: Shifting to a Digital First Sales Strategy

June 16 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Webinar Canada

This digital transformation towards an "online first" sales environment was not projected to happen until 2030. We are now in the middle of it and sales organizations need to move fast to adapt, shift and deploy. Learn More or Register

Find out more »

Strength in Numbers

June 16 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

When the going gets tough, women entrepreneurs band together for solutions and support! Everyone is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – but for many business owners, this can be a scary time. Where do you turn for support, what do you do for clients and employees, how can you survive this? We’re here to give you a pep talk and help you find your next step. Join us for an interactive webinar to have your questions answered by a Business Advisor. Every…

Find out more »

Strength in Numbers

June 23 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

When the going gets tough, women entrepreneurs band together for solutions and support! Everyone is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – but for many business owners, this can be a scary time. Where do you turn for support, what do you do for clients and employees, how can you survive this? We’re here to give you a pep talk and help you find your next step. Join us for an interactive webinar to have your questions answered by a Business Advisor. Every…

Find out more »

Strength in Numbers

June 30 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

When the going gets tough, women entrepreneurs band together for solutions and support! Everyone is impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – but for many business owners, this can be a scary time. Where do you turn for support, what do you do for clients and employees, how can you survive this? We’re here to give you a pep talk and help you find your next step. Join us for an interactive webinar to have your questions answered by a Business Advisor. Every…

Find out more »
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Options for WEC Loan Clients

Options for WEC Loan Clients

We know the measures being implemented by the federal government to stop the spread of COVID-19 are having a serious impact on some small business owners, as people are self-isolating and avoiding gathering places. To support our loan clients during this period of uncertainty, Women’s Enterprise Centre is making the following concessions available, upon request and demonstration of need:

1) Existing loan clients

You will have two options to help free up working capital for the months of April, May and June.

  • Option 1: Existing loan clients may request a 3-month principal payment ‘holiday.’ With this option, we will defer your monthly principal payments in April, May and June. Those deferred principal payments can be made up anytime during the remaining term of the loan.*
  • Option 2: We will forgive the interest payable on your loan for the months of April, May and June. As of July 1st, interest will again start accruing at the rate specified in your Loan Agreement.*
  • Option 3: You may defer monthly principal payments, AND have the interest forgiven for the months of April, May and June (i.e. both Options 1 & 2).*

*As of July 2020, regular monthly principal and interest payments will resume.

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

The health and safety of our staff, clients, partners and friends is of utmost importance, so we’re doing our part to limit non-essential travel and practice social distancing by modifying how we deliver our services over the coming weeks.

Skills Training Workshops

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

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

Current and planned Peer Mentoring and Taking the Stage® (TTS) groups may choose to meet via Zoom or postpone their sessions. If you’ve registered for a Peer Mentoring or TTS group, your facilitator will be in touch so the group may decide which option works best.

We ask that One-to-One Mentoring pairs temporarily suspend in-person meetings, and meet remotely via phone or Zoom instead. We are happy to support you with setting up Zoom.

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

If you already had an in-person appointment booked, your Business Advisor will be in touch to provide details to connect via Zoom.

Events

We’re doing our best to keep our online training and event calendar up-to-date with changes to events hosted by our partners, yet we encourage you to check with the event organizers directly if you have any questions about the status of an event.

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