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 $40k for women entrepreneurs, from Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, is providing loans of up to $40,000 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

Government Updates

Resources from Women’s Enterprise Centre

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 >>

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. 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 >>

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!

Together, we’ve launched the Unity Women Entrepreneurs Program—a holistic package providing you with a loan of up to $150k (with no payments and no interest for 6 months) provided by Vancity, plus business support and mentoring provided by us. Learn more >>

Apply now: Mentoring for women business owners in Terrace and Northern BC

This fall, we’re offering Peer Mentoring Groups for women business owners in Terrace (live) and Nortnern BC (virtual). You’ll receive support from other women entrepreneurs, gain insights from an experienced business owner and develop a support network. Learn more or apply >>

Upcoming free webinars

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

September 2020

Selling During Uncertain Times

September 25 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Webinar Canada

Ready to Reset? During this unprecedented pandemic, it’s important that we remain calm, proactive and most of all, remember that there are things that we can control. This includes adapting your willingness and ability to maximize your sales strategies to help cope with the business impact of COVID-19. Explore a systematic approach to your business that consistently creates successful performance. Learn: The Behaviors, Attitudes, and Techniques required for driving revenue in a challenging environment. The Strategies and tactics required to…

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Tech Sector Drives Economic Recovery

September 28 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Webinar Canada

Vancouver's rich talent base, world-class academic institutions and diverse community have made the city a magnet for technology companies of all sizes. As we prepare to navigate post-COVID-19 economic recovery: What opportunities will technology companies create for the local economy? What is the broader impact of the technology sector's growth? How can technology companies continue to invest in our communities? These activities will provide access to the guidance and support businesses require to navigate the crisis. The panel – with…

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Cyberthreats: How to Protect Your Small Business

September 30 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Webinar Canada

Cybersecurity in the Age of COVID-19 COURSE DESCRIPTION Since the beginning of the pandemic, many businesses have quickly increased their online presence and remote operations. Unfortunately, this has led to a rapid increase in cyberattacks. Hackers have learned many small businesses often don’t have strong cybersecurity in place, and they represent a soft target. With 2020 on track to set records for cybercrime, is your business sufficiently protected? Join cybersecurity expert, Jeremy Colwell, for this informative webinar and learn best…

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Retail Ready: How to Get Your Product Into Stores

September 30 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on August 12, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Webinar Canada

Make Your Goods Retail Ready COURSE DESCRIPTION Are you ready to take your product to retail? Getting your product onto store shelves can be challenging and costly, especially if you don’t understand the pitfalls. Get started by learning about product design and how to tell your brand’s story in a way that resonates with retailers and consumers. This seminar will also focus on setting the correct retail price for your product and determining suitable sales channels to pursue your ideal…

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Customer Discovery and Re-Discovery

September 30 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Webinar Canada

An interactive webinar providing tips, best practices, and processes for customer discovery and re-discovery in an era of rapidly-changing markets. Learn More or Register

Find out more »

October 2020

Back to Business Goal Setting Workshop

October 1 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Thursday, repeating until October 8, 2020

Webinar Canada

Succeeding in the New Normal for Business COURSE DESCRIPTION Businesses across Canada are coming to terms with a vastly changed landscape. In many aspects, the old way of doing things has been discarded, and the transition to the “new normal” is filled with many challenges. The key to succeeding in these times is to be prepared, know the obstacles you’re likely to face, and set goals that will enable you to move forward. With so many strategic decisions to be…

Find out more »

Economic Recovery Series: Helping business survive

October 1 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Webinar Canada

Keynote speaker and panelists will discuss the short- and long-term measures, programs and priorities that will help business survive today and transform our region for the future. Learn More or Register

Find out more »

Business Reinvention with Arlene Dickinson

October 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Webinar Canada

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade's Scale-up Centre for SMEs is pleased to welcome Dragon's Den star Arlene Dickinson. This interactive discussion will help B.C.'s Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) address challenges due to the economic impacts from the global pandemic. Arlene and our panel of business leaders will discuss: Business reinvention in turbulent times Where current opportunity exists for SMEs How to proactively prepare for business disruption This virtual event will provide access to the guidance and support…

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Business Networking Skills for Success

October 6 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Webinar Canada

Networking and Connecting During COVID-19 COURSE DESCRIPTION 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,…

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Back to Business Goal Setting Workshop

October 8 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 10:00 am on Thursday, repeating until October 8, 2020

Webinar Canada

Succeeding in the New Normal for Business COURSE DESCRIPTION Businesses across Canada are coming to terms with a vastly changed landscape. In many aspects, the old way of doing things has been discarded, and the transition to the “new normal” is filled with many challenges. The key to succeeding in these times is to be prepared, know the obstacles you’re likely to face, and set goals that will enable you to move forward. With so many strategic decisions to be…

Find out more »

Taxsense During COVID-19

October 20 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Webinar Canada

How Accessing Canadian Emergency Benefits Can Impact Your Taxes COURSE DESCRIPTION In this difficult climate, every dollar counts, and employers like yourself are looking to help their business and staff as much as possible. Join a representative from Loren Nancke Chartered Professional Accountants and learn from tax accountants on tax opportunities as well as tax impacts you need to know right now. WHAT WILL I LEARN? What to expect when employees claim home office expenses through the T2200 form CERB…

Find out more »

Staying Resilient During COVID-19

October 20 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Webinar Canada

Mental Health and Resiliency for Small Businesses COURSE DESCRIPTION When faced with broad-based uncertainty, it is natural to feel stress and anxiety. However too much stress can negatively impact our mental and physical health. This session will help you cope by starting with self-care for leaders: it begins with you. What are some things you can do as a small business owner or leader to manage your stress? What are some things you can do as a leader to help…

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Smart Marketing in a Changing World

October 20 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Webinar Canada

Grow Your Small Business In 2020 Without Appearing Tone Deaf COURSE DESCRIPTION In the last few months, our world has changed. Consumer behaviours and priorities have shifted. Has your messaging changed accordingly? It’s time to revisit your approach to marketing and learn how to reframe your offers and promotions in this time of widespread change. Discover how you can market effectively – without appearing tone-deaf as our economy continues to adapt to pandemic pressures. WHAT WILL I LEARN? How to…

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How to Launch Your Product in Today’s World

October 21 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Webinar Canada

Changing Retail Landscapes and Opportunities COURSE DESCRIPTION COVID-19 has spurred many changes affecting retail in BC, from disruptions to the supply chain to online shopping becoming more prevalent. At the same time though, initiatives like Shop Local and the transition of brick and mortar businesses to e-commerce are taking place as well. Now may be the best time for you to connect with retailers and get your foot in the door, and your products into their stores, both online and…

Find out more »

Google Strategies for Your Local Business

October 23 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Webinar Canada

How Google My Business is Your New Front Door COURSE DESCRIPTION This pandemic is forcing small businesses to pivot and go online. Your Google My Business profile could be that quick win to reach customers and convey what’s unique about your business. It’s more important than ever to effectively utilize this channel to keep new and existing customers informed about your business, from new hours of operation and procedures to fresh product offerings. Updating the information on your GMB profile…

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How to Stay Relevant in Uncertain Times

October 23 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Webinar Canada

Ideas for Staying Top of Mind COURSE DESCRIPTION Wondering how you can meet customer needs and remain relevant amidst massive lifestyle changes as the pandemic lingers on? There are many questions about what to do and how to adapt, particularly as the pandemic draws on, and changes in consumer behaviour risk becoming more permanent. Start by creating your conceptual framework for staying relevant by drawing inspiration from other businesses in BC. The webinar will highlight numerous examples of businesses doing…

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November 2020

Emerging Trends in Small Business

November 16 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Webinar Canada

How to Prepare for 2021 and Beyond COURSE DESCRIPTION The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted Canadian businesses. Small businesses especially have been forced to adapt and pivot in several different ways. From restaurants quickly moving to contactless pickup, to retailers making the jump to ecommerce, to the surge in video and teleconsultantions, small business owners have found ways to make our “new normal” work for their customers. Many of these changes are likely to stay. Join SBBC for this informative…

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 $40,000 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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