A Message from Our Acting CEO

As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, the pandemic – along with health measures necessary to combat its spread – has caused a significant slowdown, and in some cases a complete halt, in economic activity. We acknowledge this is something that will affect us all in the coming weeks and years, and that these shocks to our economy hit our most vulnerable populations and local businesses hard.

The whole world is facing this. No matter how bleak the situation looks, we are confident, that after these initial shocks, the economy will recover over time. The best minds are working in tandem across government, sectors and industries to consider the best way forward to mitigate and recover from both the health and economic impacts.

In this context, the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) continues to work on improving the resilience of Vancouver’s diverse, low-carbon economy by making the following efforts:

  1. Sharing relevant information and resources with the business community on our website.
  2. Reaching out to strategic partners and building strong alliances to collaborate on better understanding the impacts, advocating for mitigations and ultimately working together to develop a Vancouver-centric economic recovery strategy.

Public health is paramount

We encourage people to follow all the recommendations of health authorities related to social distancing, including avoiding all non-essential group gatherings. We understand that this is all hitting small and medium businesses disproportionately, and that few are in a financial position comfortable enough to compensate employees whose shifts or contracts have been cancelled. We encourage those with the means to support their workers to do so in whatever ways are possible. We are supporting the City of Vancouver in advocating for further support from all levels of government to mitigate these impacts.

We urge businesses to continue their transition towards remote working where possible, and offer some of the resources available on our and our partners’ websites. We also encourage those with bricks-and-mortar locations to explore and implement delivery options and carefully consider safety and health measures for both customers and employees.

We’re here to help in whatever way we can

We have worked with the City of Vancouver and other industry associations to deliver numerous economic relief requests to senior levels of government. We know that many other business and labour associations, government departments, community hubs and independent experts are working behind the scenes to bring you resources and relief as well.

The best route to economic recovery is to weather the initial shock and ensure our communities are healthy. Please keep yourself, your families and your personal and work communities safe.

Eleena Marley
Acting CEO
Vancouver Economic Commission