Community Support & Recovery Plan

Supporting our Business Community

On May 5, City Council approved a Community Support and Recovery Plan (CSRP), that includes immediate relief for taxpayers and a recovery fund to address the pandemic’s short- and long-term financial impact on all sectors of the community. It includes:

• Deferring 2020 utility and property tax deadlines for all property types to Sept. 30;

• Designating $5-million to implement a response plan with both short- and long-term support for businesses, residents and non-profits;

• Seeking federal and provincial stimulus funding for City capital projects to promote economic recovery; and

• Additional measures to be included

Supporting our Business Community

On May 5, City Council approved a Community Support and Recovery Plan (CSRP), that includes immediate relief for taxpayers and a recovery fund to address the pandemic’s short- and long-term financial impact on all sectors of the community. It includes:

• Deferring 2020 utility and property tax deadlines for all property types to Sept. 30;

• Designating $5-million to implement a response plan with both short- and long-term support for businesses, residents and non-profits;

• Seeking federal and provincial stimulus funding for City capital projects to promote economic recovery; and

• Additional measures to be included in the 2021 budget.

City staff are now moving forward with refining the CSRP and a host of ideas are being considered, including targeted grants, reduced or waived City fees, technology investments and marketing to support local businesses. Staff plan to present specific CSRP recommendations to Council in late May.

Business Supports

We have more than 7,000 businesses in Coquitlam, ranging from home-based operations to large enterprises with hundreds of employees. The City recognizes that this is a very challenging time for many of our local businesses as they face the impacts and the uncertainty of the current public health crisis.

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Coquitlam’s Economic Development team has been reaching out to local business stakeholders and researching how best to support our community’s business sector. Over the coming weeks and months, City staff will continue to work with other levels of government, as well as business support organizations and other industry stakeholders, to help identify and inform our next steps.

This page has been developed to provide ongoing updates and information resources to Coquitlam’s business community. This will include opportunities for input, links to government and industry assistance programs, and a Q&A forum to get answers to your questions.

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Category City of Coquitlam News   Show all

  • Coquitlam Shoppers Will Shop Locally – With Safety Measures

    21 Jul 2020
    supporting image

    July 21, 2020

    Coquitlam residents are willing to spend their money locally if they feel safe doing so, according to a new survey.

    About a third of local residents are shopping locally more than before, based on a survey the City conducted in the last two weeks of June to gauge consumer confidence and find out what measures may be required as shopping, in-person dining and travelling begin to re-open.

    Survey respondents pointed to crowds and lineups as top concerns, and most wanted to see physical distancing, cleaning and other measures to feel comfortable visiting in person. More than 1,200 people provided their feedback, most of them Coquitlam residents who either took part in the public survey or are part of the City’s Viewpoint online survey panel.

    Survey Highlights

    The data is being shared with local businesses to help them make informed decisions about how they may need to adapt their operations to meet the needs of their customers.

    According to those surveyed, the pandemic has significantly changed local shopping patterns, with more than three-quarters saying they are shopping less in general. When they do shop, many are taking advantage of physically distant options. About 53 per cent are shopping online more and 28 per cent are ordering more delivery.

    The good news for local businesses is that 30 per cent say they are shopping local more than usual.

    When it comes to visiting businesses or attractions in person, the biggest concerns are crowds (68 per cent), long line-ups to enter (67 per cent), fear of catching COVID-19 (56 per cent), and long line-ups to pay (43 per cent). About a quarter of respondents disliked the inconvenience of physical distancing and 17 per cent mentioned costs.

    Comfort levels varied depending on the activity. Most people feel very or somewhat comfortable visiting parks (83 per cent), buying from a food truck at a park (62 per cent) or visiting local retail businesses in person (57 per cent). About 44 per cent feel very or somewhat comfortable visiting local hair/nail salons or other personal service providers, and about 38 per cent dining in restaurants or pubs.

    The vast majority of respondents said that to make them feel safe visiting in person, businesses need to ensure distance between patrons (84 per cent), limit the number of patrons (82 per cent), conduct regular anti-viral cleaning throughout the day (82 per cent) and install physical distancing equipment such as Plexiglas barriers (79 per cent). There was also high support for customers using hand sanitizer as they enter (78 per cent), staff wearing face masks or shields (71 per cent), and customers wearing face masks (56 per cent).

    Other highlights:

    ·About 60 to 70 per cent would be willing to pay five to 10 per cent more at grocery stores and restaurants to help cover the costs of safety measures – particularly if there was a service attached, such as delivery. About 35 to 45 per cent supported this concept at clothing, electronics and household goods stores.

    ·About 54 per cent will be staying in the Tri-Cities for their vacation, with about half planning day trips around the region or overnight trips in B.C.

    ·Most people commonly rely on store websites (77 per cent) or Google (64 per cent) for store hours and operations during the pandemic.

    Almost 94 per cent of the 1,235 survey respondents said they were Coquitlam residents. The majority of other respondents were Tri-Cities residents. Ages of survey respondents ranged from teenagers to seniors, with 29 per cent falling between the ages of 16 and 44 and the balance distributed equally among those 45 years or older. More than 60 per cent of respondents identified as women.

    An infographic summary and full detailed results, further broken down by age, gender and neighbourhood, can be viewed on the City’s Business Support Portal at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business.

    Supporting the Local Economy

    The consumer survey is part of the City’s efforts to support the local economy during the pandemic. Other initiatives have included:

    • Changes to practices and regulations to cut red tape for businesses, including more online services and relaxed regulations for using outdoor space;
    • Participation in the Tri-Cities #SupportLocal initiative;
    • A survey to identify local business challenges and needs;
    • In-person outreach to share the opportunities and resources available through the City’s economic development action plan and multi-sector Community Support and Recovery Plan;
    • Creation of a Business Support Portal with comprehensive information about opportunities and resources at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business; and
    • Promotion of local businesses during the City’s online summer events including Canada Day and the Summer Concert Series.

    More economic development support initiatives will continue to roll out in the coming weeks and months.

    Join Viewpoint to Have Your Say

    Viewpoint, Coquitlam’s online survey community, is a convenient way to learn about and provide anonymous feedback on City issues, plans and services. Participation can be customized to areas of interest, and all answers are confidential. For information, visit www.coquitlam.ca/viewpoint.

  • More New Patios Coming to Coquitlam

    20 Jul 2020

    COQUITLAM, B.C., July 20, 2020 – There will soon be more patios to enjoy this summer in Coquitlam as the City is expanding the new program to help businesses set up temporary patios and outdoor spaces on public property.

    As part of its efforts to support business recovery from the pandemic, in June the City adopted a simple, expedited process that enabled Coquitlam businesses to quickly and easily expand their patio and business spaces outdoors on their own property.

    Council has now approved the second phase of the program, which allows construction of patios and outdoor spaces on City rights-of-way including sidewalks and parking stalls, where it is safe and practical to do so.

    The potential for these new spaces ranges from a simple patio space such as a few bistro chairs and tables, to a more elaborate parklet-style spaces with platforms, planter boxes, lights and other features.

    Full details on the expanded program are available at www.coquitlam.ca/patios, including information on the application process for businesses.

    The City is also considering a future third phase of the program, which could potentially include special events and activations on City-controlled property such as parklets, street closures and temporary markets.

    New Patios on Private Property

    Following the initial announcement of the program on private property in June, several businesses set up temporary patios. This includes:

    A list of these and other patios is available at www.visitcoquitlam.ca/eat-drink.

    A Flexible Approach to Support Businesses

    The outdoor space expansion program is an example of the flexible, reasonable approach Coquitlam is taking to adapt bylaws and policies during the pandemic. To support businesses, the City has been considering ways to streamline and relax regulations that do not negatively affect public health or community wellbeing.

    For example, earlier this year the City introduced the use of digital signatures, and temporarily changed its development fee structures to allow developers to defer most of the costs of providing City services (such as water and sewer) on their sites to later in the application process.

    Support for businesses is also being provided through the COVID-19 Economic Development Response and Recovery Action Plan and the City’s related multi-sector Community Support and Recovery Plan. A summary of business supports and resources is available through a new portal at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business .

    Join Coquitlam’s Efforts to #SupportLocal

    The City of Coquitlam has joined the Tri-Cities #SupportLocal campaign to assist local businesses, many of which are struggling at this time. Coquitlam strongly encourages residents to #SupportLocal for their shopping and meals; view business listings at www.wegotthistricities.com and www.visitcoquitlam.ca for a directory of 150+ Coquitlam restaurants offering takeout and delivery.

    The City has also posted a video at www.youtube.com/cityofcoquitlam to inspire the community to #SupportLocal.

    Supporting Our Community During the Pandemic

    The City of Coquitlam is here to help, with these resources:

    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/csrp to learn about the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan, which is providing immediate and long-term support for the non-profit sector, businesses and residents;
    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/spirit for a free library of activities for all ages, including fitness, arts and culture, outdoor activities and ways to connect with your community; and
    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/covid19 for updates on City services and initiatives and COVID-19 health resources.

    Coquitlam residents and businesses are also encouraged to follow the City of Coquitlam on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and download the CoquitlamConnect mobile app for up-to-date City information. Links are available at www.coquitlam.ca/connect.

    Media contact

    Kathleen Vincent
    Public Information Officer
    Emergency Operations Centre
    City of Coquitlam
    604-218-1319
    media@coquitlam.ca

  • Coquitlam Residents Surveyed on New Shopping Habits

    15 Jun 2020

    June 15, 2020

    Coquitlam residents are being asked how the pandemic is changing how they shop, dine out and travel in a new survey.

    As part of its support for local businesses, the City is conducting a consumer survey at https://bit.ly/CQShoppingSurvey until June 30, 2020 to measure consumer confidence in Coquitlam and find out what measures may be required as shopping, in-person dining and travelling begin to re-open.

    The survey is one of many initiatives outlined in the City’s Economic Development COVID-19 Response and Recovery Action Plan, designed to support local businesses and help them manage the impacts of the pandemic.

    Share Your Experience to Help Businesses

    Insights gained from the survey will help Coquitlam’s businesses understand what they can do – while following the necessary public health restrictions – to encourage customers to return during the pandemic.

    The multiple-choice survey will take less than five minutes to complete and asks residents:

    ·How their shopping habits have changed;

    ·Their biggest concerns about visiting local businesses and attractions;

    ·Their comfort level with visiting local restaurants, stores, parks and other services and amenities;

    ·How much shopping they do online and in person for goods and services now versus pre-pandemic;

    ·What safety measures would make them comfortable visiting a local business;

    ·If they would be willing to pay a surcharge to support the required safety measures, and if so, how much;

    ·What type of vacation plans they have for this summer; and

    ·Where they typically find information about local business hours and operations during the pandemic.

    Survey respondents also have the option of providing anonymous demographic information and additional written comments.

    Strategic Support Provided to Businesses

    The survey results will add to the body of research the City’s economic development team is gathering to help the City provide strategic support to businesses, and to help businesses make informed decisions as they face the challenges of the pandemic. The City recently completed a survey of local businesses to identify their challenges and needs, with the results to be released later this month.

    City staff are also now conducting in-person outreach to Coquitlam businesses to discuss their needs and share the opportunities and resources available to them through both the economic development action plan and the City’s multi-sector Community Support and Recovery Plan.

    More initiatives to raise awareness and directly support businesses are planned in the coming weeks. Comprehensive information about opportunities and resources is available on the City’s Business Support Portal at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business.

  • Outreach Campaign Offers Support to Coquitlam Businesses

    11 Jun 2020

    June 11, 2020

    Coquitlam’s Economic Development staff are hitting the pavement over the next two weeks to make sure local businesses know what supports are available to them during the pandemic.

    The outreach campaign is part of the City’s efforts to provide continuity and support to local businesses, many of which are struggling due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With a focus on the summer months ahead, staff will be updating businesses on the various initiatives and programs that can help them, including Coquitlam’s Temporary Outdoor Space Expansion Program.

    Opportunities for Businesses

    Businesses are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities:

    • The City’s new simple and expedited process to set up temporary patios or outdoor retail space in as little as two days (see www.coquitlam.ca/patios);
    • Promotional opportunities, a free photo shoot and purchase of $100 worth of goods, services or gift cards for up to 10 businesses that are offering a Canada Day special or package (apply by June 21; details at www.coquitlam.ca/canadaday);
    • City purchases gift cards or prize packages worth $50 to $100 from local businesses for the 75 Days of Summer marketing campaign starting June 24 (contact 604-927-3913 or tourism@coquitlam.ca; selection is on a first-come, first-served basis);
    • The chance for up to 12 restaurants to have their takeout featured during this year’s virtual Summer Concert Series (details at www.coquitlam.ca/summerconcerts); and
    • Opportunities to support the class of 2020 by putting up free posters from the City and offering discounts and packages for local grads and their families (contact 604-927-3913 or tourism@coquitlam.ca for information).

    Resources for Businesses

    Resources available to Coquitlam businesses include:

    • Free promotion through the Tri-Cities #SupportLocal website www.wegotthistricities.com (click the I’m Open for Business button) and the Tourism Coquitlam website www.visitcoquitlam.ca (email tourism@coquitlam.ca with details for a free retail or restaurant listing);
    • Comprehensive information and resources through the City’s Business Support Portal at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business;
    • Short-term and long-term initiatives to help businesses recover through the new Community Support and Recovery Plan, funded by an initial allocation of $5 million (see www.coquitlam.ca/csrp);
    • Updates and news for and about local businesses through Tourism Coquitlam’s Twitter feed, along with sharing of posts tagged @visitcoquitlam; and
    • Information and support from the Economic Development team, reached through 604-927-3913 or economicdevelopment@coquitlam.ca.

    A full list of business resources is also available at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business.

    Additional Business Resources

    • Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce (www.tricitieschamber.com) – comprehensive COVID-19 Guidance and Resources page available to all Tri-Cities businesses
    • Government of Canada (www.canada.ca/covid19) – federal financial and economic support, including information on Canada’s Economic Response Plan, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), wage subsidies, access to loans, and deferrals for income taxes, GST and duty payments
    • Province of BC (www.gov.bc.ca/covid19) – provincial benefits, including tax deferrals, arts and culture grants and resources
    • Small Business BC (covid.smalbusinessbc.ca) – COVID-19 support and resources for small businesses
    • Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org/coronavirus-info-for-retailers/recovery-playbook/) – Retail Recovery Playbook to help retailers in their effort to recover from COVID-19
    • BC Economic Development Association (www.bceda.ca) – economic development and recovery information, including daily bulletins
    • Urban Development Institute (www.udi.bc.ca/udi-covid-19) – information for the development community
    • Destination BC (www.destination.bc.ca/covid-19) – resources for tourism-based businesses
    • Tourism Industry Association of BC (www.tiabc.ca/covid19) – resources including bulletins and webinars
    • Creative BC (www.creativebc.com/about-us/news/covid-19) – resources for the film sector and the creative industry
    • Government of Canada tender site (www.buyandsell.gc.ca) – opportunities for local businesses to bid on government contracts, including providing medical supplies
    • Province of BC Supply Hub (www.gov.bc.ca/supplyhub) – opportunities for local businesses to supply products and services in support of B.C.’s COVID-19 response

    Join Coquitlam’s Efforts to #SupportLocal

    The City of Coquitlam has joined the Tri-Cities #SupportLocal campaign to assist local businesses, many of which are struggling at this time. Coquitlam also strongly encourages residents to #SupportLocal for their shopping and meals; view business listings at www.wegotthistricities.com and www.visitcoquitlam.ca for a directory of 150+ Coquitlam restaurants offering takeout and delivery.

    See also our video to learn more about how you can support our local businesses.

  • Coquitlam Adopts Expedited Process for Business Outdoor Spaces

    03 Jun 2020

    June 3, 2020

    Coquitlam has introduced a simple, expedited process to help businesses set up temporary patios and outdoor spaces in as little as two days.

    City Council approved a temporary outdoor space expansion program that will enable Coquitlam businesses to quickly and easily expand their food, liquor and retail services outdoors on their own property during the pandemic. As a second phase of the program, City staff are exploring the potential use of untravelled portions of sidewalks, roads and other public rights-of-way for similar purposes.

    The adapted outdoor space process is an example of the flexible, reasonable approach Coquitlam is taking to adapt bylaws and policies during the pandemic. To support businesses, the City has been considering ways to streamline and relax regulations that do not negatively affect public health or community wellbeing.

  • Coquitlam Puts In Motion Plans to Support Businesses

    26 May 2020

    May 26, 2020

    Coquitlam is moving forward with a number of actions to help support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

    Monday night, Council received an overview of the proposed COVID-19 Economic Development Response and Recovery Action Plan designed to support local businesses and help them manage the impacts of the pandemic – something that will be vital to the community’s overall recovery.

    The planned steps and actions will complement the City’s multi-sector Community Support and Recovery Plan with activities such as: targeted marketing to increase awareness of local businesses; providing information and presenting training programs on business recovery; support for businesses embedded into civic events and activities; identifying and pursuing City process improvements to assist business recovery; coordinating a business survey; and collecting feedback and data to develop tools and resources for local businesses.

    A Phased Response to the Crisis

    The plan consists of four inter-related phases, each building on the next:

    ·The Business Outreach and Response Phase started in early March, when City staff began reaching out to Coquitlam’s businesses to offer support, answer questions, learn about their needs and direct them to available resources. Other activities have included a new Business Support Portal at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business offering news and updates, resources, input opportunities and a Q&A forum; a business outreach survey to collect input for the development of future supports; and featuring business updates, opportunities and success stories on the TourismCoquitlam Twitter feed.

    ·The Communications and Marketing Phase centres around a multi-media strategy that builds awareness and communicates regularly to the business community, while also promoting support for local businesses. Tactics will include marketing partnerships with business organizations, traditional media and online outreach. Preliminary efforts have included a new restaurant take-out and delivery listing at www.visitcoquitlam.ca, promoting local businesses in City communications and advertising, joining the Tri-Cities #SupportLocal campaign, and providing opportunities for businesses to be involved in civic events, including Coquitlam Celebrates Canada Day. Upcoming work will include adding a retail sector listing to the Tourism Coquitlam website.

    ·The Tracking and Reporting Phase involves capturing and evaluating data from the business survey, program uptake and other sources to monitor success and inform new initiatives. Survey results and other findings will be made available through update reports.

    ·Activities in the Supporting Local Business and Recovery Phase are intended to assist businesses and the local economy with recovery and long-term resilience. Activities have included identifying and advocating for policy and procedure changes that positively impact the business community, providing new online tools and streamlined processes to support the development and construction sector, and work to develop webinars and workshops on business recovery topics. Strategies to assist the tourism and film industries are also being developed.

    As well, given the ongoing evolution of the pandemic, the City will continue to collaborate with all levels of government, as well as business and industry associations, to identify potential supports for the recovery and long-term sustainability of Coquitlam’s business community.

    Business Resources

    For more information on City supports for business, as well as links to other government resources and supports, visit www.coquitlam.ca/ecdev or contact Coquitlam’s Economic Development Office at economicdevelopment@coquitlam.ca or 604-927-3905.

    Other online resources:

    • Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce (www.tricitieschamber.com) – comprehensive COVID-19 Guidance and Resources page available to all Tri-Cities businesses
    • Government of Canada (www.canada.ca/covid19) – federal financial and economic support, including information on Canada’s Economic Response Plan, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), wage subsidies, access to loans, and deferrals for income taxes, GST and duty payments
    • Province of BC (www.gov.bc.ca/covid19) – provincial benefits, including tax deferrals, arts and culture grants and resources
    • Government of Canada tender site (www.buyandsell.gc.ca) – opportunities for local businesses to bid on government contracts, including providing medical supplies
    • Province of BC Supply Hub (www.gov.bc.ca/supplyhub) – opportunities for local businesses to supply products and services in support of B.C.’s COVID-19 response

    Join Coquitlam’s Efforts to #SupportLocal

    The City of Coquitlam has joined the Tri-Cities #SupportLocal campaign to assist local businesses, many of which are struggling at this time. Coquitlam also strongly encourages residents to #SupportLocal for their shopping and meals; view business listings at www.wegotthistricities.com and www.visitcoquitlam.ca for a directory of 150+ Coquitlam restaurants offering takeout and delivery.

    See also our video to learn more about how you can support our local businesses.

    Supporting Our Community During the Pandemic

    The City of Coquitlam is here to help, with these resources:

    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/csrp to learn about the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan, which is providing immediate and long-term support for the non-profit sector, businesses and residents;
    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/spirit for a free library of activities for all ages, including fitness, arts and culture, outdoor activities and ways to connect with your community; and
    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/covid19 for updates on City services and initiatives and COVID-19 health resources.

    Coquitlam residents and businesses are also encouraged to follow the City of Coquitlam on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and download the CoquitlamConnect mobile app for up-to-date City information.

  • Paid Opportunities Offered for Coquitlam Canada Day Celebration

    12 May 2020

    May 12, 2020

    Coquitlam is offering performers, businesses, artisans and non-profits a chance to get paid to participate in its first-ever online Canada Day celebration.

    Planning has begun for dynamic but physically distant 2020 versions of three of the City’s signature summer events – Coquitlam Celebrates Canada Day, the Summer Concert Series and the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival – each of which typically attracts thousands to the festival grounds at Town Centre Park.

    To support the community and the Tri-Cities #SupportLocal campaign, the City is allocating some of its event budget to providing $500 honourariums for Program Partners: area businesses, artisans and non-profit organizations that provide fun, family-friendly online content for the Canada Day event.

    Proposals for Canada Day Accepted Until May 24

    The honourarium is in lieu of the typical marketing and financial opportunities available to businesses, artisans and groups at the events. Musicians, dancers and other performers are also being offered paid performance spots.

    From its Program Partners, the City will be looking for videos that are two to three minutes long and feature fun, exciting content or interactive activities suitable for all ages. The videos will be pre-recorded and screened during the Canada Day online broadcast on July 1.

    Ideas could include a performance of some kind or a fun how-to video for a game, craft or activity. While the partners will be able to promote their organization or work, City’s priority will be ensuring the videos are entertaining, interesting to the public and reflect the spirit of the annual Canada Day celebrations.

    Activity and entertainer preliminary proposals will be accepted until the end of day May 24 at www.coquitlam.ca/canadaday. City staff are available before May 24 to help develop ideas for proposal, and will support those selected with developing content and technical aspects. Questions may be directed to FestivalsAndEvents@coquitlam.ca.

    What’s in Store this Summer

    The online Coquitlam Celebrates Canada Day event will kick off at noon and offer a mix of live and pre-recorded segments, with activities including an official opening and singing of O Canada, live family-friendly concerts, multicultural performances, drop-in online activities and try-it demos, magic shows, contests and more.

    The Summer Concert Series will also go online, with 10 live concerts broadcast from June 26 to Sept. 4 showcasing local musicians, singers and songwriters, who will be paid to perform. Event information will be posted at www.coquitlam.ca/summerconcerts.

    The 2020 Kaleidoscope Arts Festival, moving from its August date to Sept. 25 to 27 in conjunction with Culture Days, is being reimagined as a hybrid event taking place both online and at physically distant outdoor venues.

    Kaleidoscope will support Coquitlam businesses and organizations with free promotions and opportunities to serve as paid outdoor venues or provide complementary services such as food and beverages. The plans may be revisited as conditions change. Information will be posted at www.coquitlam.ca/kaleidoscope.

    A similar approach is anticipated for fall events, following the May 6 provincial government announcement extending the ban on gatherings of 50 or more to at least year’s end.

    Join Coquitlam’s Efforts to #SupportLocal

    The City of Coquitlam has joined the Tri-Cities #SupportLocal campaign to assist local businesses, many of which are struggling at this time. Businesses and organizations are invited to visit www.coquitlam.ca/canadaday to learn about paid opportunities to participate in Coquitlam Celebrates Canada Day, and to visit the new Business Support Portal at www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business for up-to-date news, resources and opportunities. Coquitlam also strongly encourages residents to #SupportLocal for their shopping and meals; view business listings at www.wegotthistricities.com and 150+ local takeout restaurants to www.visitcoquitlam.ca.

    Supporting Our Community During the Pandemic

    The City of Coquitlam is here to help, with these resources:

    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/csrp to learn about the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan, which is providing immediate and long-term support for the non-profit sector, businesses and residents;

    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/spirit for a free library of activities for all ages, including fitness, arts and culture, outdoor activities and ways to connect with your community; and

    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/covid19 for updates on City services and initiatives and COVID-19 health resources.

  • New Technology Solutions Improve Service Now, and Tomorrow

    11 May 2020

    May 11, 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has been a game-changer for technology in Coquitlam, as solutions for emerging needs are quickly becoming part of the way the City does business.

    Technological innovation is nothing new for Coquitlam, which has adopted a variety of advanced solutions and has planned for more in its 2018-2022 Technology Roadmap. Even so – as Council heard Monday from the Information and Community Technology (ICT) team – the recent sudden and widespread reliance on technology has required a nimble response that has included fast-tracking some projects and repurposing existing hardware and software for new uses.

    Technology Roadmap Pivots to Focus on Pandemic Resilience

    Coquitlam traditionally favours a long-term planning approach and relies on its 2018-2022 Technology Roadmap to guide the selection and use of technology. As the City’s ICT team puts its troubleshooting skills to work to address new and urgent needs, the Roadmap continues to provide guidance but with a focus on measures that support remote service-delivery and physical distancing.

    The updated selection criteria prioritizes remote work solutions, remote or physically distancing service-delivery, automated processes, enhanced public services, and improved cybersecurity measures.

    Rapid testing has been critical, with first, second and third choices typically lined up for critical functions. In some cases, different types of similar technology have been found to be better suited for certain uses. For example, virtual Council meetings and recreation programs are being offered via Zoom, while virtual building inspections are utilizing Skype for Business.

    Daily collaboration between ICT staff and their counterparts at other cities in the region has helped streamline the testing and selection process.

    The additional technology investment is estimated to cost $150,000 to $300,000, some of which is expected to be covered through provincial emergency funds.

    New Solutions Embraced

    Dozens of digital solutions have been quickly rolled out over the past month – some in less than a week – to allow City services to continue during the pandemic. The work has included:

    • Enabling more staff to work from home, with guidelines and technology such as secure remote access to the City network, and secure private communications through the intranet;
    • The City’s first-ever online Council meetings using video conferencing;
    • Coquitlam’s first-ever virtual recreation program (all now full) using video conferencing, along with a suite of online recreation content at www.coquitlam.ca/spirit that is also proving popular;
    • The City’s largest virtual Emergency Operations Centre, using mobile, video conferencing and cloud-based platforms to coordinate the pandemic response;
    • Remote building inspections, during which customers show critical features to inspectors via video conference, to allow important construction projects to proceed;
    • Adoption of electronic signature software for corporate and customer documents;
    • Improvements to the 14 free public WiFi locations that can be accessed through the CoquitlamConnect app, and planning for additional coverage;
    • Development of a new online portal to support local businesses through the pandemic;
    • Preparing a pilot program to bring low-cost high-speed internet options to businesses in under-served areas of Coquitlam; and
    • Staff training and enhanced cyber-security measures to protect City and public data as more work and services go online.

    Many improvements will remain in use long after the pandemic ends, as both the City and community become accustomed to the improved convenience and experience they offer.

    Join Coquitlam’s Efforts to #SupportLocal

    The City of Coquitlam has joined the Tri-Cities #SupportLocal campaign to assist local businesses, many of which are struggling at this time. Coquitlam also strongly encourages residents to #SupportLocal for their shopping and meals; view business listings at www.wegotthistricities.com and 150+ local takeout restaurants to www.visitcoquitlam.ca.

    Supporting Our Community During the Pandemic

    The City of Coquitlam is here to help, with these resources:

    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/csrp to learn about the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan, which is providing immediate and long-term support for the non-profit sector, businesses and residents;
    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/spirit for a free library of activities for all ages, including fitness, arts and culture, outdoor activities and ways to connect with your community; and
    • Visit www.coquitlam.ca/covid19 for updates on City services and initiatives and COVID-19 health resources.


  • New Portal and Survey Launched to Support Businesses

    08 May 2020

    May 7, 2020

    Coquitlam launched an online portal and survey for its businesses today – the City’s latest effort to provide them with tools and support during the pandemic and beyond.

    Accessed through www.letstalkcoquitlam.ca/business, the Business Support Portal is a dynamic and comprehensive source of information and resources, while the survey is part of the City’s outreach efforts and will collect input for the development of targeted future supports. Both initiatives stem from Coquitlam’s new COVID-19 Community Support and Recovery Plan.

    Portal Offers Information and Resources

    Content on the portal will be updated regularly and curated to meet the needs of businesses. It includes:

    ·News and updates of interest to the business community;

    ·A Q&A forum to ask questions and see answers posted;

    ·Links to provide input and to sign up for email updates;

    ·Business resources available from the City and other organizations and governments;

    ·A calendar with information sessions, webinars and other relevant events;

    ·A social media newsfeed with success stories, opportunities and resources; and

    ·Contact information for Coquitlam’s Economic Development team.

    Gathering Input for Targeted Support

    The City is conducting an initial telephone and online survey until May 22, 2020 to assess the current business environment. Staff will be contacting Coquitlam business licence holders by phone to discuss their situation and pressing issues and needs.

    Businesses who are not contacted directly, or would prefer to respond to the survey online, are encouraged to provide input through the questionnaire posted on the new business portal. The City plans to use the preliminary information collected through its outreach efforts to develop targeted tools and identify further resources, as well as inform advocacy efforts to support local economic recovery. All individual responses will be kept confidential.

    A Broad Cross-Sector Plan for the Community

    Introduced in early May with an initial $5-million allocation, the Community Support and Recovery Plan (CSRP) provides both immediate relief for taxpayers and a community recovery fund intended to address the pandemic’s short-term and long-term financial impact on all sectors of the community, including local businesses.

    Initial CSRP measures include deferring the property tax deadline to Sept. 30 and seeking federal and provincial stimulus funds for City capital projects, many of which employ local businesses and residents.

    Specific recommendations for future initiatives are to be presented to Council in the coming months.

    Building on Earlier Efforts

    Coquitlam has been supporting the local business community since the first impacts of the pandemic were felt in March. Actions to date have included:

    • Implementing alternate methods of providing services to businesses and developers, including the use of online tools;
    • Connecting with local businesses to help troubleshoot problems and provide information about provincial and federal financial resources;
    • Encouraging residents to support local businesses, including promoting the #SupportLocal campaign led by the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce and establishing a page on www.visitcoquitlam.ca to list Coquitlam restaurants that offer takeout and delivery.

    Over the coming weeks and months, Coquitlam staff will continue to work with other levels of government, as well as business support organizations and other industry stakeholders, to help identify and inform the City’s next steps.

  • Open Letter from City Council to our Community

    07 May 2020

    May 6, 2020

    Dear Coquitlam residents and businesses:

    We would like to sincerely thank those in the community who continue to physically distance, support others or work on the front lines. You are making a difference in our collective recovery.

    The health crisis has forced all of us to rethink our priorities and in many cases, make hard decisions. That’s true for the City as well. While years of prudent fiscal management have left us on solid financial ground – with emergency funds available for times just like these – there’s no escaping the fact that we cannot currently rely on many of our typical revenue streams, including development, casino contributions and recreation fees.

    The pandemic has also revealed many lessons, and one is that our typical cautious and methodical approach will be more important than ever as we face the challenges to come. With the prospect of a 2020 operating budget deficit of $2.5 to $6.5 million, we have already had to make a number of difficult decisions, including temporary staff layoffs. It is in consideration of that deficit that we’ve also opted to maintain the modest property tax increase previously approved for our 2020 budget.

    These decisions have not been easy, but we know they will help Coquitlam remain financially resilient and flexible to be able to meet the changing needs of our community, as well as support our recovery in the coming months.

    The current situation has led us to review our role as a local government and the types of services and support we provide. It’s already apparent that it will be a long time before some Coquitlam residents, businesses and organizations return to their pre-pandemic state. Some never will.

    The federal and provincial governments are working hard to respond to the impacts of this pandemic, and have launched a number of financial support programs to assist various sectors. Over the past several weeks, the City also has been looking ahead to what we can do to support the community’s recovery, not only right now but in the months and years to come. We want to ensure that our efforts provide targeted and meaningful support to those most in need.

    For the short-term, we’re offering some financial relief to property owners by delaying utility and tax payment deadlines, among other measures. For the long-term, we’re investigating how best to support a broad cross-section of the community with a preliminary $5-million investment in our new Community Support and Recovery Plan (CSRP).

    Watch for more news in the coming month about how Coquitlam’s CSRP could help your family, business or organization. And visit coquitlam.ca/covid19 and our social media channels to stay up-to-date on Coquitlam’s pandemic response and issues that affect us all.


    Mayor Richard Stewart

    Councillor Brent Asmundson | Councillor Craig Hodge | Councillor Steve Kim

    Councillor Trish Mandewo | Councillor Dennis Marsden | Councillor Teri Towner

    Councillor Chris Wilson | Councillor Bonita Zarrillo