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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  • 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

  • Vancouver, Coast & Mountains (VCM) Tourism Resiliency Program

    07 May 2020

    Destination BC has launched the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains (VCM) Tourism Resiliency Program to provide tourism businesses in the region with meaningful, one-on-one support to navigate government resources and expert advice, and work towards eventual recovery.

    The VCM Tourism Resiliency Program includes two components:

    1. Tourism businesses will be paired with a Program Advisor who will provide guidance through their journey to long-term resiliency. Through a needs assessment by phone, Program Advisors will facilitate customized support for each business that includes navigating available federal and provincial aid and access to Program Experts in Human Resources.

    2. A digital resource hub featuring webinars, information bulletins, and additional resources specific to the needs of BC’s tourism businesses.

    We encourage you to visit https://tourismresiliency.ca/vcmtrp/ to learn more and register for the program if your business requires support navigating the resources available.

    The Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region, managed by Destination BC, is committed to supporting the survival of all tourism businesses in BC and is working with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, and tourism partners to deliver the BC Tourism Resiliency Program.

    For even more resources, tools, and information for small business owners and entrepreneurs, visit Destination BC’s Learning Centre, or the provincial government resources page.

    For more information on Destination BC’s COVID-19 response, please visit Destinationbc.ca/covid-19.


  • Open Letter from City Council to the Community

    07 May 2020

    April 9, 2020

    Dear Coquitlam residents and businesses:

    As we face the uncertain days ahead, you can rely on the City of Coquitlam to continue to do our part – by providing essential services, by protecting public health, by supporting our citizens, and by making sustainable decisions to keep our city strong and resilient over the long term.

    The world is a much different place today than it was even a month ago. Typically, the primary job of a city is to provide the essential services the community relies on every day – services such as fire and police protection, water and sewer, garbage collection, road infrastructure and more. While those services continue to be our focus, the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic have necessitated a new focus: doing what we can to safeguard the health and safety of those who live, learn, work, and play in Coquitlam.

    Like households and businesses across the community, the City has been forced to rapidly adjust to the new reality we all face. We established our Emergency Operations Centre early on to ensure a coordinated City response in collaboration with other local, provincial and federal government partners. With the health and safety of our residents in mind and to curb the spread of the virus, we’ve had to reduce some services, cancel events and programs, and close recreation centres and other facilities to the public.

    While Coquitlam has a strong financial foundation, the closures and operational changes have impacted our budgeted revenue and – like many other communities – have forced us to make some difficult decisions to find operational savings. This includes adjusting the timing of some capital projects to ensure they can be completed cost effectively and safely. Regrettably, this has also included reducing our valued and dedicated staff by close to 800 auxiliary employees who primarily worked in support of our recreation facilities and programs.

    We are also taking a close look across our organization to find savings, along with opportunities to minimize the impact on residents and businesses. We moved the utility bill payment deadline from March to September, have put measures in place to support those who still need to do business with the City, and are working hard to see how else we can support Coquitlam’s businesses, our local economy and employment.

    We’re also exploring options for tax relief and have joined in a regional mayors’ lobby of the provincial government to expand property tax deferral initiatives. We are considering both the immediate short-term need and the long-term impact on the City’s ability to recover, the services we provide, and the taxpayers who pay for them.

    In addition, throughout all of this, we have been working with other agencies and governments, recognizing that we all face similar challenges and can do more together than we can alone.

    This brings us to you, and your role in reducing the impact of COVID-19.

    With the long weekend approaching and the promise of warm weather, many of us will yearn to get outdoors and to connect with friends and loved ones. You may also have heard from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) that our efforts in B.C. appear to be having a positive impact.

    Those gains could easily be lost if we let down our guard. Although parks and trails remain open for our residents’ mental and physical wellbeing as recommended by the PHO, it is critically important that we strictly follow physical distancing rules when in public and continue to stay home as much as possible. If you do visit our parks and trails, we encourage you to choose less-popular destinations and go at off-peak times. This is a critical time for all of us to work together in these efforts.

    The situation continues to change every day, but rest assured that Council is committed to providing ongoing updates to the community as new information becomes available. Watch www.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

  • Message from the Mayor

    07 May 2020

    April 2, 2020

    Dear Coquitlam residents,

    This is a challenging time for businesses. Many are struggling, and some fear they won’t survive the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve always valued our businesses in Coquitlam, and today I’m calling on our community to do what we can to support them.

    At a time when so many are facing hardship, you may wonder why we are worried about private enterprise. In short, it’s because our community simply can’t thrive without it.

    Our businesses provide jobs and income that many Coquitlam households rely on, along with goods services we use every day. The taxes and fees they pay are a critical source of revenue for the City, protecting homeowners from the full brunt of the cost of services. And their investment in Coquitlam makes it a better place for all of us.

    When all this is over – and it will be over at some point – our businesses will be integral to the recovery of our community.

    So what can you do? Take a cue from the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce. Their #SupportLocal campaign encourages:

    • Buying gift certificates from your favourite shops, restaurants or businesses;
    • Keeping your subscriptions to local businesses active;
    • Continuing to buy and order from local businesses, arranging for pickup or delivery if necessary; and
    • Asking your favourite businesses what you can do to help.

    To that list I would add: Help spread the word – by mouth or social media – to encourage others to #SupportLocal.

    We have more than 7,000 businesses in Coquitlam, ranging from home-based operations to large enterprises with hundreds of employees. Let’s work together to help all of them get to the other side of this crisis.

    I will wrap up with a big shout-out to everyone who continues to put their health at risk to provide essential services, whether you are working in health care or First Response, ringing up our purchases, providing childcare services, completing critical infrastructure projects, delivering meals or doing other crucial work. All of this would be so much more difficult without your service.

    To everyone else: Please stay safe, and remember to wash your hands and keep your distance. We will get through this!

    Richard Stewart
    Mayor

  • Coquitlam Businesses Encouraged to Access Supports and Resources

    07 May 2020

    April 1, 2020

    Coquitlam is encouraging businesses to take advantage of the supports and resources available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Recognizing the importance of maintaining a strong local economy, the City is inviting local businesses to contact its Economic Development Office for advice and referrals to programs that can help them during this uncertain time. Information is also posted at www.coquitlam.ca/ecdev.

    Resources for Local Businesses

    Although City Hall remains closed to the public, City staff are still hard at work supporting City operations, including services for the business community.

    For example, the Planning & Development Department has created tools and processes – such as online plan submission – to enable development applications and construction projects to move forward. More information is available at www.coquitlam.ca/development.

    The City’s Economic Development Office is also helping businesses access the latest regional, provincial and federal initiatives and resources, including:

    • The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, which has launched a #SupportLocal campaign and developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Guidance and Resources page at www.tricitieschamber.com;
    • Online resources from organizations such as the BC Chamber of Commerce (www.bcchamber.org), BC Economic Development Association (www.bceda.ca), Small Business BC (www.smallbusinessbc.ca) and others;
    • Federal financial and economic support at www.canada.com/covid19 that includes wage subsidies of up to 75 per cent for small businesses, access to loans of up to $40,000 (interest-free for the first year), and deferrals for income taxes, GST and duty payments; and
    • Provincial benefits at www.gov.bc.ca/covid19 that include tax deferrals, arts and culture grants and resources.

    The City is also highlighting opportunities for local businesses, such as the federal government’s call for suppliers of medical supplies such as personal protective equipment, sanitizers and ventilators at www.buyandsell.gc.ca.

    Other Support for Businesses

    Recognizing the important role businesses play in providing jobs, services and investment to the community, the City is actively encouraging residents to choose local suppliers for goods and services and to support them during this challenging time by ordering online, buying gift cards and having meals delivered. Supporting local businesses is the topic of this week’s Message from the Mayor video, posted at bit.ly/C19-20200401.

    The community will also see City signage paying tribute to workers of all types – including health care, store clerks, childcare workers, tradespeople and others – who continue to work and put themselves at risk to provide much-needed services to the community.

    Other actions the City has taken to date to support businesses have included:

    • Not enforcing the noise bylaw for an extra hour (until 9 p.m. weeknights and 8 p.m. Saturdays) to encourage continuing progress on key construction and housing projects;
    • Not enforcing penalties for late utility payments until Sept. 30; and
    • Taking action against unauthorized supply vendors operating without a business licence.


    City Contacts

    Coquitlam’s Economic Development Office can be reached at 604-927-3905 or economicdevelopment@coquitlam.ca.

    Other contacts:

  • Coquitlam Cracks Down on Unauthorized Supply Sales

    07 May 2020

    March 25, 2020

    People trying to profit from unauthorized sales of medical and other essential supplies in Coquitlam could find themselves paying a $500 fine instead.

    The City is cracking down on those who are cashing in on the COVID-19 pandemic by selling medical, cleaning and other hard-to-find supplies from their home, vehicle or roadside stand without a business licence.

    Bylaw Enforcement Officers are investigating complaints received from the public. Residents are encouraged to report unauthorized sales to 604-927-7387 or bylawenforcement@coquitlam.ca (leave a message if after hours). Bylaw Enforcement operates Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and on weekends and statutory holidays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The City has the authority to fine non-compliant vendors $500 per day through the Business Licence Bylaw.

    Actions to Minimize COVID-19 Impact

    Other steps the City has taken to help minimize the impact of COVID-19 on the community have included:

    • Cancelling programs and closing public facilities and some outdoor spaces to help slow the spread of the virus;
    • Providing full and automatic refunds for cancelled programs or events;
    • Deferring penalties for late utility payments to Sept. 30; and
    • Deploying on-duty Bylaw Enforcement Officers to assist in enforcing Provincial Health Orders, such as the suspension of dine-in restaurant and personal service businesses.

    Most City staff are continuing to work and are accessible by phone or email. Contact information and additional detail is available at www.coquitlam.ca/covid19.

    Residents are encouraged to use the City’s online services, available at www.coquitlam.ca/eservices.

  • Coquitlam Planning & Development Services during COVID-19

    07 May 2020

    March 24, 2020

    While City Hall is closed to the public at this time, Coquitlam is still providing modified services to process development and building applications, issue permits, and conduct site inspections.

    Contacting Planning & Development

    The central customer service centre will continue to be available from 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday at 604-927-3430, and by email at planninganddevelopment@coquitlam.ca.

    Those with development or building permits already in progress may also contact their file manager directly as most City staff continue to be available by telephone or email.

    Development Applications

    Development application reviews are continuing with a focus on existing in-stream applications. The City is accepting drawing re-submissions digitally; applicants should email their file manager directly. At this time, we are unable to receive paper applications or drawings.

    New development applications can be submitted digitally to planninganddevelopment@coquitlam.ca. The application must be complete with all required information. Applicants will receive an invoice for any fees related to the application. (See payments section below for details).

    Please Note: When sending drawings and other large files, we encourage all applicants to use an online file Transfer (FTP) service such as WeTransfer, as the City’s email inboxes have a storage capacity limit.

    Building Applications

    The City will continue examination of building plans with a focus on those already in-stream. Given the necessary application pre-screening that occurs at the counter, the City can not accept new Building Permit applications at this time, with the exception of:

    • Demolitions – Applications are available online at www.coquitlam.ca/buildingpermits and can be submitted by email and/or mail. We require a completed application form, agent authorization, a current land title, and a cheque or credit card payment. (See payments section below for details).
    • Plumbing Permits – Applications are available online at www.coquitlam.ca/buildingpermits and can be submitted by email and/or mail, except for more complex multifamily/commercial applications that require plumbing review. Plumbing contractors can send a completed plumbing application and payment by email or mail. (See payment section below for details).
    • EPlan – Those customers registered in the EPLan program will be able to continue as they have in the past. Upon issuance, all EPlan documents will be delivered to customers via email. Those not registered in the EPlan program are encouraged to arrange for digital application after speaking to your File Manager or the Building Front Counter Supervisor at 604-927-3962.

    Building Inspections

    Currently, building inspections are continuing. To ensure staff and public safety and appropriate social distancing, we have implemented the following protocols:

    • No inspections are to be done on a home or building that is occupied;
    • We request that the area or floor of the building be cleared of all workers other than those essential for the inspection;
    • On large projects with Construction Safety Officers (CSO) the City will require a digital or mailed copy of the site safety plan prior to attending;
    • If Inspection staff do not feel safe conducting an inspection, they will immediately postpone the inspection until adequate measures are put in place, and reschedule accordingly.

    Building inspections can be booked online at www.coquitlam.ca/webpermits.

    Payments

    Payments for any of the services outlined above can be made as follows:

    • Building Permits – credit card payments by phone to 604-927-3441 or cheques mailed to City Hall; you will be asked to verify your application file number
    • Development Applications – cheque only

    Cheques can be mailed to City Hall or placed in the drop box in the ground level parkade. Please note your application file number.

    The City is also in the process of establishing an option for electronic funds transfer (EFT) and will provide updated information as soon as this service is available.

    What the City is Doing in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

    The City of Coquitlam activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) on Friday, March 13 to facilitate advance planning and a coordinated response to the impacts of the current pandemic.

    The City’s EOC staff continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely to assess what additional measures may be required in relation to City facilities, programs and services to maintain business continuity and support economic recovery within our community.

  • Coquitlam will not enforce March 31 Utility Bill deadline

    07 May 2020

    March 20, 2020

    Coquitlam property owners struggling with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic now have extra time to pay their 2020 Utility Bill.

    Coquitlam Council recognizes the extraordinary circumstances created by the pandemic, and the financial challenges these circumstances may be creating for some residents and businesses. Based on this recognition, the City will not enforce the five per cent penalty for late Utility Bill payments received after March 31. The penalty will apply to amounts unpaid at Sept. 30.

    City Actions to Minimize COVID-19 Impact

    The reprieve on Utility Bill late fees is one of several actions the City has taken to help minimize the impact of COVID-19 on Coquitlam residents.

    With a focus on measures that will help slow the spread of the virus, Coquitlam has closed all City facilities to the public, temporarily closed playgrounds, enhanced the cleaning protocols in its public washrooms, put in place work protocols to support social distancing and the health and safety of City staff, and cancelled all recreation programs and City facility rentals.

    ONE PASS memberships are being extended, and refunds for cancelled programs and rentals are being issued automatically.

    In response to the direction of the health authorities, who advise that social distancing is “an important line of defence for us all,” Coquitlam is now increasing communications to reinforce this message. Over the next few days, residents will see social media messaging, and signage in City parks and along our trails reminding our community to be safe and maintain social distancing.

    Options for Utility Bill Payment

    Coquitlam property owners have a number of options to pay their Utility Bill, including:

    • Online debit or credit card payments through www.coquitlam.ca/utilitypayment;
    • Online banking through most major financial institutions using the five-digit account number at the top of the bill;
    • Mailing a cheque (post-dated accepted) to City Hall, 3000 Guildford Way, Coquitlam B.C., V3B 7N2; or
    • Dropping off a cheque at a City Hall drop box, at the main entrance facing Burlington Drive or in the underground parking area.

    Payment options are provided on the Utility Bill and at www.coquitlam.ca/utilitypayment. An installment program is also available for next year’s bill.

  • Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce: Provincial Support for Businesses

    07 May 2020

    March 4, 2020

    This article is from the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce.

    The provincial government announced a $5 billion (additional funding) support package for businesses and individuals: this is the first step as the government acknowledges they will have to be “nimble and flexible” as they respond to the impacts of COVID-19. The package will see $2.8 B People and Services $2.2B Business and Economic Recovery.

    *Provincial Aid was announced March 23rd, 2020. Details for how to access services will be provided once they become available*

    List of Essential Services
    This list has been provided so that businesses can prepare for a potential provincial shutdown.

    Tax Remittance Deferrals
    The provincial government is extending tax filing and payment deadlines to September 30th, 2020 to help businesses through this crisis. The deferred taxes will include:

    • Employee Health Tax (EHT)
    • Motor Fuel Taxes
    • Carbon Tax
    • The scheduled increase of carbon tax has been canceled
    • Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
    • Municipal & Regional District Tax
    • Tobacco Tax

    Property Tax Relief

    • Business and light and major industrial property classes will see a reduction to the school property tax rate for commercial properties to achieve an average 25% reduction in the total property tax bill for most businesses, providing up to $700 million in relief. This enhances the 50% reduction to the provincial school property tax rate that was originally announced for classes 4, 5, and 6 as part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.
    • The expectation is business will benefit directly (if they own their own property) or this relief will flow through commercial landlords immediately passing savings on to tenants in triple-net lease

    Additional Provincial Measures
    Canceling of the scheduled increase of Carbon Tax

    • Deferral of PST charges to e-commerce and sweetened beverages (to be reviewed by Sept. 30, 2020)
    • $1.5B for economic recovery
    • The longer-term recovery plan will dedicate funding to those businesses that are particularly hard-hit during this pandemic.

    Intake for greenhouse carbon tax relief grants open
    Greenhouse operators can now apply for carbon tax relief grants for the 2020 production year, until May 1, 2020.
    Eligibility: Commercial producers in B.C. who grow vegetables, ornamental flowers and plants, forest seedlings and nursery plants are eligible to apply for the grant if they:

    • had sales exceeding $20,000 in 2019;
    • used natural gas or propane to heat their greenhouses or produce carbon dioxide; and
    • had a production area greater than 455 square metres.

    Benefit: The grant covers up to 80% of the carbon tax that commercial greenhouse growers of eligible crops paid on the natural gas and propane they used for greenhouse heating and carbon-dioxide production in 2019. Cannabis is not an eligible crop at any phase of production.

    For more information and eligibility criteria click here.

    Temporary Emergency Funding Program

    • Funding for licensed providers at a rate of seven times their average monthly child care operating base funding.
    • Child care centres receiving this funding continue to be eligible for the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative and the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Wage Enhancement. The fee reduction helps parents by providing funding for licensed child care providers to reduce and stabilize their monthly child care fees. The wage enhancement has provided nearly 12,000 ECEs with a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, which increased to $2 per hour on April 1, 2020, to better recognize the work they do.
    • Families accessing care from these providers may be eligible for the Affordable Child Care Benefit.
  • Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce: Does your business have a continuity plan in the event of a crisis?

    07 May 2020

    March 4, 2020

    The following article is from the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce.

    In January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a Coronavirus disease in Hubei Province, China to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

    WHO and public health authorities around the world are taking action to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Everyone in our society – including businesses and employers – must play a role if we are to stop the spread of this disease.

    The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is reminding businesses that with everything that’s currently going on, it’s important, as part of Canada’s business community, to have a pandemic preparedness and crisis plan in place. It will be peace of mind for your business now and for any future situations.

    “There are many circumstances that can create chaos in your small business such as injury or sickness, loss of major customers, but often forgotten are pandemic issues or even natural disasters. Critical business situations can lead to financial distress. It’s good for businesses to have continuity plans in place,” says Michael Hind, CEO Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, “Businesses need to plan their response in advance of an emergency by establishing clear policies for monitoring the situation, commitments businesses will make to employees and budget available for contingencies.”

    The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce have gathered some resources that you may find useful to help get your business prepared in case of an emergency.

    It is not too late to plan for the effects of a crisis and The Chamber urges all business owners who have not yet done so to give the current situation serious consideration and use the many resources available in their business planning processes.