Many businesses are facing challenges to pay upcoming rent and lease payments. The commercial rent assistance is a priority issue right now with the BC Chamber of Commerce. In unison to an article published in the Times Colonist “An Urgent Call for Relief” our Chamber is among a group of Cowichan leaders who are advocating to the provincial government to offer rent relief to commercial tenants. Please see a letter below, which was collectively drafted and sent to the media.
“We are writing to express our support for the letter “An urgent call for relief’ published in
Sunday’s Times Colonist paper. The writers – representatives from non-profit organizations,
business, and government – asked for the provincial government to offer rent relief to
commercial tenants. We are asking for the same.
The Cowichan Valley is home to many small shopping centres – Duncan, Lake Cowichan,
Chemainus, Ladysmith, Shawnigan Village, Cowichan Bay, Cobble Hill, and Mill Bay. Each of
these has its own charm and personality; each is the heart of that town. Shop owners in these
small towns have worked hard and sacrificed much for their own enterprise while also
supporting others to create a commercial environment that is productive and welcoming.
Closing their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the hardest decisions some of
these entrepreneurs had to make, and we know the long-term economic impacts could mean
those doors won’t reopen.
We ask that the provincial government work with the business community to establish funds for
a commercial rent relief program that supports both the tenant and the landlord through this
closure period. We ask that they do so with urgency so that entrepreneurs can focus on
rebuilding once the isolation restrictions have been lifted.
Chemainus and District Chamber of Commerce
Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce
Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce
Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce
Chemainus Business Improvement Area
Duncan Business Improvement Area
Ladysmith Business Improvement Area
Chief William Seymour, Cowichan Tribes
Rod Peters, Mayor, Town of Lake Cowichan
Al Siebring, Mayor, North Cowichan
Michelle Staples, Mayor, City of Duncan
Aaron Stone, Chair, Cowichan Valley Regional District
Chris Bear, RCMP
Candace Spilsbury, SD79
Sonia Furstenau, MLA Cowichan Valley
Alistair MacGregor, MP Cowichan Valley”