COVID-19 Update

Ensuring the safety of our members, our staff, and the downtown community is the top priority of the Downtown Vancouver BIA. As such, the DVBIA is taking precautions at this time in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to help flatten the curve:

  • We will not be hosting events of any size until such a time that public gatherings have been deemed to be safe by the health authorities.
  • All office staff who have the capability to work from home are currently doing so.
  • Micro-cleaning, graffiti removal, and other services provided by our Downtown Clean Team will be temporarily suspended.
  • A core group of Downtown Safety Ambassadors is currently patrolling on foot in the downtown core five days a week, between the hours of 1:30 pm-10:00 pm.
  • An external, mobile security patrol was put in place on Friday, March 20th, and patrols the DVBIA district from 10:00 pm – 7:00 am each day.
  • We continue to work with our longtime contractor, Goodbye Graffiti, who has also been deemed an essential service under the recently-released government criteria. Through our partnership, they will continue to keep the downtown core free of graffiti.

We will continue to monitor the situation on a regular basis. For regional information on COVID-19, and how you can help prevent the spread of the virus, please visit Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/



  • COVID-19 and Returning to Safe Operation – steps to help you develop a plan to ensure you are minimizing the risks and so that your business can operate safely.
  • BC Restaurant and Food Services Association (BCRFA) Blueprint for Reopening – the BCRFA has teamed with word-class BC restaurant operators and industry representatives to create a blueprint of best practices for the reopening of restaurant dining.
  • Retail Council of Canada (RCC) Recovery Playbookto assist retails in their reopening planning, the RCC has created best practices for a diverse range of retail formats with the fundamental aim of ensuring a safe environment for employees and customers.


COVID-19 Updates and Links

  • May 7, 2020: Letter on behalf of Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer for VCH, offering guidelines to operating a business in the Vancouver Coastal Health region during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • May 6, 2020: BC’s Restart Plan: BC’s Restart Plan lays out a series of steps that we will take together to protect people and ensure that our province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before.
  • May 4, 2020: Local Vancouver company “ProTech” currently has sustainable face masks available for purchase. If you’re thinking of purchasing masks for yourself or your team, check out their website for more information: https://www.protechfacemask.com/  
  • April 28, 2020: DVBIA COVID-19 Economic Weekly Research Brief
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June 2020. Final details are not available, but you can subscribe to get updates. Click here for more information.
  • The City of Vancouver has established the COVID-19 Business Communications and Support Office to assist local businesses. The office is a single point of contact for Vancouver’s local business owners to get information from the City of Vancouver regarding business support programs, to learn what City-run business services are currently available, and to make suggestions to the City concerning business and the economy. To connect with the office, businesses can either email COVIDResponseforBusiness@vancouver.ca, visit their website or call 3-1-1. Follow @CityofVancouver on Twitter to receive the latest updates on COVID-19 response.
  • April 1, 2020: Government announces details of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy which will help businesses keeps Canadians employed. Read the full release here.
  • March 30, 2020: The Prime Minister stated on Monday that the 75-per-cent subsidy announced on Friday, March 27 will be available to charities and non-profit organizations. See the full story here.
  • March 27, 2020: Trudeau announces major wage subsidy hike for small businesses. Read the full release here.
  • March 23, 2020: COVID-19 Action Plan: B.C.’s first steps to support people and businesses.
  • March 22, 2020: Mayor Kennedy Stewart speaks to the importance of self-isolation with key messaging being Shut down. Stay Put. Save Lives.  See Mayor Stewart’s full speech here.
  • March 20, 2020: The City of Vancouver – Local Government issued an order to shut down all restaurant table service as of midnight on Friday, March 20, 2020. “Only takeout or delivery will be allowed, and any establishment found to be operating table service as of 12:01 am on Saturday will be subject to enforcement. All bars have already been closed as per the Provincial government order, province-wide.” See the media release for full details here.
  • March 18, 2020: Prime Minister Trudeau announces $82 billion to help Canadian economy amid COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please see a recent CBC article that gives an overview of this announcement. Details may also be found within the official government announcement.
  • March 18, 2020: The City of Vancouver declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19. Mayor Kennedy Stewart’s announcement can be viewed online.
  • March 18, 2020: The Government of BC declared a provincial state of emergency as well. Read more here.
  • Canada outlines measures to support the economy and the financial sector, including a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). More details about the program and businesses can access it are on the Business Development Bank of Canada website.


For recent information from the Government of BC, please see below resources:


For further resources, please see the below links:

Richard Florida – Coronavirus is crushing the economy. Here’s how to bring it back.

Harvard Business Review – Preparing your business for a post-pandemic world

Harvard Business Review – How Chinese companies have responded to Coronavirus

Boston Consulting Group – 8 ways companies can shape reality post-COVID-19:

McKinsey – How to restart national economies during the Coronavirus crisis :

American Enterprise Institute – National Coronavirus response: A roadmap to recovery:

MIT Technology Review – Stop COVID or Save the Economy? We can do both:

State of Utah Plan

More resources