The Government of British Columbia is waiving minimum income requirements for existing B.C. farm operations, allowing them to maintain their current property tax farm status for 2021.
“Our government is committed to helping farmers farm, and we are working to create a strong and resilient food system,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “It’s been a difficult year for many people, and this change is just one more example of how we are recognizing the challenges and supporting farmers.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for some B.C. farm operations, including smaller-scale farms that depend on roadside stands, farm markets and public interaction for sales revenue. Without this action, a number of properties would have been in jeopardy of losing farm status for the 2021 tax year, significantly increasing the property tax burden on those farmers and farm families.
“We know that robust and healthy farm operations will play an important role as we restart our economy,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government is committed to helping farmers maintain their farm classification for 2021 to ensure they can produce the food people in B.C. rely on.”
In order to be classified as a farm in British Columbia, properties must meet certain criteria, including generating a minimum amount of gross income from a qualifying agriculture use based on the size of the parcel of land. This minimum income requirement must be met every two years and there must be some income generated every year. BC Assessment sends out self-reporting income questionnaires and conducts intermittent inspections to determine whether a property should maintain its farm status for the upcoming tax year.
This approach aligns with the Province’s COVID-19 Action Plan to support businesses through the pandemic, as well as government’s commitment to encourage agricultural production.
EMC / BCEDA Briefing Industry Pulse: COVID-19 Impacts and Recovery Steps for Manufacturers
Date: Tuesday August 25th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM PDT
The global COVID-19 pandemic has decimated our economy and has caused severe disruptions to all facets of life and business. In the early stages, much was unknown and the first reaction to contain the situation was to shut down or curtail activities and contact.
The nature of these impacts on business: from local staffing, safety and physical distancing concerns, to maintaining the ability to meet customer needs, to more global supply chain and export concerns needs to be understood in order to respond effectively. This has been especially challenging for manufacturers.
Where Do We Go from Here?
Over the past several months, EMC has reached out to manufacturers in every province, asking short ‘INDUSTRY PULSE’ questions about the current state of the sector and the impacts this pandemic is having on their business. Response has been tremendous!
Join us for an in-depth briefing on the issues affecting BC’s manufacturing sector, the related impacts throughout Canada and a discussion on the future steps manufacturers firms are seeking to tackle:
Vice President, Manufacturing Sector Performance
Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC)
Bren de Leeuw
Western Canada Operations / Vice President, Community Partnerships and Stakeholder Relations
BCEDA and Spring Activator Launch Province-Wide Partnership for Business Resilience Program
The British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) announced today an exciting new partnership to enhance its Economic Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Program. The partnership with Spring, a global incubator and accelerator that empowers entrepreneurs and entrepreneur ecosystem organizations, will launch the Province-wide Business Resilience Program, an online program created to help businesses recover, adapt, and survive challenging economic conditions.
Spring founder, Keith Ippel, says “as the pandemic hit, it became paramount that entrepreneurs and businesses needed guidance to survive. Our business resilience program goes beyond the short-term monetary relief offered and is designed to scale provincially, nationally, and globally, to provide the crucial framework necessary for increasing levels of tailored support needed to overcome this and future crises.”
This new partnership will allow local, regional and Indigenous governments access an affordable option for them to offer holistic support to entrepreneurs that are facing challenges due to the impacts of COVID19. Participating communities will have access to the educational content allowing entrepreneurs to work through four core self-paced course modules. Created by experts in strategic growth and entrepreneurship roles, Spring Activator says the program allows community partners to opt-in and provide their business communities access to the educational content for six months to one year.
“We’re thrilled to have partnered with @springactivator to offer entrepreneurs and small businesses in British Columbia the Business Resilience Program, a free to business, long-term online solution created to help businesses recover, adapt, and survive challenging economic conditions. This program compliments our existing Economic Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Program, established in 2012 to assist communities impacted by disasters,” said Dale Wheeldon, President and CEO, BCEDA. “Once again, BCEDA is showing that it is a leader in Economic Recovery and looks forward to working with our partners and the Province of BC, in leading BC out of the economic challenges resulting from the impacts of COVID19.”
First Nation Community Economic Development Survey
The B.C.First Nation Community Economic Development Survey offers insight regarding how First Nations experience, coordinate and deliver economic development.
First Nations have a long history of pursuing trade and markets within the context of sustainable economies; however, colonialism virtually eliminated those markets over the last 140 years. Today, First Nations’ economic resilience is evident in their pursuit of economic opportunity in a manner consistent with Indigenous worldviews.
Indigenous individuals, businesses and communities are reclaiming their place in the economy, both individually and in partnership with industry and various levels of government, including other First Nations. These findings may be useful for those making an impact in the economic lives of Indigenous peoples as leaders, champions and partners. Many of the results show areas of broad consensus across the province. We have also taken care to highlight some differences across regions of B.C., so that everyone can see some of their story reflected in the numbers.
The survey is a collaboration of the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Trade, and Technology (MJTT); the Indigenous Business and Investment Council (IBIC); the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN); the New Relationship Trust (NRT); and the National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development (NCIED) at the University of Victoria.
BCEDA is continuing to seek success stories to highlight on the Economic Development in Action website. The website is advertised internationally and used as a tool to market your community and attract international investors. Economic Developers can use the website to collaborate on ideas and gain inspiration from others. We a looking for a brief summary of your successful projects, partnerships and initiatives.