The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) and the City of Campbell River both say they are working to continue to provide essential services throughout the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
“Local government emergency operation centres are determining how best to provide services and resources in the region and are following directives by the federal and provincial government,” says SRD Protective Services Coordinator Shaun Koopman, adding he’s proud of the efforts the community has taken thus far.
“We want to applaud the efforts taken by many people in the region to reduce potential infection by being diligent with handwashing and social distancing – limiting their exposure to others,” Koopman says. “Taking actions to protect the vulnerable among our population is showing responsibility, not fear. We cannot stress enough that everyone should follow the health and self-isolation guidelines as recommended by the BC Centre of Disease Control.”
What koopman is most proud of, however, is the efforts that some in the community are taking over and above what’s being recommended.
“I’m seeing wonderful things on Facebook, where people are saying things like ‘if you’ve been isolated and you’re running out of toilet paper, I’ll drop some off for you,’” Koopman says. “People are helping each other out. It’s awesome to see, and we always see that when big disasters happen. Yes, it’s unfortunate that there are people who have bought $70,000 worth of hand sanitizer and are trying to sell it and make a profit, and I’m not saying everybody are angels all the time, but what I’m seeing is people coming together, supporting local businesses and realizing we have to be there for each other.”
But despite that, Koopman says, there will surely be a significant negative impact to local businesses due to concerns around the virus, so as another way to help support them, “Business Continuity Planning Templates” based on best practices are being made available to any business in the region that needs a little planning help.
Koopman says they held a Business Disaster Recovery planning session with local businesses on March 9, to do what he calls a “high level overview about what people can do before a disaster to prepare,” and had hoped to do a follow-up with those – and other – local businesses to continue the process before the COVID-19 situation became what it has become.
Instead, now that social distancing has become even more important, those in-person follow-up sessions won’t be happening for the time being, so they have made those templates available for businesses to work on independently.
“We’re likely in this for the long-term, being realistic,” Koopman says, “and the economic recovery of our community, and to keep it running, is vital. This is something I’ve wanted to be working on with businesses for quite some time. It’s unfortunate that it’s coming out as ‘here are your online templates,’ rather than sitting down and doing it together in a session, but it is what it is. We’re all hoping that we can get back to normal as quickly as possible, and I don’t think I need to be telling anybody that they need to be looking at their business continuity plans right now, but what we’re providing is some templates, based on best practices, to help give them some direction.”
Those templates are available online at www.srd.ca/busines/continuity/planning
Koopman can be reached with any questions you might have on the templates or continuity planning in general by phone at at 250-830-6702 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, the BC Chamber of Commerce — in partnership with Small Business BC, Community Futures, and British Columbia Economic Development Association – is also urgently seeking input around current and contemplated effects to businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Feedback will be sent directly to the provincial and federal governments to inform how they can help businesses mitigate the damage of this global market disruption and recover.
Find the most up-to-date provincial health information at www.bccdc.ca
Find the most current information on city services at www.campbellriver.ca/COVID-19