How are you holding up in this uncertain time?

Dear Tsuts’weye Network,

How are you holding up during this uncertain time? Are you coping alright? Have you found unique ways to adapt to the new conditions facing us as a country, and as entrepreneurs in an uncertain business environment?  We are fortunate to have Tsuts’weye Network at this time, a group of women who are experiencing the same issues together and are able to support one another. We may not be able to meet face-to-face, but our team has been working hard to create a structure where you can connect to one another virtually. Stay tuned for more info, or check out the resources below:

  • We’re making the Tsuts’weye Facebook page more relevant now than ever before. Please join us here and let us know how we can best support you through these trying times. We encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences and receive helpful tips from other women and experts who are poised and ready to assist us.
  • Visit our website ( frequently to learn about upcoming webinars and to replay broadcasts you may have missed.
  • We will be launching an interactive online calendar shortly. The calendar will be posted on the Tsuts’weye website and will help you plan for upcoming broadcasts and other online events.  If you know of events, speakers or webinars that would be useful to women entrepreneurs at this time, please email me to share your suggestions and ideas!
  • Use our #tsutsweyestrong hashtag in your posts! If we get this hashtag trending we will be able to reach more women who may be outside the network right now, to provide them support as well.

Below is a list of practical things you can do for your business today, to prepare yourself for the future:

  • Organize your space: Declutter and create a working environment that will be conducive to concentration and productivity.  (Easier said than done!  I’m digging out my home office this afternoon, and I’ll let you know how it goes!  I think a big burn pile will be necessary.)
  • Call your accountant:  Find out how the programs and changes announced by the government will affect your business and what you can do to access services. (Your accountant will probably encourage you to finish off the pesky paperwork you’ve been avoiding for months since you might have a little time on your hands!)
  • Call your bank or financial institution:  Reassess your current loan obligations and repayment terms.  If needed, discuss options for payment relief or debt restructuring.  Your bank is interested in your success and will be glad to work through this with you.
  • Call your insurance broker:  Find out if you have any coverage that could help you at this time.
  • Register for your Canada Account:  You will access Federal gov’t services through this portal and you need to take some steps to be able to activate if you haven’t already. Please have patience with this site for response time may be challenging as we get through these busy days.
  • Reconcile your cash position:  Figure out how much cash you have on hand, collect receivables if possible.  Create a short-term plan for navigating you and your business through the next few months (include the government supports announced recently).   Assess your qualifications for accessing credit opportunities announced by the Federal Government last week.
  • Watch a webinar:  Check out Lorena Klingal’s free webinar today about how to rapidly transition live classroom instruction to online learning.
  • Make an appointment with the Tsuts’weye Entrepreneur in Residence.  (see below for more information on this vital program).
  • Register for a video conferencing service.  Many businesses and organizations will be looking for you to have the skills to sign on and join a video conference to share information.  Test it out with a friend!  Set up a meeting with your family.  See how it works so you are ready to jump onto meetings and events when the opportunity arises.
  • Remember, some people might just need to access social services for a few months.  Please don’t feel shy to admit that you need the Food Bank, for example.  Many of you have supported these programs through your businesses over the years and now you may just have to access them for yourselves.  Know that is ok and realize that you are not alone.  This is your time to receive support.

As outlined above, we are rapidly transitioning to online, web-based delivery of services.  Our goal is to broadcast our first Tsuts’weye webinar this week and post at least one Facebook Practical Support video.  Position yourself to take advantage of these programs by joining our Facebook group (see above link).

Please reach out to me directly through email.  Please have patience with me in response time as we get through these busy days.  I appreciate everyone’s flexibility and generosity in adjusting to changing conditions.  It is hard to imagine anything impacting our project more than social distancing, but as we have to be physically apart from one another, we will find ways to stay close and supportive.  We are fortunate to have people and businesses willing to support us at this time.

I admire the strength and determination I have witnessed in our community.  Let’s stay #tsutsweyestrong!

Kindest regards and best of health to you and your families.

Carmen Massey
Project Manager, Tsuts’weye Network
Cell:  250-804-3466


One on One Assistance

Use this challenging time to position yourself and your company for the economic recovery later this year.

Women Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to receive one on one support through the Tsuts’weye program. If you have a new business idea, are starting a new company, or need growth strategies for a mature business or possibly creating an exit plan, we are here to help. An Entrepreneur in Residence is available to meet by appointment. Caroline Grover has a wealth of business experience, working with hundreds of business owners in as many fields. You are able to tap into her knowledge and networks, right now.

Caroline, our Entrepreneur in Resident (EIR) acts a business advisor who assists the business owner to determine their strengths and assess areas where additional training or supports are required. In addition to Caroline, we have consultants in specialized fields who are also ready to work with you.

This free and confidential service is available to women led businesses in the Shuswap. This includes women who are in partnerships with husbands or other supportive men.

Meet with Caroline by telephone or by a Zoom meeting.  This service is free for entrepreneurs to access, at this time, thanks to the financial support of Shuswap Community Futures and Western Economic Diversification. We also appreciate the support of Okanagan College and Salmon Arm Economic Development Society. To access these services please complete the Client Intake Form and email to

Business Resources

Salmon Arm Economic Development Society

SAEDS is engaging with local businesses to provide support due to the impact of CoVid 19. Please contact them if you have any questions or concerns about your business.  Go to their website for contact information.

BC Economic Development Association – current information about COVID19 

BCEDA #COVID19 Resources for BC Businesses Guide

All of these updates are now located in one document. This shareable, live guide is being continually updated with the most relevant information, tools and resources for the BC business community. Click here to view.

Government of Canada: Temporary wage subsidy for employers
As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting businesses, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government announced a temporary wage subsidy for employers for a period of three months. Effective immediately, eligible employers (non-profit organizations, charities, and certain Canadian Controlled Private Corporations) that pay remuneration to an employee, such as salary, wages, or taxable benefits, on or after March 18th and before June 20th, are permitted to reduce remittances of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax by the amount of the subsidy. This measure is only applicable to remittances made to the CRA.

Which employers are eligible?
You are an eligible employer if you:

  • are a non-profit organization, registered charity, or a Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC);
  • have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
  • pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an employee.

Note: CCPCs are only eligible for the subsidy if their taxable capital employed in Canada for the preceding taxation year, calculated on an associated group basis, is less than $15 million.
Read the FAQs

The Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is limited to the eligible employers listed above.


More resources are available at

Learning Centre

Womens Enterprise Centre
At a time when we’ve become wary to check the news, we’re here to bring you some positives: a roundup of helpful resources, a bit of inspiration and some learning opportunities.
Some popular topics right now that are available.

  • Cash flow forecasting and financial planning template
  • Tips to use flexibility to manage stress
  • How to write an effective business plan

And if, like 90% of BC entrepreneurs, you’ve been impacted by COVID-19, then please feel free to reach out to us for complimentary business advisory services to discuss your particular situation, or view this page of other supports that are available.

For other resources please go to the Womens Enterprise Centre website.

Catalyst Strategies Consulting is pleased to offer an informative and timely series of online training courses entitled “Remote Working Done Right“.
The goal of this course is to ensure that businesses have the skills and knowledge to continue to be successful in the new reality of a remote work environment. The best thing is that you and your team can complete the training conveniently at your own pace and on your own schedule. To register for this course go here. There is a fee for these courses but fees have been reduced to enable small business to access them at this time

Other Resources for Entrepreneurs

The Government of Canada has launched a new web page to provide Canadian businesses with a one-stop-shop for the resources they need to make informed decisions while navigating the challenges of CoVid 19 in an interconnected global economy. LEARN MORE >

Trade Commissioner Service: Resources for Canadian Businesses
Export Development Canada: What Canadian Exporters Need to Know About COVID-19
EDC “Government of Canada announced a stimulus package with an additional $10 billion provided by Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank through a Credit Facility Program. We are working in collaboration with our federal partners and Canadian financial institutions to help minimize the impacts on Canadian businesses” Stay tuned, we’re waiting for more info.


Overall emergency preparedness

Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
PreparedBC: Guide for Small Business (Government of B.C.)

General Advice

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19 (World Health Organization )
Mathews Dinsdale: COVID-19 and the Workplace FAQs (Legal perspective) The following provides general guidance to employers in dealing with the potential impacts of COVID-19 on the workplace.

BC Chamber of Commerce – Support and Resources for BC Businesses – website

Recording of EDC’s COVID-19 Managing the impact on global supply chains Webinar available on demand with free EDC account (go to time stamp 12:45 to start)

  • “Keep your eyes on the long term”
  • “You’re going to experience a rush of orders and are going to need the capacity. “
  • Have a risk management strategy including contract cancellation association insurance & marine cargo insurance

Hong Kong Canada Business Assn’s COVID-19: Impacts on Business in China & Key Legal Issues for Canadian Companies
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 6:00 AM PST – the webinar will be recorded – must pre-register to receive recording.  Information & free registration

Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT) has solicited advice from various industry experts on how businesses can manage the ongoing impact that the virus is having on business. In a series titled Leadership Series – Trusted Advice to Manage the Impact of COVID-19, we hear from four experts in Leadership, Finance, Crisis Communications, and Law on how our organization can prepare, react and lead in uncertain times.

VIDEO 1:  Stephen Smart, General Manager Western Canada, Hill + Knowlton Strategies talks through how and what businesses should be communicating in this challenging environment.

VIDEO 2:  One of B.C.’s top CEOs, Tamara Vrooman of Vancity, shares her insights on how to lead during these uncertain times.

VIDEO 3:  Huey Lee, Partner at KPMG Canada, walks through how businesses of all sizes can build a financial plan.

VIDEO 4:  Duncan McPherson, Partner at Bennett Jones, helps unpack legal and contractual obligations.

TOURISM Businesses

Western Economic Diversification Canada: COVID-19 and the Western Canadian Economy (c/o BCEDA)
The COVID-19 pandemic has created economic challenges around the world. Western Economic Diversification Canada is working as a trusted partner with local businesses to mitigate those challenges. Below is a pamphlet describing the approach WD and the other Regional Development Agencies are taking to keep Canada’s economy stable.

If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization and have received RDA funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations, you are encouraged to contact your local RDA office. Western Economic Diversification Canada – COVID-19 and the Western Canadian Economy
Your local RDA office can review your situation and provide guidance:
· You may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements.
· Further support will be determined on a case-by-case basis as the situation evolves.

If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy and need pressing assistance, the RDAs could assist you with:
· Access to federal funding to help you stay in business.
· Advice and path finding services to other federal programs and services available.
Western Economic Diversification Canada – 1-888-338-WEST (9378)

LinkedIn – Set up an account and profile with LinkedIn – lots of resources from other entrepreneurs!!

If you have any workshops, courses, or other resources that you can share please send to Thank you.