Message from Program Manager, Carmen Massey

Hi Tsuts’weye Network,

We find ourselves in the middle of Tourism Week in BC, which feels vastly different than the celebratory mood of the tourism industry only one year ago. In 2019 we were on the trajectory of five record years of tourism growth in a row. Even as we prepared for floods and fires, no one could have predicted the impact of a microscopic organism on the global tourism industry.

A healthy, robust Shuswap economy depends on a thriving tourism industry. Many of our small businesses depend on the visitor economy in the summer to sustain them. Think: gas stations, retail stores, farmer’s markets and coffee shops. Lately I ponder that we often don’t value something until we risk losing it. Our visitor economy makes our community rich with a variety of businesses we love as locals but they actually exist largely with the support of the tourism economy. We understand that #tourismmatters to us in the Shuswap, economically and personally. So a shout-out to our hard-hit tourism industry this week!

As a community, we can do our part to bridge the gap for our tourism businesses, until the day that people return in sustainable numbers. Let us spend our dollars on our neighbour, consider hyper-local travel, and convert each dollar we spend into a dollar that supports local. And let’s be kind to our businesses taking the courageous step to open up and invite visitors back to our community. It is a tricky balance to maintain, between respecting the wishes of the community and protecting the interests of one’s own business.  I applaud our businesses who are showing courage, fortitude, and wisdom to carefully and thoughtfully lead the way to “open”.

Tsuts’weye is committed to helping all women entrepreneurs whatever their background and whatever their industry. We particularly are concerned about our tourism businesses at this time and encourage you to reach out for the many supports our program can offer. We encourage you to list your businesses on the Tsuts’weye Business Profile page and to join the Support Local BC site that has been set up for Shuswap businesses. Both of these tasks take minutes and will extend your online reach, which is critical at this time. Contact our Business support program for direct, free, one-on-one consulting support.  We also encourage you to investigate the Destination BC toolkit to assist with tourism messaging and marketing in accordance with the local health recommendations. Also please check out our business resource section at the bottom of the newsletter that will give you good information and resources on reopening your business.

A Tsuts’weye Network business, Canadian Barley Tea Company, mo’mugi was nominated for RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, Ones to Watch category. Congratulations, Cilla and Janice! We launched our own Tsuts’weye Women to Watch project this week, featuring June Reeves, Up the Hill at Loakin.  Thank you to Trilogy Solutions, sponsor of our Women to Watch project.

We have the privilege this Saturday to host (virtually) Michael Kerr in the Shuswap (May 30 at 10 am). Email to register and get your zoom link. Michael will be talking about “Humour at Work” and strategies to motivate yourself and others during these challenging times. We have opened up the webinar to all businesses, so feel free to share with your male counterparts in the community.

Tomorrow (Thursday, May 28 at 10:00 am) you are invited to a Town Hall meeting for businesses in the Shuswap, facilitated through the Shuswap Economic Recovery program. Tsuts’weye is a partner in this initiative and we hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to connect with other business owners in the community, to learn more about the concerns and opportunities for re-opening.

I look forward to seeing many of you “on screen” this week. But, to be honest, I would rather visit you and your businesses face-to-physically-distant-face. Please let me know when you are open and welcoming visitors and when would be a good time to come see first-hand how you are implementing the changes required to do business now.

We are #tsutsweyestrong. We have collective hope, strength, and commitment.

Warm regards,
Carmen Massey
Project Manager, Tsuts’weye Enterprise and Innovation Network
Cell: 250-804-3466





Can’t make it live? Register so that we can send you the webinar replay!!

May 26 – June 2, 2020 is Tourism Week in BC. For B.C., the health of tourism matters: it is one of the province’s most important industries, serving as a key source of employment and business activity across the province. According to Destination British Columbia, 160,000 jobs and $6 billion in wage and salary income depend on the industry. In 2019, tourism generated aggregate revenues of roughly $21 billion, a jump of more than 50 per cent since 2008. Some of this was spending by B.C. residents on within-province travel and at local hotels, restaurants and other venues. But almost $8 billion consisted of “export revenues,” a category that captures spending by non-B.C. residents on goods and services purchased while visiting our province. Tourism export earnings exceed those garnered from the sale of B.C. minerals and agri-food and fish products – making tourism one of the province’s leading export sectors.
The message at this time is to explore the communities around us and stay local for any travel plans. Please support our local businesses that rely on the busy summer months to sustain their businesses throughout the year. Shop local, stay local, and eat local this year. Our businesses and communities will appreciate your support!! Go here for more information on Tourism Week in BC.

On May 6, 2020, Premier John Horgan announced BC’s Restart Plan, outlining how we will move forward with safely restarting our province while protecting people and all the progress we’ve made. Learn more about the four-phase plan, including next steps, key dates, and the protective measures we should all keep practicing on BC’s Restart Plan.
The Go Forward Strategy – The planning and research you’ve done for your business, up to now, can be implemented with the Go Forward Strategy. This document now enables you to develop timelines, a business plan, and a variety of financial scenarios. The Go Forward Strategy is the implementation document and your roadmap for your organization to follow.

BC COVID-19 SPEAK: Your story, our future

This is a population health survey to elicit citizen experience, knowledge and actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey is the first of several activities that will strengthen our pandemic response and our understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 to date (social, economic, mental wellness and community wellness).
To take the survey go here.


Destination BC has launched a series of webinars to support BC’s tourism industry on the road to recovery from COVID-19. The six-part series, will guide tourism businesses through ‘checkpoints’ to collectively consider and work on as we move towards recovery and resilience in our industry. Topics include: planning for re-opening, digital marketing, strategies to elevate the visitor experience, and more.  Learn more and register – all of the past webinars are also available at this link.

Tsuts’weye Entrepreneur In Residence Services
for all entrepreneurs to assist you with the reopening and recovery of your business in the Shuswap region.

Tsuts’weye Women’s Entrepreneur & Innovation Network can provide services to your business, whether you are a new business, or have been in business many years. These services are provided free of charge, thanks to the financial support of Community Futures Shuswap and Western Economic Diversification.
To access these services please complete the Client Intake Form and then send to Caroline Grover, our Entrepreneur in Residence by email or call her directly at 250-300-4757.
For more information about this program go to the Tsuts’weye website.

Business Profiles on Tsuts’weye Website

Join the Tsuts’weye Network Business Directory and share your business on our website. Business Profile listings are free. We encourage our members to #ShopShuswap as much as possible. Let’s support each other. To get your business profile on this page, simply fill out our Business Profile Form and email it to us!

COVID-19 Supports for Women Entrepreneurs

  • NEW! Health & Safety Guidelines Webinar
    In advance of WorkSafeBC’s development of health and safety guidelines specific to tourism (expected in June), Chris Back, Director of OHS Consultation & Education Services, will provide an overview of what employers and employees should consider as you develop your plans for re-opening and a return to work. This webinar also touches on what future visitors will expect and need from a health and safety perspective. WATCH HERE
  • NEW! Worksafe BC posters and signs for businesses to use when reopening – more information here. Other signs for businesses to use here.
  • NEW! Government of Canada – New CEBA requirements – latest updates.
  • Government of Canada – Commercial Rent Relief – more information.
  • BC Hydro – COVID-19 Relief Fund.
  • Tourism Resiliency Program – Resources for Tourism businesses in the Thompson Okanagan Tourism region.
  • Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy – Click the link for more information.
  • Government of Canada – Here is the link to the COVID-19 benefits programs and more resources.
  • Province of BC – COVID-19 resources: Here is up to date information about resources for businesses and individuals.
  • Community Futures BC – COVID-19 Business Resources.
  • Small Business BC – CoVid-19 Resources – webinars and resources for small business in BC.
  • BDC – CoVid-19 – Resources and support for businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • Womens Enterprise Centre – CoVid-19 – Assisting women entrepreneurs through this crisis – Resources and Support.
  • BC Economic Development Association – Resources for BC Businesses.
  • Tourism Industry Association of BC – C-19 Bulletin – April 24, 2020