Stacey Brensrud is the executive director at the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce. (Submitted)

Stacey Brensrud is the executive director at the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce. (Submitted)

From the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce: 2020 vision-through the lens of adaption

Stacey Brensrud shares resources for businesses impacted by COVID-19

Stacey Brensrud

Executive Director, Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce

The Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce is compelled to congratulate and thank our membership and local business community for the important work they are doing at this time.

Our businesses and organizations have quickly innovated and adapted their operations to our new reality, delivering countless acts of support for the greater good of Revelstoke. On behalf of our board of directors, we see you and we thank you.

The year 2020 was to be a big year for the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce. Established on July 12, 1895 originally as the Revelstoke Board of Trade, it was the unofficial governing body before we became a city. We’ve weathered the storm of fluctuating economic conditions in an isolated city, with little to no room for expansion or development. To sustain 125 years is a major feat, and this year was to be a memorable one.

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Little did we know that unprecedented historical times were just around the corner.

Six weeks ago, life changed drastically here in Revelstoke as it has across the world. To say that our economy has fluctuated is an understatement.

Ironically, our city’s isolation has perhaps proven to be a greater asset than ever before. The tenacity that we are witnessing today is the very trait that has sustained our business community for 125 years. This has indeed proven to be an unforgettable year.

The current strategic plan of the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce has four main pillars:

  1. Member Engagement: Reaching out to current and future members with enhanced services; developing strategies to improve the retention of our members.
  2. Business Community Relations: Strengthening alliances with local business organizations and building strategic partnerships.
  3. Advocacy: Working with our membership to identify and develop positions on prominent business issues and advocating on their behalf.
  4. Board & Staff Development: Ensuring continuous growth in our organization’s governance model and staff capacity

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Throughout this pandemic, the team at the Chamber has mobilized in these four areas to provide the very best support that we can. No business in Revelstoke should weather this storm alone. There are extensive measures in place:

  • If your business needs immediate access to emergency funds, email Community Futures Revelstoke at to learn more about emergency loans.
  • If your business or non-profit can demonstrate a drop in revenue of 15 per cent in March, or 30 per cent in April, you may qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) 75 per cent wage subsidy.
  • If you’d like to reduce your payroll remittances to reflect a 10 per cent Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers, there is a separate program from the CEWS and you do not need to apply.
  • If your business has ceased operations or can demonstrate a drop in revenue of 70 per cent, and you rent commercial space, you may qualify for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses.
  • If you had self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of your application, and are earning under $1,000/month, you may qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
  • If your business, non-profit or Charity can demonstrate a reduction of 10 per cent of activity as a result of COVID-19, and wish to explore avoiding lay-offs for year-round core workers, you may qualify for the work sharing program (WS).
  • If your business had a 2019 payroll between $20,000 and $1.5 million, you may qualify for Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) that offers $40,000 interest-free loans with $10,000 of it forgivable if repaid before Dec 31, 2022.
  • If your business’ revenue in 2019 was between $150,000 and $1.5 million, you may qualify for Columbia Basin Trust’s Small Working Capital Loans.
  • If you’d like to explore mentorship to pivot your business’ operations to address potential market demands and adapt to the new business climate and opportunities, learn more about Export Navigator.
  • If you’d like free business advisement, learn more about Columbia Basin Trust’s Basin Business Advisors Program.
  • If your business had eight employees or minimum annual revenues of $1,000,000 previous to impacts due to COVID-19 and you’d like mentorship if your business is positioned to grow, learn more about CBT’s RevUp program.

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Because of our pre-existing collaborative vision and united community culture, Revelstoke was well-positioned to deal with this crisis. The chamber, along with the other organizations in the Business Information Centre, continues to work with the City of Revelstoke and mayor and council to ensure that our business community’s interests are considered throughout this crisis and beyond.

We will look back on 2020 and recognize that we’ve come through stronger as a membership, as an organization, and as a community. Please reach out to the chamber for support.



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