Pandemic Preparedness for Business

Pandemic Preparedness for Business, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

In today’s global world, systems are more interconnected than ever. It stands to reason then, if a pandemic strikes in one part of the world, the opportunities for it to spread are that much greater.

COVID-19 │Pandemic Preparedness for Business Guide

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Should COVID-19 escalate in Canada, some of the things businesses need to plan for include:

  • Staff absences due to a number of reasons (personal illness, ill family members, looking after children if schools close, feeling of safety being at home etc.). In some cases employees may themselves elect to stay home; in other circumstances the government may authorize or require them to do so.
  • Disruption to essential services like information, telecommunications, financial services, energy supply, and logistics;
  • Disruption to supply of necessary materials or contractors;
  • A major increase or decrease in demand for products and services;
  • Cancellation or disruption of travel and cross-border movement of people and goods;
  • Cancellation of public meetings or gatherings like sports events, concerts or religious services;
  • Impact on the trade status of Canada, or of our trading partners; and
  • Increased public fear that causes citizens to avoid public places, including front line retail and tourist–related attractions, restaurants and leisure businesses.

To help businesses prepare for and manage through a potential COVID-19 escalation in Canada, the Canadian Chamber has developed a brief guide source from a number of best practice documents and designed to assist business planning and continuity efforts. This tool includes links to the some of the most relevant and credible information, best practice tools and resources and can be found here Pandemic Preparedness Guide.

In addition to pandemic preparedness tools, we have also created templates for your use: a Crisis Communications Plan and a Business Continuity & Recovery Plan.

During this time we have created a special email for updates related to COVID-19; you can sign up for the newsletterhere.

We also want to hear from you on how prepared you are and what other support you might need, so please take a few minutes to compete our brief (4 min) survey on business preparedness.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has a useful page of resource including travel advice, updates and printable reference information. Also included is a reference sheet from the World Health Organization for workplaces.

Government of Canada COVID-19 information

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Being prepared

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Prevention and risks

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Symptoms and treatment

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel advice

Social media to follow
Facebook: Healthy Canadians

Facebook: Travel advice from the Government of Canada

Twitter: @TravelGOC

Twitter: @GovCanHealth

Twitter: @CPHO_Canada

LinkedIn: Public Health Agency of Canada

COVID-19 – Specific Information and updates
COVID-19 subscription for Public Health Updates

To help you to stay alert on what is happening in your region, we’ve gathered some information from Ontario that you can bookmark for updates on the COVID-19 virus.


Tools for business
Canadian Payroll Association : Payroll Continuity Best Practice Guidelines

The Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) is holding a business continuity webinar, Thursday, March 26 to explore practical ways you can protect yourself, your team and your organization. The expert panel, moderated by Meredith Low, includes Christine Neilsen, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science, Jordan Rodney and Chen Sasson from MaxPeople, along with Dominic Chorafakis, P.Eng, CISSP, an expert in cyber-security,

Business Supports

Work-Sharing Program – Temporary special measures

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada

Export Development Canada COVID-19

Business Development Bank of Canada – Support for Entrepreneurs impacted by coronavirus

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian businesses

Tools our members have shared:
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP shares the following bulletins: Key Business and Legal Implications and Best Practices in the Workplace.

Borden, Ladner, Gervais (BLG) LLP issued this article recently.

BDC shared their information for businesses.

Deloitte has a page of useful documents. And also the following resources:

COVID-19: Managing Supply Chain Risk and Disruption

COVID-19: Managing Cash Flow During a Crisis

COVID-19: Practical Workforce Strategies that Put Your People First

GardaWorld │ COVID19 live updates

Fasken has uploaded information for employers and employees.

RDC | COVID-19 Resource Portal

Creating a Crisis Plan
A few years ago, Calgary’s downtown flooded. The Calgary Chamber was in the frey of this crisis. Out of bad comes good, and the chamber created an award-winning emergency preparedness kit.

As the chamber says on their website: “Disasters big and small happen without warning, and being unable to provide your products and services to your customers can seriously hurt your business reputation. Having a plan in place before a disruption can make for a more effective response and faster recovery.”

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has also created a useful resource especially for SMEs and their employees.

The Canadian Association of Association Executives held a webinar on COVID-19 with Dr. David N. Fisman. To access it, click here.

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