We assess how different people/things and, of course, businesses fared this week

Hey, we stopped doing this in, like, mid-March. Anything happen since then?

Now that it feels like the world is ready to be judged once more, a quick reminder of how things go down here.

Much of this will be tongue-in-cheek. Some of it won’t. But hopefully it will be informative and entertaining. Is the world ready for the return of the BCBusiness Report Card? Guess we’ll find out.

Here’s what made the grade (and what didn’t) this week.

Routific

Grade: A

This isn’t really a grade specific to this week or anything, but the Vancouver-based company has shown itself to be a major asset for the city (and really, the world) with its delivery optimization software.

The service—free for nonprofits during COVID-19—uses route optimization software developed by founder and CEO Marc Kuo to shave about 40 percent off routes designed by humans. 

It also keeps extra cars off the road—for one customer in California, Routific cut truck usage from 20 vehicles to 15. More than 50 companies in B.C. use the software, from Victoria’s Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. to Shoppers Drug Mart. Meanwhile, we’re still getting lost in the grocery store.

Very Good Butchers and FrontFundr

Grade: A

On to some businesses that did have specific good news to celebrate this week, as Victoria-based vegan deli Very Good Butchers became the first company to go public after seeking investment with Vancouver crowdfunding platform FrontFundr.

If you’re looking to dip your toe into investing, FrontFundr is a good start. Not too long ago, you could have gotten into Very Good Butchers for $250.

Changing our province’s name

Grade: B

Sure. But can we ask that we keep the initials B.C.? You see, we really don’t want to have to get a whole new domain name and everything like that. And BCB just rolls off the tongue. We can’t be “Before Christ Business” or “Birth Control Business.” Those don’t really work, for a few different reasons.

Some suggestions:

  • Big Country. It might be improper, since B.C. isn’t a country, but it would be a salute to Bryant Reeves, one of the weirder figures in our province’s sports history.
  • Blue Canuckland. As you’ll see later, we’re not particularly thrilled with the NHL at the moment, but there is a copious amount of blue in B.C., and our hockey team is called the Canucks.
  • Bloc Cascadia. Stepping away from sports for a second, isn’t this name kinda awesome? Quebec wouldn’t have the only Bloc in the country. And hey, maybe English rockers Bloc Party would be enticed to play some shows here (when that’s allowed, of course).

Extending temporary layoffs

Grade: C+

The provincial government announced that it will be extending temporary layoff measures until the end of August. They were supposed to run out in two weeks’ time.

So yes, it sucks for those who are still laid off, because they’ll have to keep living on federal government funds until at least August 31. And if their employers were going to lay off them off (and still might), they can’t collect the severance they’d be entitled to until then. There also wouldn’t seem to be a big point in seeking other employment because, hey, you've already put the time into seeing this through. We get that.

On the other hand, the pressure on the government from businesses was enormous, and it was the only real hand that Victoria could play in the face of this economic disaster.

The NHL

Grade: C–

All the back-and-forth about Vancouver being a hub city when the NHL resumes play (training camps are supposed to open July 10) hit “a snag” this week, reportedly because the league wouldn’t comply with provincial health officer Bonnie Henry’s demands. Then came the news yesterday that Vancouver is officially out of the bid.

And that’s a good thing. Under Henry’s leadership, B.C. and Vancouver have weathered the COVID-19 storm relatively well.

If the NHL can’t or won’t comply with what she thinks is acceptable, then it’s a no-brainer, as most every Vancouverite seems to agree (even the hockey-mad ones). Although being a hub city would be nice for some in Vancouver’s food and service sector (read: those who work for Toptable Group, owned by the same family that controls the Vancouver Canucks), the risk isn’t even close to worth it if our health officials don’t agree with the protocols in place.

Have fun in Edmonton.