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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: April 21st, 2020, 4:00pm

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, and how to apply for them, is available here.
The Government of Canada has a support page with summaries of current programs and application portals.

Today’s vital updates:

  • The Prime Minister announced more details of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program.
    • Applications will open on April 27. The government anticipates that it will have processed 90% of applications by May 4.
    • A calculator has been made available for businesses to assess what they will be eligible to receive.
    • An application guide is available here.
  • The Government of Ontario has extended the list of workers eligible for emergency day care. The criteria and a list of day care sites in Niagara are available here. If your employees have been deemed essential under this list, they may be able to access emergency day care.
  • A Leger poll released today revealed that:
    • 50% of Canadians are working from home and 79% of them report that they are having a positive experience.
    • 17% of Canadians have received the CERB, up 6% from last week.
    • 17% of Canadians and 23% of Americans know someone with COVID-19.
    • 77% of Canadians are satisfied with the Trudeau government.
    • 48% of Canadians want restrictions lifted either when a vaccine has been developed or when no new cases have been reported for two consecutive weeks.
    • 7% of Canadians want to re-open the economy now, up 1% from last week.
  •  A group of nearly 50 WTO members, including Canada (but not the USA), is calling for action to keep food supply chains open, including pledging not to introduce tariffs, avoiding export restrictions, and keeping any emergency restrictions to appropriate durations and depths.
  • The Government of Canada has launched the Emergency Community Support Fund, an investment of $350 million to support vulnerable Canadians through charities and non-profit organizations that deliver essential services to those in need. Funding will flow through national organizations to local ones in order to support:
    • Increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications
    • Providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments
    • Scaling up help lines that provide information and support
    • Helping vulnerable Canadians access government benefits
    • Providing training, supplies, and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response
    • Replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences, or the Internet
  • New York State Governor Cuomo has committed to a regional approach to re-opening New York’s economy and outlined a plan that would address circumstances on a regional basis (Western New York vs. Central New York, etc.), as opposed to the traditional demarcation between upstate and downstate. Cuomo said re-opening decisions will be data-driven based on regional COVID-19 facts. Although the border closures between Canada and the United States have been extended by an additional 30 days by mutual agreement, with one of the busiest border crossings in North America being located in Niagara, economic recovery in New York State will have an effect on Niagara.

If you are showing symptoms, self-isolate for 14 days. Call a public health authority. Do not visit any healthcare provider in person before calling.  

It is important that everyone practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Remain at home unless absolutely necessary. Minimize contact with other people. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching the face. Maintain a 2-meter distance from others if you are required to be out in public. If you have recently traveled outside the country, self-isolate for 14 days. This means that you must not leave your home under any circumstances. Have supplies delivered and left at your door. 

Previous updates can be accessed at 

Stay safe and be vigilant. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have. 

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