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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: April 29th, 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.

Vital updates:

  • Results from the Canadian Survey of Business Conditions (CSBC), a joint effort between Statistics Canada and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, were released this morning. Key highlights:
    • 81% of businesses surveyed have experienced a medium to high drop in demand for services or products.
    • 54% experienced a decrease in revenue of over 20% in Q1 2020 as compared to Q1 2019
    • Only 32% say they could remain open longer than 6 months amid social distancing
    • 38% have reduced staff hours or shifts, and 41% have laid off staff
    • 62% of businesses say they can return to a state of normal operations within one month of social distancing measures being removed
    • 35% of businesses have altered products or services offered, 45% of businesses are using new methods to interact with customers, and 45% of businesses are testing working from home
  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has identified its five keys to reopening the economy.
  • The Prime Minister announced that the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have come together and agreed to a set of common principles for restarting the Canadian economy. The general conditions for a re-opening are as follows:
    • COVID-19 transmission is controlled, so new cases are contained at a level that our health care system can manage.
    • Sufficient public health capacity is in place to test, trace, isolate, and control the spread of the virus.
    • Expanded health care capacity exists to support all needs, including COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
    • Supports are in place for vulnerable groups, communities, and key populations.
    • Support and monitoring of workplace protocols are in place to keep Canadians safe at their jobs, and prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19.
    • Restrictions on non-essential travel are eased and managed in a coordinated manner.
    • Communities are supported in managing local disease activity, including in child care, schools, and public transportation, and industry and economic sectors are engaged to support the health of Canadians, reduced viral activity, and protection of the economy as it restarts.
  • The Ontario government is further expanding the list of essential workers eligible to receive free emergency child care during the COVID-19 outbreak. The additional frontline workers who can now access emergency childcare services include:
    • Workers in grocery stores and pharmacies
    • Truck drivers (driver’s licence Class A and Class D)
    • Workers in the food supply chain, including food processing
    • Workers in retirement homes
    • Auxiliary workers in health care settings, including cooks and cleaning staff in hospitals and long-term care homes
    • Interpreters and intervenors who support people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind
    • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel
    • Provincial officers and onsite staff in Ontario courts
    • Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence staff working in Ontario
    • Additional workers supporting public safety and correctional services

Reading recommendations:


If you are showing symptoms, you must self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days. Call a public health authority immediately. Do not visit any healthcare provider in person before you have been directly advised to by public health authorities.  

It is important that everyone practice physical 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, you are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Previous updates can be accessed here.

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