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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: April 6th, 2020, 4pm

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, and how to apply for them, is available here.
The Government of Canada runs Support for Individuals and Support for Businesses pages with summaries of programs and application portals.

Today’s vital updates: 

  • The CERB application process is now open. Please note that the month of your birth dictates when you should apply either online or by phone, to avoid overloading the system. Self-employed individuals, contractors, and others ineligible for Employment Insurance (EI) can apply. Re-application every four weeks is required, with a maximum benefit duration of 16 weeks. Those who sign up for direct deposit should receive their first payment within 3-5 days of application.
  • Statistics Canada is conducting a survey of small businesses. This survey is important, as the results will shape future federal policy for small businesses and the recovery plan from the COVID-19 crisis. Please take a moment to complete it.
  • The Government of Canada has noted that further CERB support will be coming for those still employed but with drastically-reduced hours, or for contract workers and people employed in the gig economy. Help has also been promised for students who would normally be seeking temporary summer work in the next few months.
  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Government of Canada have partnered to launch the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN), delivering information and resources to the business community and driving economic recovery after the pandemic.
  • The six major banks and cooperatives have agreed to reduce interest rates on credit cards, personal and business, by 50% for those in need. Contact your financial institution for more information.
  • The Government of Canada is calling for volunteers with skills to help with case tracking and contact tracing, health system surge capacity and case data collection and reporting. Interested and skilled people can apply here. The government also announced that the Canadian Forces would be reinforced by offering full-time employment to current reservists.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has launched a new web portal aimed at connecting job seekers with employers with positions to fill in the agri-food sector.

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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