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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: April 7th, 2020, 4pm

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 CERB application process is open today for people born in the months of April, May, and June. 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. The system will be open tomorrow for people with birthdays in June, July, or August.
  • The Government of Ontario has launched the Health Workforce Matching Portal. The portal will connect health professionals or individuals with skills that support the healthcare system with volunteer opportunities.
  • The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is offering a free webinar for GNCC members on immigration and mobility impacts to business due to COVID-19. It will cover the current environment around working from home/layoffs/wage reductions/global travel for foreign workers, travel restrictions for workers, visa processing, self-isolation, and other topics. Sign up here.
  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has launched an FAQ document (PDF link) for businesses impacted by COVID-19, which is updated regularly.
  • Please note that the Government of Ontario updated the list of essential businesses on April 3rd. Individuals that contravening the Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses Order can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for up to one year; directors or officers of a corporation in violation can be fined up to $500,000 and imprisoned for up to one year; corporations may be fined up to $10,000,000. Businesses may face additional fines equal to the financial benefit accrued as a result of contravening the Order. The GNCC urges all businesses to follow the Order, and is ready to help businesses develop delivery, pick-up, and e-commerce options in order to remain compliant.

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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