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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: August 21st, 2020

Earlier today, we had the opportunity to address the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding the SME sector.

While you work hard to rebuild and recover, know that we are here to support you:

  • Earlier today, we had the opportunity to address the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairsregarding the Small and Medium Enterprises sector and recommendations relating to the Economic and Fiscal Update Act, 2020 and the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on certain sectors of the economy. Based on your input, some of the recommendations included:
    • Ensuring the liquidity of businesses and organizations in form of extended subsidies and loans
    • Sector specific needs and opportunities (i.e. tourism, food service industry, retail, arts)
    • Incentives to retrain workforces
    • Changes to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program to ensure direct support for commercial tenants
    • Removal of beverage alcohol inter-provincial trade barriers
    • Ontario Government to prepare credit and relief programs as contingencies for a possible second-wave
    • Childcare infrastructure and more.
  • 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.
  • We also encourage everyone to support local businesses by shopping local and joining Niagara Shop Local Facebook Group.

Today’s vital updates:

  • Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Doug Ford, Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, announced that they are partnering with 3M Canada to expand its Brockville, Ontario manufacturing facility to produce made-in-Ontario N95 respirators. Both levels of government are investing $23.33 million to support 3M’s capital investment of $70 million. The expanded facility will produce enough respirators to meet private sector, provincial and North American market demand throughout the pandemic and beyond.
  • Over 188,000 Ontario tourism and hospitality workers have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and remain unemployed, and thousands of others are working fewer hours. Help is available for workers through Tourism & Hospitality Emergency Response, a new initiative led by OTEC and funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and the Government of Ontario. For more information on training, employment support and relief programs, visit

Reading recommendations:

If you are showing symptoms, contact your health care provider, call the Public Health Info-Line at 905-688-8248, or chat to Public Health online. For testing, call 905-378-4647 ext. 42819 (4-CV19) for information on test centres in Niagara and to book an appointment.

Remember that a COVID-19 test is only a snapshot of your health on the specific date and time the swab was taken. No testing is perfect and a negative result doesn’t mean you haven’t been exposed to COVID-19. You can still develop symptoms days after your test was taken.

It is important that everyone practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Maintain a 2-metre distance from other people. When maintaining distance is impossible, use a face mask. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching the face. 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.

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