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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: August 24th, 2020

Beginning August 21, 2020, facilities that rent out professional meeting and event spaces can have up to 50 guests for each indoor meeting room or event space within the facility. The facility would have to adhere to a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Please take our survey on our COVID-19 Resources. During the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, the GNCC has striven to offer support to businesses and help them weather the storm. We would like to know how helpful our services have been to you so that we know how best to allocate our resources to better support you, and what else we could do to aid your business success. This survey has only three questions and should take approximately 1 minute to complete.
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:

  • Beginning August 21, 2020, facilities that rent out professional meeting and event spaces can have up to 50 guests for each indoor meeting room or event space within the facility. The facility would have to adhere to a plan approved by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Previously, the 50-person rule applied to the entire building; the limit will now apply on a per meeting room or event space basis at professional meeting and event facilities, including convention centres, hotels, motels, resorts, banquet halls and conference centres, able to host multiple meetings and events. Venues hosting such meetings and events can consult the guidance document on doing so here.
  • Canada Revenue Agency is offering an email update service, including notifications of messages and of changes made to an account, including applications for CERB and CESB and changes to banking information. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has recorded more than 700 cases where identity fraud has been used to steal benefits such as CERB. We encourage anyone concerned about the possibility of identity theft to sign up for the service.
  • Visitors who are currently in Canada and have a valid job offer will be able to apply for an employer-specific work permit and, if approved, receive the permit without having to leave the country under a new temporary policy announced today. This temporary policy change takes effect immediately and will benefit employers in Canada who continue to face difficulties finding the workers they need, as well as temporary residents who would like to contribute their labour and skills to Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Any type of visitor who meets the criteria is eligible to apply under this new public policy, including super visa holders, business visitors and those who entered Canada through a Global Skills Strategy work permit exemption. To be eligible, an applicant looking to benefit from this temporary public policy must:
    • have arrived in Canada as a visitor before August 24, 2020,
    • have valid status in Canada as a visitor on August 24, 2020 and remain in Canada,
    • have a job offer,
    • submit an application for an employer-specific work permit that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment, no later than March 31, 2021, and
    • meet all other standard admissibility criteria.
  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Governor of the Bank of Canada, Tiff Macklem, for the Bank of Canada’s Economic Progress Report. The event will take place on September 10 at 12:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the Bank of Canada’s website.
    Chamber members have the exclusive opportunity to participate in the event by videoconference and submit questions to the Governor. Please email your questions to kmurray@chamber.ca.
  • Join us on Thursday for the next edition of GNCC Espresso Live. GNCC CEO Mishka Balsom is joined by guests Danny Pehar, Cyber Security Expert, Bestselling Author and Professional Speaker and Graeme Barrie, President and Founder, Netmechanics Inc. to examine the challenges that COVID-19 has created in the cyber security world. Participants will be able to ask their own questions of the panel and get answers to their IT and cybersecurity issues. Registration is free.

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, wear a mask or face covering. 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.