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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: December 7th, 2020

The Government of Ontario has identified key populations which will receive vaccine doses first. Ontario will also be prioritizing the rollout of the vaccine in regions with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection.
Information on government grants, resources, and programs, as well as policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.
The Government of Canada has a support page with summaries of current programs and application portals.

Vital updates:

  • The Government of Ontario has identified key populations which will receive vaccine doses first. Ontario will also be prioritizing the rollout of the vaccine in regions with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection, including those in the Red-Control and Lockdown zones. The immunization program will focus on healthcare workers and the most vulnerable populations in those regions. At first, COVID-19 vaccines are expected to only be available for non-pregnant adults over the age of 18 years old based on early clinical trials. The Prime Minister stated today that the federal government expects to have 249,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine by the end of this year, of which 85,000 are earmarked for Ontario, as the first shipment in 76 million doses the government has agreed to purchase from the pharmaceutical firm. FedEx Express Canada and Innomar Strategies Inc. have been awarded a contract for end-to-end distribution of vaccines in Canada. The province recorded a record high number of new cases, at 1,925, today. Groups receiving the early vaccine doses in the first few months of the Ontario immunization program will include:
    • Residents, staff, essential caregivers, and other employees of congregate living settings (e.g., long-term care homes and retirement homes) that provide care for seniors as they are at higher risk of infection and serious illness from COVID-19;
    • Health care workers, including hospital employees, other staff who work or study in hospitals, and other health care personnel;
    • Adults in Indigenous communities, including remote communities where risk of transmission is high; and
    • Adult recipients of chronic home health care.
  • The Government of Canada has signed agreements with the following companies to secure access to their COVID-19 vaccine candidates:
    • Pfizer, which will supply a minimum of 20 million doses and up to 76 million doses of its messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine candidate developed with BioNTech, BNT162b2.
    • Medicago, which will supply up to 76 million doses of its virus-like particle vaccine candidate.
    • AstraZeneca, which will supply up to 20 million doses of its viral vector vaccine candidate AZD1222.
    • Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, which will supply up to 72 million doses of their protein subunit vaccine candidate.
    • Johnson & Johnson, which will supply up to 38 million doses of its viral vector vaccine candidate Ad26.COV2.S.
    • Novavax, which will supply up to 76 million doses of its protein subunit vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373.
    • Moderna, which will supply up to 56 million doses of its mRNA vaccine candidate mRNA-1273.
  • Seven members of Ontario’s Greenbelt Council have resigned in protest during the weekend over Schedule 6, which forms part of the government’s omnibus COVID-19 recovery bill, Bill 229. Critics, including former Chair David Crombie, feel that the bill would disempower local conservation authorities in favour of centralized ministerial control over zoning. Minister Clark clarified that the Bill did not apply to the Greenbelt, which surrounds the Golden Horseshoe area. The Government of Ontario has repeatedly stated that it has no plans to allow development in the Greenbelt.
  • Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, announced additional supports for children and families through the Canada Child Benefit and investments in child care. In May 2020, families who were eligible for the Canada Child Benefit benefitted from a one-time payment of $300 per child, representing approximately $550 on average per family. The Government of Canada is now proposing new temporary support of up to $1,200 per child under the age of six to further assist families with young children.
  • Today, the Competition Bureau launched a short online survey to learn about Canadians’ experiences accessing and using digital health care services. By filling out this short 5-minute online survey, you can provide feedback that will help guide the Bureau’s current market study of Canada’s health care sector. The survey will be open until December 18, 2020.

Reading recommendations:

Businesses are still struggling to understand which of the pandemic’s effects will be temporary and which will turn out to be permanent. Three new reports attempt to analyse these longer-term trends. One is from Glassdoor, a website that allows workers to rank their employers. Another is from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a management consultancy. The third is from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), a British professional body. Read together, they imply that firms stand to benefit—but that managers’ lives are about to get more difficult.

Catie McKee, Dan McNamara, and their boss Marc Rosenthal had millions of dollars riding on Crystal Mall in Waterford, Connecticut. The trio worked at MP Securitized Credit Partners, a tiny Wall Street hedge fund, and they’d stopped by the typical middle class shopping center in search of signs of life: Who was at JCPenney? Claire’s? Hot Topic? ThriftBois? What was up at VAPE CITY or BrowArt23? They couldn’t help but notice there was something depressing about the place: discounts galore, emptiness in every direction, a foreboding aura that signaled the end was near. It didn’t look good for anyone hoping for the mall’s success. But Rosenthal, McKee, and McNamara weren’t betting on Crystal Mall thriving—they were betting on it failing, and spectacularly.

 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.

Previous updates can be accessed here.

The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.

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