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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: July 21st, 2020

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:

  • The Government of Canada has offered details of the extension and proposed reforms to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program. The subsidy will now run until December 19th, will be calculated based on a maximum weekly wage of $1,129, and will now consist of two parts in order to scale the subsidy according to the impact felt by the employer:
    • A base subsidy will be applied to eligible employers in the amount of 1.2 percentage points per percentage point of revenue decline (e.g. an employer with a 30% drop in revenue would be entitled to a 36% subsidy), and
    • Employers with a revenue drop of more than 50% will receive an additional 25% subsidy.
  • These rates will be gradually reduced from August 30th to September 26th. Between July 5th and August 29th, any company that would have received a greater subsidy under the old rules (a subsidy of 75% to a weekly maximum of $847 if the employer had seen a 30% revenue drop) will be allowed to receive the same payment as under the old system.
  • These changes will be debated in the House of Commons this week. We will advise you if and when these proposals are legislated.
  • In a letter to Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau and other cabinet members, Air Canada’s chief medical officer has suggested a loosening of quarantine and distancing requirements, following the example of some countries in Europe and Asia that loosened aviation rules after it had become apparent that the spread of COVID-19 was under control. The U.S. border remains closed, and while the E.U. has placed Canada on an exempt list of countries, the gesture has not been reciprocated. Air Canada is not lobbying for the U.S. border to be reopened, but has suggested that Canada develop a list of “low-risk” countries as the European Union has, and permit travel to and from those countries without the need to self-isolate on arrival. A relaxation of travel rules would help the tourist industry, although the ultimate decision on whether to do so should doubtless be made only with the approval of public health experts.

Reading recommendations:


If you are showing symptoms, you must self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days. Call a public health authority immediately. Do not visit any healthcare provider in person before you have been directly advised to by public health authorities.

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.