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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: July 29th, 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:

  • Niagara Region has passed a new bylaw for restaurants and bars. Patrons must now be seated at all times unless entering, exiting, travelling to and from a washroom, or paying. Restaurants and bars must also maintain a client log with a name and contact information for at least one person in each party. The registry will include the date, check-in and checkout times and table number. The health department can access the information for contact tracing. Establishments must maintain the list for 30 days, after which it can be destroyed.
  • Niagara Region has released a template sign (PDF link) for businesses to place at all public entrances to their premises in anticipation of their mask bylaw, which comes into effect on Friday, July 31. As of that date, all Niagara businesses must:
    • adopt a policy regarding the wearing of face coverings that prohibits persons from entering, or otherwise remaining, within the enclosed public place unless they are wearing a face covering, subject to the exemptions provided for in the by-law
    • ensure that all persons working at the enclosed public place are trained in the requirements of the policy
    • provide a copy of the face covering policy for inspection by any persons authorized to enforce this by-law
    • post clearly visible signage conspicuously at all entrances to the enclosed public place containing the following text in a minimum font size of 24 point:
      Protect each other
      Wear a face covering
      Cover your nose, mouth, and chin
      Required by the Face Covering By-law
      Does not apply to children under the age of five and those who are unable to wear a face covering as a result of a medical condition or a disability.
    • provide hand sanitizer with a minimum 70% alcohol content, at all public entrances and exits at all times for the use of members of the public attending the enclosed public place
  • The following are exempt from the regional mask requirement. Note that businesses may not require proof of an exemption, but are also not obliged to admit or serve anyone claiming an exemption or refusing to wear a mask, and may be legally required to refuse entry under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to protect their employees and other customers.
    • Children under the age of five
    • A person who is unable to wear a face covering as a result of a medical condition or a disability
    • A person who is unable to remove the face covering without help
    • A person who would have their breathing inhibited or restricted by wearing a face covering
    • A person while consuming food or drink provided by a business that is permitted to operate
    • A person receiving services involving the face
    • A person engaged in sport or other strenuous physical activity
    • A person while helping or accommodating another person with a hearing disability
    • Individuals working in an enclosed public space that isn’t open for public access
    • Individuals working behind a physical barrier
  • Face coverings are not required in:
    • Daycares, schools, post-secondary institutions and other facilities used for educational purposes
    • Hospitals, independent health facilities and offices of regulated health professionals
    • Buildings and services owned and operated by the Province of Ontario or the Federal Government of Canada
    • An indoor area of a building that’s accessible only to employees
    • Portions of buildings that are being used for the purpose of providing day camps for children or for the training of amateur or professional athletes
  • To learn more about face coverings and how to properly wear, fit, remove and clean non-medical face coverings visit:
  • On Friday, July 31, the City of Toronto and Peel Region will move into Stage 3 of the provincial re-opening framework. After 12:01am on July 31, only Windsor-Essex will remain in
  • The federal government has given Bill C-20 royal assent, ensuring that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program will continue until Dec. 19, 2020. Employers with revenue losses of less than 30% are now eligible for the program, including those that previously qualified but have now recovered above the 30% loss threshold. Specifically, the changes introduced in Bill C-20 will:
    • Allow the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020.
    • Make the subsidy more accessible to a broader range of employers by providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenues. This will help many struggling employers with less than a 30-per-cent revenue loss get support to keep and bring back workers, while also ensuring those who have previously benefited could still qualify, even if their revenues recover and no longer meet the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold.
    • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent for employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This will be particularly helpful to employers in industries that are recovering more slowly.
    • Provide certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules.
    • Address technical issues with the CEWS identified by stakeholders, for example by providing continuity rules to address circumstances where an employer purchased all or substantially all of another entity’s business assets.
    • Make the proposed amendments to the CEWS previously introduced in Bill C-17, An Act respecting additional COVID-19 measures.

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.