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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: June 1st, 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 Prime Minister today announced that funding delivered through the federal Gas Tax Fund will be accelerated this year to help communities as quickly as possible while respecting public health guidelines. This means that $2.2 billion in annual federal infrastructure funding for communities will be delivered in one payment in June. Early delivery of the full funding for 2020-21 will help communities quickly move forward with infrastructure projects that will improve our quality of life and help restart local economies.
  • The Ontario government announced that it will continue to support provincial electricity consumers by providing stability and greater customer choice, while helping those struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Initiatives include:
    • $9 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) to support consumers struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic. CEAP will provide one-time payments to consumers to help pay down any electricity bill debt incurred over the COVID‑19 period. Applications will be available through local utilities in the upcoming months;
    • $8 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) to provide support to businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the outbreak; and
    • An extension of the Ontario Energy Board’s winter disconnection ban until July 31, 2020 to ensure no one is disconnected from their natural gas or electricity service during these uncertain times.
    • In addition, the government recently announced that it will continue the suspension of time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates and, starting on June 1, 2020, customers will be billed based on a new fixed COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour.S tarting June 1, 2020, the new COVID-19 Recovery Rate comes into effect for electricity customers who pay TOU rates. This fixed rate will apply to TOU customer bills 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing stability and certainty for consumers as the government restarts the economy and supports individuals and families who continue to spend more time at home. The COVID-19 Recovery Rate will be in place until October 31, 2020

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.

It is important that everyone practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Remain at home unless absolutely necessary. Minimize contact with other people. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching the face. Maintain a 2-meter distance from others if you are required to be out in public. 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.