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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: June 23rd, 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 Niagara Economic Rapid Response Team (ERRT) has shared Part 2 of the Niagara COVID-19 Business Impact Survey today. The full report is available here. The survey showed that, while the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and Canada Emergency Business Account programs had been popular, with over 1,100 surveyed businesses accessing them, they were not enough to prevent a total revenue loss of $7.8 billion, nor to prevent more than 1 in 3 Niagara businesses from being unable to pay more than half of their fixed expenses. Key facts from the survey include:
    • 51% of businesses had laid off staff. Of those laid off, 58% were full-time and 42% part-time. The number of layoffs was massively disproportional in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry, which laid off 5,855 workers, and in accommodation and food services, which laid off 8,716. The next-highest number of layoffs in an industry was 771, in manufacturing. This represents not only those industries most vulnerable to impacts of COVID-19, but also where Niagara’s industrial makeup is concentrated – that is to say, Niagara’s industries are concentrated in the sectors most affected by COVID-19.
    • Only 15% of businesses anticipated laying more staff off within 6 months, contingent on the re-opening of the economy.
    • 35% of responding businesses were at serious risk of closure as a result of COVID-19 and the attendant economic disruption. Only 6% were doing well.
    • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was the most-used government aid program, followed closely by the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Only 49 out of 1,332 surveyed businesses had accessed the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.
    • 28% of surveyed businesses felt that the existing support programs were enough to carry them through to recovery. 27% did not, and 45% were unsure.
    • 18% of companies reported that they could not operate at full capacity with precautionary measures in place, but only 2.5% reported that they would not be able to operate at all.

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.