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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: June 4th, 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 seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will receive a special one-time, tax-free payment during the week of July 6. Seniors eligible for the OAS pension will receive a payment of $300, and those also eligible for the GIS will receive an additional $200, for a total of $500. Allowance recipients will also receive $500.
  • Ontario recorded a spike in the number of deaths due to COVID-19 after days of relatively lower numbers. Today, Ontario health officials confirmed that 45 more people have died after contracting the novel coronavirus. Since May 29, officials have reported no more than 19 deaths a day related to the disease. The increase on Thursday may have been due to a lag in reporting from local public health units. It is these numbers that will determine when, and if, Ontario proceeds to Phase Two of its re-opening framework – or whether it is forced to revert to the pre-framework closure. It is imperative that we all act to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus by following all public health guidelines. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam has issued a clear warning that Canada could see “explosive growth” in new cases if reopening is not done with caution, as the latest federal COVID-19 modelling projects that there will be more than 100,000 confirmed cases in Canada, and up to 9,400 deaths by June 15.
  • Many businesses are now approaching the 13-week cutoff for laid-off staff, after which they must be either reinstated, or legally terminated, with termination pay. Review your obligations as an employer. Note that the government of Ontario announced Monday that it would amend the Employment Standards Act. The change will see non-unionized workers who have had their hours reduced or eliminated placed on a temporary leave that preserves their job. Workers will still be eligible for federal emergency income support programs. The amendment to the law will expire six weeks after the province’s declared state of emergency ends.

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.