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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: March 25th, 2020, 4pm

The GNCC is committed to bringing timely information and updates on the business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s vital updates: 

  • Parliament has passed a support bill for COVID-19, including funding for Canadians out of work as a result of COVID-19, who will receive up to $2,000 per month, regardless of their EI status. No other supports or initiatives for businesses were announced. 
  • Canadian workers over the age of 15 who have earned more than $5,000 in the last 12 months but are now earning no income because of the COVID-19 pandemic will qualify for the newly-created Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), including freelancers and self-employed workers. 
  • The Government of Ontario has launched a hotline at 1-888-444-3659 for businesses with questions about the list of essential businesses. 
  • The Government of Ontario is cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption. 
  • The WSIB has issued a guidance document about COVID-19 claims, which can be accessed here. 
  • WSIB funding has been increased by $1.9-billion, allowing employers to defer WSIB payments for up to six months. 

It is important that everyone practice social 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, self-isolate for 14 days. This means that you must not leave your home under any circumstances. Have supplies delivered and left on your porch. 

Failure to adhere to these guidelines places lives at risk, prolongs the crisis, and increases the likelihood that governments in Ontario and Canada will be forced to resort to more drastic measures, such as mandatory curfews and lockdowns under the Emergencies Act. Other countries have already had to take these steps. 

Previous updates can be accessed at https://gncc.ca/covid-19/covid-19-gncc-news/.  

Stay safe and be vigilant. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.