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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: May 11th, 2020, 4pm

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:

  • Beginning today, many stores are now able to re-open for delivery and curbside pickup. Businesses re-opening should consult the guidance documents for employee and public safety.
  • The Government of Canada will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program beyond the June 6th cut-off. Further details are expected this week.
  • The federal government is expanding the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs. Support for mid-market businesses will include loans of up to $60 million per company and guarantees of up to $80 million.
  • The Prime Minister announced today that the Government of Canada will establish a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis.
  • The Government of Canada shared further details about its April 17 announcement of temporary relief measures to support the culture, heritage and sport sectors as they manage the challenges and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for the future. A total of up to $500 million has been set aside to help alleviate the financial pressures of affected organizations. The distribution of funding will include:
    • Up to $326.8 million to be administered by Canadian Heritage and divided among select departmental programs and Portfolio agencies as well as key delivery organizations. Specifically:
      • $198.3 million will be provided to the beneficiaries of arts and culture funding via existing programs as well as other organizations with demonstrated needs;
      • $72 million will be provided to the sport sector;
      • $53 million will be provided to the heritage sector via the emergency component of the Museums Assistance Program; and,
    • $55 million to be distributed by the Canada Council for the Arts;
    • $3.5 million will be provided for COVID-related projects under the Digital Citizen Initiative.
    • $115.8 million to support the Canadian audiovisual sector, to be distributed by the Canada Media Fund ($88.8 million) and Telefilm Canada ($27 million).
  • The International Chamber of Commerce is running a survey of businesses, open until May 29. The ICC will use your responses to provide updated information to businesses and develop solutions that will help your company tackle the consequences of the pandemic.
  • Restaurants Canada has released a Best Practice Guide for Food Service (PDF link), in anticipation of food service re-openings, to help restaurants and food service businesses keep their employees and customers safe.
  • The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario released its Economic and Budget Outlook (PDF link) today.
    • The FAO projects that Ontario’s real GDP will decline by 9% in 2020, the largest annual decline on record. By the end of 2021, it should have largely rebounded, growing by 8.5%.
    • The budget deficit is projected to almost quadruple, reaching $41 billion for 2020-21.
  • Minister Navdeep Bains has convened an Industry Strategy Council, to be chaired by Monique Leroux, Vice-Chair of Fiera Holdings Inc., board member of Michelin, S&P Global, Couche-Tard, and Lallemand Inc. Ms. Leroux is also a former CEO of Desjardins. The Industry Strategy Council will serve as an advisory body to give advice on economic policy to relevant federal ministers. Members of the Council will be announced in the near future and will complement the structure and focus of the Economic Strategy Tables. Over the next 90 days, the Council will meet regularly to identify and understand sectoral pressures that are common across the industries.

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 aCOVID-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.