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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: May 20th, 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:

  • The Prime Minister today announced that application documents and updated criteria for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses are now available, and that the program will be opened for applications beginning on May 25.
    • CECRA will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners, whether they have a mortgage on their property or not. The loans will cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
    • The loans will be forgiven if the qualifying property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent under a rent reduction agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
    • Impacted small business tenants are businesses that are paying less than $50,000 per month in gross rent in a given location, with annual revenues of less than $20 million (at the ultimate parent level), and who have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues.
    • Further details about the CECRA program are available here.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Health today released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible, along with additional safety measures for provincial transit agencies. The Ministry released the following face covering recommendations:
    • Wear your face covering safely and snugly to cover your nose and mouth, without any gaps. Ensure your face covering is made of at least two layers of tightly woven material and can be cleaned multiple times without losing its shape.
    • Medical masks, such as surgical and N95 masks, should be reserved for use by health care workers, those providing direct care, first responders and individuals who are ill and must leave their home for essential reasons such as seeking medical care, picking up medication or groceries.
    • Face coverings should not be placed on or used by children under the age of two; anyone who has trouble breathing; and anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance.
    • More information on face coverings is available here. The GNCC encourages everyone to wear face coverings when in public, and suggests that businesses currently open to the public require face coverings for employees and customers.
  • Applications for the large employer emergency financing facility (LEEFF) are now open. LEEFF will be open to large Canadian employers who:
    • have a significant impact on Canada’s economy, as demonstrated by (i) having significant operations in Canada or (ii) supporting a significant workforce in Canada;
    • can generally demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues; and
    • require a minimum loan size of $60 million.
    • Large for-profit enterprises in all sectors, except for those in the financial sector, can apply for funding under LEEFF. Certain not-for-profit enterprises, such as airports, could also be eligible. Applicants should register their interest at LEEFF-CUGE@cdev.gc.ca.

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.