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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: November 13th, 2020

The GNCC is asking that Niagara Health’s recent order under Section 22 of the the Health Protection and Promotion Act be rescinded immediately. We feel that this measure punishes the law-abiding and will harm compliant businesses. Read our media release here.
Information on government grants, resources, and programs, as well as policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.
The Government of Canada has a support page with summaries of current programs and application portals.

Vital updates:

  • The GNCC is asking that Niagara Health’s recent order under Section 22 of the the Health Protection and Promotion Act be rescinded immediately. We feel that this measure punishes the law-abiding and will harm compliant businesses. Read our media release here.
  • In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Public Health Measures Table, the Ontario government is taking immediate action to respond to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and is updating the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework, by lowering the thresholds for each level in the framework. The framework changes are in response to the current data and trends, and will lower the threshold for each of the five levels for: weekly incidence rates, positivity rate, effective reproductive number (Rt), outbreak trends and the level of community transmission. Based on the new changes, Niagara will move from the Yellow-Protect level into the Orange-Restrict level as of November 16 at 12:01 a.m., and the following requirements will  be in effect:
    • Contact information required for all seated patrons
    • No more than four people seated together
    • Volume of music to be limited to conversational level
    • Safety plans to be prepared and provided upon request
    • Face coverings required at sport and recreational facilities except when exercising
    • Face coverings required at all indoor workplaces
    • Eye protection required for workers coming within 2 metres of patrons not wearing face coverings
    • Increase spacing between patrons to 3m for areas of a sport or recreational facility where there are weights/weight machines and exercise/fitness classes
    • Recreational programs limited to 10 people per room indoors and 25 outdoors
    • Require contact information for all patrons and attendance for team sports
    • Require appointments for entry; one reservation for teams
    • Social gatherings limited to 10 people indoors or 25 outdoors (may not be combined)
    • Limit operating hours, establishments close at 10 p.m.
    • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • No consumption of liquor between 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.
    • Require screening of patrons at businesses and/or mall entrances (e.g. a questionnaire)
    • Closure of strip clubs
    • Fitting rooms limited to non-adjacent stalls
    • Maximum of 50 people at a supervised event indoors or 100 outdoors (may not be combined)
    • Maximum 50 people at any event, sport or recreational venue (revoke CMOH approved plan) in all combined recreational fitness spaces or programs (not pools, rinks at arenas, community centres, and multi-purpose facilities)
    • Limit duration of stay (e.g. 60 minutes) at sport and recreational facilities; exemption for sports
    • No spectators at sporting venues or events permitted (exemption for parent/guardian supervision of children)
    • Personal care services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited
    • Change rooms & showers closed
    • Bath houses, other adult venues, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods closed (some exceptions)
    • Religious services, weddings, and funerals limited to 30% capacity indoors or 100 people outdoors
  • Other restrictions under the Orange-Protect regime can be reviewed here.
  • The Canadian Survey of Business Conditions by Statistics Canada revealed that 30% of businesses still operating in October no longer know how they can continue to operate under the existing conditions, and a further 11% indicate they can only operate for 3 more months. Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist and Vice-President of Policy, Dr. Trevin Stratton, asked policy makers to be laser-focused on the nature of fiscal spending, and to focus on programs that address issues in specific sectors. The one-size-fits-all approach to support programs is not sustainable through 2022, he said, and it may not be particularly useful at this stage of the pandemic.

Reading recommendations:

  • ‘An earthquake is coming’: Insolvency second wave looms as once-strong businesses falter, Barbara Schecter, Financial Post
    • Linc Rogers, a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, said it’s clear to him there are a number of “zombie” companies staggering on in Canada, appearing nearly normal yet propped up only by government subsidies, wage support, tax remittance deferrals and general government-backed stimulus.
  • A Way Forward for Working Parents, Daisy Dowling, Harvard Business Review
    • Over the past eight months, managing work and kids has accelerated from a complex, persistent challenge into an all-out crisis. We’ve had to handle full-time jobs, full-time care, and full-time oversight of our kids’ education, without the benefit of our regular support systems.


Niagara Economic Summit Series 2020

Where are we now, how did we get here, and where do we go? This year’s summit, taking place between November 10 and November 24, brings experts and leaders together from across the country to identify where we are economically, what our future opportunities are, and how we can seize them. Find out more and get a calendar save-the-date here.

 If you are showing symptoms, contact your health care provider, call the Public Health Info-Line at 905-688-8248, or chat to Public Health online. For testing, call 905-378-4647 ext. 42819 (4-CV19) for information on test centres in Niagara and to book an appointment.

Previous updates can be accessed here.

The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.

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