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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: October 16th, 2020

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:

  • In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, local medical officers of health and other health experts, the Ontario government is introducing additional health measures for York Region. This public health region will be subject to modified Stage 2 restrictions for a minimum of 28 days and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Effective Monday, October 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., York Region will join Ottawa, Peel and Toronto public health regions in a modified Stage 2, as a result of their trends in public health indicators, including higher than average rates of COVID-19 transmission.
  • The Bank of Canada is winding down three emergency programs it set up to provide support to financial institutions during the early days of the pandemic, as demand for all three programs is falling, indicating a return to normality in the banking sector. The Bankers’ Acceptance Purchase Facility, or BAPF, and the Canada Mortgage Bond Purchase Program, or CMBPP, will be closed as of Oct. 26. The bank will reduce the frequency of another program, known as the Term Repo operations, from once a week to every two weeks, starting on Oct. 21. Approximately a month ago, the central bank announced it was scaling back two other emergency programs, one of which bought provincial money market securities and another that bought up federal government treasury bills, both aimed at backstopping liquidity.
  • At a Special Council Meeting, Niagara-on-the-Lake Town Council repealed By-law 5248-20 (PDF link), which provided temporary regulations to require the wearing of masks, face shields, or face coverings in enclosed public spaces in the town. The Town will defer to the requirements of the Provincial Regulation (O.Reg. 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3), which requires the wearing of masks or face coverings that cover the nose, mouth and chin with no gap when in enclosed spaces. Face shields are no longer considered adequate coverage in Niagara-on-the-Lake and businesses displaying old signage are encouraged to remove it and replace it with new signage downloadable here, or the Regional signs downloadable here.
  • The Canadian dollar edged higher against its U.S. counterpart, recouping some of this week’s decline, as investors cheered prospects for a COVID-19 vaccine and domestic data showed factory shipments falling in line with expectations.
  • Niagara Region waste collection changes take effect on October 19. Collection services inside designated business areas may be different between local municipalities, depending on the level of service selected and paid for by each municipality. Find your collection services. Businesses outside a designated business area will now have garbage collection every-other-week with a limit of eight containers. Blue & Grey Boxes and Green Bins will continue to be collected every week. Industrial, Commercial and Institutional properties located outside designated business areas will have a combined limit of eight Blue and Grey Carts and a limit of eight Green Carts.
  • The City of Welland’s 2021 Budget Talks campaign is underway, and the Budget Review Committee (BRC) is anticipating a challenging budget process. The BRC has outlined a detailed timetable for the next nine weeks, including a full agenda of budget deliberations, board presentations, and virtual public input meetings. Budget-related information and citizen engagement tools can be found on the city’s public engagement platform, YourChannel.
  • St. Catharines City Council and City staff will be calling out to residents to gather opinions and ideas about the 2021 operating and capital budgets. Mayor Walter Sendzik, Councillor Mat Siscoe, the chair of the City’s Budget Standing Committee, and City staff will answer questions about the 2021 draft City budget during the annual Telephone Town Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 7 to 8 p.m. Residents will be randomly called. Anyone who wants to register in advance to participate in the call, or to request not to be called, can do so at or by calling Citizens First at 905.688.5600. Those wishing to have their number added or deleted from the call list must do so before Tuesday, Oct. 27 at noon. The City also has a budget engagement tool on Budget meetings, being conducted as General Committee this year, are also open to the public. They will be streamed live on the City’s YouTube, and residents are welcome to submit correspondence or delegation requests regarding items on the General Committee agenda.

Reading recommendations:

  • When Should Your Company Speak Up About a Social Issue? Paul A. Argenti, Harvard Business Review
    • Black Lives Matter. Trade policy. Immigration. Over the last four years, companies have been under pressure from their constituencies — employees, customers, investors, and the communities in which they operate — to take a public stand on high-profile political and social movements. According to research from the Edelman Trust Barometer, 54% of employees globally believe that CEOs should speak publicly on controversial political and social issues they care about. Similarly, 53% of consumers agree that every brand has a responsibility to get involved in at least one social issue that does not directly impact its business.
  • Meet the Excel warriors saving the world from spreadsheet disaster, Nicole Kobie, Wired UK
    • Research suggests more than 90 per cent of spreadsheets have errors, and half of spreadsheet models used in large businesses have “material defects”. Given some 750 million people use Excel globally, there are plenty of errors needing attention. One prominent researcher calls spreadsheets the dark matter of corporate IT.
  • Analysis: For Canada, keeping triple-A rating may not be the focus it once was, Fergal Smith, Reuters
    • Preserving Canada’s triple-A credit rating could be less of a priority for Ottawa than in years gone by, with the focus on digging the economy out of a hole rather than staying in a shrinking group of top-rated sovereign borrowers, analysts say. To maintain its top rating, Canada would likely need to convince credit rating agencies it has a tenable plan to restore fiscal health once the coronavirus pandemic recedes.


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.