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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: October 21st, 2020

The European Union is removing Canada from its list of countries whose residents should be allowed to visit the bloc amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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 European Union is removing Canada from its list of countries whose residents should be allowed to visit the bloc amid the coronavirus pandemic. The EU’s recommended travel “white list” now includes only Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Uruguay.
  • The retail sales recovery in Canada has stalled, the latest figures from Statistics Canada show, with sales numbers labelled as “fizzling” at a mere gain of 0.4% for August after four months of growth which saw sales recovering to pre-pandemic levels in all major categories except cars, gasoline and clothing. A preliminary estimate from Statistics Canada showed receipts were flat in September.
  • Canada’s headline inflation measure went up in September by 0.5 per cent compared with a year ago, a better-than-expected increase, but one that experts say won’t sway the Bank of Canada’s stimulus measures. Economists had, on average, expected a year-over-year increase of 0.4 per cent, according to financial data firm Refinitiv, following readings of 0.1 per cent increases in August and July.
  • Sleep Cheap Charities Reap will take place for a full week in 2020, from Sunday November 15th up to and including Saturday November 21st. Many charities are facing challenges to meet their fundraising targets this year due to cancelled initiatives and events, set against increases in demand for their services. Promotional rooms will be restricted to Niagara region residents only. More information and participating hotels can be found at
  • On October 28, KPMG will host a webinar on government employer relief and support programs. Registration is available here. The webcast will cover:
    • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) legislative updates
    • CEWS revenue concepts
    • CEWS audit activity
    • Home office expense support for employees
    • Automating the completion of Form T2200/TP-64.3-V for employees
    • The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
  • Welland City Council would like to hear from residents, business owners, and stakeholders regarding their preference for the number of councillors and wards in the city. Staff will be launching a public input campaign and organizing virtual public meetings to gather public feedback for council’s consideration. The survey can be completed on the city’s public engagement platform, YourChannel, or by calling 905-735-1700, ext. 2153, Mon. to Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Access to the survey is also posted on the city’s website, The deadline to provide input is November 30, 2020. Further information can be found here (PDF link).
  • Bridges Community Health Centre and Niagara South Family Medicine will hold community flu shot clinics in Port Colborne on November 6th and 7th, and in Fort Erie on November 13th and 14th. Appointments are required, and can be made by calling 905-871-7621 ext. 2227. The GNCC recommends that employers encourage their staff to get a flu shot to reduce workplace sickness and absenteeism.
  • The City of Thorold wishes to advise that the Port Robinson Ferry will close for the 2020 season as of dusk on November 1, 2020. Details on the 2021 season will be released in the spring.

Reading recommendations:

  • A local food diet can make you and your community healthier during COVID-19, Kimberly Hill-Tout, William Tyler Hartwig, The Conversation
    • This past summer, many students were not able to fill the suggested 700 farming jobs funded by the federal government due to geographical or transportation barriers, limited positions or career irrelevance. At the same time, there was a larger demand for food grown locally in response to initial concerns about international imports during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This turn to local food, a more plant-based diet and home-based food production has been recommended by health professionals, climate scientists and community resilience builders alike.
  • American trustbusters take on Google, The Economist
    • On October 20th the Department of Justice (DoJ) at last launched a federal antitrust lawsuit against Google. It is the first time American trustbusters have gone after big tech since their protracted battle against Microsoft 20 years ago. Eleven states signed on to the suit, in which the DoJ accuses the technology giant of abusing its online-search monopoly. Others are likely to bring their own cases against the firm. William Barr, the attorney-general, called it “monumental”. He is both right and wrong.


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.