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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: October 28th, 2020

The governments of Ontario and Canada are providing up to $1.05 billion in combined federal-provincial funding through the new COVID-19 Resilience infrastructure stream.
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:

  • Statistics Canada has released its July data on business openings and closings. In the St. Catharines-Niagara CMA (which does not include Grimsby and West Lincoln), 513 new businesses opened in July, while 347 closed, and 6,216 continued. June also saw more openings than closures, a stark contrast to the three months before. Of the 7,687 businesses operating in February, only 5,676 remained by May – a loss of 2,011 – while new businesses 881 had opened. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist and Vice President of Policy, Dr. Trevin Stratton, has stated that Canada needs to recoup 100,000 new businesses if it is to recover to pre-pandemic economic levels.
  • The governments of Ontario and Canada are providing up to $1.05 billion in combined federal-provincial funding through the new COVID-19 Resilience infrastructure stream to build or renovate health and safety related projects in long-term care, education and municipalities. The funding is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and reinforces the commitment of both the federal and provincial governments to protect the health and well-being of individuals and families during the pandemic. Eligible projects must begin by September 30, 2021 and be completed by December 31, 2021. Additional details about the COVID-19 Resilience stream and intake opening dates will be available in the days and weeks ahead. Eligible projects under the COVID-19 Resilience stream will fall under four main categories:
    • Community, recreation, health and education renovations (e.g. retrofits, repairs or upgrades to long-term care homes, publicly funded schools and co-located childcare centre facilities, recreation centres or shelters);
    • COVID-19 response infrastructure (e.g. heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, new builds or renovations to enable physical distancing);
    • Active transportation (e.g. parks, trails); and
    • Disaster mitigation, adaptation, or remediation (e.g. flood mitigation).
  • Niagara Health has launched a new online COVID test booking tool. Previously, appointments for test had to be booked by phone. From today, patients will be able to book online at Niagara Health’s Assessment Centre webpage. Patients will fill out their information and choose from a list of available appointment times at the centre they wish to be tested at. Upon completion, those with an appointment will receive instructions on how to access the centres and other important reminders. The option to book by phone remains, and patients can call 905-378-4647 ext. 42819 (4-CV19) to make an appointment.

Reading recommendations:

  • Bank of Canada plans to keep interest rate near zero until 2023, Pete Evans, CBC News
    • The Bank of Canada says it has no plans to change its benchmark interest rate until inflation gets back to two per cent and stays there, something it says isn’t likely to happen until 2023. The central bank said Wednesday it has decided to keep its benchmark interest rate steady at 0.25 per cent. The news was expected by economists, as although the economy is showing signs of recovering from the impact of COVID-19, things are still a long way from normal, so cheap lending will be needed for a long while yet.
  • Marketers Underuse Ad Experiments. That’s a Big Mistake. Julian Runge, Harvard Business Review
    • While business experimentation is — rightfully — framed as a gold standard by scholars and leading practitioners, the practice has yet to find its way into most firms’ day-to-day advertising strategy. Many firms are used to non-experimental approaches to advertising measurement, such as marketing mix models, and hesitate to adopt experimentation-based measurement in part because they overestimate its complexity.


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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