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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: October 2nd, 2020

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health and public health experts, the Ontario government is tightening public health measures.
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:

  • In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local medical officers of health and public health experts, the Ontario government is tightening public health measures. Additional restrictions on businesses have been announced for Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel. Province-wide changes include:
    • The 28-day pause on any further relaxing of restrictions announced on September 8th will be extended for a further 28 days.
    • Social circles are discontinued. Ontarians are advised only to allow close contact with people from their own household and to maintain a two-metre distance from everybody else.
    • From October 6, 2020, testing at Ontario assessment centres will be by appointment. Walk-in testing will be discontinued on October 4.
    • Pharmacy testing will continue to be expanded. At this time, pharmacies are only testing people without symptoms. Find your closest testing centre here.
  • The Government of Canada has promised to spend $10 billion on infrastructure initiatives such as broadband, clean energy and agricultural projects as part of a plan to boost growth and create one million jobs, outlined in the throne speech. The plan has five elements:
    • $2.5 billion for clean power to support renewable generation and storage and to transmit clean electricity between provinces, territories and regions, including northern and Indigenous communities.
    • $2 billion to help connect about 750,000 homes and small businesses to broadband in under-served communities.
    • $2 billion for large-scale energy efficient building retrofits.
    • $1.5 billion for agriculture irrigation projects to boost production, strengthen Canada’s food security and expand export opportunities.
    • $1.5 billion to speed up the adoption of zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure.
  • The Government of Canada will provide an additional $600 million to support workers and businesses through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), bringing total RRRF support to over $1.5 billion. RDAs will deliver $455.7 million to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and organizations facing financial pressure, while another $144.3 million is to provide rural businesses and communities with access to capital and technical support, to be delivered by Community Futures Development Corporations across the country.
  • Yesterday, Health Canada received its first submission for authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in partnership with the University of Oxford. Health Canada will perform a rolling review of AstraZeneca’s vaccine data to make sure it meets the Department’s rigorous safety and efficacy requirements.
  • A new pilot rebate program will help Town of Lincoln residents cover the cost of removing rodents from outside their homes in urban areas. The Residential Rodent Control Rebate Program will give residents 50 per cent (to a maximum of $200) toward the cost of a licensed Ontario exterminator to assist with the removal of rodents from the exterior of their residential property.
  • The Government of Canada will refresh the Canada Brand platform with the goal of ensuring that agri-food businesses and their partners have access to new graphics and tools optimized for today’s digital platforms. The refresh is also intended to enable them to reach more consumers and enhance virtual connections with international buyers, and will include a modernized look, signature, messaging, and suite of digital-first marketing products for the Canada Brand.
  • Fall street sweeping in Pelham will begin on Monday, October 5, 2020. Residents are asked to be mindful of when they park on the street and avoid doing so when available. Questions can be directed to the public works department at 905-892-2607 x332.
  • The Government of Canada will invest up to $50M in funding to support organizations providing supports and services to those experiencing gender-based violence. This funding includes:
    • Up to $10 million for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help them continue to provide their critical services safely;
    • Up to $10 million to support organizations providing services related to gender-based violence to Indigenous people off-reserve; and
    • Up to $30 million for other women’s organizations to support the delivery of GBV supports, to help combat the spread of COVID, and to address the increased demand for services.
  • The Government of Canada has revised the rules for entry to the country. More details will be made available on October 8 on the government’s COVID-19 page. Entry will now be granted for:
    • certain extended family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents, including those in an exclusive dating relationship of at least 1 year and their dependent children, as well as adult children, grandchildren, siblings and grandparents
    • foreign nationals for compassionate reasons in specific circumstances, such as life-threatening illness, critical injury or death, with potential limited release from quarantine
    • international students, starting October 20, 2020, if they will be attending a designated learning institution that has been identified by their provincial or territorial government as having a COVID‑19 readiness plan in place
  • Niagara Health is conducting a short survey to help inform how the organization shares important updates with you about COVID-19 and other organizational priorities. Your feedback will help Niagara Health to understand what is working well and what can be improved. The survey is open until October 17 and can be accessed here.

Reading recommendations:

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.

Remember that a COVID-19 test is only a snapshot of your health on the specific date and time the swab was taken. No testing is perfect and a negative result doesn’t mean you haven’t been exposed to COVID-19. You can still develop symptoms days after your test was taken.

It is important that everyone practice physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Maintain a 2-metre distance from other people. When maintaining distance is impossible, wear a mask or face covering. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching the face. 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.

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