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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: September 16th, 2020

Today, the Canada Games Council and the 2021 Canada Games Host Society made the decision to postpone the games until summer of 2022.
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:

  • Today, the Canada Games Council and the 2021 Canada Games Host Society have made the difficult decision to postpone the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games until the summer of 2022. Given the uncertainty created by the ongoing pandemic, the decision to postpone the Games was made, first and foremost, to ensure the health and safety of all the athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers and spectators expected to attend this event. Additionally, the Council and the Host Society felt that the COVID-19 pandemic would likely prevent them from delivering the Games experience that they wanted, both in terms of sport competitions and cultural events. No decision has been made yet on the new dates for the Canada Summer Games in Niagara.
  • The GNCC and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce are looking for your insight on what matters to business amidst the pandemic. How confident are you in Ontario’s economy and recovery? What is your organization’s outlook for 2021? How happy are you with the pandemic recovery programs offered by government? We need your help to express the voice of business loud and clear at Queen’s Park.  Share your views by taking a short three-minute survey .
  • The Ontario government has launched a new voluntary interactive screening tool that aims to assist parents, students and staff with the daily assessment of COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors that is required before attending school. The results will let parents, students, and education staff know whether they should attend school each day or guide at-risk individuals to proper resources. Use of the tool is voluntary, and is available to all parents, students and staff to use to help screen for symptoms of illness every day. Access the tool here.
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve today announced their decision to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0% to 0.25% and expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with their assessments of maximum employment, and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent. This is expected to last until 2023.
  • Statistics Canada has reported that the August inflation rate in Canada was 0.1%. If gasoline were excluded, the rate would have been 0.6%. Gas prices were down 11.1% in August on a year-over-year basis, following a 14.9% decrease in July. Gas prices were relatively weak in August 2019, caused by strong production combined with weak international demand. Air transportation prices fell 16.0% year over year in August, following an 8.6% decline in July, owing to a reduction in air travel caused by the pandemic.
  • The Chamber network across Canada, led by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, is calling upon the Government of Canada to freeze the escalator excise tax on alcohol. This tax increases the excise duty rate on alcohol every April 1, which increases the cost of alcohol for Canadians while making domestic producers less competitive. With restaurants, bars, and hotels having suffered the most from the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this tax will only add to the business closures and job losses that have already been suffered. The GNCC encourages you to contact your Member of Parliament and urge them to freeze the escalator tax, and to share this message on social media with the hashtags #FreezeTheAlcoholTax, #repealescalatortax and #bussinessrecovery.

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.