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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: September 18th, 2020

Last night, Niagara Regional Council voted to extend the Region’s mask bylaw until April 1, 2021. The bylaw is unchanged beside the expiration date, and businesses may simply leave the signage already in place and continue with their current rules and guidelines. Council may opt to rescind the bylaw earlier if conditions change.
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:

  • Last night, Niagara Regional Council voted to extend the Region’s mask bylaw until April 1, 2021. The bylaw is unchanged beside the expiration date, and businesses may simply leave the signage already in place and continue with their current rules and guidelines. Council may opt to rescind the bylaw earlier if conditions change.
  • The Canada-U.S. border closure, originally set to expire on Monday, has been extended until October 21. The decision was bilateral and agreed upon by both national governments. Essential travel and the flow of goods will continue as before, but recreational travel remains forbidden.
  • The Ontario government is committing nearly $1 million in cost-share funding to help rural communities diversify their economies, retain skilled workers and create jobs. The intake is directed at not-for-profit organizations with a mandate towards regional economic development and eligible projects would be eligible for up to 70 per cent of total costs to a maximum of $75,000 in provincial funding. Minister Hardeman also announced more than $3 million in funding cost-shared with applicants to be invested in 65 projects through a previous RED intake. Applications will be accepted from September 21 – October 9, 2020, and all costs must be incurred on or before March 31, 2021. Projects must benefit rural Ontario, have tangible outcomes, and reach beyond one county, region, or district. This funding will support economic development efforts such as:
    • Capital improvements to enhance an uptown arts and cultural hub to increase tourism;
    • Implementing new and accessible streetscaping to develop a more inviting downtown;
    • Waterfront development to expand and revitalize local trails.
  • Today is the world’s first International Equal Pay Day, which represents the longstanding efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value. The gender pay gap between men and women is now 23% globally, and the International Equal Pay Day aims to raise awareness of the continued existence of that gap. The Government of Canada is proud that the country is an active member of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), and supported the adoption of the resolution proclaiming September 18th as International Equal Pay Day.

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.