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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Business Update: September 28th, 2020

The GNCC has requested that the Government of Ontario commit to greater transparency in its COVID-related decision process.
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:

  • The GNCC has requested that the Government of Ontario commit to greater transparency in its COVID-related decision process. Friday’s decision to tighten restrictions on bars and restaurants will hurt many businesses, but the data and the rationale behind this decision have not been made clear. We feel that the government’s case would be better-made if it were to explain how this decision will protect public health, with evidence-based estimates of the number of cases it feels will be prevented by doing so.
  • The Government of Canada is proposing to extend the current treatment of furloughed employees under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program for the upcoming four-week period, from September 27 to October 24, 2020. This means employers who qualify for the wage subsidy would be able to continue to claim up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week per employee to support remuneration of their furloughed workers until October 24, 2020. This treatment of furloughed employees was previously extended until September 26. The government has announced that it will review this policy in light of COVID-related developments, likely meaning that further extensions are possible.
  • The United States government has appealed last month’s WTO panel report which found that U.S. countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber contravened WTO rules. The Government of Canada has expressed its disappointment at this decision.
  • How comfortable are you attending in-person events? The GNCC is conducting a survey to assess our members’ current attitude towards events held in person. The GNCC has been holding all of its own events virtually since March. The survey contains 3-6 questions, depending on your answers, and should take no more than 1-2 minutes to complete.

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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