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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: July 9th, 2021

The Ontario government is moving the province into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021.

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses

Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

Ontario moving to Step Three of Roadmap to Reopen on July 16

The Ontario government is moving the province into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021, five days ahead of the schedule laid out in the Roadmap to Reopen plan.

The province will remain in Step Three of the Roadmap for at least 21 days and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their eligible population aged 12 and over fully vaccinated.

Find out what restrictions will apply to your business after July 16 here.

Niagara unemployment increased slightly in June

Niagara Workforce Planning Board’s Eye on Employment captures the latest data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. These data report that in June of 2021 Niagara saw 800 fewer people in employment compared to May 2021. This net-decline was due to 1,900 fewer people in full-time employment and 1,200 more people in part-time employment. Note that the 800 figure is greater than the sum of its parts due to rounding on the part of Statistics Canada.

Niagara’s unemployment rate increased slightly from 11.3% in May 2021 to 11.4% in June 2021. At the same time, the employment rate decreased from 51.2% to 51.0%. Though June 2021’s data are positive in the context of year-on-year pandemic recovery, a pre-pandemic May-to-June period (measured from 2015 to 2019) would expect to see Niagara adding an average 4,400 people to employment, compared to the employment decline of 800 people observed in June of 2021.

Approximately 800 Niagara youth gained employment in June 2021, with the majority finding full-time employment. Women reported 800 employment gains in June 2021 as men reported 1,500 employment losses. Compared to June 2020, there are 12,500 more women in employment and 3,200 more men in employment. Despite these gains, Niagara in June 2021 reports 14,100 fewer employed people compared to February 2020, the last month before the pandemic.

NWPB’s full report can be found online through this link.

National employment rose by 231,000 (+1.2%) in June, following a cumulative decline of 275,000 over the previous two months. Employment growth was entirely in part-time work and concentrated among youth aged 15 to 24. After falling by 143,000 over the previous two months, full-time work was little changed.

The unemployment rate was 7.8%, as the total number of unemployed Canadians fell by 61,000 (-3.7%). The number of people in the labour force—either employed or unemployed—increased by 170,000 (+0.8%). The labour force participation rate increased 0.6 percentage points to 65.2%.

Labour force characteristicsMay 2020June 20202020 AnnualApril 2021May 2021June 2021
Labour force198,400200,100211,200213,600215,200214,500
Full-time employment135,800138,900147,200148,200153,900152,000
Part-time employment36,50035,40043,40038,80036,80038,000
Unemployment rate13.2%12.9%9.8%12.5%11.3%11.4%
Participation rate53.5%53.9%56.9%57.3%57.7%57.5%
Employment rate46.5%47.0%51.3%50.1%51.2%51.0%

Government of Canada announces $10.5 million for 41 new affordable housing units in Niagara

Afforable housing is an urgent problem in Niagara, Niagara Regional Chair Bradley stated today. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for many residents, those experiencing homelessness in our community have been disproportionately affected. At the end of June, there were nearly 7,000 individuals and families waiting for geared-to-income housing. To this end, residents who live in these units will not have to pay more than 30 per cent of their income to secure a home.

The $10.5 million announced today will allow the Region to continue to provide critical support to those most at risk of becoming homeless. This investment will make a meaningful impact on addressing our housing waitlist in Niagara.

Metrolinx to begin construction upgrades at the Beamsville Park and Ride

Metrolinx will begin construction upgrades at the Beamsville Park and Ride Monday July 12, 2021. Improvements will include:

  • upgrading accessible parking spaces
  • building a new walkway
  • widening the existing bus platform
  • installing tactile warning tiles

Construction will result in temporary platform changes, and will affect how riders board their bus for the remainder of the month.

Chambers of Commerce object to government stalling of family business tax law reform

On behalf of Canada’s Chamber of Commerce network, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has stated that, while Parliament has spoken and made its desire clear to make the sale of a small business to family members as easy as a sale to an unrelated buyer and introduced Bill C-208 to address this discriminatory tax policy, the new legislation’s implementation has been blocked. The decision to shelve the legislation of Bill C-208 is highly unusual and the government should reverse this decision immediately.

Small family businesses are not asking for special treatment, they are asking for the same treatment as everyone else. The shelving of Bill C-208 will effectively discriminate against small family businesses by taxing them at higher rates than if they sold to a complete stranger.

This unfair tax treatment is hindering many companies from selling or transferring their business to another family member. According to Statistics Canada, of the businesses planning to sell or transfer their operations in the next year, only 10% plan to sell to family members compared to 73% which plan to sell to external parties.

The GNCC has repeatedly called for legislation to reform the taxation of business sales to family members, and the demand was part of the GNCC’s last federal election platform.

No appointment needed for first COVID-19 vaccination at Seymour-Hannah arena

You no longer need an appointment to get your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Niagara Health’s vaccination clinic at the Seymour-Hannah arena. Now, anyone 12 years of age and older can come to the clinic at any time for their first dose.

Effective immediately, Niagara Health is offering this walk-in option to make it as easy and quick as possible for people who haven’t been protected against COVID-19 to get their vaccine.

The GNCC encourages all eligible people to get vaccinated as soon as possible in order to promote the safe reopening of our economy.

Niagara College will require vaccination for in-person residence

Through ongoing consultation with public health and the close monitoring of COVID trends, government directives and vaccine eligibility and supply, Niagara College has determined that students living in on-campus residence this fall will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

As the College prioritizes safety, this requirement recognizes that students in residence are in congregate living settings while sharing spaces and amenities, and it allows the College to offer students a residence-life experience that is as safe, fulsome and rewarding as possible. Students living in residence who are not vaccinated due to disability or religion/creed may apply for an exemption in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Reading Recommendations

Fully vaccinated and yearning to travel? Here are the new rules of the road

CBC News

Although vaccinated Canadian travellers are now exempt from quarantine, they’re still required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test before returning to Canada and must take a second test upon arrival. The federal government covers the cost of the arrival test. However, travellers must arrange and pay for their pre-arrival test, which could cost hundreds of dollars, depending on which country they are departing.

Currently, several European countries, including Greece, France and Italy, are welcoming Canadian travellers and allowing them to skip their required COVID-19 test and any quarantine requirements — if they show proof of vaccination.

The federal government’s advisory against non-essential travel abroad is still in place — even with eased quarantine rules for those vaccinated.

Canada posts big jobs gain in June with more still to come


Canada added more jobs than expected in June, bringing employment within 1.8% of pre-pandemic levels, data showed on Friday, with economists eyeing a potential return to higher employment levels by year-end.

The country added 230,700 jobs in June, beating analyst expectations of 195,000, as public health restrictions were eased in several regions, Statistics Canada said. The unemployment rate was 7.8%, just short of expectations of 7.7%.

Niagara COVID Stats Tracker (July 3)

 December 18December 25January 1January 8January 15January 22January 29
Reproductive number1.
New cases per 100,000101.2267.3469.8575.8507.1295.5250.6
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)60.7178.7311.7376.9325.4182.7145.7
Percent of hospital beds occupied97%95.2%98.2%103.2%104.5%103.6%106%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied78.8%77.3%87.9%87.9%90.9%89.4%93.9%
Percentage of positive tests6.1%15.6%28.1%28.6%26.6%21.2%16.2%

These data show the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Niagara. The Province of Ontario is now using a provincewide approach to reopening, and these data no longer have any influence on Niagara’s restrictions.

Data are drawn from Niagara Region Public Health.


Reproductive number: the average number of new cases each case causes. If each person infects one other person, the rate is 1; if each person infects two people, the rate is 2. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 1.

New cases per 100,000: the total number of new cases per week identified per 100,000 population. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 10.

New cases per day: the total number of new cases identified per day over seven days using a rolling average. This number does not include identified outbreaks.

Percent of hospital beds occupied: the total percentage of the Niagara Health System’s hospital beds currently in use. The average occupancy rate of both acute care beds and total hospital beds in Ontario was 96 per cent in 2018-19. It should be noted that this rate was the highest (worst) in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Percent of intensive care beds occupied: the total percentage of the Niagara Health System’s intensive care hospital beds currently in use. The average occupancy rate of both acute care beds and total hospital beds in Ontario was 96 per cent in 2018-19. It should be noted that this rate was the highest (worst) in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Percentage of positive tests: the percentage of COVID-19 tests that were positive. Under the outdated COVID-19 response framework, the target for “green-prevent” was less than 0.5%.

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker (July 9)

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

Total doses administered in Niagara: 518,318

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 8,911

Ontario is currently in Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen.

Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen will begin at 12:01 a.m. on July 16, 2021. Step Two began at 12:01 a.m. on June 30, 2021.

 Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
United States75%64%
United Kingdom78%72%

Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project.

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here.The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.
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