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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: June 1st 2021

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

Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

Ontario maintains COVID-19 restrictions as Stay-at-Home Order is set to expire

Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order will expire on June 2, 2021.

The Stay-At-Home order required Ontarians to remain at home except for the purposes set out in the order, such as exercise, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, or accessing health care services. Once the Stay-at-Home order expires on June 2, these restrictions will no longer be in effect.

However, all other existing measures will remain in place provincewide, including restrictions on gatherings, businesses, services and activities. This includes limiting indoor gatherings to households only and outdoor gatherings to up to five people, subject to limited exceptions, maintaining a cap of 25 per cent capacity for essential retail where only certain goods are permitted to be sold, restricting non-essential retail to curbside pickup and delivery only, as well as limiting short-term rentals to individuals in need of housing and allowing Ontario Parks and campgrounds on public lands to be used for day-use only, subject to limited exceptions.

Paid parking returns to St. Catharines streets, lots and garages; begins at beach lots on June 2

With the provincial stay-at-home order nearing completion, the City of St. Catharines is set to resume paid parking at on-street meter spaces, off-street lots and garages – in addition to the initiation of new paid parking at City beaches.

Earlier this year City Council had approved temporary free parking in response to the provincial restrictions in an effort to support businesses that continued to operate during the shutdown. With reopening set to take place later this month, paid parking will return on June 2.

Free curbside parking will continue at designated spaces downtown, in Port Dalhousie and on Facer Street, offering 15-minute parking for individuals who are accessing local businesses for pickup and takeout.

Niagara Medical Officer of Health offers new COVID-19 briefing

Real gross domestic product (GDP) grows 1.1% in March

Retail trade grows in March

Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.1% in March, following 0.4% growth in February. This 11th consecutive monthly increase continued to offset the steepest drops in Canadian economic activity on record observed in March and April 2020. However, total economic activity was about 1% below the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Retail trade increased 3.7% in March, following a 5.9% jump in February, as 10 of 12 subsectors were up.

Activity at building material and garden equipment and supplies retailers jumped 15.3% in March as the continued easing of restrictions and temperatures above the seasonal average in some parts of the country contributed to the growth.

Construction rose 2.2% in March, building up on increases in the previous three months, as all subsectors were up.

The residential building construction subsector contributed the most to the growth, with a 4.1% expansion in March, as all types of construction activities were up.

Reading Recommendations

New stress test level makes it harder to qualify for a mortgage in Canada

CBC News

It’s a bit harder to qualify for home loan as of today as the government has raised the minimum financial bar that anyone applying for a mortgage must meet.

Ottawa raised the level of the so-called “stress test” for mortgages today, setting the new level at 5.25 per cent — or two full percentage points above the borrower’s mortgage rate, whichever is higher. That’s an increase of about half a percentage point from where it was before.

Launched in 2017 to cool down the overheated market of the time, the stress test is a minimum threshold that anyone applying for a home loan in Canada has to meet. It doesn’t make the loan itself any more expensive. Rather, it ensures anyone getting a mortgage will be able to pay it off if rates go up.

Trudeau promises cities help to lower high cost of housing

Canadian Press/BNN Bloomberg

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising municipal leaders federal backing and resources toward efforts to address the high cost of housing that he says is creating a crisis for young and middle-class families.

The cost of housing has risen across the country driven by a mix of low interest rates and demand outstripping supply as Canadians working from home look for more space.

Trudeau says the result is that the cost of owning a home is too far out of reach for too many people in Canada’s largest cities, noting it can take 280 months for an average family to save for a down payment in a place like Toronto.

Speaking to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities today, Trudeau says his government would look for ways to change the situation beyond what the Liberals have already laid out.

Featured Content

Servant Leadership

Pollice Consulting Group

Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the goal of the leader is to serve. Given the upheaval that we have experienced over the past twenty months, servant leadership has been taking on a life of its own in some major organizations.

This is a very different approach from the traditional leadership style where the leader’s main focus is the thriving of their company, usually based on metrics. A servant leader shares power, puts the needs of the employees first and helps people develop and perform as efficiently and effectively as possible. In other words, servant leadership inverts the norm, which puts the customer and the employee as a main priority. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people.

Niagara COVID status tracker (May 22)

Niagara’s most up-to-date COVID statistics, measured against the targets for the various stages of the Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework, are presented below. This does not predict government policy, but is offered to give you an idea of where Niagara is situated and how likely a relaxation (or further restrictions) may be. These data are the most recent published by Niagara Region. The Grey-Lockdown level does not have its own metrics, but is triggered when the COVID-specific measurements in a Red-Control region have continued to deteriorate.

The Province of Ontario is currently under a stay-at-home order. The COVID-19 Response Framework does not apply during this order. Click here to review the restrictions currently in place.

▲: Metric has increased since last published measurement

▼: Metric has decreased since last published measurement

— : Metric has not changed since last published measurement

 May 22May 29June 5
Reproductive number0.70.80.9
New cases per 100,00063.448.037.2
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)39.33122.4
Percent of hospital beds occupied72.8%78.3%78.2%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied83.6%77.6%79.1%
Percentage of positive tests4.8%4.1%3.5%


  • Weekly Incidence Rate: the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per week
  • Percent Positivity: the number of positive COVID-19 tests as a percentage of all COVID-19 tests performed
  • Rt: the reproductive rate, or the number of people infected by each case of the virus

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker (June 1)

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: 289,993

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 4,695

 Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
Ontario (all)63%10.4%
Ontario (adults)74.3%12.8%
United States52%43%
United Kingdom61%43%

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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