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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: October 20th, 2021

Ontario government will require businesses to grant washroom access for delivery drivers picking up or dropping off

The Ontario government intends to introduce legislation that would, if passed, allow delivery workers access to company washrooms at businesses where they are delivering or picking up items. Consultations conducted by the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee have indicated that couriers, truck drivers, and people who deliver food, including those for online delivery platform companies such as SkipTheDishes, are often denied use of a washroom at businesses they serve.

Click here for more information.

COVID-19 vaccine recommended for pregnant, breastfeeding or individuals trying to conceive

Niagara Region Public Health and Niagara’s Community Coordination Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccination are urging individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as vaccine uptake among those groups in Niagara remains low.

As of Oct. 3, 2021, Niagara was well below the provincial average in vaccinating pregnant individuals. Niagara is currently seventh lowest out of 34 health units across Ontario, with only 57 per cent of pregnant individuals that have received a first dose of COVID-19, and only 49 per cent having received a second dose.

Click here for more information.

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to help protect ourselves, and our families and communities against COVID-19. Learn more here.

Canadian Chamber: Small businesses in hardest hit sectors living day to day, need certainty on CEWS and CERS

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Parliamentary Affairs and SME Policy, Alla Drigola Birk, today issued the following statement about the lack of certainty for continued support for small businesses in the hardest-hit sectors.

“In a week celebrating the importance and contribution of small businesses to Canada’s social and economic success, there’s a painful irony for the millions of men and women still struggling daily to make ends meet in Canada’s hardest hit sectors. With only three days to go before the rent and wage subsidy programs lapse, there is still no word from the federal government on their intention to make good on their promise to extend the badly needed help.

Extending the current programs through to November needs to be done without delay. This needs to be followed by a retooled program focusing on the hardest hit sectors through to Spring 2022.

The pandemic has already closed nearly 200,000 Canadian businesses so far, or roughly 15 per cent of Canada’s primary job creation engine. We can’t fail those businesses who did everything they were asked to keep all Canadians safe by letting them fail now.”

Click here for more information.

September’s rate of inflation greatest since 2003, gasoline prices up almost one-third since last year

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.4% on a year-over-year basis in September, the fastest pace since February 2003 and up from a 4.1% gain in August. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 3.5% year over year in September.

The monthly CPI rose 0.2% in September, the same growth rate as in August. Month-over-month CPI growth has been positive for nine consecutive months. Prices rose year over year in every major component in September, with transportation prices (+9.1%) contributing the most to the all-items increase. Higher shelter (+4.8%) and food prices (+3.9%) also contributed to the growth in the all-items CPI for September. Prices at the gas pump rose 32.8% compared with September last year.

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Bank of Canada: businesses anticipate stronger demand, but supply constraints will limit sales

Firms anticipate stronger demand as pandemic conditions improve, according to results from the Business Outlook Survey in the third quarter of 2021. However, many businesses face supply constraints that will limit their sales and put upward pressure on their costs. Together, these demand pressures and supply challenges are driving widespread plans to invest, hire staff and increase prices.

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Niagara College undergoing landmark cannabis edibles research for agri-food sector

Niagara College is once again at the forefront of cannabis innovation with the launch of its applied research for the safe and reliable development of edibles products to assist the food and beverage sector.

Through the Niagara College Cannabis Edibles Applied Research initiative – administered by the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre, part of the Research & Innovation division – experts are conducting R&D in the development of cannabis-infused products such as non-alcoholic beverages, gummies, confectionery and baked goods for industry partners.

Click here for more information.

Parliament imposes mandatory vaccination rule on most MPs

Most members of Parliament — and anyone else entering the House of Commons — will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when Parliament returns on Nov. 22.

The Board of Internal Economy, Parliament’s governing body responsible for administrative rules, announced the requirement today.

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to help protect ourselves, and our families and communities against COVID-19. Learn more here.

City of Welland to seek public input on budget

The City of Welland’s Budget Review Committee (BRC) kicked off the 2022 budget process last week, and yesterday Council approved the timeline to discuss and gather public input on 2022 operating, capital, and water and wastewater budgets. To engage the public, the City created an Your Budget Talks 2022 on the City’s YourChannel for idea sharing ideas, the opportunity to learn about the impacts of a municipal budget, and to view the timeline for various budget deliberations.

In addition to the online engagement, two public meetings are scheduled for Monday, December 6, and Wednesday, December 8, both at 5 p.m.

Click here for more information (PDF link).

Fort Erie CAO to retire in February

Tom Kuchyt, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Town of Fort Erie, has announced his retirement effective February 2022, after 14 years of service with the municipality.

To ensure the Town finds the right candidate, the Town will be enlisting the services of an outside hiring firm along with a recruitment committee consisting of Mayor Wayne Redekop, Councillor Marina Butler and Councillor George McDermott.

Click here for more information (PDF link).

Welland to require proof-of-vaccination for all City employees

The City of Welland adopted a vaccine status policy on October 19, supporting measures to fight against COVID-19. This policy applies to all City employees, including full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, casual, students, volunteers, Councillors attending in-person meetings, contractors, and vendors.

The policy’s procedure outlines that proof of vaccination is required by November 19. For those not fully vaccinated, including those with a medical or Human Rights Code exemption or those who do not wish to disclose their vaccination status, a negative Rapid Antigen Screening test must be submitted twice a week beginning December 2.

Click here for more information (PDF link).

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to help protect ourselves, and our families and communities against COVID-19. Learn more here.

Reading Recommendations

Canada’s inflation rate hits 18-year high, puts focus on central bank rate policy


Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated to an 18-year-high in September, driven by high gas prices, soaring housing costs and rising food prices, data showed on Wednesday, putting the focus on the Bank of Canada ahead of a rate decision next week.

Inflation increased to 4.4%, beating the average analyst estimate of 4.3%, to reach its fastest clip since February 2003, Statistics Canada data showed. It was the sixth consecutive month in which headline inflation topped the central bank’s 1-3% control range.

“It suggests there is still momentum at the margin in terms of inflationary pressures that can’t be just dismissed on base effects and other factors. So it’s still a sustained overshoot,” said Derek Holt, vice president of capital markets economics at Scotiabank.

Facebook to rebrand itself and focus on the metaverse

CBC News

Facebook Inc., under fire from regulators and lawmakers over its business practices, is planning to rebrand itself with a new group name that focuses on the metaverse, the Verge reported on Tuesday.

The name change will be announced next week, according to technology blog The Verge, which cited a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been talking up the metaverse, a digital world where people can move between different devices and communicate in a virtual environment, since July. The group has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality, developing hardware such as its Oculus VR headsets and working on AR glasses and wristband technologies.

Niagara COVID-19 statistics tracker

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. Lower numbers are better in all metrics.

 October 30November 6November 13November 20
Reproductive number11.31.10.8
New cases per 100,00025.940.342.631.5
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)13.419.420.918.3
Percent of hospital beds occupied103.1%93.3%100.3%96.3%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied84.9%83.3%86.4%86.4%
Percentage of positive tests2.6%3.6%3.5%2.7%

Last updated: October 16, 2021

Click here for definitions of terms used in this table.

On October 20, there were 13 patients admitted to Niagara Health with COVID-19, 10 of whom were unvaccinated and 3 of whom were fully vaccinated. There were 6 patients with COVID-19 in a Niagara Health Intensive Care Unit.

Over the last 28 days, a Niagara resident vaccinated with 1 dose was 3 times more likely to contract COVID-19, and an unvaccinated person was 5.9 times more likely. The average weekly rate of hospitalized cases in unvaccinated Canadians was 36 times higher compared to fully vaccinated people. Niagara Health has reported that no vaccinated patients have required intensive care to date.

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to help protect ourselves, and our families and communities against COVID-19. Learn more here.

Data are drawn from Niagara Region Public Health and Niagara Health.

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

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

 Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
United States70%59%
United Kingdom76%69%

Total doses administered in Niagara: 722,769

New daily doses administered to Niagara residents: 731

Last updated: October 20, 2021

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

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to help protect ourselves, and our families and communities against COVID-19. Learn more here.

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses. Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

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.

Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.

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