• COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CHAMBER UPDATE #10

    Canadian Chamber and Government of Canada team up to launch Canadian Business Resilience Network to help businesses get through COVID-19    

    The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has established the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) in partnership with the Government of Canada to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The CBRN is a coordinated, business-led, inclusive campaign that will focus on providing businesses the tools they need to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on them, our economy and communities across the country. Its goal is also to help businesses emerge from this crisis and drive Canada’s economic recovery.

    The CBRN will:

    • Give tools and supports to businesses in their continuity efforts – from development to implementation.

    • Provide a consistent and reliable flow of accurate and up-to-date information.

    • Work closely with federal government and within the business community to ensure the right supports are in place, and to be a conduit for information from the government to the private sector (and vice versa).

    • Aim to instill confidence in Canadian business and the economy.

    COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CHAMBER UPDATE #9

    ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES LIST REDUCED FROM 74 to 44 CATEGORIES

    Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, on April 3, 2020, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19. See the revised list here.  

    • Cannabis stores and most construction projects, including non-critical industrial construction have been removed from this list. 
    • If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. 
    • The new essential services list will go into effective at 11:59pm on Saturday, April 4.

    ADDITIONAL UPDATES

    COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CHAMBER UPDATE #8


    Ontario Together Fund 

    On April 1st Premier Doug Ford joined Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance to announce that the Ontario government is launching a $50 million fund to provide immediate support to businesses, organizations and communities to team up with the province to combat COVID-19.  This is a one-time fund of $50 million in 2020-21 during the COVID-19 outbreak and is available to companies and organizations across Ontario to apply. Through Ontario Together, we are going mobilize our manufacturing might to get Ontario’s frontline health care workers the tools they need to do their jobs.

    The Ontario Together Fund will help companies make investments to build their capacity or provide technological solutions, either in new equipment or retooling. This will allow them to quickly pivot to manufacturing critical supplies and equipment needed in hospitals, long-term care homes and other priority public services.

    The Ontario Together Fund will leverage the recently launched Ontario Together website to accept proposals. The government will be looking for the most viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide critical goods and services and the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario.

    In addition, the government has worked closely with businesses across Ontario and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association to ramp up production of ventilators to meet the need in Ontario and other parts of Canada. The government has recently placed an order with O-Two Medical Technologies who, with the support of Ontario’s world-class manufacturing sector, will produce 10,000 ventilator units for a made-in-Ontario solution.

    The mass mobilization of government, business, communities and private citizens to slow the spread of COVID-19 and manufacture essential health care supplies represents one of the largest and most ambitious efforts undertaken by Ontario in generations.

    For continuous updates regarding COVID 19, tools to assist business during this crisis and up to date information on the impacts to the business community check out the following links: 

    Ontario Chamber of Commerce

    Canadian Chamber of Commerce 

    Business Development Bank of Canada - Business Continuity Plan and Templates for Entrepreneurs

    Business Development Bank of Canada - Support for Entrepreneurs Impacted by COVID-19

    Resources for Canadian Businesses - Government of Canada

    Province of Ontario - COVID-19 Updates 

     

     

    COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CHAMBER UPDATE #7

    Northumberland Peterborough South MP Philip Lawrence Discusses New Business Supports

    On Monday March 30th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clarified the additional relief for businesses which he announced on Friday. MP Lawrence would like to thank Prime Minister Trudeau for the following:
    • Introducing a 75% wage subsidy, up to $847 per week, per employee to businesses whose revenues have dropped by at least 30%. Our Party has been calling for an increase from the original announcement of 10%.
    • Announcing $65 billion in interest free loans of up to $40,000 to Businesses and Not-For-Profits through the Canada Emergency Business Accounts.

    These programs will certainly help the Not-For-Profit and Business Communities in our riding, and I will continue to work with the Government to make these programs accessible to our local business owners.

    The Government; however, must continue to do more. Specifically, MP Lawrence is calling on the Government to:
    • Cancel the 50% increase in the Carbon Tax scheduled for April 1st, 2020. The increase in the Carbon Tax will add to the burden of industries such as agriculture and transportation already dealing with the impact of COVID 19.
    • Cancel MP’s pay raise for 2020, (Note that MP Lawrence will be donating his increase)
    • Expand access to the Canada Emergency Business Accounts to businesses of all sizes (currently businesses must have payroll of greater than 50K).
    • Stop lecturing the business community about misusing these programs. Business leaders will do what is right.
    • Improve the Government’s execution. The Government has constantly been contradicting itself on both the severity and its response to the pandemic.

    The Northumberland Peterborough South community is dealing with an unprecedented crisis. Our Government needs to be a strong partner in coping and recovering from this crisis. MP Lawrence looks forward to working with Government to beat COVID-19 and to helping workers and businesses recover and rejuvenate.

    Contact with Philip Lawrence can be made at any of the following:
    Website: philiplawrencemp.ca
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/PLawrenceMP
    Instagram: philiplawrencemp
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/philiplawrenceMP
    Telephone: 905-372-8757
    E-Mail: philip.lawrence@parl.gc.ca

    For continuous updates regarding COVID 19, tools to assist business during this crisis and up to date information on the impacts to the business community check out the following links: 

    Ontario Chamber of Commerce

    Canadian Chamber of Commerce 

    Business Development Bank of Canada - Business Continuity Plan and Templates for Entrepreneurs

    Business Development Bank of Canada - Support for Entrepreneurs Impacted by COVID-19

    Resources for Canadian Businesses - Government of Canada

    Province of Ontario - COVID-19 Updates 

     

     

    COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CHAMBER UPDATE #6

    On March 30th the federal government announced further details on the supports being provided to businesses. 

    Federal Measures for Businesses

    Further details can be found herehttps://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-businesses.html

    Wage Subsidy – The federal government will provide a wage subsidy of up to 75% for all businesses, backdated to Sunday March 15th. Businesses that have experienced at least a 30% drop in revenues, regardless of their size or number of employees, will be eligible for this subsidy. The federal government will cover up to 75% of employees’ salary on the first $58,700 earned, up to $847/week. We anticipate further details on how employers can access this program in the coming days.

    Income tax deferrals – Allow taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

    HST deferrals – The federal government will defer HST payments for small and medium sized businesses until June – freeing up an additional $30 billion for businesses.

    Canada Emergency Business Account Canadian banks will provide $40,000 loans, backed by the federal government, to small and medium sized businesses. The loans will be interest free for the first year and, in some cases, the first $10,000 will be forgivable.

    Business Credit Availability Program – providing an additional $12.5 billion through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada to small and medium sized enterprises for cashflow purposes. This is above the $10 billion for SMEs and $5 billion via Farm Credit Canada committed on March 13.

    Bank of Canada Interest Rate Reduction – on March 27th the Bank of Canada lowered interest rates to 0.25%, down from 0.75% announced on March 13.

     

    Below is information that the provincial government is taking to support businesses

    Ontario’s Support for Businesses

    Further details can be found hereOntario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 https://budget.ontario.ca/2020/marchupdate/action-plan.html

    Employer Health Tax

    • To help businesses during the crisis, the government is proposing to double the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption in 2020.
    • Through this change, about 57,000 private-sector employers would pay less EHT in 2020, including about 30,000 more who would not pay EHT this year.
    • This amounts to a tax cut of $355 million.

    Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

    • The government is taking aim at regional economic disparities through the launch of a proposed new Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit, which would be available to eligible businesses that build, renovate or acquire qualifying commercial and industrial buildings in designated regions of the province, saving them up to $45,000.

    $6 Billion in Tax Deferrals

    • The government is also providing flexibility to businesses in Ontario that find it challenging to meet their tax obligations during this crisis.
    • The period between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020 will be interest and penalty-free for businesses who are unable to file and make payments on time for select provincially administered taxes.
    • This is expected to free up as much as $6 billion in cash flow for about 100,000 businesses.
    • This measure would complement the federal government’s March 18, 2020 announcement that it would provide relief from interest and penalties from not remitting Corporate Income Tax owing.

    $1.9 Billion in Workplace Safety Expenses

    • To provide additional support, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is allowing employers to defer premium payments for up to six months, providing immediate relief of up to $1.9 billion.
    • All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package.
    • No interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.

    $1.8 Billion in Education Property Tax Deferrals

    • We are also providing the option to defer the education property tax payment municipalities make to school boards for 90 days.
    • This would defer the June 30th quarterly municipal remittance to school boards which provides municipalities with the flexibility, in turn, to provide over $1.8 billion in property tax deferral to residents and businesses.

    For continuous updates regarding COVID 19, tools to assist business during this crisis and up to date information on the impacts to the business community check out the following links: 

    Ontario Chamber of Commerce

    Canadian Chamber of Commerce 

    Business Development Bank of Canada - Business Continuity Plan and Templates for Entrepreneurs

    Business Development Bank of Canada - Support for Entrepreneurs Impacted by COVID-19

    Resources for Canadian Businesses - Government of Canada

    Province of Ontario - COVID-19 Updates 

    COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CHAMBER UPDATE #5

    On March 27 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered some welcome news for SMEs across the country. That news included the following announcements:

    • A 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to three months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales and will be shared before the end of the month.
    • Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.
    • The launch of the new Canada Emergency Business Account. This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a zero per cent interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months.

    Read the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Statement regarding the impacts. 

    For continuous updates regarding COVID 19, tools to assist business during this crisis and up to date information on the impacts to the business community check out the following links: 

    Ontario Chamber of Commerce

    Canadian Chamber of Commerce 

    Business Development Bank of Canada - Business Continuity Plan and Templates for Entrepreneurs

    Business Development Bank of Canada - Support for Entrepreneurs Impacted by COVID-19

    Resources for Canadian Businesses - Government of Canada

    Province of Ontario - COVID-19 Updates 

    SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION CHALLENGE
    As the community faces these strange times there are many
    essential workers or key people
    who are putting themselves out there as we try to fight this pandemic.
    (hospital staff, grocery clerks, pharmacy teams, medical practitioners,
    PSW's, nursing home workers, police officers, front-line responders etc.)
     
    The CHAMBER would love to challenge each of you that have an electronic or other sign board to post a salute to these super heroes who don't wear capes.
     
    While you are busy practicing social distancing - if you don't have a board:
    make a sign - paint your windows - sidewalk chalk your path or fence - wrap a blue ribbon around a tree or light post
     
    Let's blanket PORT HOPE with a message that we appreciate these fine people.
     
    #Wereallinthistogether. We will get through this together
    with the help of some very special, very essential peopl

     

    COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CHAMBER UPDATE #4

    In an effort to draw full attention to mitigating both the health and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Ontario has elected to delay the release of its annual Budget.  Instead, on March 25, the government released an economic and fiscal update entitled, “Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19,” which provides a one-year economic forecast and the government’s initial response plan to the COVID-19 crisis.

    The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has provided a RAPID POLICY UPDATE and provided their own Statement on the impact of this plan on the business community. 

    Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19

    MPP David Piccini shared the Government of Ontario’s one-year plan on March 25, 2020,  that reflects the current environment and the action our government is taking to support Ontarians. The approach includes increased resources for our healthcare system, direct support for people, and action to protect jobs and our economy.  

    Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 includes resources for health professional on the front lines to fight the COVID-19 outbreak, and new measures to support businesses, seniors, parents, students, workers, Indigenous communities and vulnerable populations.

    60+ Leading Canadian Business Organizations Call on Government to Protect Jobs and Postpone Non-essential New Measures

    Over 60 of Canada’s leading business organizations are calling on governments to support a national effort to protect jobs and to postpone non-essential new measures.  “Canadian businesses are ready and able to step up to overcome the challenge of COVID-19. We will work to ensure that Canadians have the food to feed their families, the fuel to heat our homes and to keep essential services moving, the equipment and facilities to treat the sick and the communications systems that unite us even as we are kept apart from one another."  - Read the full report here

    Financial supports for Small and Medium Businesses 

    Over the past few days, the Government of Canada and the provincial governments have introduced measures to support Canadians and stimulate the economy throughout the evolving health crisis.  Deloitte, an active member with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has published a useful guide on the government funding programs available to small- and medium-sized businesses.  Click here to read it.



     

     

     

     

    COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CHAMBER UPDATE #3

    Essential Workplaces Identified:

    Premier Doug Ford made the tough to decision to order the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces here in Ontario. This order will go into effect Tuesday March 24th at midnight for 14 days.  The List of Essential Workplaces is now available. 

    Employment Standards Amendment Act:

    The Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 provides job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures or to care for other relatives. These measures are retroactive to January 25, 2020, the date the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in Ontario. The legislation will also make it clear employees cannot be required to show sick notes.    More Information is available on the Ontario.ca Newsroom Link. 

    How to apply for EI & Covid-19 Emergency Benefits:

    Workers and businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for part of the $82 billion aid package which includes $27 billion in direct support for those struggling to find work or care for family members.  More information on EI can be found here.

    COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CHAMBER UPDATE #2

    Service Ontario services update: 

    As part of the province's enhanced measures, the Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Health, in cooperation with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services and ServiceOntario, is extending the validity period of driving products, services and health cards. These changes reduce the need for in-person visits to ServiceOntario, International Registration Plan offices and DriveTest centres during the COVID-19 outbreak, helping to promote social distancing and contain the spread of the virus.

     

    Following the Federal Announcement for COVID-19 changes to EI Support please be aware of the following: 

    Resource for Employees:

    If employees qualify for Employment Insurance sickness benefit please direct them to apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness/apply.html

    If Employees do not qualify for EI sickness. They may qualify for the Emergency support program;

    • Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19.
    • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent.
    • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.

    This program will be administered by the CRA through their website starting in early April.

    Resource for your Business:

    * Businesses will be able to access additional capital through the Business Development Bank and Export Development Canada. Their funding will be focused on normally profitable businesses that have been hit hard by the Covid pandemic.

    Contact: Jody Burnie, BDC, 705-750-4802, jody.burnie@bdc.ca

    HELPFUL LINKS RELATED TO UPDATES FOR COVID 19:

    Municipality of Port Hope: http://porthope.ca/covid-19

    Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit: https://www.hkpr.on.ca/featured_posts/novel-coronavirus/

    Public Health Ontario: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/

    World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

    In addition, our chamber team has compiled some resources to help you prepare your business and ensure that your employees remain safe. Please see below for some specific Business Pandemic Preparedness and Continuity information including some guidelines on mass gatherings.

    HELPFUL TOOL AND RESOURCES FOR YOUR BUSINESS:

    COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit for Ontario Businesses:

    https://occ.ca/covid-19-pandemic-preparedness-toolkit-for-ontario-business/

    Pandemic Planning for Businesses from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce:

    http://www.chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness/

    Business Continuity Guide from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety:

    https://www.ccohs.ca/publications/PDF/businesscontinuity.pdf

    Business Continuity Plan and Recovery Plan from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce:

    https://files.constantcontact.com/e74ab88b301/395f2666-cd00-44ca-a7de-873d7980d661.pdf

    Crisis Communication Plan from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce:

    https://files.constantcontact.com/e74ab88b301/e66c6d52-2523-4aad-9893-c75b3ffda5f8.pdf

    Safety Poster from the Government of Ontario:

    https://files.ontario.ca/moh-coronavirus-pec-poster-en-2020-03-09.pdf

    Ontario Self Assessment Tool:

    https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

     

    COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS CHAMBER UPDATE #1

    As the COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to spread globally, commerce and communities are being impacted. The Port Hope and District Chamber of Commerce is monitoring the situation and wants to provide you with useful information regarding the current state of the virus in addition to some helpful tips for your business.

    As you may have heard there are two confirmed case of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District. It is important to be up to date with the pertinent info and avoid potential misinformation.

    The Port Hope and District Chamber of Commerce has determined that the health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance to us and thus have made the decision to cancel all face to face meetings and postpone the following events:

    Regular Board Meeting                                                                    April 1st

    Budget Breakfast with MPP Piccini                                            April 3rd

    Stepping up For Mental Health Workshop                             April 6th  

    Lunch and Learn with Port Hope Public Library                    April 15th

    Shopify Learning Event with Durham College                       April 16th

    Business Excellence Awards                                                         April 25th

    Contractors Breakfast                                                                    April 27th

     

    All postponed events will be re-scheduled at a later date.  

    Nomination submission deadlines for the Business Excellence Awards are going to remain the same with packages due (preferably by email) by 4pm on March 27th.  The Peoples Choice online Voting will conclude at the same time. 

    Service Ontario will be open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5pm and closing from 1130 to 1pm for lunch and sanitation.  Just a gentle reminder to visitors to not come to the office if they have travelled anywhere, have had any contact with someone who has and/or are feeling ill at all is appreciated.

    We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update the community through email, social media posts, and updates on our website: www.porthopechamber.com.  Any direct questions can be sent to brenda@porthoepchamber.com

    In the meantime, please continue following the Helpful Links below for up to date information on the status of this virus from reputable sources.

    HELPFUL LINKS RELATED TO UPDATES FOR COVID 19:

    Municipality of Port Hope: http://porthope.ca/covid-19

    Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit: https://www.hkpr.on.ca/featured_posts/novel-coronavirus/

    Public Health Ontario: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/

    World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

    In addition, our chamber team has compiled some resources to help you prepare your business and ensure that your employees remain safe. Please see below for some specific Business Pandemic Preparedness and Continuity information including some guidelines on mass gatherings.

    HELPFUL TOOL AND RESOURCES FOR YOUR BUSINESS:

    COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit for Ontario Businesses:

    https://occ.ca/covid-19-pandemic-preparedness-toolkit-for-ontario-business/

    Pandemic Planning for Businesses from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce:

    http://www.chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness/

    Business Continuity Guide from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety:

    https://www.ccohs.ca/publications/PDF/businesscontinuity.pdf

    Business Continuity Plan and Recovery Plan from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce:

    https://files.constantcontact.com/e74ab88b301/395f2666-cd00-44ca-a7de-873d7980d661.pdf

    Crisis Communication Plan from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce:

    https://files.constantcontact.com/e74ab88b301/e66c6d52-2523-4aad-9893-c75b3ffda5f8.pdf

    Safety Poster from the Government of Ontario:

    https://files.ontario.ca/moh-coronavirus-pec-poster-en-2020-03-09.pdf

    Ontario Self Assessment Tool:

    https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

     

    Stay safe!

    Port Hope and District Chamber of Commerce Staff & Board of Directors