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    COVID-19 CHAMBER UPDATE #21

    Today the government announced it was expanding the criteria used by businesses in calculating their CEBA eligibility. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 need:

    • a business operating account at a participating financial institution;
    • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return;
    • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities and insurance.

    Expenses will be subject to verification and audit by the Government of Canada.

    MORE INFORMATION IS NOW AVAILABLE 
     

     

     

    COVID-19 CHAMBER UPDATE #20

    Ontario Providing Employers with Workplace Safety Guidelines

     

    Province Takes Critical Steps to Help Businesses Adapt to New Environment.

     

    The Ontario government is ensuring employers have the safety guidelines they need to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy.

    The government safety guidelines released on April 30th will provide direction to those working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector.

    COVID-19 CHAMBER UPDATE #19

    On Friday, the Government of Canada announced additional details on the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses, which will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been most affected by COVID-19.

    More details on the program are now available from CMHC.

    CECRA will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June. In this way, CECRA will provide relief for small businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in gross rent that have either been forced to close due to the pandemic or have had their revenues severely impacted by at least 70 per cent. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will administer the program on behalf the Government of Canada and our provincial and territorial partners.

    Whether you are self-employed, a small business owner, or an entrepreneur – you shouldn’t have to worry about having to lose your business or your job. 

     

    To get the help you need: 

    1. Visit our government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website for information about supporting your employees and your business. It is constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves. 
    2. Contact your local financial institution. Since we know most small businesses have a relationship with their local financial institution already, we’ve worked with the financial sector to increase their lending capability to support you in in this challenging time. They are a good first place to start for help.
    3. Consult the Canadian Business Resilience Network and Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare you business in the days and weeks to come. 

    COVID-19 CHAMBER UPDATE #18

    Ontario is moving quickly to support the needs of frontline workers in responding to COVID-19. As the public health situation improves because of collective efforts, Ontario will begin to reopen its doors in a three-staged approach, and will require everyone to operate differently than before.

    On April 28 the Provincial Government launched the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website to help identify the unique challenges created under these unexpected circumstances and consider ways to overcome them.

    Businesses retooling their operations to produce health-related products, those that can continue to operate during the emergency or are preparing to reopen their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit their ideas to the website.

    The new website provides a simple, straightforward way to identify opportunities that government can temporarily change a regulation or rule to help navigate or respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    The feedback received will help identify challenges, prioritize pressing issues, and determine where temporary changes to processes, rules and regulations need to be made to help us weather the storm.

    The website builds on steps Ontario has already taken to respond to COVID-19, including:

     

    COVID-19 CHAMBER UPDATE #17

    The Ontario government has released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. To reopen the economy, the government will consider factors such as the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and the ability to implement protective measures to keep workplaces safe. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy.
    Details were announced on April 27, 2020, by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.  The document is available HERE !

    The Government of Canada is now accepting applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Applications can be made through your ‘My Business Account’ or ‘Represent a Client’ (for tax preparers) portals. Alternatively, businesses may apply via the CRA website with their access code. There is no rush to apply; all applications will be processed on May 4.  Visit the CBRN Step By Step Guide for more information. 

    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 

    Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN)

    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

    CovidSupports.ca

    COVID-19 CHAMBER UPDATE #16

    On April 17th the Government of Canada announced funding for several programs, which will in turn create funding for jobs and provide access to funding for businesses.

    For the energy industry:

    • $1.7 billion in funding to cleanup orphaned oil wells
    • $750 million for the Emission Reduction Fund for methane reduction
    • Continuing work with EDC and BDC to provide credit to medium-sized energy companies


    For small businesses that may not qualify for the CEBA and the wage subsidy:

    • $962 million to regional development agencies and the Community Futures Network
    • $250 million to the Industrial Research Assistance Program and $20 million to Futurpreneur Canada
    • $500 million to Canadian Heritage to support people working in arts, culture and sport 

    For more details and Information visit Canada's Covid-19 Economic Response Plan 

     

    COVID-19 CHAMBER UPDATE #15

     

    The expansion of eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was announced on April 15. Individuals who make less than $1,000 per month, seasonal workers, and those whose Employment Insurance benefits have recently run out are now eligible to apply for the benefit. 

     

    Find out more information and apply on-line.

     

    The new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020.   The CEWS prevents further job losses, encourages employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis.  Learn more about the program and how to apply.  Applications are now open. 

     

    Province Declares Extension of Declaration of Emergency 

     

    On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.

     

    Passed during a special sitting of the Ontario legislature and with the full cooperation of all parties, the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until May 12.

     

    Read all the details HERE 

     

    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 

    Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN)

    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 CHAMBER UPDATE #14

    FEDERAL PROGRAM UPDATES

     
    On Thursday in the House of Commons, after days of negotiations and talks with all parties, parliamentarians came together to bring Canadian businesses and their employees the urgent support they need. Minister Morneau introduced the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act. No. 2 – which will mean a more generous and flexible Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for Canadian businesses.
     
    This new legislation proposes that employers found eligible for a certain period would automatically qualify for the next period of the subsidy. For example, an employer with a revenue drop of more than 15% in March would qualify for the first and second periods of the program, covering remuneration paid between March 15 and May 9. Similarly, an employer with a revenue drop of 30% in April would qualify for the second and third periods of the program, covering remuneration paid between May 10 to June 6.
     
    More details can be found here.
     
    MORE UPDATES FROM LAST WEEK: 
     
    Monday
    Canadians – including small business owners and entrepreneurs – who are no longer receiving a paycheque due to COVID-19 could start applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for $2000 per month via the CRA portal. As of today, millions of Canadians have already received this money or have a cheque in the mail. 
     
    Tuesday
    On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced further progress under Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 that will help provide vital, made-in-Canada protective gear and medical equipment to respond to the outbreak. Nearly 5,000 Canadian companies have offered their expertise and capacity as we work together.
     
    Wednesday
    On Wednesday, Minister Ng joined Minister Morneau and Minister Bains to announce further details of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, providing businesses of every size, in every sector, across every region of the country with greater flexibility to access to the subsidy.
    ·        Eligibility: You must have experienced a loss in revenue. For April and May, you will have to show a 30% revenue drop to qualify. For March, we know you might have experienced a smaller loss since restrictions weren’t fully in place – so you’ll have to show a 15% drop.
    ·        Reference point for revenue loss: We made it more flexible by giving everyone the option of using January and February as reference periods to show revenue loss, or this time last year.
    ·        Type of business: Applies to all businesses of all sizes. Including charities and non-profits.
    ·        Application: The application portal will open in a few weeks, and we are working hard to get this up and running as soon as physically possible. Keep in mind – this will be backdated to March 15.
    For more information, please see the Backgrounder.
     
    Also, the Prime Minister announced changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program, which will help small businesses hire and keep the workers they need so they can continue to deliver essential services.
     
    Thursday
    On Thursday, the Canada Emergency Business Account was launched through our government’s Business Credit Availability Program. Visit your bank or credit union today to apply for an interest-free, government-backed loan of up to $40,000, with up to $10,000 forgivable if you pay it back before the end of 2022.

    COVID-19 CHAMBER UPDATE #13

    Positive Changes To Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program, Interest-Free Loans Available April 9 

    Yesterday we learned of several important changes to the wage subsidy program that will help more businesses access funding: Check out the Canadian Chamber statement.

    • A business will now be able to compare its revenue to the same month last year OR an average of January and February 2020. This will help new and growing firms who may not have qualified based on a comparison to the same month in 2019. 
    • A business needs only to demonstrate a 15% reduction in gross revenues for March. A 30% reduction will still be required to receive the subsidy in April and May. 
    • The program will now allow businesses to use either accrual or cash accounting methods. 
    • Employer paid Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan premiums will be reimbursed. 
    • Registered charities and not-for-profit organizations are eligible employers to apply for the wage subsidy. They also have the choice of whether or not to include government funding in their revenue calculations.
    • Businesses can start applying for interest-free loans on April 9. Applications are available through local financial institutions. 

    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 

    Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN)

    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 CHAMBER UPDATE #12
    PENALTY FREE PERIOD EXTENDED FOR PORT HOPE BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS!
     
    Council has now approved a further penalty free period extension for property taxes for those who need it. No penalty or interest will be charged on any installments coming due during the state of emergency declared by the Province of Ontario for the duration of the emergency. A summary for utility and property tax bills is as follows:
     
    Water and Wastewater
     
    In order to respond to the financial impacts of COVID-19, the Municipality of Port Hope is extending the water and wastewater bill due date by one month, from April 15 to May 15, 2020. In addition, penalty for non-payment will not be applied until June 1, 2020. Customers will now have received their bills which include a notice explaining these changes. Any questions can be referred to waterbilling@porthope.ca<mailto:waterbilling@porthope.ca>
     
    Property Tax Due Date
     
    The second installment of the interim Property Tax bill is due on April 28, 2020; however, no penalty or interest shall be applied for non-payment of the second property tax installment or any subsequent installments coming due during the declared emergency by the Province, until the first of the month following the lifting of the Provincial emergency declaration.
     
    Anyone on a pre-authorized payment plan who requires any arrangement with the Municipality or a deferred payment plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic will not be charged interest on the deferred payments for 2020. Please contact the Tax and Revenue Manager at tax@porthope.ca<mailto:tax@porthope.ca>

    COVID-19 CHAMBER UPDATE #11

    MP Philip Lawrence Outlines COVID-19 Federal Economic Initiatives

    MP Lawrence has provided a document as a resource that outlines the various COVID-19 Federal Economic Initiatives as of April 6, 2020. CHECK IT OUT HERE

    COVID-19 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 here – https://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 here – Ontario’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

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