April 2 COVID-19 Update
The Federal Government released more details about the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy. The Provincial Government pledged more money for mental health support for all Ontarians. See the business section below for more details on the Canada Emergency Business Account which can provide businesses with a $40,000 line of credit.
Please remember that we have launched a revised survey to help us better understand your needs and how we can help. Please take the time to fill out this survey on our website. We are also maintaining a COVID-19 Update Page on our website. Below are some important local links.
Today the Ontario Government announced new measures to assist those who are experiencing mental health struggles during the extraordinary measures enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic. $12 million was pledged to support online mental health resources to provide safe access to mental health support for all Ontarians. An additional $2.6 million will be used to hire psychologists and mental health professionals to provide mental health support to Ontario Provincial Police workers. Doug Ford said, “If you are struggling, please reach out.”
Yesterday the Ontario Government announced the launch of a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment. This new fund will support the development of proposals submitted to the Ontario Together web portal
This week Doug Ford announced that the Province’s schools will remain closed to teachers until at least May 1 and to students until at least May 4. Along with the out-of-school extension, the second phase of Ontario’s Learn at Home program was announced, featuring a new set of expectations for the education community which includes re-establishing teacher-led learning by grouping grades and a minimum expectation of work per student/week.
Today Justin Trudeau reported that he will be meeting with the Premiers of Canadian provinces to share national data on the COVID-19 pandemic. He spoke of the need for the provinces to collaborate and work together to protect the nation’s doctors and nurses. Trudeau said that too many people are still not following the advice of the country’s top medical professionals. To all Canadians he said: “You can serve your country by staying at home and following the rules.”
Yesterday afternoon the Federal Government published a news release and a more detailed background document regarding the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. While these documents do not contain the specific date that businesses will be able to apply, there are more details about who will qualify for the benefit. Businesses must be able to show a drop in gross revenues of at least 30% in March, April or May when compared to the same month in 2019. An eligible employer’s entitlement to the subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees. When open, applications will be made through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account Portal. Click on the above links for full details.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has released a message from the Medical Officer of Health with updates on the current situation both locally and provincially. The release also has some updated recommendations for safe practices. The Health Unit also maintains a YouTube channel where video updates are posted daily.
The Health Unit announced yesterday that there is now a COVID-19 Assessment Centre in Huntsville located in Building B, 100 Frank Miller Drive, behind the Howland Building. Please note that anyone experiencing symptoms must first see their doctor or nurse practitioner. If you do not have either then call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-767-0000 or access the Ministry of Health Self-Assessment Tool. If you have been advised by one of these resources to attend the Assessment Centre you must book an appointment by calling 1-888-383-7009. The COVID-19 Assessment Centre is NOT open for walk-in visits. The Health Unit has a YouTube channel that you can visit or subscribe to for daily updates.
Business & Tourism Report
The Canada Emergency Business Account was announced March 27. This measure will provide qualifying businesses with access to a $40,000 line of credit at 0% interest until December 31, 2022 and requires no minimum monthly principal payments until the same date. $10,000 loan forgiveness is also available provided the outstanding balance is paid on or before December 31, 2022. Eligible businesses must have a 2019 payroll expense between $50,000 and $1 million and be an operating business as of March 1, 2020. The funds are to be used for operating costs that cannot be deferred such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance etc. Businesses will apply through a Canadian financial institution. Applications are expected to open within one week.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has produced a news release with information about the Government’s wage subsidy program. They are also urging businesses to fill out Statistics Canada’s official COVID-19 survey
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) has published an updated news release today. The organization has opened a new survey and have published the results of their second industry survey. The summary report will be used to inform decisions made by government to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on tourism.
Regional Tourism Operator, RTO-12/Explorers’ Edge, would like to remind tourism stakeholders to complete their most recent survey. They also maintain a resource page for the tourism industry.
Beginning this week, Pet Valu will be closed on Sundays. They will remain open Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10 – 5:30, Wed 12 – 5:30 and Sat 9 – 5
Provide us with your business updates so we can feature them daily and get your information out to other members. Other important updates can be found on our COVID-19 Information page. Send us your information to this email address: [email protected] or call us directly at 705-789-4771.
Let Us Help
We have created a web page with resources and updates, including a survey for you to fill out about the status of your own business. Please take the time to complete our revised survey, to enable us to share your updates with fellow members and the community.
We also encourage you to provide us with insights about your current business status. Are you closed, open or do you have modified hours? Do you have changes in service or contact information you would like to share? Send us your updates to this email address: [email protected] or call us directly at 705-789-4771 and we will share your updates to the membership.
In this time we need to work together as much as possible to enable Huntsville and Lake of Bays to weather this situation and to position ourselves as the tourism leader once we are able to re-open our businesses and services to the public. If you have questions or need help finding the appropriate resources to assist you or your business, please reach out to us at the following address: [email protected]
From all of us at the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce team we urge you to stay safe and promise to do everything in our power to assist you in this difficult time.