April 22 COVID-19 Update


Today Justin Trudeau announced $9 billion in funding for students. Yesterday the Federal government opened up a wage subsidy calculator and said that applications for the wage subsidy will begin being accepted Monday April 27. Doug Ford announced that Ontario will formally request more Federal resources in the fight against COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.
Starting this week, we will be sending out our update emails 3 days per week on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. We hope that this will help reduce your email burden and provide more value in reporting current information. You can always access our COVID-19 update page if you need information between updates.

Federal Government

Today Justin Trudeau announced $9 billion in spending on a host of measures aimed at supporting Canadian students. The new measures are as follows:
  1. The new Canada Emergency Student Benefit is aimed at students who do not already qualify for CERB funds. This new benefit will provide current post-secondary students and high school students who will be attending a university or college this fall with $1,250 per month for May through August. The benefit can be increased to $1,750 per month for students who are caring for an individual or who are living with a disability. Students can also receive funding from this benefit if they are working but receiving less than $1,000 per month.
  2. The Canada Student Service Grant will provide grant money to student volunteers who are doing national service and are volunteering in their community to help fight COVID-19. Students can receive between $1,000 and $5,000 depending upon the number of volunteer hours they complete.
  3. The Government will create 76,000 new jobs for students in addition to the Canada Student Jobs Program. These placement will be in “sectors that need an extra hand right now” or that are on the front lines of this pandemic.
  4. $291 million to student researchers and graduate students to extend scholarships, fellowships and grants.
  5. The government will also double the amount of funding toward student grants for the 2020-21 post-secondary students.
Trudeau said Parliament will meet soon to pass the necessary legislation to implement these measures.
Yesterday the Federal government launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator on the CRA’s official wage subsidy web page. The page includes detailed information and instructions about who can apply for the subsidy, how eligibility is assessed and how the subsidy is calculated. The CRA will open applications for the wage subsidy Monday April 27, with funds for approved applications starting to be released on May 5. Employers will need to sign up for a My Business Account or a Represent a Client account to apply.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford announced that Ontario will be stepping up the fight against the COVID-19 battle that is raging in the province’s long-term care facilities. Ontario will be formally reaching out today to the Federal government for assistance, requesting personnel and resources from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Forces. These resources will be sent to the worst hit facilities in the province to assist with daily operations and provide logistical support. Ford said that the province is receiving regular shipments of PPE that are being sent immediately to long-term care homes in need. The Premier said, “It is our duty to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
The Provincial government announced yesterday that it will be investing $11 million in support for Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens. The money will help deliver meals, medicines and other essentials to those in need. The province is working to expand existing Meals on Wheels services to reach low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions. New funding will also be used to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System payments. You can read the full news release online.

Local News

The Town of Huntsville has issued a news release regarding building site inspections. Town Building Department representatives will be attending residential sites to close off open building permits. You can read the full notice online.
The District of Muskoka has released a waste collection update that details measures for waste facilities, leaf and yard waste collection and weekly garbage collection. You can read the news release on their website.
The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber in Commerce is partnering with the Huntsville BIA and the Town of Huntsville on the Save Summer campaign. Created as a means to inform, mobilize and encourage our community, the campaign has created a Facebook page to engage and entertain. You can tune into Facebook for live events every night at 7:00 pm. Local businesses are encouraged to share tips, tricks or entertainment segments to be included in the campaign.

Business & Tourism Report

The Canada Federation of Independent Business has updated their resources about Federal and Provincial assistance programs including the new wage subsidy information. These resources can be found on their Small Business Help Center web page.
The Innovation Assistance Program (IAP) is a program that provides up to 12 weeks of wage subsidy to small and medium sized businesses pursuing technology-driven innovation. In order to be eligible, a company must:
  • Be ineligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • Be an incorporated, profit-oriented small or medium-sized business in Canada
  • Be a company with 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees
  • Plan to pursue growth and profit by developing and commercializing innovative, technology-driven new or improved products, services or processes in Canada
  • Lack sufficient financial resources to sustain operations during the COVID-19 downturn period
  • Have a Canada Revenue Agency business number
  • Be incorporated by no later than March 1, 2020
The deadline for applications is April 29 and you can submit your application online.
RTO-12/Explorers’ Edge is asking all tourism stakeholders to fill out their April Business Barometer survey. The organization recognizes that there has been a barrage of surveys, but says this one is vital for informing government funding proposals and to determine how many tourism businesses do not currently qualify for assistance programs.
The Business Resilience Network has released a newsletter with resources for businesses including some details around the new wage subsidy calculator. Read the full newsletter here.

Member Updates

Henrietta’s Pine Bakery has opened their Huntsville location for take-out orders with a limited menu Wednesday to Friday from 11am-2pm.
Whimsical Bakery is open for online orders Monday through Friday, with zero contact pickup or delivery Monday, Thursday and Friday from 10am – 12pm.
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.

Further Resources

Moving Forward

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.

Chamber of Commerce members can expect the best!

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