April 27 COVID-19 Update


Today the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program is accepting applications through Revenue Canada. Doug Ford and Ministers provided some details of a framework for a 3 stage re-opening of Ontario’s economy.
This week we will be sending you emails on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the latest federal, provincial and local news as well as updates from member businesses. You can also access the latest up-to-date info on our COVID-19 Update page on our website.

Federal Government

Today Justin Trudeau announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) application process is open. Businesses who have experienced a 30% or higher drop in revenue due to COVID-19 can apply for benefits of up to $847 per employee per week. The easiest way to apply is through the CRA My Business Account or the Represent a Client portal. All claims sent through the CRA’s automated verification process will be sent for payment on May 5, which means that payments being made through direct deposit should begin to appear in employer’s accounts as of May 7. Some applications will require a secondary, manual verification and in these cases the CRA may contact employers to verify information. Trudeau said that there were 10,000 applications in the first five hours of the process being open. You can read the government’s CEWS news release and background document online.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford and Provincial ministers talked about the “slow, methodical and gradual” re-opening of Ontario’s economy. The government has created a framework for a 3 stage plan to re-open businesses and public spaces, noting that the framework, “is about how, not when.” The 3 stages are listed as follows:
Stage 1: Select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidelines will be allowed to re-open, along with some outdoor spaces. Hospitals will also be able to begin offering some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries.
Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces. Some larger public gatherings may be allowed and more outdoor spaces will open.
Stage 3: Opening of all workplaces responsibly and further relaxing restrictions on public gatherings.
While there was no word on when this framework will begin to be implemented, it was said that progress between stages would be monitored in 2-4 week intervals. The government has published both a news release and a web page to provide further details.
This weekend Doug Ford announced that Ontario will provide a $4 per hour salary increase for eligible front-line workers. The increase will be paid on top of existing hourly wages and will be paid for 16 weeks. As well, employees working more than 100 hours per month will receive lump sum payments of $250 per month, on top of the $4 salary increase, for the next 4 months.
This weekend Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that all publicly funded schools in the Province will remain closed until at least May 31. The extension was based upon expert advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health officials. You can read the full news release online.
Also on the weekend, the government exteded the closure of Ontario’s provincial parks and conservation reserves to May 31. Reservations up to and including this date will be automatically cancelled with full refunds given. You can read the full news release online.

Local News

The Township of Lake of Bays has developed an interactive Lake of Bays open for business map. The map provides information on businesses in the region including hours of operation and changes to services such as curbside delivery and products being currently offered. You can find the interactive map online to research your favourite Lake of Bays business.
The District of Muskoka has receiced provincial approval to open an Emergency Child Care Centre to support healthcare and frontline workers with no alternatives for care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The centre is expected to open the week of May 4. An online application for emergency child care will be made available on the District webpage tomorrow, Tuesday April 28.
On May 2 a Stay At Home Gala will be hosted online for Muskoka. This virtual gala will be part of a national program with participants being entertained by both national and local guest entertainers and musicians. The purchase and delivery of a four course dinner option is available as part of the event. The gala will raise money for the Huntsville Hospital Foundation, South Muskoka Hospital Foundation, Muskoka Women’s Shelters and Services and Muskoka Food Security Programs. You can find out more and sign up for the gala on their official gala webpage.
The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of 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 6:00 pm. Local businesses are encouraged to share tips, tricks or entertainment segments to be included in the campaign.

Business & Tourism Report

With today’s opening for wage subsidy applications, the Canadian Business Resilience Network has created a step-by-step guide about the program which includes eligibility criteria, wage subsidy calculation and steps to apply. You can view this resource online.
The Ontario Digital Main Street Initiative is offering a series of free webinars for small business owners to learn more about social media, digital marketing and business e-commerce. Webinars tomorrow, Tuesday April 28, and continue all week. You can find out more and register online on the series webpage.

Member Updates

ProActive Rehab is now offering its services through a virtual, video-based tele-rehab platform. They are able to meet with clients and complete assessments and treatments while clients remain at home. You can call them at 705-788-1480 or visit their website for more info and to book appointments.
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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