June 12 COVID-19 Update


Today the Ontario Government has permitted people to create social circles of up to 10 people who do not have to be from your immediate household. This weekend our region enters Stage 2 of Ontario’s reopening framework. Even though businesses and patios are beginning to reopen, we ask that people use common sense and continue to follow public health guidelines. Even with new guidelines around social circles, when in public please remember to always practice physical distancing and to wear a face covering when distancing is difficult.
You can still access the latest up-to-date information on our COVID-19 Update Page on our website.

Federal Government

Earlier this week the Government of Canada launched a new web hub to bring together available resources for organizations buying and selling PPE. The Supply Hub connects Canadian organizations from coast to coast with federal, provincial, territorial and other resources and information about PPE, including consumer guidance. You can access the Supply Hub and read the government’s news release online.
This week Justin Trudeau announced changes to travel restrictions for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Beginning tomorrow, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents and who do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or have had virus, will be allowed entry into Canada to be with an immediate family member. New entries will have to quarantine for 14 days. To learn more you can read the full news release online.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford announced that people throughout Ontario are being encouraged to establish a social circle of no more than 10 people who can interact and come in close contact with one another without physical distancing. Effective immediately, social circles of up to 10 people are permitted, including those outside the immediate household. Ontarians who wish to form a safe social circle should follow these five simple steps:
  1. Start with your current circle: the people you live with or who regularly come into your household;
  2. If your current circle is under 10 people, you can add members to your circle, including those from another household, family members or friends;
  3. Get agreement from everyone that they will join the circle;
  4. Keep your social circle safe. Maintain physical distancing with anyone outside of your circle; and
  5. Be true to your circle. No one should be part of more than one circle.
You can find out more in the province’s step-by-step guide to creating a social circle and by reading today’s news release online.
Today our region has officially entered Stage 2 of the province’s reopening framework. Effective today the limit on social gatherings will be increased to 10 people and places of worship will be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and at no more than 30% building capacity. As well, many of our businesses and services will be permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place, including patio’s and outdoor dining. For more details you can visit the Stage 2 Framework web page or read the government’s full news release online.
Yesterday the Ontario Government announced its plan to reopen child care centres across the province. The government has created a strict set of health and safety guidelines centres will have to follow. Starting immediately, child care staff can begin preparation for actual opening which can begin as early as Friday June 12 provided “these operators have met all the strict and stringent guidelines for reopening.” You can read the full news release online for more details.

Local News

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has published some resources now that our region is in Stage 2 of business reopening. Their online page titled Reopening and Operating Your Business Safely provides guidelines and links to further resources for businesses who will be reopening. They have also produced a document titled COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Reopening a Food Premise for Outdoor Dining providing guidelines and information for food providers on safely reopening patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent premises.
June is Recreation and Parks month, and the Township of Lake of Bays has published a calendar with an activity a day throughout the month. View the calendar online and take the challenge.
The District of Muskoka has launched the 2020 Muskoka Community Grant Application. Available on the Engage Muskoka Platform, applications can now be made by community groups, not-for-profit organizations and registered charities. There are three grant opportunities available: The Pay it Forward program offers grants up to $2,500 for grassroots community groups, the Community Enhancement Fund is available to not-for-profit and charitable organizations in the form of grants up to $10,000 and the Social Service Relief Fund provides grants up to $5,000 for community groups offering essential services. You can read more about eligibility and apply for grants on the Engage Muskoka website.

Business & Tourism Report

Yesterday the Ontario government announced, in partnership with the federal government, $57 million to further support the Digital Main Street platform. The platform is designed to help businesses create and enhance their online presence. Digital Main Street will offer three new programs to support digital transformation: shopHERE powered by Google, the Digital Main Street grant and the Future-Proofing Main Street program. You can get more details from the online platform or by reading the government’s official news release.
This week the Ontario government announced the launch of the Ontario Live virtual hub, designed to promote and support the province’s tourism and cultural industries. When complete, Ontario Live will allow all Ontarians to access concerts, online art experiences, gallery and museum tours, virtual tourism experiences and much more, from the safety of their own homes. To learn more or to register your business go online at www.ontario.live
FedEx Express Canada is offering 30 $5,000 grants to small businesses across Canada to help ease financial pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications should take no more than 10 minutes and are due June 30, 2020. You can read more about the grant and fill out the online application form on the FedEx Support Small Grants web page.
Muskoka Futures has launched the Muskoka Business Recovery Fund (MBRF) in partnership with FedNor and the Government of Canada. Small businesses who have been unable to qualify for current COVID-19 relief programs such as the Emergency Wage Subsidy, Emergency Business Account and Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance programs may qualify for a loan of up to $40,000 with 0% interest and no payments required until December 31, 2022. Applications are available online.

Member Updates

3 Guys and a Stove has opened the “On Focaccia” food truck directly beside their Huntsville restaurant. On Focaccia has a brand new menu featuring breakfast from 8-11:30am and an all day menu 11:30am-9pm. Starting today 3 Guys will also be offering outdoor patio dining as well as a special BBQ menu for curbside pickup. 3 Guys takes the safety of its customers and staff extremely seriously, so physical distancing and sanitizing measures are being enforced. Follow these links to learn more about either the On Focaccia truck or the restaurant menu online.
Find Your Wild Muskoka is getting ready to reopen to the public. The outdoor adventure company will begin offering axe throwing adventures June 13 and will be reopening their SUP paddling adventures on June 18. They will only be accepting groups of four (plus a guide) unless you have a larger family living under one roof. No equipment will be shared and physical distancing will be built in. For more information follow them on Facebook, call them at (705) 380-4479 or send an email to [email protected].
The Hub in Huntsville will be reopening Monday June 15. They will be fully open and ready to provide safe space to work, meet and network. The Hub has implemented safety protocols to ensure their clients can co-work safely.
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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