June 3 COVID-19 Update


Tomorrow is the last day for local business owners to submit an order form for FREE PPE to be provided through a partnership between the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Huntsville and the Huntsville BIA. See the Business section below for more details.
Today the Federal Government announced their updated COVID-19 case numbers and Doug Ford announced $150 million in new funding to provide improved broadband and cellular service to rural areas in Ontario.
Even though businesses are beginning to reopen, we ask that people use common sense and continue to follow public health guidelines. It is still best to stay at home except for short trips outdoors, remember to always practice physical distancing and try 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

Today the Federal Government held a COVID-19 update news conference. Canada currently has 92,748 cases of the virus. There are 34,650 active cases and 50,684 recovered cases. In total, there have been 7,414 reported deaths across the country. Canada’s Minister of Transportation also outlined stronger safety measures to be put in place in the transportation industry, including increased face covering requirements in the air and rail industries.
This week the Federal government announced $7.6 million to support tourism projects in Northern Ontario. Delivered through FedNor, 3 projects in Parry Sound-Muskoka received funding, as well as Muskoka Tourism. You can read the Government’s Background Document to see the full list of FedNor recipients.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford announced that the Ontario government is investing $150 million to create more reliable broadband and cellular service to rural, remote and under-served areas of the province. This new Improving Connectivity in Ontario (ICON) program, when leveraged, has the potential to result in an investment of up to $500 million in total partner funding. You can read the full news release about this announcement online.
Yesterday the Ontario government announced it is extending all emergency orders until June 30, 2020. These emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery. Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules remain in place for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters. You can read the full list of emergency orders in the official news release posted online. 

Local News

The Township of Lake of Bays has released their latest Economic Development Newsletter. You can read the newsletter online.
The Huntsville Festival of the Arts is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Group of Seven Artists with a special art project. Taking place throughout the summer, mural artist Gerry Lantaigne has been commissioned to paint 7 murals, each one of which will be painted on the underside of a canoe. The organization is reaching out to the community seeking donations of used canoes for the project. You can read the project’s news release online.
The Town of Huntsville has announced that the Brunel Locks are set to reopen for the season starting on weekends in June from 10am-6pm. For the months of July and August the locks will be open daily 10am-6pm. You can read the full news update online.
The District of Muskoka has posted an update on the King William Street Construction project. You can view the news release online, which includes maps of the areas that will be affected this week.

Business & Tourism Report

The Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Town of Huntsville and the Huntsville BIA to provide FREE personal protective equipment to assist the business community in keeping staff and residents safe. The Town and its community partners are reaching out to businesses and memberships to determine any immediate need for PPE supplies as businesses enter the COVID-19 recovery phase. If you are a Huntsville business in need of PPE supplies, please fill out the attached order form and return to the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce via email to [email protected] no later than 4pm on Thursday June 4, 2020.
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.
The Canadian Business Resilience Network is accepting applications for the CBRN Small Business Relief Fund. 62 Canadian small businesses will receive $10,000 grants to support recovery efforts. Applications must be submitted online by June 12 at 8pm. You can find eligibility criteria and the application form online on the CBRN website.

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. The restaurant is also open now with 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].
Muskoka Hydrovac has been using their downtime to conduct research and development. The company has perfected a new tool to clean out silt in dug wells as well as a rehabilitation solution for failed septic weeping beds. The company has also written a letter of encouragement to other Chamber members, which can be read here.
NOVELTYMANN is happy to announce that they have all appropriate safety protocols in place and have opened their doors to customers. Curbside service is still available if requested. They have the following message to customers: “We appreciate everyone’s support as we get back up and running and a reminder that all our companies are doing the same and some things are taking a little longer to come in.” NOVELTYMANN has suppliers of safety masks and safety clothing and is open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm. You can reach them at [email protected] or at 705-787-0148.
Pet Valu is now allowing a limited number of customers into their Huntsville store. Online ordering and curbside pick up are still available. Pet Valu is open Monday – Wednesday 9am – 6pm, Thursday and Friday 9am – 7pm, Saturday 9am – 6pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm.
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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