March 19 COVID-19 Update


As a result of the current COVID-19 situation, the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce will be sending you daily updates from the news and from Chamber members. We recognize that you are currently being bombarded with information from multiple sources. It is our goal to provide you with concise, up-to-date, daily information in a quick and easy to read format. Below are some important local links for continued updates.

Tourism Update

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) has published a survey with the aim of providing up-to-date data to the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The survey does not collect identifying information and is an anonymous way for you to communicate with government about the issues you and your business are facing. This survey will close at 8:00 am on March 23.
Our Regional Tourism Operator, RTO-12/Explorers’ Edge has released a new update today with details about new weekly webinars and a regional specific survey. This survey is to assist them in acquiring up-to-date information about the specific problems and issues our region is facing to share with government officials.

Government Updates

Following yesterday’s Federal announcement of an $82 billion aid package to provide financial assistance to both citizens and businesses, the Finance Minister today announced that Parliament will be recalled in the coming days to pass the necessary legislation to unlock the funds. He said Canadian can expect to begin receiving emergency funds in “two to three weeks.” Full details of the plan as released can be found in the Economic Response report, with an implementation chart found at the bottom of the page. CBC News has posted this informative article on how and when to apply for EI and Emergency Benefits.
It was announced yesterday that the border between Canada and the United States would be restricting non-essential travel, including recreation and tourism travel. News from the Federal Government today indicates that these restrictions will likely start tomorrow night, but trade and essential supplies will still be allowed to cross. 
The Ontario Government has announced the closing of all Provincial Parks. Between March 19 and April 30 all parks will be closed to the public. This includes car camping, back-country camping, roofed accommodations, day use opportunities and all public buildings. Visit the Ontario Parks website for the most up-to-date information.
The Ontario Government has also announced that it is extending the validity period of driver licenses, license plate validation, Ontario Health Cards and related documents “until such time that, based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer, the current situation improves.” The due dates for Ministry of Transportation vision and medical reports have also been extended to reduce the need for in-person visits to doctors. The full news report is posted on their website.

Member Updates

Here are today’s member updates. A complete list of updates can be found on our COVID-19 Information page. If you would like to have your business updates included in future emails and online, send us your information to this email address: [email protected] or call us directly at 705-789-4771.
Birch+fern Events is offering a free consultation for Chamber members who are looking to re-evaluate or re-plan their events, family weddings or company celebrations.
Coldwell Banker is open for business as usual, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. The company asks that anyone who is sick with a cold, cough, flu etc., or those who have travelled recently, to not enter their office space, but rather to call their office at 705-789-4957 and ask for assistance.
Muskoka North Good Food Co-op is still open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 10am-4pm for careful, spacious shopping. They offer a great selection of take away, healthy meals. 
Subway, located at 66 King William Street, is open for takeout only Monday-Friday 7am-10pm, Saturday 8am-10pm and Sunday 9am-8pm.
Whimsical Bakery is taking ADVANCE orders online with carry out hours Tue-Fri 10am-12pm.

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 the 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.

Further Resources

Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDA’s) are responsible for economic development and have issued an informative single-page document to help you understand their role and where you can reach out for assistance. You can contact FedNor for support for your business.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has published the following guide to assist businesses in working through the changes COVID-19 will have on your business.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has also published helpful resources for your business.
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has been given $10 billion to loan to small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. They have created a support webpage with links for small business loans, working capital loans and purchase order financing.
FedNor has requested that businesses fill out their FedNor COVID-19 Impact Form, which will allow them to better respond to rapidly changing needs. Please send FedNor this form and any other concerns you might have at this address.
Additional 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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