March 20 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.
Heading into the weekend, it is vitally important that you take care of yourself and your loved ones as well as supporting staff and friends.
Social distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come in contact with. This includes avoiding non-essential trips in the community, limiting or cancelling group gatherings, avoiding visiting long-term care homes, retirement homes and other care centres and trying to maintain a 2 metre distance from people when outside your home. However, social distancing does not have to mean “stay in your home”. Activities such as going outside for a walk, going to the park or getting groceries when necessary can be done if you are careful to distance yourself from others as much as possible.
If you start to feel sick or think you are having symptoms, the Ontario Ministry of Health has created this self-assessment tool. Dedicated assessment centres have been created if you need to seek medical attention. You can find your nearest assessment centre on their website.
A good use of extra time at home this weekend is to do some reading to better understand the current situation. The following are some links to respected organizations and news agencies that can help explain the current situation, provide actions we can take now and what to expect in the days ahead.

Tourism Update

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) has published the results of their first industry survey. The summary report will be used to inform decisions made by government to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on tourism. The agency is still requesting that you fill out their second survey to provide the most up-to-date information. This second survey will close at 8:00 am on March 23.
Our Regional Tourism Operator, RTO-12/Explorers’ Edge, keeps an updated list of resources for tourism operators. As well, they encourage everyone to fill out their latest survey which can be found in their most recent update.

Government Updates

Justin Trudeau announced this morning that Canada will now turn back asylum-seekers attempting to enter the country outside official border points, part of a set of extreme new measures meant to stop the continued spread of COVID-19. Tonight at midnight the Canada-U.S. border will close to all but essential travel, trade and commerce.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has published an update on the Federal Government’s Economic Response Plan. This document is designed to make it easier for business owners and employees to understand the real-world effects of the plan.
Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce have launched the first phase of the Learn at Home online portal. The aim is to provide parents with resources to allow students to continue their education while schools are closed. The program offers all students high-quality, made in Ontario math and literary resources with partners including TVO Kids, mPower and Mathify.
Parry-Sound Muskoka M.P. Scott Aitchison has sent out the following Information Document which includes links to business financial assistance, employment insurance and more. 

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.
Farmer’s Daughter Market is open for small scale gourmet grocery shopping Thursday to Monday 9am-3pm. Avoid the crowds and experience an enjoyable shopping environment. Offering ready-made meals, bakery items and grocery supplies. They are doing their part to accommodate your grocery needs and are taking all measures to ensure customer safety. If there is something you need please ask and they will try to get it. 
Granny Lyn’s Kitchen is open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-4pm. They are taking orders via phone or online, and also have available gluten free baked goods. They offer free delivery within the Huntsville area, or pick up at the front door.
Muskoka Seniors office will be closed and all programs will be suspended until further notice. Updates will be provided through the main office voicemail and on their website.
Westside Fish and Chips is open 11am-7pm daily for take-out orders only.

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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