March 23 COVID-19 Update


As we begin our second week of daily updates, we have decided to change our format. While it remains our goal to provide you with concise, up-to-date, daily information in a quick and easy to read format, we have tried to make the updates less formal and more enjoyable during this difficult situation. Below are some important local links for continued updates.

Tourism Report

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) keeps a tourism focused update page on their website. They have also 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.
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.

Federal Government

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this morning that the Federal Government will be implementing a $5 billion credit program to support farmers. He also announced $192 million in new funding for the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Federal Government website now has a page devoted to the temporary wage subsidy for employers. With a frequently asked questions format, the page is designed to help employers figure out if they are eligible for the subsidy and how to calculate and apply.
Prime Minister Trudeau also spoke about the need for Canadians to be vigilant about social distancing and self-isolation. In a candid speech he said “Enough is enough. Go home and stay home. This is what we all need to be doing, and we’re going to make sure this happens, whether by educating people more on the risks, or by enforcing the rules, if that’s needed. Nothing that could help is off the table.” This comment comes after Trudeau urged Canadians to, “follow the recommendations of our public health officials. We have to trust them and we have to listen.” The Government has a web page dedicated to prevention and risks that all citizens should read.

Provincial Government

The Government of Ontario has launched a new business website named Ontario Together. The website is designed to remove barriers allowing Ontario’s manufacturing sector to re-deploy capacity towards the production of essential equipment like ventilators, masks and swabs. The interactive site also allows for dialogue between business and government in the area of supply-chain innovation.
The Ontario Ministry of Health has launched an enhanced and interactive assessment tool. This easy-to-use tool guides users through a series of questions to help people determine if they are negative or provide further guidance on where to seek care based upon their needs.
The Province’s Learn at Home online portal has been designed 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.
The Province has closed all DriveTest Centres today until further notice. Citizens will not lose their licenses or be charged any type of cancellation or fail to keep appointment fees during this closure.
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.
Community Living has posted an update letter with regards to their services.
Pet Valu will be open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm and Sunday 10am-5pm. They will be allowing 2 customers in the store at a time and staff will go and get the products for customers. You can also phone ahead and the product will be taken to your car. Plastic is their preferred method of payment.

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 to 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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