May 13 COVID-19 Update


Today Justin Trudeau announced that students will be able to apply for emergency funds starting Friday and yesterday more funding for seniors was announced. Doug Ford talked about a voluntary placement plan to allow education sector employees to be matched to care facilities requiring additional staff.
This week we will be sending you emails on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the latest federal, provincial and local news as well as updates from member businesses. You can access the latest up-to-date information on our COVID-19 Update Page on our website.

Federal Government

Today Justin Trudeau announced that students and recent graduates will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit beginning this Friday. In order to speed up the process, it is recommended that students sign up for a “My Account” on the Canada Revenue Agency website if they do not currently have one. You can find more details about this student benefit online.
Yesterday the Prime Minister announced additional support for Canadian seniors. The government will spend $2.5 billion for a one-time tax free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Other measures included are expanding the New Horizons for Seniors Program and temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments. You can read the full news release online.

Provincial Government

Today Doug Ford announced that the Ontario government is working together with the province’s education sector to voluntarily place available employees in staffing roles needed at care facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak. Starting later this week and subject to a local agreement of the framework, eligible education sector staff who volunteer will be able to register through an online portal and be matched to care centres that are facing staffing shortages. The government has posted a background document about the plan as well as an online news release.
Yesterday the Ontario government announced that it is extending the provincial Declaration of Emergency. All measures, including prohibiting events and gatherings and recreation facility closings, have been extended until June 2. Premier Ford said, “Extending the declaration of emergency will allow us to continue to take action to protect Ontarians, while carefully and cautiously reopening parts of our economy.” You can read the full news release online.

Local News

Huntsville Mayor Karin Terziano has recorded a video message today to provide a COVID-19 update ahead of the May long weekend. You can view the video online at YourTV Muskoka.
The Huntsville BIA is holding a Share Your Love for Huntsville contest. Between now and May 25 you can email them a review (100 words or more) on your favourite Downtown Huntsville business to be entered in a draw for a $200 gift card to your favourite BIA business. Email your review to [email protected] to enter. Your review will be posted with your first name only on social media. Go to to find a listing of all the Huntsville BIA businesses.

Business & Tourism Report

The Canadian Business Resilience Network has posted a recording of a webinar titled “How to Navigate Government Programs.” Presenters from KPMG, a Canadian tax and advisory services company, will give advice on navigating the federal and provincial programs available now to help businesses survive and grow. You can view the complete webinar online.
Workplace Safety and Prevention Services has posted a Post-Pandemic Business Playbook designed to help businesses prepare to reopen safely. Topics covered include employer responsibilities, personal protective equipment and worker wellness. You can download the playbook online.

Member Updates

Soapstones Natural Skincare will be open for curbside pickup as well as online ordering starting today. Curbside pickup orders will be received by phone between 10:00am and 4:00pm Monday to Friday. Pickup will be at the Main Street entrance only.
In advance of more businesses being able to open in the future, Staples has launched a line of decals for social distancing markers, doors, floors, walls etc. These decals can be purchased online through the Staples website.
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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