Monthly Archives October 2020

Applications Now Open for Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

Small businesses can now apply online for the second round of funding through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund. On October 20th, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced that the Government of Canada has invested $12 million in the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund.  With the increased investment from the Federal Government, this second round of funding will help thousands of small businesses across the country. Canada United is a national fundraising campaign created by the Royal Bank of Canada in collaboration with private sector partners and Chambers of Commerce. The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, which is managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, is supporting Canadian small businesses with grants of up to $5,000.

Visit for more details.


2020 Ontario Economic Report – Deadline Extended to November 3rd 

The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce are looking for your insight on what matters to business amidst this pandemic. The interactive results from the first round are LIVE!

This survey will take a deeper dive on business confidence as well as other pressing issues. Tell us how confident you are in Ontario’s economy and recovery, and what your organization’s outlook is for 2021. Share your views by taking a short three-minute survey here:


Canada Emergency Business Account Now Open to Businesses Using Personal Bank Accounts 

On Monday, during his remarks at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM and Conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that effective immediately, businesses currently operating through a personal bank account will now be able to access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). To be eligible, businesses must have been operating as a business as of March 1, 2020, must successfully open a business account at a Canadian financial institution that is participating in CEBA, and meet the other existing CEBA eligibility criteria. The deadline to apply for CEBA is December 31, 2020.

Read the full news release here.


Time-of-Use or Tiered Electricity Prices? You Now Have A Choice! If you’re a residential or small business customer that pays Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity prices, you now have a choice. You can contact your electricity utility and opt-out of TOU and pay Tiered prices instead, choosing the price plan that’s right for how you consume electricity. With TOU, the price you pay depends on when you use electricity whereas with tiered prices, you use a certain amount of electricity each month at a fixed price anytime of the day. Once you exceed that limit, a higher price applies.

If you want to continue paying TOU prices, no action is required. If you’re considering a switch to Tiered prices, get a price comparison using the OEB’s online bill calculator at

For more information on choosing the price plan that is right for you, visit

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The 1st Annual Give Up A Meal Fundraising Event has launched in support of great local charities, featuring Sarnia’s Favourite Restaurant Bracket! 


Give-Up A Meal was designed so that everyone, including restaurants, charities and participants, can win! The name comes from

the idea that if you were to make a donation to a local charity based on what you would normally spend on a meal, you

would make an impact on our community. We encourage all participants to support local restaurants as often as their

budget allows, and hope this event exposes people to a new favourite dining option.


Participants will team up with their family and friends for this peer-to-peer fundraiser to collect donations for their

charity of choice. Each team member can also choose to promote a different restaurant. The more they fundraise, the

better their chances of winning gift cards to some of their favourite Sarnia restaurants!


Since COVID-19 has all but eliminated in-person events, fundraising efforts have been paired with Sarnia’s Favourite

Restaurant Bracket as a way for community members and restaurants to have fun and rave about their favourite meals.


Using a single-elimination knock-out tournament bracket (think March Madness), 32 restaurants have been matched-up

and patrons will decide who is the favourite of each pairing. When voting, patrons may have to reflect on who they been

ordering from the most through COVID, who serves the tastiest meal, or if it’s a real nail biter – they may just have to

order from both places to decide!


At the end of each round, the restaurant with the most votes moves on, until only one restaurant remains – Sarnia’s

Favourite Restaurant.


The bracket is meant to be a fun way to promote and support some of Sarnia’s favourite restaurants. While the bracket

will feature 32 restaurants that signed up to participate, there are still many other amazing places to grab a bite – so

don’t forget about them either!


Like so many people, we’ve participated in the Supporting Sarnia Business through COVID Facebook group and from that

came up with the idea for Give-Up A Meal. Thanks to Rodney and Kendra for creating the space for people to highlight

all the amazing local businesses. A special thank you goes out to On the Dot for being a sponsor and helping deliver all

the marketing materials to restaurants.

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce are looking for your insight on what matters to business amidst the pandemic. The interactive results from the first round are LIVE!

This survey will take a deeper dive on business confidence as well as other pressing issues. Tell us how confident you are in Ontario’s economy and recovery, and what your organization’s outlook is for 2021. Share your views by taking a short three-minute survey here.

Read More

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy provides rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and nonprofits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 percent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020. More details to come. A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy. More details to come.


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) until June 2021, which would continue to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encouraging employers to re-hire their workers. The subsidy would remain at the current subsidy rate of up to a maximum of 65 percent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020. Read more here.


Canada Emergency Business Account 

An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), will enable businesses, and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans—and continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic— access to an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. Half of this additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. Additionally, the application deadline for CEBA is being extended to December 31, 2020. Read more here. 

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The Business Diversity Economic Expo is a virtual trade show event for diversifying 

supply chains & celebrating inclusivity. This year, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is using its convening power to address the equity gap in business with the Business Diversity Economic Expo, a business to business virtual trade show and networking event, putting a spotlight on businesses which are Black-owned, Indigenous-owned, People of Colour-owned, Women-Owned, LGTBQ2+-owned, and businesses owned by People with Disabilities. 


  • October 28: 11:30 am- 3:30 pm 
  • November 17: 10:30 am – 2:30 pm

Interested in accelerating diversification in your supply chain? If you are a procurement officer or supply chain leader from a large private sector, public sector or academic institution, apply to get your tickets to the Business Diversity Economic Expo here.

Interested in exhibiting at the Business Diversity Economic Expo? Fill our the application to exhibit here.

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Three Themes Emerge from Latest KPMG Pulse Report: KPMG recently shared that it had surveyed 1,300 CEOs globally in January/February (pre-COVID) and then in July/August (post-COVID) conducted a Pulse Survey to see if and how findings have changed. CEOs’ priorities have changed. There are three key themes that have come out of the Canadian findings: growth in a digitally accelerated economy, digital workforce enablement and leading with purpose. Read more about it here.

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Hilton has rolled out a new program promoted as “Workspaces by Hilton”. This program offers guests the opportunity to use the bright, clean, spacious and quiet guest rooms as an alternative place to work during the day.

Your remote office will include:

  • Quiet, socially distant guest rooms 
  • Peace of mind backed by the power of Hilton CleanStay 
  • Comfortable desk chair in a modern & well-lit work area 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Access to All Hotel Amenities
  • Hilton Honors Members. Earn points on WorkSpaces by Hilton reservations. 

Book your WorkSpace at Hampton Inn by Hilton Sarnia. Call 519-339-8000.

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Sarnia-Lambton Rebound’s staff faced the pandemic head-on and accepted the challenge to be creative with our youth programming and bounced back on a virtual level. Since March, Rebound has offered youth, ages 8 to 24 on-line programming on various platforms, such as Zoom and Facebook and continues to drop off activity and goody bags to youth in need of supplies.

“Despite the havoc that COVID-19 has created in the world, Rebound is excited to present the following video, created by Dragonfly Media to let our community know that we’re still very much here, but we need their help in terms of donations,” stated Carrie McEachran, Executive Director. “We’re hoping the community will connect with the message and share the video on their social media platforms to gain momentum. Since we’ve had to cancel all fundraisers this year, our goal is to raise $50,000 by the end of the year and support programming that doesn’t receive any funding, such as Rebound Rocks, the r.Lounge and Spectrum LGBTQ25+”

To watch the video, click here.

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In honor of Small Business Week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced an investment of $12 million to support the Canada United campaign bringing the fund to $14 million. Created and launched by RBC, Canada United is a national movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. As part of the Canada United movement, RBC brought together more than 70 of Canada’s leading brands, the national chamber of commerce network and business associations to rally Canadians to “show local some love” by buying, dining and shopping local.

The purpose of the fund is to REIMBURSE small businesses with grants of up to $5,000 to cover the costs incurred to reopen safely and/or adopt digital technologies in moving their business online:

  • Purchased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields, and latex gloves.
  • Renovated physical space to adhere to local, Provincial or Federal reopening guidelines.
  • Developed or improved e-commerce capabilities for your business.

Application Intake Opens Monday, October 26. 

To see if you are eligible, click here. 


To apply, click here:

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The accelerated need for employees to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inherent interconnectedness of the personal and professional realms. This abrupt change in working conditions has driven greater demands for cloud service and security tools, emphasizing our need to communicate sensitive data regardless of geography. 

Two of the most-used technologies have been collaboration (cloud) and security (cyber) tools, with one in five small businesses in Canada experiencing a cyber-threat or attack over the past few months.

Cloud security breaches regularly make headlines – but often, the challenge exists not in the security of the cloud itself, but in the policies regarding security and control of the technology.  

Supporting a remote workforce requires a modern and flexible network alongside uncompromised connectivity and ongoing user education. 

When configured correctly to implement security monitoring, cloud services can be used effectively and securely. This allows employees working from home to:

  • Access and retrieve all the data and information as if onsite 
  • Collaborate via software as a service (SaaS), replicating the office environment through cloud-based virtual tools 
  • Easily use, share, and collaborate on sensitive and confidential information
  • Acknowledge that cybersecurity involves understanding your network, acknowledging the risks, and knowing how to respond to threats promptly

As the work-from-home trend continues well beyond the pandemic and will likely manifest itself as a permanent structure for many companies and their employees, cloud security will become an increasingly integral part of everyday business. A not-so-daunting must-have after all!

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