Both the government of Canada and the government of Ontario are making strategic investments in infrastructure to meet the specific needs of rural and northern Ontario municipalities and help them strengthen their local economies. 

Funding has been announced for two bridges and one road project in Southern Ontario. In the town of Amherstburg, Bridge 3012 over the River Canard will be replaced and the roads leading to the bridge entrance rebuilt. Additionally, the Township of St.Clair will rehabilitate the historical Holt Line Bridge over the Sydenham River. 

These improvements will ensure that these important travel routes improve safety for commuters in both communities and extend the lifespan of both bridges. The City of Sarnia will see the reconstruction and widening of approximately 3 kilometers of Plank Road between South Indian Road and Highway 40. These improvements will increase the safety of travellers and extend the road’s lifespan for years to come. 

To read the full statement, click here.

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Canada United is a movement encouraging Canadians to come together in support of small, local, and Canadian businesses. The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with RBC, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Business Associations and over 50+ Large Corporations to start this new movement where we call on Canadians to buy local, and support Canadian businesses. 

The movement starts with a Canada United Small Business Relief Campaign where we ask Canadians to complete ‘micro-actions’ (views, likes, shares, follows, etc). Every micro-action will result in a micro-donation by RBC towards small business recovery grant funding, which will be managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national chamber network. 

The movement culminates with a new nationwide Canada United Weekend in late August. The event promotes shopping at small and local businesses, while we help those same businesses prepare and promote their participation in the event. The weekend includes unveiling of the total raised for small businesses recovery grant funding from the Canada United Small Business relief Campaign.

Canada United is offering relief grants of up to $5,000 to help Canadian small businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19. Your participation is important! The grant funds will grow over the next several weeks as every campaign video watched and social media post liked and shared will result in a 5 cent contribution from RBC. 

Click here to learn more about the grant.

Click here to watch the campaign video.

For more information on the initiative, click here.

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The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) protects jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encourages employers to re-hire workers previously laid off. Since its launch, about 3 million Canadian employees have had their jobs supported through the CEWS, and that number continues to grow. 

On Monday, Bill C-20, An Act Respecting Further COVID-19 Measures was introduced. Upon receiving Royal Assent, this legislation will make the CEWS more targeted, expand eligibility, and help more workers get back to their jobs as the economy continues to reopen. 

Changes proposed include: 

  • Extension of the CEWS until December 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020. 
  • Make the subsidy more accessible to a broader range of employers by providing a gradually decreasing base subsidy to all eligible employers that are experiencing a decline in revenues. 
  • Introduce a top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25% for employers that have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 
  • Provide certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they would not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules. 
  • Address technical issues with the CEWS identified by stakeholders.
  • Make the proposed amendments to the CEWS previously introduced.

To read the full scope of changes proposed in Bill C-20, click here.

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Pre-COVID, the positive impact of our restaurants on Canadians was deeply felt. The industry directly created one out of every 15 jobs (1.2 million Canadians), served 22 million meals per day to Canadians, operated close to 100,000 establishments, paid Canadians $30 billion of wages and benefits, and contributed $31 billion annually to Canada’s GDP.

A joint letter was shared on Monday, July 20 and has been receiving lots of media coverage since. The letter calls for urgent action across all government levels:

On a Federal Level:

  • Implement the proposed Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) improvements and continue to increase incentives for Canadians to return to work. 
  • Eliminate the automatic annual federal excise tax increase on beer, wine, and spirits. 
  • Start to encourage Canadians to return to pre-COVID activities while observing safety measures, such as masks. 

On a Joint Federal-Provincial/Territorial Level:

  • Extend the CECRA program, remove parent company revenue, eligibility cap, and explore a means to substantially increase program subscription. 

On a Provincial/Territorial Level:

  • Implement and monitor a commercial eviction moratorium 
  • Expand liquor licensing, or make permanent COVID-related licensing changes, to allow more restaurants to offer alcohol sales.

On a Municipal Level:

  • Reduction or deferral of property taxes, patio fees, utility fees, and other fees as relevant
  • Ease regulatory burdens, which assist the industry without impacting government budgets.

Read the full article here.

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Through the Essential Service Contingency Reserve, eligible essential service businesses or organizations may apply to receive personal protective equipment (PPE), non-medical masks, and disinfection products to address urgent, short-term (45 days) needs.

Before requesting support from the ESCR, your business or organization should visit the PPE supply hub for information on buying personal protective equipment, including guidance on types of PPE you require.

Who can apply? Any service that provides essential services in one of the following areas: 

  • Energy & utilities 
  • Information and communication technologies 
  • Finance 
  • Health 
  • Food 
  • Water 
  • Transportation
  • Safety 
  • Government 
  • Manufacturing

Eligible associations and organizations will be able to apply online for a range of equipment, available for purchase at cost. Registration begins in early August. 

Click here for more information.

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As businesses prepare to reopen and revamp their operations, there are numerous challenges and issues to consider. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Canadian Business Resilience Network is designed to provide guidance or access to guidance, for business owners and senior managers responsible for re-establishing their operations while ensuring the health and safety of operators, staff, customers, and the general public is at the forefront. They have produced a toolkit for reopening Canada’s Economy.

The toolkit, presented in document format, gives you the resources you need in order to update your operations or health & safety plan, communicate those plans and procedures to staff, customers & suppliers, and learn how to access the various resources you may need. 

To access the full toolkit, click here.

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The Recovery Activation Program (RAP) is an immersive, free, online workshop program that connects businesses with industry experts for guidance, mentorship and practical advice about process modernization, and end-to-end digital transformation. 

All participants will graduate from RAP with an expertly vetted digital transformation blueprint, highlighting a specific plan to attack each participant’s unique barriers to digital connectivity, and will act as a highly practical tool throughout digital restructuring. 

To sign up or learn more about the RAP, click here.

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Sarnia-Lambton has been given the green light to move into Stage 3 of pandemic reopening as of 12:01 am Friday, July 24.

The decision was made in consultation with the chief medical officer of Health and is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower or low transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management and a significant increase in testing. 

Stage 3 includes indoor dining at bars and restaurants, and allowing gyms, movie theatres, and other entertainment venues to reopen. Gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people indoors and a maximum of 100 people outdoors, with physical distancing in place. 

Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade said residents still have to be cautious, as increased activity in the community requires everyone to be diligent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This past weekend was the first of eleven Weekend Walkabouts, where Christina Street is closed from Friday evening to Sunday evening so vendors can operate on the streets and sidewalks, and consumers can walk between stores while practicing social distancing. 

Where can you park downtown? Well, on evenings and weekends, the places shown on the map are free to community members! Use this as a tool to keep parking stress free.

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