Main street businesses urgently need the federal and provincial government’s help with addressing commercial rent obligations. We join the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and provincial and territorial Chambers in calling for immediate action.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is calling on the government to work together across federal and provincial/territorial levels of government to address the key issue with the CECRA program, which is landlord reluctance to participate in said program, and to put in place a temporary moratorium on commercial evictions at the provincial and territorial level for tenants who were in good standing with their landlords prior to March 1, 2020. 

To read the full letter, click here.

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The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants, and meet operating expenses on commercial properties.

To manage volume, Ontario property owners are being asked to register on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Fridays.

Applications are open now until August 31. Click here to access the applications.

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The Ontario government will be implementing the next phase of its COVID-19 testing strategy to detect and quickly stop the spread of the virus.

Working alongside Ontario Health and Public Health Ontario, the province has developed this comprehensive post-peak plan to enhance surveillance and testing across the province. The plan will include the following three pillars:

Assessment Centre Testing: Ontarians are being tested in a variety of settings, including assessment centres, with a desire to focus on making testing more accessible. Ontario now has the most expensive guidelines in the country, including testing asymptomatic individuals.

Outbreak Management: Public health units remain focused on case and contact management in containing and managing outbreaks. Ontario will support these efforts with its agile and rapid response capacity.

Targeting Testing Campaigns: Plans are already in place to support enhanced testing for hospital workers, first responders, retirement homes, and long-term care homes. The province is also looking to expand testing to additional essential workplaces.

To read the full plan, click here

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The Government of Canada announced new funding to provide critical support to Indigenous families and communities during this crisis, based on needs that have been identified. The funding includes:

  • $285.1 million to support ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities.
  • $270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to address increased demand on the program, which will help individuals and families meet their essential living expenses.
  • $44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters, which will help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing fleeing violence.

To read the full statement, click here.

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The Business Resilience Service (BRS) allows you to connect with experienced business advisors from across Canada for guidance on which government relief programs will be most appropriate to support small- to medium-sized business, not-for-profit, or charity on how to respond and reshape amid uncertainty.

To access the BRS, call 1-866-989-1080 to connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. The free program provides: guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility, direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations, help to make decisions to support recovery plans, and real time insights and feedback to policymakers.

To access their website, click here

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As the economy begins to reopen, many businesses will need access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, hand sanitizers, face shields, or gowns. Sourcing these supplies is often challenging, especially to businesses that do not normally need to for their day to day work.

To help address this problem, Canadian industry has contributed to the creation of the Rapid Response Platform (RRP Canada), which is free to use and provides matchmaking service to connect manufacturers and businesses in need of PPE. The RRP includes hand sanitizer, surgical masks, N95 masks, surface sanitizer, face shields, and gowns.

For the full statement by the Canadian Chamber, click here

To access the RRP website, click here.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on consumer behaviour and consumption patterns. In this context, how can business owners predict demand and adapt their marketing to continue attracting customers? Martin Wiedenhoff, Director, Revenue Growth and Expansion for BDC Advisory Services has some advice.

Survey your customers: Ask customers how they have been experiencing the crisis and what they will need in the coming weeks and months. This will give you an idea of the level of demand for your products or services.

Create a sales forecast: When forecasting sales, one trick is to think of your sales funnel as a reverse pyramid. For example, if 50% of your leads move on to the quote stage, 20% go on to the negotiations stages, and 25% to close, then you know you need to talk to 1,000 leads to sell 25 units.

Plan for a variety of scenarios: As part of your scenario planning, try to think about the impact of changing consumer behaviors on your sales and include those predictions in your forecast.

Revamp your marketing plan: Since in-person events and sales activities have been cancelled, you will want to reallocate that money to finding leads in other ways. Some ideas could be online webinars, expert discussions, tutorials, or product demos.

Get online and be creative: Companies need to be able to measure their impact, and moving online makes it easier to decide if your efforts are successful or not!

For the full article, click here.

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Welcome to the Chamber Community: Lake Effect Studio! Lake Effect Studio is a brand new digital marketing company that specializes in environmental marketing. The company is owned and operated by recent graduates Sam Eastman and Kelly Moir.

As a welcome to the chamber and congratulations on their official launch, we will be having a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony over Zoom on Monday, June 1 at 2:00 pm. MP Marilyn Gladu and MPP Bob Bailey will be cutting the ribbon. Click here for more details.

To visit Lake Effect Studio’s website, click here.

To see Lake Effect Studios contact information, click here.

Left to Right: Kelly Moir and Sam Eastman
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Lambton Ford donated 100+ face shields to the Bluewater Health Foundation. Lambton Ford is pleased to be able to make future additional donations to further help support the needs of our local, committed front-line workers. 

Ford Motor Company has partnered with U.S. healthcare and safety providers to help provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to those front-line workers that need them the most. In Canada, Ford and UNIFOR have begun the production of face shields at their Windsor facilities. In addition to local donations, Ford is planning to produce an additional 2.5 million face shields for sale and distribution across Canada through government health agencies. Thanks Ford and Lambton Ford for all you are doing to keep the community safe!

Rob Ravensberg owner of Lambton Ford and Johanne Tomkins, Bluewater Health Foundation
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This week, a joint initiative between the COVID-19 Business and Economic Task Force and County of Lambton titled “Shop Lambton” launched. 

Shop Lambton is a free resource that intends to help consumers find goods and services locally. It features a database of local businesses, their hours of operation, their contact information, and how they are delivering their products & services during this time. 

Lambton County Warden Bill Weber spoke to the importance of such an initiative, “The pressures our local businesses are dealing with as a result of COVID-19 are different than anything we’ve experienced before. By shopping local and supporting Lambton County businesses, you can help our economy recover from the financial hardships we are currently faced with and keep our local businesses operating well beyond the course of this pandemic”.

 Local establishments are encouraged to access the site to fill out their registration information. Click here to register.

Click here to see the Shop Lambton Map.

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