While some parts of our economy are recovering, others continue to struggle with reduced revenues, increased costs, and uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That is why the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, announced the government’s intention to introduce new, targeted supports to help hard-hit businesses and other organizations experiencing a drop in revenue. The government plans to introduce legislation to provide the support that would help these businesses safely get through the second wave of the virus and the winter, cover costs so they can continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery, including:

     (1) The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which would provide simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits 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.

    (2) A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 percent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 percent subsidy. This follows a commitment in the Speech from the Throne to provide direct financial support to businesses temporarily shut down as a result of a local public health decision.

 

    (3) The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy 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. This measure is part of the government’s commitment to create over 1 million jobs and restore employment to the level it was before the pandemic.

    (4) An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which would enable businesses, and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans—and that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic—to access 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. Further details, including the launch date and application process, will be announced in the coming days. An attestation of the impact of COVID-19 on the business will be required to access additional financing.

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The Small Business Lighting program offers each Ontario small business up to $2,000 in free lighting upgrades to help save energy, brighten up your business, and find cost savings on your monthly electricity bills. SBL has local lighting assessors meeting with small business owners province-wide every day. 

At this time, the SBL is only guaranteed until the end of 2020 so we encourage you to connect with them soon. 

The program offers a turnkey approach to make your participation easy – SBL’s lighting assessors will assess and review your lighting upgrade opportunities through a free lighting assessment and their program approved certified electrical contractor will complete the installation of your new lighting.

Sign Up Here to Learn More About the Program

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Chamber Webinar: See Your Business in a New Light

Thursday, October 22, 2020 2:00 pm- 3:00 pm

Have you heard about the Save on Energy Small Business Lighting Program? This program is offering all Small Businesses up to $2,000 in free lighting upgrades. The opportunities and savings are huge and the funding for the program is only guaranteed until December 31st, 2020. 

Sign Up Here

 

The Face of Change Webinar 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Currently, there are five unique generations working side by side in the workplace, with the newest generation just now entering the workforce. All of those greatly varying beliefs, influences, and traits are bound to cause conflict.

Sign Up Here

 

COVID-19 Infection Control for Your Business

Anytime!

TruShield, has launched an on-demand webinar to help businesses understand COVID-19 exposures and workplace infection control best practices as a well-designed infection control protocol is important for the health and safety of workers and customers. All participants will receive an online certificate upon completion of the course that can be posted on-site and shared with clients to demonstrate their business’s ongoing commitment to health and safety.

Sign Up Here

 

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The COVID-19 crisis is having a devastating impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), charities, and not-for-profit organizations in Ontario.

SMEs are the backbone of the Canadian economy, accounting for more than 90% of jobs in the private sector. Yet they face critical labour shortages, skill gaps and challenges related to access to broadband that threaten their competitiveness.

Join the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, October 15 from 12:00 – 1:30pm for the launch of Diversity Institute’s latest report, Small and Medium Size Employers (SMEs): Skills Gaps and Future Skills, a Skills Next project and a collaboration between the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Diversity Institute, Public Policy Forum, Future Skills Centre, followed by an exciting panel conversation to dive deep on some of these critical issues facing small business. Skills Next is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program. Register Here. 

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Ontario is investing $9 million through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program to support municipalities and event organizers during COVID-19. This funding will be used to maintain public safety requirements and allow people to reconnect with their communities through online, drive-through and other innovative experiences. Organizers will be developing creative programs such as virtual Remembrance Day events, reverse holiday parades with drive-by static floats, drive-in music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightings and New Year’s Eve displays that light-up iconic buildings.

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries at Ontario Place.

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented and devastating impact on our local festivals and events,” said Minister MacLeod. “This important investment through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program will continue to support Ontarians as they reconnect and experience all their local communities have to offer.”

Funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile applications and website development, and implementation of health and safety measures.

The application period for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program runs from October 8 to December 1, 2020.

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Proposed legislation in Ontario would pave the way for 24-hour deliveries to businesses. The Main Street Recovery Act, 2020, introduced by Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Prabmeet Sarkaria, contains measures to help small businesses rebuild, reinvest and create jobs.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy, and our government will always be in their corner. Through more than 100 virtual roundtables and discussions with small business owners, their employees, local leaders and economists from all over Ontario, I’ve heard directly about the extraordinary sacrifices small businesses have made to keep their employees safe, their customers confident, and their communities strong,” said Sarkaria.

“Our government is standing with main street businesses, and we remain committed to their recovery and renewed success. We are determined to support them through this pandemic and beyond.”

The proposal, among other things, would permanently allow 24/7 deliveries to businesses including retail stores, restaurants, and distribution facilities.

The proposed legislation was welcomed by the Region of Peel, which has been piloting off-peak deliveries.

“The Region of Peel has long recognized that the regional economy is dependent on a strong goods movement system,” said Peel Goods Movement Task Force chairman Nando Iannicca.

“Peel also knows that our goods movement system is facing strong growth pressures and businesses are becoming increasingly challenged with delivering goods and services to the community. This Bill, if passed, will allow for a timely and consistent movement of essential goods and supplies, assuring the people of Ontario that essential supplies will be available at their drug stores, supermarkets, and other retailers across the province when needed.”

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland, announced a series of policies aimed at supporting businesses. They included: 

(1) The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which would provide simple and easy-to-access 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.

(2) 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. This follows a commitment in the Speech from the Throne to provide direct financial support to businesses temporarily shut down as a result of a local public health decision.

(3) The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy 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. This measure is part of the government’s commitment to create over 1 million jobs and restore employment to the level it was before the pandemic.

(4) An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which would enable businesses, and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans—and that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic—to access 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. Further details, including the launch date and application process will be announced in the coming days. An attestation of the impact of COVID-19 on the business will be required to access the additional financing.

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Employers in the business, technology, and creative sectors in the Sarnia and Lambton County area are invited to this roundtable discussion in concert with Lambton College administration, to identify key areas of business administration, creative and technical skills most in need for our community.

Please join us and provide your input to assist in improving the skilled talent available for hire in our workforce. 

Lambton College Attendees: 

  • Judith Morris, President and CEO 
  • Rob Kardas, Vice President Academic and Student Success 
  • Chris Slade, Senior Dean, Business and International Education
  • Silvana Macdonald, Dean, Health, Community Services, and Creative Design 
  • Dave Machacek, Dean, Technology and Apprenticeship 
  • Mehdi Sheikhzadeh, VP, Research & innovation 
  • Sandy Vascotto, Director, Innovation Institute 

October 27, 2020, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Click here to register.

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Pastafest is going curbside and we are ready to serve you!

Enjoy salad, focaccia bread, and penne with meatballs while you support the work of Huron House Boys’ Home.

Meals can be picked up during pre-purchased 15 minute time slots. Due to the challenges related to social distancing and limiting the number of people arriving at any one time, we are not able to accommodate anyone who does not purchase their ticket(s) ahead of time.

If you are not able to pay online, please call 519-869-4000 and we would be happy to arrange another payment option.

Ticket sales close at 4pm on Tuesday, October 13.

To learn more about the event, click here.

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