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Do you know about the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)?

Energy Bill Relief Offers On-bill Credits of $750-$1,500

 

Do you know about the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)? It provides an on-bill credit to eligible residential, small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Residential customers can receive up to $750 and small business/registered charity customers up to $1,500—for electricity and natural gas bills, respectively.

 

CEAP is funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered by electricity and natural gas utilities and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs). To apply, contact your utility or USMP directly as each may have a unique approach for application in-take. CEAP funding is limited with applications processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more about CEAP at www.oeb.ca/ceap.

 

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Canada Summer Jobs/Student Employment Opportunity- Social Media Community Coordinator

Canada Summer Jobs/Student Employment Opportunity- Social Media Community Coordinator


Canada Summer Jobs Opportunity 2021

Location: Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce – 3 Market Street, Suite 1

Contact: pjrobertson@brockvillechamber.com

Job Type:  Canada Summer Jobs Employment Opportunity-Social Media Community Coordinator (Between the age of 15 and 30 at the start of employment)

Start Date: June 21, 2021 

Work period: 8 weeks (280 hours @ $14.25 per hour)

Schedule: Full Time 35 hours per week (Monday to Friday 9:30am – 4:30pm, odd weekend or evening with advance notice)

In this position, you will be providing support to the Executive Director, Events/Membership Manager and Social Media Consultant with the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce

Work activities to include:

  • Provide support to the Chamber Management Team and the Social Media Consultant
  • Support Chamber members on the Chamber social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google) by reposting content and assisting with google my business
  • Update M2M programs and member benefits to provide value for Chamber members
  • Assist with workplace events, programs and information sessions 
  • Create new relevant programs for Chamber Members
  • Prepare a variety of marketing materials for events, programs and resources.  
  • Prepare blogs and surveys for Chamber members
  • Research and prepare Key Economic Information impacting Brockville 
  • Perform other duties as required

Skills

  • Excellent customer service/telephone skills
  • Strong organization skills
  • Eye for detail and a dedication to quality
  • A team player who can also take initiative when needed
  • Excellent spelling and proofreading skills
  • Background in graphic design considered an asset
  • Positive attitude
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Strong background in the use of Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, Zoom, Social Media Platform

NOTE:  All COVID-19 Guidelines as set forth by the Government and Public Health Unit must be strictly followed.


  • Salary: $14.25 - $14.25 Per Hour
  • Deadline: 12:00AM on June 7, 2021

Company Name: Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce

Location: Brockville

Website: www.brockvillechamber.com  

Company Profile: Our mission is to support and grow business to build a strong economic community through proactive leadership in advocacy and relevant programming.

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Canada Summer Jobs/Student Employment Opportunity-Web Site Administrator

Canada Summer Jobs/Student Employment Opportunity-Web Site Administrator


Canada Summer Jobs Opportunity 2021

Location: Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce – 3 Market Street, Suite 1

Contact: pjrobertson@brockvillechamber.com

Job Type:  Canada Summer Jobs Employment Opportunity-Web site administrator and Event Support (Between the age of 15 and 30 at the start of employment)

Start Date: June 21, 2021 

Work period: 8 weeks (280 hours @ $14.25 per hour)

Schedule: Full Time 35 hours per week (Monday to Friday 9:30am – 4:30pm, odd weekend or evening with advance notice)

In this position, you will be providing support to the Executive Director and Events/Membership Manager with the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce

Work activities to include:

  • Provide administrative support and/or other duties for the Chamber management team, including the Executive Director
  • Assist with planning Chamber events and/or information sessions as required, both on-line and in-person
  • Populate a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system
  • Update the Chamber website business directory by calling each Chamber Member
  • Update the Chamber website with events, programs and/or updated COVID information
  • Prepare and coordinate distribution of the Chamber member newsletter
  • Provide support on PPE programs for businesses and the building of new COVID assistance programs for the members
  • Provide other duties as required

Skills

  • Excellent customer service/telephone skills
  • Strong organization skills
  • Eye for detail and a dedication to quality
  • A team player who can also take initiative when needed
  • Excellent spelling and proofreading skills
  • Positive attitude
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Strong background in the use of Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, Zoom, websites and CRM programs

NOTE:  All COVID-19 Guidelines as set forth by the Government and Public Health Unit must be strictly followed.


  • Salary:$14.25 - $14.25 Per Hour
  • Deadline:12:00AM on June 7, 2021

Company Name: Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce

Location: Brockville

Website: www.brockvillechamber.com  

Company Profile: Our mission is to support and grow business to build a strong economic community through proactive leadership in advocacy and relevant programming.

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Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit - Q&A Summary - Paid Sick Days/INFECTIOUS DISEASE EMERGENCY LEAVE PAY (IDEL) - Provided by an EMC Member

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Paid Sick Days & INFECTIOUS DISEASE EMERGENCY LEAVE PAY (IDEL)

 

Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) was amended to provide time off (paid or unpaid) for COVID-19 related matter including vaccination.

 

Q:           How many days is an employee entitled to?

A:           Total of three (3) paid days from April 19, 2021 until September 25, 2021, unless the employer has a practice, policy or contract in place that would provide the employee with three or more paid sick days during the same period i.e., April 19, 2021 to September 25, 2021.

                Leave does not need to be taken in consecutive days.

 

Q:           What happens if an employee takes ½ day?

A:           An employee who takes part of a day as paid leave it is deemed to have taken a full day of paid leave. For this reason, employees can similarly elect to have their qualifying Infectious Disease Emergency Leave taken as either unpaid (i.e., for a part / portion of a day) or paid and then as full day.

 

Q:           What constitutes paid-for IDEL leave?

A:           Employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment related to COVID-19 (which includes taking vaccine or recovering from it).

                Employee subject to quarantine, isolate or another control measure implemented as a result of information or direction from public health, qualified medical practitioner or other relevant public authority, including self-isolation.

                Employee is under direction from employer in response to a concern of COVID-19 exposure.

                Employee is providing care or support of family member suspected to be under supervision/treatment/isolation for COVID-19.

 

Q:           What happens if an employee was off for COVID related issues from April 19-29?

A:           The employee may elect to take the day as one of the three paid IDEL days, provided they qualify for this and provided that the employee advises the employer in writing and by no later than May 13, 2021, that they intend to have these days processed as paid leave. 

 

Q:           When does an employee receive payment for the IDEL day taken?

A:           Payment for IDEL days follow the regular payroll cycle. 

 

Q:           What happens an employee take a IDEL on a Public Holiday?

A:           If paid leave is taken on a public holiday, the employee is not entitled to premium pay for the paid leave taken.

 

Q:           Who is entitled for IDEL leave?

A:           All employees provided they do not qualify for comparable paid-for leave during the period April 19 – September 25. However, where the Company offers paid sick days during this time, this will serve to reduce the employee’s entitlement to be reimbursed paid-for sick leave under this legislation.

  • Company offers 3 or more paid sick days – employee is entitled to zero paid-for and reimbursed IDEL days.
  • Company offers 2 paid sick days – employee is entitled to one paid-for and reimbursed IDEL days.
  • Company offers 1 paid sick day – employee is entitled to 2 paid-for and reimbursed IDEL days.

 

Q:           How much is the employee entitled to?

A:           Pay for a leave day is the lesser of:  

  • $200.00; or
  • The wages the employee would have earned if they had not taken the leave.
  • Employee would not be entitled to a shift premium and/or overtime pay if they had worked, they are only entitled to the daily rate of up to a maximum of $200.00.

 

Q:           Does the employee need to provide proof?

A:           We are entitled to request evidence reasonable in the circumstances (proof of vaccination, direction to isolate, COVID-19 test results).

                We cannot ask the employee to provide a medical certificate from a doctor as evidence of their paid day.

 

Q:           What happens if an employee leaves and comes back to work after vaccination appointment?  Does this time get paid by WSIB?

A:           To alleviate the administrative burden, the employer is entitled to apply the paid-for reimbursed sick days as complete days and therefore time off can be applied and reclaimed as full days. For this reason, it would make sense to enforce this with employees when takin the leave.

 

Q:           Are these three paid days job protected?  Can we discipline for their absence?

A:           We cannot discipline for these days are they are job protected.  If we suspect abuses (long weekend, Fridays), we can request evidence reasonable in the circumstances and this may include written undertaking or attestation by an employee.

 


Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit

Paid infectious disease emergency leave

On April 29, 2021, the Ontario Government amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 to require employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID-19covid 19.  This entitlement is in addition to employees’ rights to unpaid infectious disease emergency leave.

Paid infectious disease emergency leave is available for certain reasons related to COVID-19covid 19, including:

  • going for a COVID-19covid 19 test
  • staying home awaiting the results of a COVID-19covid 19 test
  • being sick with COVID-19covid 19
  • going to get vaccinated
  • experiencing a side effect from a COVID-19covid 19 vaccination
  • having been advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19covid 19 by an employer, medical practitioner or other specified authority
  • providing care or support to certain relatives for COVID-19covid 19 related reasons, such as when they are:
    • sick with COVID-19covid 19 or have symptoms of COVID-19covid 19
    • self-isolating due to COVID-19covid 19 on the advice of a medical practitioner or other specified authority

For more information please call the Ontario COVID-19covid 19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Information Centre 1-888-999-2248 ( TTY: 1-866-567-8893).

Employers are required to pay employees up to $200 a day for up to three days. The three days do not have to be taken consecutively.

For more information click link

 

 

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Advocacy Alert!!! OCC and Chamber Network Concerns with the Ontario Small Business Grant

 

April 29, 2021



Hon. Victor Fedeli
Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade
College Park 18th Flr 777 Bay St
Toronto
ON M7A 1S5


Hon. Prabmeet Sarkaria
Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction 7th Floor, 56 Wellesley St. W
Toronto, ON
M7A 2E7


Re: Concerns with the Ontario Small Business Grant


Dear Minister Fedeli and Minister Sarkaria,


Thank you for your continued leadership to support employers as they experience economic disruption related to COVID-19. As the situation continues to evolve, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is taking concerns from the business community and communicating them to all levels of government.
As you know, small businesses are experiencing significant hardships during the pandemic and unprecedented revenue losses. Comprised of 140 chambers of commerce and boards of trade in every corner of the province, the Ontario Chamber Network has worked tirelessly and closely with the province’s small business community, providing critical supports and information to support members. I am writing to you to share the growing concerns we have heard from our Chamber Network as it relates to the Ontario Small Business Grant, which centres around four key areas:


Lack of communication with applicants:
• Applicants have been denied without reason and/or insufficient explanation.
• Applicants have been unable to speak to anyone via the helpline or different support channels.
• Applications have been deemed ineligible for missing information rather than being asked to provide that additional information.


Lack of clarity:
• The appeals process is unclear. Businesses who thought they were eligible have been rejected, with no way to follow up and no timely response from government.
• Applicants have been declined because they are self-employed and use their personal bank accountants for their business as opposed to a business account.
• Applicants have trouble applying to the grant if English or French is not their first language.

Technical issues with the system:
• The system continues to crash or does not properly save applicants’ information. Consequently, some business owners have had to restart the entire application processes, wasting precious time and resources as a result.
• Applicants are asked to provide additional information before the second round of payment is processed, but the link provided does not always work.


Short timeframe to submit an application:
• On March 24, the province announced through Budget 2021 a new intake round for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The original deadline to apply was March 31, which was subsequently extended to April 7, 2021.
• We acknowledge and thank your government for doubling the grant in the recent budget. The grant has helped many organizations survive the crisis thus far. Moreover, we commend the province for making this an automatic top-up instead of asking businesses to re-apply. This will reduce the administrative burden on both businesses and government.
• However, some small businesses were unable to meet the April 7 deadline as many are grappling with numerous pressures during the pandemic. The short, two-week window is unfeasible and, consequently, the grant may not support the very businesses it was intended to help.


Accordingly, the OCC is asking your government to address the above issues related to the Ontario Small Business Support Grant by considering the following recommendations:
• Improve transparency and clarity of government responses to applicants who have been denied. As part of this communication, the government should provide greater clarity on the appeals process and decision-making criteria.

  • Ensure relevant information and assistance is available in other languages for applicants whose first language is not English or French.

• Fix the back end of the online system for businesses trying to access this grant.
• Provide businesses with a sufficient timeframe and clear eligibility criteria to submit an application, be it for future rounds of the Small Business Support Grant or other similar programs. Specifically, we hope that the forthcoming Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant accounts for the shortcomings of the Small Business Support Grant identified above.


Public health and safety are priorities for all Ontario businesses. We will continue to monitor and assess new developments pertaining to COVID-19 closely and work with our members, partners, and all levels of government to provide support to business.
Sincerely,
Rocco Rossi
President and CEO
Ontario Chamber of Commerce

 

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Advocacy Alert! Letter to MP Barrett from the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce

 

April 22, 2021

 

 Dear MP Michael Barrett,

 

I am writing you on behalf over 300 businesses who are in dire need of support from the Federal Government to make recommendations so that they will provide more support and easement to the small business community.

 

Over the last few years, the Federal Government has given a large amount of financial support to large corporations for example, Air Canada $5.879 billion, Mastercard $50 million and Bell Canada $240 Million in wage subsidy program or other related programs, yet our small businesses have to pay back loans of $60k by December 2022 after being closed for six months or more and operating at 50% capacity for the other months, which has been next to impossible to accomplish for many SME’s.

 

Our Chamber is concerned over the recently released Federal Government Budget specifically the limiting of the programs and winding them down by September. We would like to see them exist until March 30,2022 as well as a recommendation to allow small businesses that make under $1 million dollars per year keep the 60k loan.

 

The Chamber strongly recommends that by allowing this to happen, these measures will allow small businesses to get back on their feet and have some relief of not having more debt to pay off. Thereby providing some comfort for them to focus on bouncing back from covid-19 and keep their doors open.

 

The small businesses in our community are the backbone of economic growth and job creation, please forward our recommendations on behalf of all small businesses in the region. We look forward to hearing from you and how you can advocate for small businesses.

 

Best regards,

 

Pamela Robertson

Executive Director

Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce

613-342-6553

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Katherine Hobbs was appointed to the Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries

 

In February 2021 Katherine Hobbs was appointed to the Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries. Meetings commenced weekly starting in March and the task force will conclude with a final meeting on April 15, 2021.

 

The task force is a forum for 20 sector partners and leaders in Ontario to share ideas, collaborate and provide advice and information to the Minister on strategies, tactics and approaches to support Ontario's tourism economic recovery. The task force is exploring opportunities and barriers related to topics such as marketing and communications, travel/tourism incentives, products, experiences and destination development. The task force also considers existing ministry programs, policies and investments and looks at ways in which these can be leveraged, amplified or strengthened. 

 

Additionally the 20 task force members split into three sub committees for additional meetings to further look at the following topics: 1) Travel Incentives & Marketing, 2) Signature Destinations, and 3) Gateway Cities. Katherine is a member of the Signature Destinations subcommittee that examined ways for increasing overall length of stay in geographic areas of Ontario by providing advice and ideas related to products, experiences and destination development, and how recovery can be inclusive to all.  

 

Ultimately the Task Force will be providing a report to the Minister.

 

Committee meetings have provided an opportunity to share ideas with task members comprised of MPP's, municipal councillors, and leaders in every aspect of tourism including business travel experts. Meetings have featured talks from a number of Ontario cabinet ministers, allowing the task force to ask questions and discuss issues related to Ontario parks, the environment, natural resources and forestry. 

 

Katherine said this has been an incredible experience to understand more in regards to the different challenges experienced by different tourism sectors, and in the different geographic areas of the province. It has given us all an insight into the value of working together to benefit the province's overall tourism goals while achieving our individual destination's goals. Being on the task force has allowed her to represent our area of the province all along the St. Lawrence River from the Quebec border on to the west, and ensure this area is understood in terms of who visits and what the challenges and opportunities are. It has also given her a direct link to talk to ministers in the Ontario Government about opportunities locally and get advice for product developers here in our area. 

 

Katherine's grateful to Minister MacLeod for appointing her to the task force that has allowed her to share her thoughts and ideas and hear and learn from others. Minister MacLeod fierce commitment and drive has been an endless benefit to the heritage, sport, tourism and culture sectors that were hit first, and so hard by the pandemic. The creation of this Economic Recovery Task Force is just another example of her amazing support of our sectors. 

 

The Chamber is thrilled that Katherine is still representing Tourism for our community in another capacity and she also is on the Advocacy Committee for the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce.

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Mayor's update from City Hall

On Monday March 22, 2021  Mayor Baker updated the membership from City Hall 

 

 

Click on link to see slide deck for the Mayor's update 

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Updated COVID 19 - Business Resource Information - Plus Community Resources

      

 

 

COVID-19 UPDATES

The safety and well-being of our members and community are of the utmost importance to us. We will communicate all updates to our members, and the community through email, social media posts, and updates on our website. There has been so much support from so many individuals and business in our community. We have a  very supportive community and we will get through this!!!

The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce is appreciative of all of the front-line staff, first responders and health care professionals who continue to show dedication in our community. We will continue to update these pages as information becomes available.

Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to providing you with the information and support you need to make informed decisions as your business navigates through these challenges; including supporting your employees.

Calling All Suppliers - Help Canada Combat COVID-19
The Government of Canada is asking suppliers about their ability to provide products and services.  See the list of items needed, and notify them if you can help out.

Update - Nov 2020

Resources from the Federal Government

 

CEWS Extension Details: 

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/11/details-on-the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy-extension.html

 

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS): 

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/11/canada-emergency-rent-subsidy.html

 

Lockdown Support for Businesses Facing Significant Public Health Restrictions (under CERS): 

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/11/lockdown-support-for-businesses-facing-significant-public-health-restrictions.html

 

Brief Summary of Total Support under new CEWS and CERS: 

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/11/rate-structures-applicable-in-periods-8-9-and-10-september-27-to-december-19-2020.html

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Canadian businessesnon-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-rent-subsidy.html 

 

Government of Ontario 

 

Update on March 19, 2021 to dining in Red Zone 

Indoor In-Person Retail:

  • Essential stores (supermarkets) operate at 75% capacity
  • Other retail - operate at 50% capacity
  • Passive Screening
  • Capacity limits MUST be publicly displayed (on store door/window)
    • Print a capacity limit sheet HERE


Dining: 

  • Capacity limits
    • Indoors: the lesser of approximately 50% of indoor dining area or 50 people
    • Outdoors: limited to allow physical distancing of 2 metres to be maintained
  • Contact information of all seated patrons required
  • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Patron screening required


Hair and Nail Salons, Personal Care Services: 

  • Services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Screening of patrons is required


Gyms:

  • Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres in areas where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes
  • Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained
    • 10 people in indoor areas with weights and exercise machines
    • 10 people in all indoor classes or 25 people in outdoor classes
    • No spectators permitted, however each person under 18 may be accompanied by one parent or guardian
  • Require contact information for all members of the public that enter the facility
  • Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams

Update March 15, 2021 

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/60339/ontario-returning-27-public-health-regions-to-strengthened-covid-19-response-framework 

Feb 5, 2021 

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions 

Jan 2021

Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs

https://www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs 

 

 

 

FedDev Ontario

The Government of Canada is taking action to support tourism and other businesses and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can take advantage of new investments and initiatives.  Learn more about the support available.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Update: April 6 , 2020       The Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to bring together its vast network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and over 100 of Canada’s leading business and industry associations, including the Business Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper as we collectively face the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

 

Leeds Grenville Economic Development - COVID - 19  Business Resources and Update

Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre Training & Resouce's

City of Brockville - Information and Resources 

United Way of Leeds & Grenville COVID 19 Resources 

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Regional Tourism Organization 9 (RTO9)

RTO9 strives to support the tourism and travel industry in the region by closely monitoring events that could cause significant challenges to the industry, including the Covid-19 virus.  Visit the Tourism Talk website for more support.

 

News

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan / Plan d'intervention économique du Canada pour répondre à la COVID-19 English

French

What Canada's Regional Development Agencies are doing to help business during the COVID-19 pandemic 

Business Development Bank of Canada - Support for Entrepreneurs impacted by coronavirus 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian Businesses 

 

Health Resources & Updates

 

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Ontario Government

Government of Canada

COVID-19 subscription for Public Health Updates 

 

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

The Government of Ontario recommends taking the following actions to avoid the continuous spread of germs and viruses:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home if you are sick

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.

There is no vaccine available to protect against the 2019 novel coronavirus.

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RTO 9's Executive Director, Bonnie Ruddock  discusses the process, eligible partners, and eligible expenses for the Tourism Adaptation Funds

RTO 9's Executive Director, Bonnie Ruddock  discusses the process, eligible partners, and eligible expenses for the Tourism Adaptation Funds on March 11 at 9am by Zoom. These funds are designed to assist Tourism Businesses that have incurred additional costs to protect the health and safety of their staff and customers due to COVID-19.

 

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Zoom Meeting with Pierre Cleroux - Vice President, Research & Chief Economist - BDC Economic Outlook for 2021

On March 3 at 9am Pierre Cleroux - Vice President, Research & Chief Economist provide the BDC Economic Outlook 

Thank you to our partners Chambers Group Insurance, 104.9 Move and 103.7 Bob FM 

Thank you to our Sponsor: United Counties of Leeds and Grenville - Where Lifestyle Grows Good Business  

 

 

Click to see the Slide Deck from Pierre Cleroux Presentation 

 

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Advocacy Alert!! Letter to the Mayor and City Council

Feb 23, 2021

 

City of Brockville

1 King Street West

Brockville Ontario

K6V 7A5

 

Dear Mayor Baker and Councillors

 

On behalf of the Advocacy Committee of the Brockville Chamber of Commerce, I am writing to request your consideration of community business needs for the 2021 budget deliberations. 

In 2020, the Chamber conducted extensive outreach activities to businesses. One key activity involved was one- on-one conversations with our members to discuss how the pandemic has impacted their business.  While most indicated they were able to survive the first shutdown, they believed a second shutdown could be devastating to their business. Unfortunately, that outcome came to fruition.

It is laudable that the City enacted a number of measures in 2020 to assist businesses, especially given the uncertainties and the pressures on the municipality. We appreciated that city helped certain businesses by allowing expanded patios without fees, and erected signs throughout the City to encourage local shopping. Congratulations are also in order that the City ended up in a very positive fiscal situation in 2020 especially given all the upheaval and change required to deal with this devastating pandemic.

During 2021, the Advocacy Committee feels that it is critical to open all City assets, such as campgrounds, islands, public toilets, and marinas etc. for the summer tourism season in order to help Brockville businesses thrive.

Additionally, the Chamber respectfully requests that local businesses be taken into consideration in the 2021 budget.  While continuing existing measures, like patio licenses and shop local signs, is ideal for restaurants or other businesses who might benefit from displaying their wares outside, there are other pressing needs as well.  With the closures in January and February of 2021, there is an urgent need to focus on alleviating businesses’ financial burdens in order to minimize or offset deficits incurred as a result of government mandated business restrictions and the closures.

Many similar-sized municipalities are compounding federal and provincial supports through various forms of alleviation and deferrals of fees for property taxes.  The Chamber is therefore requesting consideration for the City of Brockville to provide certain financial assistance programs for its businesses as well.

Specifically the Chamber is suggesting the following potential actions in the 2021 budget deliberations:

  • Revisiting the 2020 budget and reducing the previously approved tax increase for commercial ratepayers, in particular the small and medium sized businesses hardest hit by the closures.
  • Consideration to reduce the 2021 levy increase for these ratepayers in order to protect the local economy by helping them navigate these trying times trying to keep their doors open.
  • Municipal grants would be effective to further assist small businesses who many not qualify for provincial and federal grants.  A grant program could allow businesses to purchase tents and equipment to operate outside, and/or purchase PPE or upgrades to air purifying systems.
  • Policy changes and elimination of fees could also prove to be beneficial with the implementation of new programs to allow for expansion or continuation of business such as allowing business in the parks. 
  • Enacting activities such as business sector forums (via chat forums), established with the purpose of connecting key business organizations in order to determine urgent needs across different sectors of the economy could help develop tangible steps to seek support for short and long term business needs.

Your consideration of our community’s business needs is appreciated. Together, we can work to speed up the recovery in our city. The Chamber is pleased to meet to discuss these or any other measures enacted to aid our local economy and ensure our businesses viable.

 

Regards,

 

Kent Henderson                                              

Chair – Advocacy Committee

Pamela Robertson

Executive Director

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