The Listowel BIA
COVID-19 Updates and the Listowel BIA

Please see updates since our last newsletter. Past newsletters for COVID-19 can be found on our website at We continue to be available to you at or 519-444-8233.
Federal Government Updates

  • The Prime Minister and the First Ministers made a statement about restarting the Canadian economy. The Government of Canada will continue to collaborate with the Provincial and Territorial governments and use public health as a foundation to guide them as they work to restore economic activity and address future outbreaks. The full statement from the First Ministers can be found HERE.
  • The application portal for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is now open. Employers can apply for the CEWS through My Business Account or through the CRA’s online application portal, and their representatives can apply through Represent a Client. More information on the application process and eligibility can be found HERE.
  • The Prime Minister announced support of nearly $9 billion for post-secondary students and recent graduates. This plan will help provide the financial support they need this summer, help them continue their studies in the fall, and help many get the experience they need to start their careers through the launch of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit and the new Canada Student Service Grant programs. The Government of Canada will expand federal employment, skills development, and youth programming to create up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities to help students find employment and develop valuable skills this summer and over the coming months. In addition, the government will help students to continue their studies in the fall by increasing Canada Student Grants, broadening eligibility for student financial assistance, enhancing the Canada Student Loans program, increasing existing financial supports, and extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships. More information can be found HERE.
  • The Prime Minister announced that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. The details that have been announced at this point are below.
  • The CECRA program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
  • The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will administer and deliver the CECRA, a collaboration between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. 
  • It is expected that CECRA will be operational by mid-May, with commercial property owners lowering the rents of their small business tenant’s payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.
  • The Prime Minister announced funding in support of a national medical research strategy to fight COVID-19 that includes vaccine development, the production of treatments, and tracking of the virus. This funding will invest in new medical countermeasures to better understand COVID-19 and develop the infrastructure needed to fight the virus in Canada. Included in these countermeasures is the establishment of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, which will provide data to decision-makers, including disaggregated data that will help the government to understand the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations, while also leveraging new and existing lab capacity for research.
  • Visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for more information on support available to help Canadians and businesses HERE.
Provincial Government Updates

  • On Monday, April 27, the Premier announced A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria that Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will use to advise the government on loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services, and public spaces. This framework includes three stages (outlined below) and the government has stated that public health officials will carefully monitor each stage for two to four weeks. At this point, there is no firm date for when the first stage of this framework will begin; its launch will depend on advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts in terms of the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and the ability to implement protective and preventative measures in the workplace. A high level overview of the stages as outlined by the government is below:
  • Stage 1: For businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations, opening select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidance. Opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events. Hospitals would also begin to offer some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries, and other health care services.
  • Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces. Some larger public gatherings would be allowed, and more outdoor spaces would open.
  • Stage 3: Opening of all workplaces responsibly and further relaxing of restrictions on public gatherings.
  • As outlined in A Framework for Reopening our Province, the government, in partnership with Ontario’s Health and Safety Associations and based on input from public health officials, will provide guidelines to employers on how to open safely and protect their employees and customers. Resources will be made available across many sectors, as well as training to provide guidance to workplaces entering the restart phase. We will provide more information as it becomes available
  • Information on the Framework can be found HERE.
  • The Province of Ontario has launched the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the pandemic. Businesses who are working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to this new website which can be found HERE.
  • The Premier provided an update on the COVID-19 Action Plan for Protecting Long-Term Care Homes. In addition to the steps that have already been taken in this plan to help stop the spread of COVID-19 within the province’s long-term care homes, the province will be making a formal request to access more resources offered by the federal government. These resources may include personnel and other supports from Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Armed Forces. The update can be found HERE and the Action Plan HERE.
  • The Premier focused an announcement on April 23 on the new COVID-19 Action Plan for Vulnerable People to better protect vulnerable populations during the outbreak of COVID-19. This plan builds on the government's previous actions to protect people living in high-risk settings, including homes serving those with developmental disabilities, shelters for survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking, children's residential settings, and those residential settings supporting vulnerable Indigenous individuals and families both on and off reserve. The announcement can be found HERE and the Action Plan HERE.
  • The Premier announced that the Ontario government is expanding the list of essential workers who are eligible to receive free emergency child care during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those who will benefit include people who work in front-line roles including food supply chain, retirement homes, grocery stores and pharmacies, and certain federal employees, including the military. More information can be found on the Government of Ontario’s Child care for health care and front-line staff site HERE. The announcement can be found HERE.

Federal and Provincial Updates

  • On Friday, the Province announced that the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2.5 million to help the agri-food sector expand online. The funding for the Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will be provided through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership and will help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products. This targeted application intake has two funding streams, which are outlined below.
  • 1) Bring Your Business Online – eligible for businesses and organizations can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence.
  • 2)Develop Online Business Opportunities – eligible organizations, businesses, and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.
  • More information on this funding, including the application process can be found HERE. The announcement can be found HERE.
Stop and Rest for Truck Drivers

Ontario is providing truck drivers with more places to safely stop and rest while moving essential goods during COVID-19. This includes parking at all 23 ONroutes as well as seasonal rest areas, Truck Inspection Stations and truck lay-bys. Check out their Truck Rest Area   and  Truck Friendl y Stops  text pages and interactive map for more information HERE .
Business and Agriculture Community Teleconferences - May 6

Mayor Todd Kasenberg, CAO Kriss Snell and Community Development Coordinator Kim Kowch are holding Business and Agriculture Community Teleconferences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Business owners and those in the Agriculture sector are encouraged to participate using the call # and participant code below.

Business Community Teleconference - Wednesday, May 6th at 8:45 a.m.

Agriculture Community Teleconference - Wednesday, May 6th at 10:00 a.m.

Call 519-418-6338 OR (toll-free) 1-855-727-6338, and when asked for a meeting code, enter 4593285.
Open For Business Signs


Roger from PennySaver Signs has developed these amazing signs for our businesses. He has donated them to any business in North Perth who would like to display them. If you would like a sign, please contact me at
You can reach Lisa Schaefer, Coordinator, by email at or by phone at 519-444-8233.
© Office of the Municipality of North Perth, 330 Wallace Ave. N., Listowel ON N4W 1L3
P: 519-291-2950 | TF: 1-888-714-1993 | Website: