The Listowel BIA
e-Newsletter
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 www.discoverlistowel.com We continue to be available to you at lschaefer@northperth.ca or 519-444-8233.
Provincial Government Updates

  • Yesterday, the Premier announced the easing of restrictions for some retail businesses (listed below), as long as the businesses are in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and following the guidance from health & safety associations. In addition to these guidelines, the government is also issuing posters to promote safety tips. The guidelines and posters are available HERE. These new sector-specific guidelines feature recommended actions employers can begin to plan for as they prepare to adapt to the new reality during COVID-19. The government will work with Ontario's health and safety associations to bring forward additional workplace safety guidelines for more sectors in the coming days and weeks. The easing of restrictions are:
  • Effective 12:01 am on Friday May 8th, garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same safety guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies.
  • Effective 12:01 am on Saturday May 9th, hardware stores and safety supply stores will be allowed to open for in-store payment and purchases.
  • Effective 12:01 am on Monday May 11th, retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery.
  • In addition, the Ontario government is also expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects to continue.
  • The Ontario government announced that they will be extending electricity rate relief to families, farms and small businesses until May 31. Customers who pay time-of-use electricity rates will continue to be billed at the lowest price, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also announced that through an emergency order that was passed on Friday, they are taking steps to defer a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan. This initiative is intended to provide companies with temporary immediate relief on their monthly electricity bills in April, May and June 2020. This relief will prevent a marked increase in Global Adjustment charges due to the low electricity demand caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place to-date until May 19, 2020. You can find a list of the emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act HERE.
  • The Ontario government announced a new free app which will provide truck drivers with immediate access to the information they need to stay safe, fed and rested while delivering essential goods during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontario 511 app provides up-to-date highways information on construction, collisions and road closures. It also identifies open rest areas and locations in the province that offer food and fuel. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.
  • The Premier announced that the government is expanding virtual mental health services to help Ontarians during COVID-19. These Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) programs will be provided at no out-of-pocket costs to Ontarians across the province.

Federal Government Updates

  • The Prime Minister announced funding to support farmers, food businesses, and food processors. This support will include:
  • Creating an Emergency Processing Fund to help food producers access more PPE, adapt to health protocols, or modernize their operations in response to COVID-19
  • Launching a national AgriRecovery initiative that will provide funding to producers faced with additional costs incurred due to COVID-19
  • The intention to increase the Canadian Dairy Commission’s borrowing limit to support costs associated with the temporary shortage of cheese and butter to avoid food waste
  • Launching a Surplus Food Purchase Program to help redistribute existing and unsold inventories to local food organizations who are serving vulnerable Canadians
  • Working with provinces and territories to explore the expansion of the AgriInsurance program to include labour shortages as an eligible risk for the horticulture sector.
  • Visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for more information on support available to help Canadians and businesses HERE.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will be administering the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and they have launched a  PORTAL . Applications are not yet being accepted for the CECRA program; but through the portal, you can sign up to receive more details and be notified when the application process opens.

We are aware that there are many concerns with the program as it currently stands. One of the major concerns is the requirement that a landlord must have a mortgage to be eligible for the program. The Federal Government has qualified that requirement with the following statement:

For those property owners who do not have a mortgage, an alternative mechanism will be implemented. Further information will be outlined in the near future.
 
We will provide more information as the program is rolled out. We are told this should be in mid-May.
Navigating Government Support Programs

Perth Community Futures Development Corporation is offering assistance to our business community. For any business owners who need assistance/information on the government funding available, Alex Toll from Perth Community Futures Development Corporation is available to go through the different options and/or go over cash flow, etc., Perth Community Futures Development Corporation will also be receiving funding for businesses who don’t qualify for the current government supports. We will share this funding information when it is available. If you would like to contact Alex, he can be reached at:

Alex Toll
Lender, Business Analyst
Perth Community Futures Development Corporation
519-814-6803
The Stratford Perth Centre for Business

The Stratford Perth Centre for Business has launched “The Digital Accelerator” which will deliver 30 grants totaling $45,000 to local entrepreneurs within Stratford and Perth County. The new program will help small businesses create a digital revenue stream that will allow them to navigate the new reality of doing business. The media release with full details can be found HERE  
Heath, Safety and Wellness

Huron Perth Public Health continues to provide resources for our community. This includes the new Ontario Government guidance document for essential workplaces, safety guidelines for specific sectors to protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19 and to help to prepare for a gradual reopening of the economy, and occupational health and safety tips sheets and workplace FAQs. The Huron Perth Public Health website can be found HERE .
 
Anxiety Canada has several resources available on their website to help cope during COVID-19. There website is available HERE.
Perth County Attending Virtual Job Fair

Perth County will be virtually attending the upcoming London Works Job Fair hosted by the London Economic Development Corporation. Economic Development staff will host an interactive virtual booth at the job fair on May 12, 2020 from 2pm-6pm to promote job opportunities posted on the free regional job board Opportunity Lives Here: www.OpportunityLivesHere.ca/jobs . They are encouraging local employers to post their jobs. For more information about the virtual job fair, please click HERE .
Open For Business Signs

SIGNS ARE STILL AVAILABLE!

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 lschaefer@northperth.ca
You can reach Lisa Schaefer, Coordinator, by email at lschaefer@northperth.ca 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: www.northperth.ca