CHAMBER CHAT - Week of May 10
The idea of Rapid Antigen testing is all over the news now and we are in the process of preparing for our first order here... if you're interested in participating, click here now and complete the interest survey and we will be responding with details on what you need to do next.

Please note - these tests do NOT replace the current screening survey and if an employee answers "yes" to any of those questions, they should go to the regular testing centre.

These tests are geared to ensure people with no symptoms

Results take about 15 minutes and you have to determine how and where people will wait for them.

Our first order will be going in and as soon as tests arrive, I will be reaching out to those who have registered at

Last week, Anthony Callaghan and I attended the OCC AGM & Conference - virtually of course - and we breezed through the 37 policy resolutions in record time. Included were issues for the construction, charities and education sectors that we received input from you for our vote... while one issue regarding construction did pass with a 2/3 vote, we know the submitting chamber will be seeking further guidance from the OHBA, the request to to increase tax credits for charitable donations (Ontario has the lowest rate in the country) was passed and the ask to increase public institutions "heads in beds levy" was withdrawn. If you would like more information on the various policy resolutions submitted and what the Ontario Chamber will be pushing forward at Queen's Park, please see them here 2021 Policy Compendium The Belleville Chamber also submitted a policy resolution regarding the need for public institutions to support local vendors. While this may only be a first step to changing legislation that does not permit RFQ/RFPs to favour a vendor based on their location (and there may be some good reasons for that), it is important to remember there is a real positive economic impact when you can choose local. Local busing companies are fearing they will lose everything through this process and in other cases, local vendors are excluded from even bidding based on pre-qualifying criteria. Either way, the conversation to be more inclusive to local companies will now be on the agenda at Queen's Park and our Government Affairs committee was instrumental in moving this forward through input from our members. We also co-sponsored issues regarding high water levels, and the need to support students entering essential worker fields such as construction, health & child care (rather than the government providing bonusing programs that do not benefit private companies).

Other things to note below - our own AGM is coming up on May 28th! I know these are so much fun but we're inviting you to join us for lunch if you like (as we've done for past events) though if you just want to attend for the important stuff, no purchase is required.

Read the article about Lisa Hallsworth, recognized as one of Canada's Top Women in Safety through her work with Rillea Technologies - you may remember when they joined us about a year ago to explain how to sanitize and disinfect effectively - so we extend our congratulations to her on this notable achievement and recognition.

And while last week may have been Mental Health Awareness week, as we languish through this lockdown, I certainly am more aware than ever how I struggle with my state of mind and trying to stay positive. Meta is pulling together a great day in early June to help reboot Mental Wellness in the Workplace - which has been particularly difficult to manage when so many are distanced from each other working from home and the sense of team we benefit from when we see each other daily - see below for registration details.

On that note, it looks like we're going to have some beautiful days ahead, and while we certainly wish we could enjoy them on a patio or a golf course, get your gardening done or come up with a great idea for the Belleville Sign Wars... check out who's already in the game!

You can save money just by being a Chamber member.
Did you know that you could save
3.5 cents per liter at the pumps at all ESSO and Mobil stations.
Your membership connects you to almost 450 businesses.
Find what you need from people you can trust.
Pharmacies are offering the AstraZeneca
COVID-19 vaccine if you are age 40 or older.
Do you employ essential frontline workers?
If you are part of Group 2, who cannot work from home, including people working in grocery stores, LCBO, restaurants, etc.,
you can preregister for your vaccine.
CLICK HERE for list of eligible workers.
Tourism and Travel Grant Now Open
$10,000 to $20,000 to support eligible
small tourism and travel businesses
This grant will support eligible small tourism and travel businesses that did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG), such as travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts.

To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 100 employees and demonstrate they have experienced a minimum 20 per cent revenue decline between 2019 and 2020.
**Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. SEE DETAILS

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). SEE DETAILS

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) -  
Extended to September 2021. Period 9 to 14 currently open, - SEE DETAILS

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
Applications have been extended until June 30, 2021-   CEBA DETAILS

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Extended to September 2021. Periods from September 27 2020 to April 10 2021 currently open  SEE DETAILS

Click on the link below to see ALL the programs
in one place and scroll down to the section titled 'Support for Businesses'
Ontario to provide employees with three paid sick days
REASONS that employees can use this include
  • Getting tested for COVID-19
  • Staying home waiting for results from your test
  • Getting vaccinated and experiencing side effects.
  • Having been advised to self-isolate
CLICK HERE for information on financial supports available through the province.
Rillea Technologies founder gets national recognition as one of Canada's top women in safety.
From hundreds of nominations across the country, Belleville's own Lisa Hallsworth made the list.
Trenval and the Small Business Centre are offering a variety of webinars to help your business move forward.
CLICK HERE to check out their calendar.
Find the safety supplies you need for your business.
Check out these local businesses who are working to get you the supplies you need to keep your business open and your employees working safely.

Find everything from masks and gloves to disinfectant wipes and sprays, to
body temperature detection devices.
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2021 stickers are being mailed out to you.
Are you missing any years? Is your plaque full?
Call Lisa at 613.922.4597 OR
If you need assistance, please call us.
613-962-4597 and leave a message OR call
Jill at 613-847-4090
Lisa at 613-922-4597