From the Desk of the CEO...
The Chamber has experienced an unprecedented demand for Screening Kits over the past two weeks, and staff have worked extremely hard to squeeze in as many pick-up and refill appointments as possible for businesses for both members and non-members under our distribution agreement with the province.

Thank you for your referrals to other businesses as well as your understanding and patience as we fill as many requests as possible and permitted. Please ensure you report your results as soon as possible. We are fortunate to still have kits available this week to meet demand, as other Chambers and sectors are experiencing shortages. Refills and new orders will begin to be processed again on or after January 5th, and we hope to open up more times in January once the supply in the province has returned.

For additional questions on the kits or holiday closure, please contact David at david@brcc.ca

From the Board of Directors and all Chamber staff, our best wishes for a safe and comfortable holiday season. The Chamber will be closed from Dec 24th at noon until Tuesday, January 4th.

Have a safe holiday season, and we look forward to gathering again safely in 2022.

Dave
The Chamber office will be closed for the holidays, from December 24th 2021 - January 4th 2022.

Have a safe and happy holiday!
Rapid Test Kits - Frequently Asked Questions
Due to overwhelming demand, capacity, and our holiday closure (December 24-January 4), we are UNABLE to respond to any new requests for rapid screening kits through January 2022. We will endeavour to open up additional spots as supply and capacity allow, but there is currently an Ontario-wide shortage.

PLEASE NOTE: Rapid Antigen Screening Kits are only available to SMALL BUSINESS (under 150 employees) in Brantford-Brant County and cannot be obtained for personal use through the Chamber office.

I need kits, but you don’t have any appointments available.
Unfortunately, there is a province-wide shortage of rapid tests due to an overwhelming increase in demand. We are trying our best to accommodate the companies who are already booked in our calendar, but almost every Chamber has run out of kits. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

When will you have more kits?
We don’t know. This is a supply issue. Please keep an eye on our rapid test webpage where we will post updates as soon as we have them.

My rapid test kits expire on January 1st 2022, but I still need them. Now what?
The ministry of health has extended this expiry date by 12 months, so you are safe to continue using those kits until January 1, 2023.

I need to report my results, but the link isn’t working. Now what?
To report your test results, please follow this link.

Why do I need to report my results?
You need to report your results weekly so that we can track how many kits you use, as well as the amount of positive, negative, and inconclusive results you receive. We are required to report this information to the Government of Ontario so it is crucial that you report your kits accurately, every single week. You can report your results through this link.

How do I use these kits?
Please refer to this video on how to use the tests and collect your results.

How do we dispose of the waste?
The Chamber has a disposal bin for you to bring your waste when refilling your order. We will be back in the office on January 4th and can accept the waste on that date
2022 Directory Bookings
Don’t Forget!

Keep your organization’s profile up to date! Our 2022-23 Membership Directory will include contact information for all of our members; keeping the information accurate helps us make sure you’re easy to find and easy to contact!

Please take 30 seconds to review your organization’s profile here!

Contact Greg Evans for more information.
Chamber Events
Register for the 14th Annual MP & MPP Breakfast here.

Save the date for the AGM!
Ontario Taking Action to Protect Against Omicron Variant
The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is taking action to further encourage vaccination and help limit the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. These measures will help reduce the risk of transmission during the winter months and further encourage every eligible Ontarian to get their shot so that Ontario’s hospital capacity is protected.
 
Ontario’s weekly cases incidence rate is below the national average, and recent investments combined with high vaccination rates have meant hospital and intensive care unit capacity remains stable. In line with Ontario’s cautious approach throughout the pandemic and in light of evolving global evidence around the Omicron variant, the province is adjusting its COVID-19 response that will strengthen the province’s proof of vaccination requirements and enhance public health measures. This includes the following measures:

  • Delaying the lifting of proof of vaccination requirements beyond January 17, 2022, aligned with the reopening plan that stipulated that doing so was contingent on the absence of concerning trends.
  • Effective January 4, 2022, requiring the use of the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code and the Verify Ontario app in settings where proof of vaccination is required. The QR code can be used digitally or by printing a paper copy. Individuals can download their enhanced certificate with QR code by visiting https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/.
  • Strengthening the verification process for medical exemptions and clinical trial exemptions by requiring a certificate with a QR code. Organizations and businesses that are under the provincial proof-of-vaccination system will be advised to no longer accept physician notes as of January 10, 2022.
  • Effective December 20, 2021, requiring proof of vaccination for youth aged 12 to 17 years participating in organized sports at recreational facilities.
  • On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontarians are strongly advised to limit their social gatherings and the number of gatherings they attend over the holiday season. Additional precautions should be taken if all individuals are not fully vaccinated or where vaccination status is unknown. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.

The full suite of measures is outlined in the backgrounder.

To continue providing an additional layer of protection against COVID-19 and variants, as part of its enhanced winter testing strategy the province is launching a holiday testing blitz next week to offer voluntary rapid antigen screening to asymptomatic individuals free of charge. Two million rapid tests will be provided at pop-up testing sites in high-traffic settings such as malls, retail settings, holiday markets and transit hubs.

In addition, starting on Monday, December 13, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., individuals aged 50 and over will be eligible to schedule their booster dose appointment. This will expand booster eligibility to approximately 5.5 million people. Expanded booster dose eligibility to all Ontarians 18 years of age and older will occur on January 4, 2022, with appointments to be booked approximately six months after receiving a second dose.

The COVID-19 vaccine remains the single best protection against COVID-19 and variants. Every eligible Ontarian is strongly recommended to get vaccinated or receive their booster if they are eligible as soon as possible.
Ontario Announces Extension of the COVID-19 Period and Paid Infectious Disease Emergency Leave
The Ontario government is extending its Worker Income Protection Benefit program, which provides paid sick days, until July 31, 2022. Employees can continue to access this paid leave to get tested, vaccinated, self-isolate, or care for a family member.
Under this legislation, employees are entitled to up to three paid sick days, paid at their regular rate, to a maximum of $200 per day. The employee may use this time if they are:

  • under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19
  • acting under an order given under sections 22 or 35 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act
  • ordered to quarantine or isolate by a recognized official body (public health officer, healthcare professional, government, etc.)
  • acting under an employer’s direction to isolate out of concern for transmission of COVID-19
  • providing care to an individual under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19, or ordered to quarantine or isolate as above.

In addition, the province is taking action to protect jobs and businesses by extending temporary changes to the Employment Standards Act that prevent temporary layoffs of non-unionized employees from becoming unwanted terminations, which can trigger payments and force businesses to close. This measure will now be extended until July 30, 2022.



The Chamber is here to help your business navigate public policy and legislation. Click here to email our Advocacy Committee with questions.
Additional COVID-19 Resources
Recovery Activation Program helping local businesses go digital. Click here to learn more and apply
PD27 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy Self-identification Form for Employers. Click here
Government of Canada Covid-19 Alert App: click here to download
Support for your business from the Government of Canada. Click here to find out which supports best fit your business
Support for Individuals from the Government of Canada. Click here to find out which supports best fit your business
Business Resilience Service phoneline: call 1-866-989-1080 to connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. The service is available 7 days/week from 8 am – 8 pm ET
Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA); This $55 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. Click here to apply
Develop your Workplace Safety Plan with tools from the Government of Ontario here.
For the most up-to-date provincial & federal programs, take a look at our website.
Chamber of Commerce Brantford-Brant
519.753.2617