Hello all,

I hope this email finds you well. I would like to start by thanking everyone who has emailed me with your impact statements. They are so helpful to me as a Chamber professional, whose job it is to serve my members.

On March 25, 2020, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, along with 60 of the nation's leading business organizations, called on the government to provide more direct funding for employees .

On March 27, 2020, we hosted a Virtual Town Hall with M.P. Schmale , where members were able to voice their concerns around the 10% wage subsidy, the lack of support and options beyond loans for business owners, and more. It was a very productive conversation, and we are so grateful to have a Member of Parliament who cares so deeply about our business community.

The Prime Minister today announced additional new measures  to support small businesses dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. This is wonderful news to all of us throughout the Chamber network!

Here is a snippet from a communication from M.P. Schmale's office :
  • Wage Subsidy Increased for Employers from 10% to 75% backdated to March 15, 2020.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account - Interest Free First Year of a Loan up to $40,000 with a potential for a $10, 000 forgivable portion.
  • Deferred HST/GST payments and duty on imports until June 2020.
  • Additional measures coming soon...
Watch for Updates & Application Details -

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:
  • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

Business Income Tax Deadlines  – The deadline for businesses to pay any income tax amounts that become owing or due after March 18, 2020 and before September 1, 2020 has been extended to September 1, 2020. This means you will not be assessed any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020.

Additionally, in an effort to draw full attention to mitigating both the health and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Ontario has elected to delay the release of its annual Budget. Instead, the government released an economic and fiscal update entitled, “ Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID‑19 ,” which provides a one-year economic forecast and the government’s initial response plan to the COVID-19 crisis. The response plan consists of a proposed $17 billion package, with measures intended to complement the federal response. 

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce responded with a reaction that highlights the successes of the Plan from a business standpoint. Here is a link to the Ontario Chamber's Response (which highlights successes from a business stand-point) .

“Unprecedented times like these call for extraordinary measures. Today’s Economic and Fiscal Update shows the government is listening and responding to Ontario businesses and families – and for this we are extremely grateful." -- Rocco Rossi, CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

I have included the following items below:
  • Provincial call-in for questions regarding business closures;
  • Can you reconfigure to make essential equipment? Help the Province;
  • New Covid-19 website for businesses from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce;
  • Relief Fund for Artists;
  • Letter from Fleming CREW to the Employers of Haliburton County;
  • Scam Alert from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; and
  • Video, Chief Economist, BDC - What's ahead for entrepreneurs and the way out.

I wish you all the best, please continue to stay in touch with me.

Jennifer M. Locke
Executive Director
Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT CLOSING YOUR BUSINESS?
STOP THE SPREAD BUSINESS INFORMATION LINE

On Monday, the province issued an  emergency order  to close at-risk workplaces and encourage non-essential businesses to find ways to help their employees work from home. The government also reminded businesses to put in place protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.
 
Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line 
 
Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.
 
A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario's  website .
 
Please direct all questions to 1-888-444-3659
CAN YOU RECONFIGURE TO MAKE ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT?
YOU CAN HELP THE PROVINCE

The Government of Ontario announced a new website to help businesses work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. Any business that could produce – or reconfigure to produce – essential equipment, from ventilators and masks to swabs and eye-protection, is encouraged to visit the  Ontario Together webpage .
NEW COVID-19 WEBSITE
 
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce's newly revamped  website  includes:
  • Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit: The Ontario Chamber of Commerce team, in collaboration with Hicks Morley, have put together a toolkit to help support businesses be prepared for any human resources or operational-related disruptions.
  • Business & Employee Supports: The latest information on government programs being offered to support business during the coronavirus pandemic.  
  • Advocacy: Stayed informed and up to date on OCC in the news and what business supports we are advocating for through the pandemic.
  • Government News: A compilation of federal and provincial announcements.
  • Mental Health Resources: Guidance for both self care and care for others.
  • Work from Home Resources: Best practices and shared resources.
  • How to Protect Yourself: Find out how to protect yourself and how to recognize symptoms.
  • FAQ: Frequently asked questions on the COVID-19 pandemic for business, employers, and employees.
  • Business Spotlight: Coming soon! So many of our members are stepping up to support COVID-19 relief efforts – join us in championing them.

Visit the  website , follow on  Twitter LinkedIn  and  Facebook  and join the mailing  list  for important COVID-19 updates.
RELIEF FUND FOR ARTISTS

The Artist Relief Fund is a fund administered by the Canadian Arts Resources Foundation for Ontario (CARFO) which operates under the name, CANVAS. The Fund provides Ontario visual artists with assistance for the relief of poverty, and provides short-term financial aid for rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, food, dental and medical care, and prescription medicines.  
Dear Employers of Haliburton County,
 
Fleming CREW would like you to know we here to support you during this uncertain and stressful time.
 
Although our office is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still supporting job seekers and employers remotely via phone and email. Whether you are experiencing challenges related to temporarily closing your business or if you are struggling to maintain your workforce, we are here to support you. 
 
We are staying up to date with local community information and resources as well as the action being taken by the government to support Canadian businesses. Please reach out to us if you need more information - we are here to help you navigate the supports that are available to you.  
 
We have funding available to assist businesses with hiring and training. If you are proceeding with recruitment, we can post and promote the positions you need to fill.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions or if there is anything that we can do to help!

Sincerely,

Fleming CREW Haliburton
705-457-2020
Canadians Should Be Vigilant for Scams Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Prime Minister has warned Canadians about a text scam going around on the new emergency response benefit. Trudeau said Canadians should be looking at reliable sources for information on the pandemic and relief efforts, such as government websites.


Be informed
  • You can find live updates and information about Canada’s response to COVID-19 here.
  • You can find information about supports for small businesses here.  
This is a paid advertisement mailing forwarded through the "My Chamber" Special Promotions Email Blast Program. The Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce reserves the right to refuse advertising due to content, quality, or if it is in direct conflict with the Chamber's mission or services. Advertisements must promote the member business. Advertisers must be Chamber members in good standing when the ad is purchased and when the ad publishes.