COVID-19Guidance and Resources for Business
Here’s What Your Chamber is Doing
- We’re assembling and streamlining business-related information and resources as they become available. Get the latest information on the resources, programs and relief strategies being put into place by the federal, provincial and municipal governments at www.tbchamber.ca/covid19.
- We’re gathering information about the unique needs of our region’s businesses. On April 27 we launched the first of six monthly surveys which will collect essential data for ongoing advocacy efforts and the development of recovery programs tailored to Thunder Bay’s needs.
- We’re in discussions with our Federal, Provincial and municipal governments to explore measures which will reduce business risk and stimulate business recovery.
- We’re reaching out to our Members. Our team is contacting Members directly to hear how we can help you and share the latest information about our advocacy work and the government supports available.
- We’re keeping you connected. Follow us on Facebook for updates on business resources and upbeat news about what Members are doing to help sustain our community during this difficult time.
NEW Directory Category:
COVID19 Safety Supplies & Services
If you’re looking for PPE, hand sanitizer, protective barriers or directional materials to help steer your customers and staff to safe habits, visit our Member Directory’s new #COVID19 category and start with a fellow Chamber Member! Check it out now.
Latest Update from the Chamber:
To highlight the concerns expressed by our Members, our Northern Ontario Chamber Coalition sent the following letter to Premier Doug Ford.
June 29, 2020
Honourable Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Dear Premier Ford:
CLARITY ON REOPENING RESTRICTIONS ARE VITAL TO BUSINESS SUCCESS
Thank you for your continued leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and for all that you are doing to support the business community in these challenging times.
Businesses across Northern Ontario have been resuming operations as outlined in the Phase Two protocols; however, there continues to be confusion relating to the restrictions that are in place and the resulting impacts. One often-cited example is that churches are permitted to hold religious services at 30% of building capacity with physical distancing in place; however, other indoor meetings with physical distancing in conference rooms, office boardrooms, movie theatres, and restaurants are not yet permitted.
We are also aware of situations in which local health authorities are interpreting and imposing guidelines differently. For example, the Ministry of Health states that some types of businesses are encouraged to ask for personal contact info, but not required to. This has resulted in some health authorities interpreting this aspect of Phase Two to be a mandatory requirement and are threatening some small businesses with closure if they do not comply. This is not helpful, as large chains and “essential” businesses are neither required nor encouraged to collect personal data.
We completely agree that public health must remain a top priority. Regretfully, the lack of clarity, both in the way restrictions are designed and in their application at the local level, is leading to significant confusion and frustration for business owners and their customers. We encourage the Government of Ontario to ensure clear guidelines, and to identify standardized approaches to building capacity restrictions (ie: 30% of building capacity) that can be applied broadly across many business sectors to reduce confusion and to support economic success.
Thank you for your consideration.
Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce
North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce
Sault Ste Marie Chamber of Commerce
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce
Timmins Chamber of Commerce
c. Hon. Christine Elliot, Minister of Health
Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs
Hon. Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
Hon. Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges & Universities
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More Chamber Updates
- LETTER TO PREMIER DOUG FORD: CLARITY ON REOPENING RESTRICTIONS ARE VITAL TO BUSINESS SUCCESS June 30, 2020
- City of Thunder Bay Offers Rent Relief Program for Commercial Tenants June 25, 2020
- City of Thunder Bay reduces interest on defaulted tax installments June 24, 2020
- Risk Mitigation Tool for Workplaces/Businesses June 18, 2020
- Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) extended June 17, 2020
- City Approves Patio Program Changes; Fees Waived and Process Expedited for Approvals June 16, 2020
- Canada Emergency Business Account eligibility expanded June 16, 2020
- Ontario and Canada Helping Small Businesses Go Digital June 11, 2020
- SMALL BUSINESS REBOUND NECESSARY FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY June 11, 2020
- Eligibility criteria adjusted for Northern Ontario COVID-19 fund June 10, 2020
Upcoming COVID19 Events for Business
- June 17: Leadership During a Crisis
- June 4: Staying “Cyberstrong” during COVID19
- Returning to Work after COVID shutdown – O’Neill Associates Employment Law
- April 30: Townhall with MPs Hajdu & Powlowski
- April 23: Employment Law & COVID-19 with O’Neill Associates
- April 16: Implementing Government Supports with MNP
- April 9: Burnout & Self-Care with Kelly Mental Health
- April 2: Overview of Government Supports
Other Webinar Recordings:
- Take Control of Your Business: Three Simple & Essential Tools to Help Your Business Survive and Thrive in a Period of Extreme Uncertainty: Canadian Chamber
- How Businesses can Persevere and Recover from COVID-19: Canadian Chamber
- Succeeding in Uncertainty: Managing your business through the COVID-19 crisis: PwC
- Ensuring the recovery and resilience of Canada’s food service sector: Canadian Chamber – May 12
- COVID-19: How to get through the crisis with an online strategy: BDC – April 30
- Information Security and Data Privacy in the age of COVID-19: Ontario Chamber of Commerce – April 28
- How Big Data is Being Used to Combat COVID-19: Ontario Chamber of Commerce – April 24
- Understanding and Accessing the BCAP and Capital Loans During COVID-19: Ontario Chamber of Commerce – April 14
Resources for Business
Visit our Federal supports page for information on Federal supports including:
- Innovation Canada’s Interactive Business Benefits Finder
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- Canada Emergency Business Account
- Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance
- Access to Capital
- Regional Relief & Recovery Fund (FedNor)
Visit the Canadian Business Resilience Network for other Federal resources.
Visit our Provincial Supports page for information on measures including:
- Ontario’s List of Essential Services
- Employer Health Tax
- Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit
- $6 Billion in Tax Deferrals
- Payment Deferral on WSIB
- Electricity Relief
- Supply Opportunities
Visit our Municipal Supports page for information on measures including:
- deferral of the May 6th interim tax levy installment to July 8th
- waiving the water penalty for water bills due April 14, May 15 & June 15
- extending payment terms for accounts receivable invoices from 30 days to 90 days
- waiving business-related permit and license fees for 3 months and reducing sign permit fees by 25%.
- waiving all municipal fees, waiving certain zoning restrictions and expediting process for outdoor patios
- reducing interest penalty to 0.5% for tax payment defaults
- rent relief for commercial tenants in City owned buildings
Visit the Canadian Business Resilience Network for info to contain the spread of COVID-19 and prevent a second wave.
Useful Info from Workplace Safety & Prevention Services:
Visit the Canadian Business Resilience Network and position your business to help drive economic recovery when the crisis passes.
Sign your business up today and browse for information on businesses open during the COVID-19 crisis!
Chamber Members receive preferential pricing with discounts ranging from 25%-45% on Purolator Express and Purolator Ground suite of courier services. Learn more/ sign up.
Emergency Loans up to $20,000
- interest-free, with no payments required, until October 2020
- loan terms offered for up to two years
- interest to be charged at prime rate beginning in October.
Visit www.thunderbayventures.com for more information and to apply.