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January 2022

Ontario Announces Lifting of Public Health and Safety Measures starting January 31, 2022 

Ontario Announces Lifting of Public Health and Safety Measures 

The provincial government has announced the lifting of certain public health and safety measures. The Ontario government will follow a phased approach to gradually easing COVID-19 restrictions, with 21 days between each step, starting January 31, 2022.  

Effective January 31, 2022 at 12:01am  

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors;  
  • Increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50% in indoor public settings, including but not limited to:  
    • Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities;  
    • Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies); 
    • Shopping malls;  
    • Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms;  
    • Cinemas;  
    • Meeting and event spaces;  
    • Recreational amenities and amusement parks, including water parks;  
    • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and similar attractions;  
    • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and 
    • Religious services, rites, or ceremonies. 
  • Allowing spectator areas of facilities such as sporting events, concert venues and theatres to operate at 50% seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.  
  • Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings.

 

In addition, several clarifying and housekeeping amendments were approved.

These include:

  • Allowing food or drink services at indoor sporting events, concert venues, theatres and cinemas, bingo halls and other gaming establishments, and horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues. Individuals will be required to remain seated when consuming food or drink in these venues, limiting the number of close contacts while masks are removed. Masks will continue to be required when individuals are not eating or drinking.
  • Removing the requirement for most businesses to collect patron information for contact tracing. This is aligned with recent changes to the testing and case and contact management guidance and will allow businesses to focus their efforts on the enforcement of other public health measures in these settings, such as masking requirements. Public health units continue to have the ability to raise awareness of significant exposures warranting notification, such as through news releases.

Effective February 21, 2022 (Family Day): 

  • Social gathering limits will increase to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. 
  • Removing capacity limits in indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required, including but not limited to: 
    • Restaurants; 
    • Indoor sports and recreational facilities; 
    • Cinemas; and 
    • Other settings that choose to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements. 
  • Permitting spectator capacity at sporting events, concert venues, and theatres at 50% capacity. 
  • Indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is not required capacity will be limited to the number of people that can maintain 2m of physical distance. 
  • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies limited to the number that can maintain 2m of physical distance, with no limit if proof of vaccination is required. 
  • Increasing indoor capacity limits to 25% in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including: 
    • Nightclubs; 
    • Wedding receptions in meeting or event spaces where there is dancing; and 
    • Bathhouses and sex clubs. 
  • Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings. 

Effective March 14, 2022: 

  • Lifting of 100% capacity limits in all indoor public settings. Proof of vaccination will be maintained in existing settings in addition to other regular measures. 
  • Lifting remaining capacity limits on religious services, rites, or ceremonies. 
  • Increase social gathering limits to 50 people indoors with no limits for outdoor gatherings. 

 

For more information, please visit here. 

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The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce presents a zoom Update with MP Michael Barrett on Jan 20, 2022

 

The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce presents  a zoom Update with MP Michael Barrett on Jan 20, 2022

 

 

Thank you to our Partner the 1000 Islands Community Development Corporation for being part of the update.

MP Michael Barrett is a current member of the Canadian House of Commons, representing the Ontario riding of Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes .

 

 

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Updated: COVID-19 GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS - Federal and other supports

JANUARY 12, 2022

FEDERAL

For a full overview of programs provided by the Canadian government, click here.

To access the Business Benefits Finder to determine the best program and service for your
organization, click here.

Note: The repayment deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is being extended to December 31, 2023.

  This applies to all eligible borrowers in good standing.

  Repayment on or before the new deadline will result in loan forgiveness of up to a third of
      the value of loans (up to $20,000).

Note: The repayment deadline to qualify for partial forgiveness of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund is being extended to December 31, 2023.

Business

Wage and hiring supports

    Employers may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of employee wages. In each applicable

claim period, employers can claim one of the following- whichever gives the highest amount:

o   Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program

o   Hardest-Hit Businesses Recovery Program

o   Canada Recovery Hiring Program

     To calculate the amount available to your organization in wage/hiring support, click here.

     To apply to the wage and hiring support, click here.

 

    Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program

o   Organizations in the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors
      affected by a qualifying public health restriction may be eligible for funding.

  Eligibility: Must meet 3 conditions: More than 50% of eligible revenue

comes from the tourism/entertainment sector, a 12-month average revenue drop of at least 40% from March 2020 to February 2021, and a claim period revenue drop of at least 40%.

  Timeline: Effective until May 7, 2022.

o   OR qualify under the Local Lockdown Program

  Available for eligible organizations, regardless of the sector (organizations do
      not need to be in the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, and recreation
      sectors.)

  Eligibility: Must meet 2 conditions: Organization was affected by a

qualifying public health restriction and a claim period revenue drop of at least
40%.

  PROPOSED CHANGES: Include employers subject to capacity-limiting
      restrictions of 50% and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold
      requirement to 25%

  Eligible employers will receive wage and rent subsidies from 25% up
      to a maximum of 75%, depending on their degree of revenue loss.

  Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program

o   Organizations that do not qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery program
      may qualify for funding.

o   Eligibility: Must meet 2 conditions: a 12-month average revenue drop of at least

50% from March 2020 to February 2021 and have a claim period revenue drop of at
least 50%.

o   Timeline: Effective until May 7, 2022.

  Canada Recovery Hiring Program

o   Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either the higher of the Canada
      Recovery Hiring Program or the wage portion of the Tourism and Hospitality
      Recovery Program or the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program.

o   Timeline: Effective until May 7, 2022.​​​​​​

Other Business Supports

     Jobs and Growth Fund

o   Eligible businesses, not-for-profits, and indigenous organizations may be eligible for
      funding to support the transition to a green economy, activities supporting an
      inclusive recovery, digital adoption projects, and projects supporting Canada’s
      economic growth.

o   Eligibility: Interest-free repayable contributions for up to 50% of eligible costs and
      eligible not-for-profit organizations could receive non-repayable contributions for up
      to 90% of eligible costs.

  Indigenous clients may be eligible for 100% of eligible project costs for
      projects.

o   Timeline: Applications are accepted on a continuous intake basis until funding is
      allocated.

o   Click here to contact a FedNor Officer for further details on eligibility and how to
      apply.

     Work-Sharing Program

o   A Work-Sharing agreement is a 3-party agreement involving employers, employees,
      and Service Canada to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when: there is a
      temporary decrease in the normal level of business activity, and the decrease is
      beyond the control of the employer

o   Special measures for COVID-19 include extending the duration of agreements by an
      additional 38 weeks. That brings the total to 76 weeks (regardless of how many
      weeks a business has used before March 14, 2020) followed by a possible new 26-
      week subsequent agreement. Additional flexibility during COVID-19 is provided.

o   Timeline: Special COVID-19 measures are in effect until September 24, 2022.

  Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program

o   Organizations operating in the tourism, restaurant, and in-person services may be
      eligible for guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover
      operational cash flow needs.

o   Eligibility: Organization’s financial institution will determine eligibility based on the
      eligibility criteria.

o   Timeline: Applications open until March 31, 2022.

  Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility

o   Eligible large employers may qualify for bridge financing to meet needs that are not
      being met with conventional financing.

o   Eligibility: Organization has a significant impact on Canada’s economy,

demonstrates approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues, and requires a minimum loan size of about $60 million.

Indigenous

  Indigenous Community Business Fund

o   Indigenous business owners can apply for non-repayable financial contributions to
      support their organizations impacted by COVID-19.

o   Timeline: Applications are accepted on a continuous basis until funding is allocated.

o   Email: aadnc.ledontario.aandc@canada.ca

o   Telephone: 647-920-9516

  Indigenous Community Support Fund

o   Indigenous leadership and organization can apply for funding to design and
      implement community-based projects to assist with COVID-19.

o   Timeline: The request process for needs-based support recently reopened.

  For formula-based funding allocated directly to First Nation, Inuit, and Métis
      Nation communities, there is no deadline or request process. The funding is
      flowing through existing agreements.

]

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Updated COVID-19 GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS - Provincial

JANUARY 12, 2022

 

COVID-19 GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS

 

 

PROVINCIAL

For a full overview of programs provided by the Ontario provincial government, click here.

To contact the government with questions about the supports, call 1-866-668-8297 (1-866-ONT-
TAXS).

Call centres are open Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  Tel: 416-325-6691

  Toll-free: 1-855-216-3090

  TTY: 416-325-3408

  Toll-free TTY: 1-800-268-7095

Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant

  Small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of Roadmap to
      Reopen may be eligible to receive a one-time grant of $10,000.

  Eligibility:

o   Businesses that were required to close due to the public health orders implemented
      on January 5, 2022; and

o   Have fewer than 100 employees.

  If an organization previously qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, they
      will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and do not need to apply for this modified program.

  The following small businesses may be eligible:

o   Restaurants and bars

o   Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres
      and gyms)

o   Performing arts venues and cinemas, museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science
      centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens, and similar attractions

o   Meeting or event spaces

o   Tour and guide services

o   Conference centres and convention centres

  Timeline: Applications will open on Jan 18, 2022 
Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program

  Organizations impacted by lockdown measures and closures can receive a portion of their
      property tax and energy costs in form of rebate payments during the period of being
      subjected to lockdown measures.

o   Organizations with capacity reduced to 50% will obtain 50% in rebates for their
      costs.

o   Organizations closed will obtain 100% in rebates for their costs.

  Eligibility: A comprehensive list of eligible business types will be available in mid-January.

  Timeline: Applications open January 18, 2022, with retroactive payments dating back to
      December 19, 2021.

Cash Flows

  Organizations will have a six-month interest and penalty-free period for most provincially
      administered taxes.

  Timeline: January 1, 2022, until July 1, 2022.

  Eligibility: The option to delay tax payments applies to the following taxes:

o   Employer Health Tax

o   Beer, Wine & Spirits Taxes

o   Tobacco Tax

o   Insurance Premium Tax

o   Fuel Tax

o   International Fuel Tax Agreement

o   Gas Tax

o   Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts & Benefit Plans

o   Mining Tax

o   Race Tracks Tax

COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Program

  Ontario employers must provide eligible employees with up to three days of paid infectious
      disease emergency leave due to COVID-19 related reasons.

  Direct hotline for questions: 1-888-999-2248

  Timeline: Extended to July 31, 2022. Electricity-Rate Relief

  As of January 18, 2022, electricity prices will be set to the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents
      per kilowatt-hour for 24 hours a day.

o   This is less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate.

o   The updated rate will be in effect for 21 days

  This will be applied automatically to residential, small businesses, and farms who are paying
      regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility.

o   Applies to both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans.

 

 

 

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COVID-19 GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS - Federal support for Indivduals

 

Individuals

Benefits

  Employment Insurance benefits and leave

o   Individuals may be eligible for funding if they lost their job through no fault of their
      own or cannot find a job.

o   If an individual is not eligible or has received the maximum of EI, they may be
      eligible to apply for the following:

  Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit
  Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
  Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

  Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit

o   Employed and self-employed individuals who are not able to work due to a

lockdown order in their region can apply for $300 ($270 after taxes withheld) a week.

o   Timeline: In effect until May 7, 2022.

  Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

o   Employed and self-employed individuals who are sick, isolating due to COVID-19,
      or have an underlying health condition may be eligible for $500 ($450 after taxes
      withheld) a week.

  The maximum number of weeks individuals can apply for is 6 weeks.

o   Timeline: In effect until May 7, 2022.

  Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

o   Employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work due to caring for a
      child under 12 years of age or a family member needing supervised care may be
      eligible for $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) a week.

  The maximum number of weeks households can apply for is 44 weeks.

o   Timeline: In effect until May 7, 2022.

Other supports

  Mortgage payment deferral

o   Homeowners facing financial stress may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral
      of up to 6 months to help ease the financial burden.

  Low-income workers and families

o   The Canada Workers Benefit provides a refundable tax credit for individuals earning
      a low income and has expanded eligibility.

o   Low-income workers are now eligible for a tax credit of up to about:

    $1,400 for workers who are single and without children; and

    $2,400 for workers with families.

Sector Specific

  Aerospace

o   Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative

  SMEs and not-for-profits can apply through regional development agencies
      for funding to become more sustainable, improve productivity and
      strengthen commercialization.

  Aquaculture and fisheries

o   Employment Insurance (EI) fishing benefits

  Self-employed fishers who are seeking work may be eligible to receive fishing
      benefits.

  Culture, Heritage, and Sport

o   Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative

  Festival organizations can apply through regional development agencies for
      funding to continue operations and position themselves for economic
      recovery.

  Eligible festivals and events: Those with annual revenues exceeding $10
      million.

  To contact FedDev Ontario, click here

o   Support for Independent production companies

  The Short-term Compensation Fund Initiative will compensate independent
      production companies for the lack of insurance coverage for COVID-19-
      related filming interruptions and production shutdowns in the sector.
  Funding will be available until March 31, 2022.

     Energy

o   Emissions Reduction Fund

  Funding is available for onshore and offshore oil organizations to invest in
      green opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

     Infrastructure

o   Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (COVID-19 Resilience Stream)
              Apply through the province to get access to funding for an eligible

infrastructure project that are near-term and quick-start programs starting no later than September 2023.

     Tourism

o   Tourism Relief Fund

  Tourism organizations adapting their operations and investing in their future
      growth may be eligible for funding for projects focused on product or
      destination development.

  For a full list of eligible applicants and activities click here.

     Transportation

o   Regional Air Transportation Initiative

  Air carriers, airports, and organizations in the air transportation industry can
      apply through regional development agencies to obtain funding for projects
      to ensure the industry remains operational.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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