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Katherine Hobbs was appointed to the Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries


In February 2021 Katherine Hobbs was appointed to the Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries. Meetings commenced weekly starting in March and the task force will conclude with a final meeting on April 15, 2021.


The task force is a forum for 20 sector partners and leaders in Ontario to share ideas, collaborate and provide advice and information to the Minister on strategies, tactics and approaches to support Ontario's tourism economic recovery. The task force is exploring opportunities and barriers related to topics such as marketing and communications, travel/tourism incentives, products, experiences and destination development. The task force also considers existing ministry programs, policies and investments and looks at ways in which these can be leveraged, amplified or strengthened. 


Additionally the 20 task force members split into three sub committees for additional meetings to further look at the following topics: 1) Travel Incentives & Marketing, 2) Signature Destinations, and 3) Gateway Cities. Katherine is a member of the Signature Destinations subcommittee that examined ways for increasing overall length of stay in geographic areas of Ontario by providing advice and ideas related to products, experiences and destination development, and how recovery can be inclusive to all.  


Ultimately the Task Force will be providing a report to the Minister.


Committee meetings have provided an opportunity to share ideas with task members comprised of MPP's, municipal councillors, and leaders in every aspect of tourism including business travel experts. Meetings have featured talks from a number of Ontario cabinet ministers, allowing the task force to ask questions and discuss issues related to Ontario parks, the environment, natural resources and forestry. 


Katherine said this has been an incredible experience to understand more in regards to the different challenges experienced by different tourism sectors, and in the different geographic areas of the province. It has given us all an insight into the value of working together to benefit the province's overall tourism goals while achieving our individual destination's goals. Being on the task force has allowed her to represent our area of the province all along the St. Lawrence River from the Quebec border on to the west, and ensure this area is understood in terms of who visits and what the challenges and opportunities are. It has also given her a direct link to talk to ministers in the Ontario Government about opportunities locally and get advice for product developers here in our area. 


Katherine's grateful to Minister MacLeod for appointing her to the task force that has allowed her to share her thoughts and ideas and hear and learn from others. Minister MacLeod fierce commitment and drive has been an endless benefit to the heritage, sport, tourism and culture sectors that were hit first, and so hard by the pandemic. The creation of this Economic Recovery Task Force is just another example of her amazing support of our sectors. 


The Chamber is thrilled that Katherine is still representing Tourism for our community in another capacity and she also is on the Advocacy Committee for the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce.

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Mayor's update from City Hall

On Monday March 22, 2021  Mayor Baker updated the membership from City Hall 



Click on link to see slide deck for the Mayor's update 

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Updated COVID 19 - Business Resource Information - Plus Community Resources





The safety and well-being of our members and community are of the utmost importance to us. We will communicate all updates to our members, and the community through email, social media posts, and updates on our website. There has been so much support from so many individuals and business in our community. We have a  very supportive community and we will get through this!!!

The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce is appreciative of all of the front-line staff, first responders and health care professionals who continue to show dedication in our community. We will continue to update these pages as information becomes available.

Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to providing you with the information and support you need to make informed decisions as your business navigates through these challenges; including supporting your employees.

Calling All Suppliers - Help Canada Combat COVID-19
The Government of Canada is asking suppliers about their ability to provide products and services.  See the list of items needed, and notify them if you can help out.

Update - Nov 2020

Resources from the Federal Government


CEWS Extension Details: 



Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS): 



Lockdown Support for Businesses Facing Significant Public Health Restrictions (under CERS): 



Brief Summary of Total Support under new CEWS and CERS: 


Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Canadian businessesnon-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.



Government of Ontario 


Update on March 19, 2021 to dining in Red Zone 

Indoor In-Person Retail:

  • Essential stores (supermarkets) operate at 75% capacity
  • Other retail - operate at 50% capacity
  • Passive Screening
  • Capacity limits MUST be publicly displayed (on store door/window)
    • Print a capacity limit sheet HERE


  • Capacity limits
    • Indoors: the lesser of approximately 50% of indoor dining area or 50 people
    • Outdoors: limited to allow physical distancing of 2 metres to be maintained
  • Contact information of all seated patrons required
  • Establishments must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Liquor sold or served only between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No consumption of liquor permitted between 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Patron screening required

Hair and Nail Salons, Personal Care Services: 

  • Services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited
  • Require contact information from all patrons
  • Screening of patrons is required


  • Increase spacing between patrons to 3 metres in areas where there are weights or exercise equipment and in exercise and fitness classes
  • Capacity limits, where physical distancing can be maintained
    • 10 people in indoor areas with weights and exercise machines
    • 10 people in all indoor classes or 25 people in outdoor classes
    • No spectators permitted, however each person under 18 may be accompanied by one parent or guardian
  • Require contact information for all members of the public that enter the facility
  • Require reservation for entry; one reservation for teams

Update March 15, 2021 


Feb 5, 2021 


Jan 2021

Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs





FedDev Ontario

The Government of Canada is taking action to support tourism and other businesses and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can take advantage of new investments and initiatives.  Learn more about the support available.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Update: April 6 , 2020       The Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to bring together its vast network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and over 100 of Canada’s leading business and industry associations, including the Business Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper as we collectively face the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ontario Chamber of Commerce


Leeds Grenville Economic Development - COVID - 19  Business Resources and Update

Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre Training & Resouce's

City of Brockville - Information and Resources 

United Way of Leeds & Grenville COVID 19 Resources 

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Regional Tourism Organization 9 (RTO9)

RTO9 strives to support the tourism and travel industry in the region by closely monitoring events that could cause significant challenges to the industry, including the Covid-19 virus.  Visit the Tourism Talk website for more support.



Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan / Plan d'intervention économique du Canada pour répondre à la COVID-19 English


What Canada's Regional Development Agencies are doing to help business during the COVID-19 pandemic 

Business Development Bank of Canada - Support for Entrepreneurs impacted by coronavirus 

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian Businesses 


Health Resources & Updates


Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Ontario Government

Government of Canada

COVID-19 subscription for Public Health Updates 



The Government of Ontario recommends taking the following actions to avoid the continuous spread of germs and viruses:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home if you are sick

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace or health care centre.

There is no vaccine available to protect against the 2019 novel coronavirus.

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RTO 9's Executive Director, Bonnie Ruddock  discusses the process, eligible partners, and eligible expenses for the Tourism Adaptation Funds

RTO 9's Executive Director, Bonnie Ruddock  discusses the process, eligible partners, and eligible expenses for the Tourism Adaptation Funds on March 11 at 9am by Zoom. These funds are designed to assist Tourism Businesses that have incurred additional costs to protect the health and safety of their staff and customers due to COVID-19.


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Zoom Meeting with Pierre Cleroux - Vice President, Research & Chief Economist - BDC Economic Outlook for 2021

On March 3 at 9am Pierre Cleroux - Vice President, Research & Chief Economist provide the BDC Economic Outlook 

Thank you to our partners Chambers Group Insurance, 104.9 Move and 103.7 Bob FM 

Thank you to our Sponsor: United Counties of Leeds and Grenville - Where Lifestyle Grows Good Business  



Click to see the Slide Deck from Pierre Cleroux Presentation 


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Advocacy Alert!! Letter to the Mayor and City Council

Feb 23, 2021


City of Brockville

1 King Street West

Brockville Ontario

K6V 7A5


Dear Mayor Baker and Councillors


On behalf of the Advocacy Committee of the Brockville Chamber of Commerce, I am writing to request your consideration of community business needs for the 2021 budget deliberations. 

In 2020, the Chamber conducted extensive outreach activities to businesses. One key activity involved was one- on-one conversations with our members to discuss how the pandemic has impacted their business.  While most indicated they were able to survive the first shutdown, they believed a second shutdown could be devastating to their business. Unfortunately, that outcome came to fruition.

It is laudable that the City enacted a number of measures in 2020 to assist businesses, especially given the uncertainties and the pressures on the municipality. We appreciated that city helped certain businesses by allowing expanded patios without fees, and erected signs throughout the City to encourage local shopping. Congratulations are also in order that the City ended up in a very positive fiscal situation in 2020 especially given all the upheaval and change required to deal with this devastating pandemic.

During 2021, the Advocacy Committee feels that it is critical to open all City assets, such as campgrounds, islands, public toilets, and marinas etc. for the summer tourism season in order to help Brockville businesses thrive.

Additionally, the Chamber respectfully requests that local businesses be taken into consideration in the 2021 budget.  While continuing existing measures, like patio licenses and shop local signs, is ideal for restaurants or other businesses who might benefit from displaying their wares outside, there are other pressing needs as well.  With the closures in January and February of 2021, there is an urgent need to focus on alleviating businesses’ financial burdens in order to minimize or offset deficits incurred as a result of government mandated business restrictions and the closures.

Many similar-sized municipalities are compounding federal and provincial supports through various forms of alleviation and deferrals of fees for property taxes.  The Chamber is therefore requesting consideration for the City of Brockville to provide certain financial assistance programs for its businesses as well.

Specifically the Chamber is suggesting the following potential actions in the 2021 budget deliberations:

  • Revisiting the 2020 budget and reducing the previously approved tax increase for commercial ratepayers, in particular the small and medium sized businesses hardest hit by the closures.
  • Consideration to reduce the 2021 levy increase for these ratepayers in order to protect the local economy by helping them navigate these trying times trying to keep their doors open.
  • Municipal grants would be effective to further assist small businesses who many not qualify for provincial and federal grants.  A grant program could allow businesses to purchase tents and equipment to operate outside, and/or purchase PPE or upgrades to air purifying systems.
  • Policy changes and elimination of fees could also prove to be beneficial with the implementation of new programs to allow for expansion or continuation of business such as allowing business in the parks. 
  • Enacting activities such as business sector forums (via chat forums), established with the purpose of connecting key business organizations in order to determine urgent needs across different sectors of the economy could help develop tangible steps to seek support for short and long term business needs.

Your consideration of our community’s business needs is appreciated. Together, we can work to speed up the recovery in our city. The Chamber is pleased to meet to discuss these or any other measures enacted to aid our local economy and ensure our businesses viable.




Kent Henderson                                              

Chair – Advocacy Committee

Pamela Robertson

Executive Director

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CANADA UNITED SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF FUND - Applications will be accepted starting Feb 16, 2021 at 1pm






Grants of up to $5,000 available

Applications will be accepted again starting February 16th, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST.

Created by RBC, Canada United is a movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund (CUSBRF) was established to help small businesses offset the cost of expenses to open safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online.

Over $14 Million has been contributed by the Federal Government, RBC, and Canada United partners to support recovery efforts due to COVID-19.  We have already provided relief to over 2,000 small businesses across the country.  We are now able to extend relief grants to more small businesses and restart accepting grant applications from small businesses across all provinces for expenses incurred no earlier than March 15, 2020.

Note: Applications will be open again for all provinces and territories on February 16, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST.

If you have already applied but have not heard from us yet, you should be contacted by February 15, 2021. If you can’t find an answer to your question, feel free to contact us at cusbrf@occ.ca.

Get relief for your small business!

The CUSBRF will be managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national chamber network in support of other chambers and partners to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19.

Successful applicants will receive a relief grant of up to $5,000. We intend to support local businesses of all kinds from across the country (from retailers to barbershops to farmers).

Click here to learn more about Canada United.

Program Guidelines

Pre-Application Checklist

How to submit valid documentation

Apply Here (Applications are currently open for the territories and PEI)

Note: Applicants that have successfully applied cannot re-apply for additional funding.


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The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce presents a Zoom Update with MPP Steve Clark's from Queens Park on Monday Feb 1, 2021

On Monday February 1, 2021 - Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, MPP Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes updated the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce membership and businesses in the Brockville and surrounding area. 

Thank you to our sponsors the Leeds & Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre and Allstate for your support. 

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The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce presents a Zoom Update with MP Michael Barrett on Jan 20, 2021

The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce presents A Zoom Update with MP Michael Barrett on Jan 20, 2021

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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Advocacy Alert! Letter to MPP Clark - Chamber Network calls for coordinated approach to reopening Ontario’s economy

February 5, 2021


MPP Steve Clark

100 Strowger Blvd

Suite 101

Brockville Ontario

K6V 5J9


RE: Chamber Network calls for coordinated approach to reopening Ontario’s economy

Dear Minister Clark

Thank you for your continued leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation evolves, your local chamber is receiving concerns from the business community and communicating them to all levels of government.

In the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, it is difficult to think beyond confronting the immediate demands of COVID-19. Vaccine deployment and distribution are certainly top of mind for all Canadians. However, even as we continue supporting each other today, we must also begin looking over the horizon to ensure businesses are prepared for the province’s reopening and recovery. It is never too early to start planning how our province and economy can emerge stronger while doing everything necessary to avoid further lockdowns.

Each region’s experience differs significantly across the province when it comes to transmission rates, tracking and tracing capacity, and other variables. However, businesses of all sizes need a predictable and coordinated effort to ensure society reopens in a harmonized fashion that prioritizes individual safety as well as economic stability. There are several critical elements:

  • A readiness plan with a focus on sectors and regions hardest hit. It is critical that Ontario’s employers are aware of how reopening will take place step-by-step so they can properly prepare.
  • Advanced notice. Businesses and their employees need sufficient time to prepare to get back to work. 
  • Clear guidelines. Businesses need to clearly understand the rules and how they will be enforced. Inconsistent and unclear public health guidelines cause confusion among businesses, employees, and consumers alike, and make it difficult for individuals to take appropriate action to protect themselves and their communities.
  • Fulsome communication. Educational training via virtual workshops in advance of reopening would equip employers with practical information to help them keep staff and customers safe.
  • Workforce management systems. Employers in Ontario should adopt a scalable digital software tool for routine self-screening and assessment by employees, as part of a comprehensive workforce management system.
  • Rapid testing. Sufficient and timely testing and tracing gets employees back to work quickly, ensuring continued productivity and reduced strain on families.
  • Evidence-based decision making. A strong testing and tracing apparatus ensures the province can accurately assess where and how the virus is spreading, so that efforts to target restrictions can be confidently based on solid data to avoid lockdowns and enable businesses to remain open.
  • Continued supports for those who need it most. Finally, continued timely and accessible supports for business will prevent further layoffs, closures, and bankruptcies.
  • Leveraging private sector to support vaccine distribution and deployment. Businesses will be critical in supporting public awareness, logistical capabilities, and best practices.

We deeply appreciate your government’s efforts thus far to collaborate with stakeholders and other governments on many of these elements, and we appreciate your ongoing work to advance a safe and efficient reopening of the province.

As the government explores options to safely re-open the economy, it is worth noting that businesses already adhere to a number of existing health and safety protocols and will do their part to support a safe re-opening. The business community will continue to prove their commitment to safety protocols to protect their worker and customers to keep their doors open.

Public health and safety are priorities for all Ontario businesses. We will continue to monitor and assess new developments pertaining to COVID-19 closely and work with our members, partners, and government to support Ontario business.



Pamela Robertson

Executive Director

Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce

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The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce is inviting proposals in order to select a proponent to provide services for the development of a strategic plan.  


The Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce is inviting proposals in order to select a proponent to provide services for the development of a strategic plan.  


Click on link for full details


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2020 President's Award Honors our COVID Hero's




On October 15, 2020 the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce celebrated the 61st Award of Excellence Gala - Drive In Theater Style. Keeley Patterson the President of the Chamber of Commerce. Dedicated the President's Award to our COVID Hero's






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