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Applying for Economic Relief: Important Update for Centre Wellington Businesses.

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  Important Update for

Centre Wellington Businesses



March 23, 2020


Good morning everyone,


This edition of our e-newsletter is dedicated to providing our local Centre Wellington businesses with the following important information and resources relating to COVID-19:



  • Business Supports & Resources Guide for Employers


  • EI: Who is Eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits and How to Apply


  • Employment Standards of Ontario, 2000 (“ESA”) Amendment - providing more leave entitlements to employees impacted by the pandemic


  • Recent news releases from the Government of Ontario to help businesses and residents meet the challenges of COVID-19


  • COVID-19 Resources for Farm Operations


  • Groves Memorial Hospital: Immediate Employment Opportunities Available in Hospitality Services, Operations and Health Care


As the COVID-19 situation and related information continue to change rapidly, we are doing our best to provide effective and timely support and resources to our members.


Just let us know what else we can do for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 519-843-5140 or email chamber@cwchamber.ca.


We are in this together. The Chamber is here to support every business in Centre Wellington.







We will do our best to keep this information current. Updates can be found in the news feed on the CWCC Website.  Please know that these programs are being developed and put in place, but all of these systems are being well used and it may take time in some cases to get a response. Please be patient.


1.  Temporary Business Wage Subsidy


  • Eligible small employers - temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months.


  • The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.




Department of Finance

General enquiries:

Phone: 1-800-959-5525

*Special phone line to be provided – will update once published


2.  Employment Support Measures for Business


Emergency Support Benefit & Emergency Care Benefit


  • Up to $900 biweekly, up to 15 weeks, to provide income support to workers, including the self-employed, who have to stay home and don't qualify for paid sick leave or employment insurance.



This will become available in April and will be retroactive to March 15, 2020. Applications will be made via CRA Employment Insurance Benefits


Have an EI claim in process but have since been diagnosed with COVID-19?


Please call 1-833-381-2725


3.  Tax Deferment

  • Deferred until August 31, 2020, the payment tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.



No application needed


4.  Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)


Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses (as defined by 499 employees or less).


Released as of March 18, new relief measures for qualified businesses include:


  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses


  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less


  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans.



BDC Website  

EDC Website


5.  Mortgage Payment Deferrals


The six largest banking institutions in Canada have made a commitment to work with personal and business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through various challenges.


This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.



This will be done on a case-by-case basis and requires a direct call to your bank.


Here are the helplines for each institution:


BMO:                    1- 877-788-1923

CIBC:                     1-877-454-9030

RBC:                      1-800-769-2511

Scotiabank:          1-833-315-4357

TD:                         1-888-730-0075

National Bank:     1-844-394-4494


6.  Purchase Order Financing


Cover up to 90% of the purchase order amount to ease cash flow to your suppliers.


  • Work-Sharing Program | Temporary special measures for the downturn in business due to COVID-19 and for the forestry and steel and aluminum sector



BDC Website


7.  Work Sharing Program: Forestry, Steel, Aluminum Sectors

  • Temporary special measures for the downturn in business due to COVID-19 and for the forestry and steel and aluminum sector



Please apply at least 30 days before you want the temporary special measures to begin.




  Business Supports & Resources Guide for Employers:



We are dedicating a news feed on our CWCC website to share the business supports and resources available for employers that can be easily accessed in one place. We’ll continue to update this as new information becomes available.


COVID-19 Business Resources



EI: Who is eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits and How to Apply



Emergency benefits to be made available in April for those who don't qualify for EI


The federal aid package includes the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.


The Emergency Care Benefit provides up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks, to those affected by COVID-19. It's intended for those who don't qualify for EI, can't go to work and don't have paid sick leave.


It will be available through the CRA website IN APRIL and via a toll free number that has not yet been shared.



Who qualifies for EI?


Whether you qualify for EI will still depend on your specific situation, such as regional rate of employment, and the number of hours worked in the last 52 weeks. The government recommends people apply as soon as possible to find out if they qualify; waiting more than four weeks after your last day of work means you could lose access to those benefits. 


To receive regular EI, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own, including lay-offs. EI sickness benefits include being unable to work because of illness or quarantine. With the announcement made on March 18, 2020, the one-week waiting period for sickness benefits will be removed for those who have been told to self-isolate or quarantine, meaning applicants can be paid for the first week of their claim. 


If approved, the maximum amount paid out for EI is $573 a week. 




Applicants usually need a medical certificate along with a record of employment, though the new rules allow quarantined workers to apply without a medical note. If you can't apply because you are quarantined, you can also file for EI sickness benefits later and have the claim backdated.

To apply for EI benefits, you can visit the CRA website.


Afterwards, you can apply to have the one-week waiting period waived by calling the government's toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725, or teletypewriter at 1-800-529-3742.




Please note the systems may have long wait times.



Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020



The Ontario Legislature has passed Bill 186 the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 to provide unpaid job-protected leave entitlement to employees impacted by the pandemic and to prohibit employers from requesting medical notes in relation to the new leave. 


As with all leaves of absence under the ESA, employers may not take reprisals against employees for accessing the Declared Emergency and Infectious Disease Emergency Leave. The new leave is also subject to all of the usual ESA protections granted to employees on leaves including but not limited to continuation of certain benefits during the leave if the employee continues to pay their portion of the premiums. More information can be found in the links below.


Guide to the Employment Standards Act

Bill 186 and Royal Assent



Recent Government of Ontario News Releases



Ontario Urges Business to Join the Fight Against Covid-19 (March 21, 2020)


  • New Government Website Removes Barriers for Companies to Provide Essential Goods and Services


Ontario Takes Extraordinary Steps to Ensure Health Care Resources are Available to Contain COVID-19 (March 21, 2020)


  • The Ontario government announced a new order under the March 17, 2020 declaration of emergency to ensure health care resources are available to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep individuals and families safe. This temporary order would give hospitals the ability to cancel and postpone services to free-up space and valuable staff, identify staffing priorities, and develop, modify and implement redeployment plans.


Province Takes Steps to Ensure Frontline Staff Can Continue to Work (March 22, 2020)


  • Ontario to Open Select Child Care Centres across the Province


Ontario Expands Coverage for Care (March 20, 2020)


  • Enhanced Health Care Coverage Critical to Support Efforts to Contain COVID-19


Ontario Significantly Enhancing COVID-19 Screening Measures and Supports (March 23, 2020)


  • Interactive Self-Assessment Tool Now Available to Help Keep People Safe


COVID-19 Resources for Farm Operations




  • The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has partnered with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) to host a webinar focused on human resource (HR) management during this pandemic. The webinar will include information about HR management requirements, as well as review tools and templates available in the AgriHR Toolkit that can support managing employees during this time and into the future.


If you’re interested in attending, please click on the registration link below:

Date: Monday, March 30, 2020

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/638485708423531532



Groves Memorial Hospital: Immediate Employment Opportunities Available in Hospitality Services, Operations and Health Care



Note: If you are a business in the hospitality, food, restaurant, trades, distribution, logistics or health care industries who has had to reduce staffing temporarily or permanently due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, please share the information below with those employees affected. We encourage all employers to share these job openings. This is a great opportunity to help keep our community employed!


Join a dedicated team responding to the Pandemic! Temporary, Full-time and Part-time Positions are available at:


  • Groves Memorial Community Hospital (Fergus, ON)
  • Louise Marshall Hospital (Mount Forest, ON)
  • Palmerston & District Hospital (Palmerston, ON)


(Some positions are temporary with possibility of becoming permanent)


Hiring for:

  • Infection Control Practitioners
  • Cleaners/Housekeepers
  • Food Services
  • Shipping & Receiving/Material Handlers
  • Drivers
  • Trades (HVAC, Electricians, Plumbers)
  • RNs/RPNs
  • Lab Techs/Assistants
  • Diagnostic Imaging (X-ray and Ultrasound)
  • Social Worker
  • Personal Support Workers


Interested? Submit a resume, a short paragraph about yourself, and the job title and hospital site you are applying for in the email subject line to: whcahr@nwhealthcare.ca


Needed:  Unopened boxes of medical grade surgical, procedure or N95 masks. If you or a business you know may have extra supplies that you wish to donate through the Hospital Foundation, it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact info@grovesfoundation.com

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