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CWCC Pulse E-Newsletter December 18th, 2020

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A Message from Sally Litchfield, General Manager:

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Hello everyone!
 
Well, here it is, the last Pulse of 2020, and what a year it has been. Thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support. We certainly look forward to continuing to serve the local business community, and can't wait to share what we are planning for 2021.
 
As always, we continue to monitor the COVID19 legislation, requirements, and restrictions as they relate to the local business community. You can find details on what this week's move to Red means here. I did want to highlight that in order for organizations to be open, an Infectious Disease Program and Safety Plan with protocols must be in place, as well as workplace screening. If you need assistance with these or any other items, we are here and able to direct you to resources and information. There are also some updates from CRA on year-end reporting, with new fields added to T4s and a simplified process for claiming home office expenses. More below in the Government Updates section.
 
The Engagement Committee Elves have been out and about spreading some festive cheer through our #CWCCCandyCaneChain! If you find yourself on the receiving end of one of our bags of candy canes, take one and pass it on... but not before snapping a quick selfie of course!
 
We hosted our Virtual Holiday Cheer event, sponsored by The GrandWay, on December 8. It was great to see all that were able to join us, and we loved the creative gingerbread houses and cookies! Thanks to Katie & Garth from the Grand River Agricultural Society for the sneak peek of the new GrandWay Events Centre! We are so excited to host events there in the future!
 
We will hit the ground running in 2021 with the #CWCCTwentySixCoffees meetings starting right away (schedule coming this week to participants), an exciting new Support Local initiative, and please save the date for January 27 when we will host our annual Mayor's Breakfast (exact format to be determined and announced in early January).
 
Please note, our office does remain closed at this time and our team has transitioned back to working from home. We continue to be available at chamber@cwchamber.ca or (519) 843-5140. We will be taking our holiday break starting on December 24 and returning on January 4. If you require assistance during that time, please email chamber@cwchamber.ca and note 'urgent' in the subject line.
 
I hope you all have safe and happy holidays, and I look forward to connecting in 2021.
 

Government Updates

Ontario Extends COVID-19 Orders
Action is taken to protect vulnerable populations and preserve health care capacity
The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is extending all orders currently in force under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) until January 20, 2021. This extension will support the safe delivery of health care and other critical services until COVID-19 vaccines are approved and widely available. Read more here
Ontario Begins Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccine
Phase One to Vaccinate Frontline Health Care Workers Starting Dec 15
The Ontario government has developed a three-phase implementation plan to receive, store and administer COVID-19 vaccines to Ontarians as soon as they are received. Phase One will begin on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 with a pilot project in Toronto and Ottawa which will include the vaccination of over 2,500 health care workers with the Health Canada approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Read more here
Introducing a simplified process for claiming the home office expenses for Canadians working from home due to COVID-19
This year has been filled with unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in millions of Canadians setting up their work space in their kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. In response, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made the home office expenses deduction available to more Canadians, and simplified the way employees can claim these expenses on their personal income tax return for the 2020 tax year. Employees with larger claims for home office expenses can still choose to use the existing detailed method to calculate their home office expenses deduction. Read more here
Ontario Protecting Workers and Employers during COVID-19
Proposed legislation will ensure WSIB premiums and compensation remain stable
The Ontario government introduced the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act, 2020 that would, if passed, protect employers from an unexpected increase in Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums, while maintaining an increase to the maximum earnings cap for worker benefits. Read more here
Ontario Permanently Allowing Alcohol with Food Takeout and Delivery
New measures to help restaurants and bars rebuild and recover
The Ontario government is supporting jobs at local restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries during the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding opportunities in alcohol sales, including making the sale of alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders permanent. Read more here
Investing in Ontario's Tourism Industry During COVID-19
Funding will help people reconnect with their communities in new ways, support local economies
The Ontario government is investing nearly $4.4 million to support the long-term sustainability of the province's vital tourism industry. This funding will help deliver innovative, safe experiences, like virtual festivals and events, and support tourism operators as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19. Read more here
 
CRA and COVID-19 Information for employers
New T4 reporting requirements
For the 2020 tax year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will be introducing additional reporting for the T4 slip, Statement of Remuneration Paid.
Additional reporting requirements will apply to all employers, and will help the CRA validate payments under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB).
Read more here

Member Moments          

This week we are featuring our Member Moment chat with Eramosa Physiotherapy from a few months back! It's always a pleasure to chat with our members, hear their updates, and of course, hear their Chamber Success Stories. Watch all of our past Member Moments videos on our website.

 

New Member

 
Professional income tax services
for all individuals & small businesses.
Bookkeeping, advisory, Certified Quickbooks ProAdvisor.
 
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Affinity Program

pragmatic


Pragmatic has partnered with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, providing conference calling discounts to all local chambers, including video conferencing!
Unified Meeting X (UMX) is Pragmatic’s flagship video product. UMX is the most secure, cost effective, robust and easy to use video conferencing platform on the market today!

Here are some of the value-added features that sets UMX apart from Zoom or anything else on the market today:
  • WebRTC full encryption (highest level of security)
  • Free toll-free teleconferencing!
  • Direct Account Management
  • Full on-boarding and training
  • No downloads!
  • Free recordings and unlimited storage (no fee)
  • More ways to connect – browser, S4B, video endpoints etc.
 
The cost for an active user UMX video license is only $16/mo. for unlimited use with no other fees of any kind! The best part is, once the license is set up, you only pay for the months you use it!
 
Contact Heath Donaldson at (647) 374-0550 or heath.donaldson@thinkpragmatic.com for more info!
 

Workplace Screening

Are you compliant with workplace screening regulations?
 
On Sept. 25, pre-entry COVID screening of all workers and “essential visitors” became mandatory for all businesses in Ontario — effective immediately — regardless of sector. The new requirement comes through an amendment to Ontario Regulation 364/20, the “Rules for Areas in Stage 3”, which is a regulation under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
 
The screening recommendations are set forth in the COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces (Businesses and Organizations). This document does not provide guidance on how it should be implemented. Employers will have to decide for themselves how best to implement the Screening Tool in their workplace.
 
The Get Ready Daily Screening Tool™ is one option that has been presented to Ontario Chambers of Commerce. CWCC members receive a discount on this tool. Please email us for more information!
 

Member Milestones & Community Support

WWCF Business Service Grants
WWCF has allotted $250,000 in grant funding to focus on providing technical and professional training/consulting services to help SME’s recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Examples of eligible projects may include, but are not limited to the following:
  • adapting workflows and processes (e.g. digital needs assessment)
  • advice for diversifying their markets and sales channels.
  • adapting to new safe workplace regulations related to COVID-19.
  • accounting and cashflow consulting
  • website and social media consulting
  • legal consult and review of possible COVID complications
  • human resource consult for health and safety or labour relations related to COVID and return to work
Eligible WWCF Business Service Grants are available to a maximum of $2,000. For more info click here
 
Badley Bridge in Elora
The Badley bridge will be opened to traffic on December 18th, 2020. This opening will allow two way vehicle traffic with pedestrian access limited to the West side of the bridge. Construction works to be completed beyond December 18th include completion of the east side bridge railing, retaining walls, and installation of the gateway feature and cleanup. The County will be planning an official bridge opening in 2021. Any questions or concerns please contact Joe de Koning, County of Wellington (519) 837-2601 x2270.
 
Two local restaurants are paying it forward this holiday season
The Brew House on the Grand and The Breadalbane Inn will both be serving up free meals for Christmas. Read more here
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