We continue to experience significant changes and uncertainty due to COVID-19 across our community in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and around the world. Amid this incredibly unusual situation, the Town is making every possible effort to continue operations and ensure that critical decision-making can continue.
If you are looking for information about how the Town is responding to the COVID 19 pandemic, please visit notl.com/COVID-19 for regular updates. For more general information about Novel Coronavirus and Niagara Region Public Health’s recommended preventative measures, go to niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is continuing to provide Core Services amid the closures of Town facilities. Complaints or requests for service can be made online at notl.com/content/service-request or by calling 905-468-3266 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday to Friday.
As Lord Mayor Betty Disero has communicated frequently, it is so important to follow the advice of medical experts, #StayHomeNOTL and find ways to stay connected from a distance:
"I urge everyone to stay calm and to continue exercising caution during this unprecedented time. Please remember to check in on your neighbours and loved ones over the phone to make sure nobody is alone through this."
Council Business Continues Tonight
One week after declaring a State of Emergency in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Council will meet via Microsoft Teams today at 5:30 and 6pm to continue the process of public deliberation and decision-making.
Though the option to participate in meetings electronically was moved and defeated by Town Council in December 2018, it is now possible to do so thanks to changes recently enacted by the Provincial Government with an update to the Municipal Act. Read the staff report and draft by-law here.
Members of the public can listen to live audio starting at 5:30pm through the Town's website at https://notl.org/content/livestream-broadcast.
Part Lot Control exemption for The Corners development at Victoria and John Streets
Fire Rescue Pumper Truck replacement
Various road and sewer rehabilitation and reconstruction projects
Renaming Glendale Avenue East to "Lampman Court"
Enhanced waste collection for the Queen Street DBA
Speed limit reduction on Concession 6 from York Road to Niagara Falls boundary
Financial relief options for residents and businesses due to COVID-19
Information Package Highlights
Service Delivery Review updates
Update on the Transportation Master Plan study
2019 year-end Building report and statistics
View the full agenda and all reports in detail, including full Council Information Packages, at https://cotw.notl.org/sites/notl/NOTLCOTW.nsf/BF5BF13826D2CAA28525783E006E878E/764CA04C0269C9B285258535006705A2
Updates for Local Businesses
The Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce and Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce are both providing fantastic and detailed updates to the business community in NOTL and across Niagara. Contact both organizations to be added to their mailing lists for regular and helpful newsletters with all the latest information.
Excerpts from each are below, from last week:
NOTL Chamber Updates
Work Sharing Program, it has been simplified to allow a rapid application that can be submitted by email click here for more info
CERB (Canadian Emergency Response Benefits) will allow to access up to $2000 click here for more info
BDC will provide working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to six months for qualifying businesses click here for more info
Canada Emergency Business Account: banks will soon offer $40,000, which will be guaranteed by the government, loans will be interest-free for the first year, and $10,000 will be forgivable. Applied to your financial institutions.
The federal government launch a program to boost wage subsidies up to 75% for qualified businesses. We will update on the next Newsletter with fresh and clear information
The Government of Canada has announced that eligible small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) will receive a 75% wage subsidy for up to three months. The wage subsidy FAQ has not yet been updated, but should be when further details are known. Industry Canada defines an SME as an enterprise with fewer than five hundred (500) employees.
The Government of Canada has launched the Canada Emergency Business Account. Under this program, banks will offer up to $40,000 in government-guaranteed loans for businesses with payrolls of less than $1-million. These loans will be interest-free for one year. Around $10,000 of these loans will be forgiven for eligible businesses.
The Government of Canada has deferred GST/HST taxes and duties on exports until June.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has announced that licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario may sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 pm, effective immediately. No application process or fee is required.
The holder of the liquor sales license is accountable for the responsible sale and delivery of alcohol. This includes making sure the person to whom the order is delivered is at least 19 and is not intoxicated.
The licensee or its staff involved in the delivery of alcohol must have successfully completed Smart Serve training. In instances where the delivery is being carried out by a third party on behalf of the licensee, Smart Serve certification is required by April 25, 2020.
Stay Home NOTL and Niagara
Read about my own self-isolation in the Lake Report here. Though this 14 day period ends tonight, I will continue to follow all the recommendations of medical experts and authorities at all levels of government to stay home, eliminate non-essential trips, wash hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds, and practice physical distancing.
Find a fantastic read about how a 103-year-old woman who lived through the Spanish Flu epidemic is now responding to COVID-19 and looking at the brighter side of life.
For further reading, the New York Times is providing free access to all coverage on COVID-19 during the pandemic.
All the best to you in these extraordinary times.