News, updates, and so much more…


St. Catharines Enterprise Centre hosting series to assist business in growing online

This week the Enterprise Centre launched Social Media: The Business Edit, a four-part online series providing guides, tutorials and the opportunity for questions and tailored advice, all aimed at assisting entrepreneurs in improving the social media presence of their business. The St. Catharines Enterprise Centre (SCEC) has teamed up with 47 other small business centres in Ontario to form the Covid-19 Recovery Network, developing the new training series as part of its COVID-19 recovery support efforts.

recent survey of Niagara businesses conducted by Niagara’s Rapid Economic Response Team placed increased online presence as the second highest priority for businesses in Niagara.

Interested parties can register via the SCEC website at investinSTC.ca/SmallBusiness. Those who miss the first instalment can still register for later portions of the series.

Tutorials include: The Building Blocks of Social Media and Business; An In-depth Look at Content Creation; Social Media and Advertising; and The Social Media Storefront.

Watch the second half of our Community Awareness Webinar Series, where Claire Laurie from Street Works within Positive Living Niagara talks about how to respond to difficult behaviour.

Ontario accelerates second COVID-19 vaccine dose for youth and children

Ontario is accelerating second dose eligibility to all children and youth aged 12 to 17. Starting on Monday, July 5, 2021 at 8:00 a.m., youth aged 12 to 17 across the province will be eligible to book an accelerated second dose appointment to receive the Pfizer vaccine through the provincial booking system, directly through public health units that use their own booking system, and through participating pharmacies.

Ontario cuts red tape for transportation businesses

Effective July 1, carriers do not need a license to operate a new route and multiple carriers may offer service along the same or complimentary routes, helping to improve travel options for Ontarians. Previously, one carrier was given a licence to operate a certain route for a particular destination or city.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost two million people did not have access to an intercommunity passenger transportation route, and half of all municipalities did not have an intercommunity passenger transportation stop within their boundaries.



·        7 tips to consider as Ontario reopens: As Ontario starts re-opening, here are seven options to help you keep your COVID-19 prevention program strong.

·        COVID-19 vaccinations, the workplace and the law: The Roadmap to Reopen is closely tied to Ontario’s vaccination numbers. Can businesses make vaccinations mandatory? Get tips from one legal expert on vaccinations, the workplace and the law.

·        6 questions to help you develop a re-opening strategy: The reality is that COVID-19 will remain an ongoing health issue. Here are six questions to ask when developing your strategy.

·        10 ways to reduce COVID-19 exposure with better ventilation: Have you considered ventilation as a way to help control the spread of COVID-19? Get 10 tips on how to improve air quality at your business.

·        6 ways to ensure your COVID-19 communications build trust: How you communicate with employees about COVID-19 could affect their willingness to comply with prevention efforts.

City of Welland
For Immediate Release
JULY 7, 2021
Welland, ON – The City of Welland has established a cooling station to enable residents to get relief from the outdoors when a heat alert is in effect. When the Government of Canada issues a heat alert, the City’s cooling station will be available at the East Main Street Transit Terminal, 160 East Main Street, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. All those who enter the East Main Street Transit Terminal are encouraged to wear face coverings. Welland Transit washrooms are open and available to the public.

A heat alert is issued when the humidex is at least 40°C or higher for two consecutive days, or daily temperatures are expected to reach 31°C or higher for two consecutive days and overnight temperatures are at least 20°C or higher for two consecutive days.

It is recommended that you take precautions during extreme heat and humidity episodes to keep you and your family safe. Seniors, young children, and people with disabilities are most vulnerable to extreme heat and humidity. Pets are also vulnerable and depend on their owners to keep them safe. Do not leave children or pets unattended in a parked car.

Community members who are concerned about an individual or individuals who they have encountered that are homeless and unsheltered can call 2-1-1 to be connected with the Niagara Assertive Street Outreach Team or for more information visit niagara.211centralsouth.ca/

For information on heat alerts, visit weather.gc.ca/warnings
– 30 –
Edward Zahra, Transit Manager
Corporate Services
(905)735-1700 Ext. 3030  

Pay Equity Act will come into force on August 31, 2021

Today, the Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, announced that the Government will bring the Pay Equity Act into force on August 31, 2021, and that the final Pay Equity Regulations are now available in Part II of the Canada Gazette.

Under the regime, once the legislation comes into force, employers with 10 or more federally regulated employees will be required to:

  • establish a pay equity plan (within three years of becoming subject to the Act) that examines any differences in compensation between positions of equal value that are mostly held by women and those mostly held by men;
  • eliminate differences in compensation identified in the plan (within three to five years depending on the size of the employer and the total amount of the wage adjustments due); and
  • revise and update the pay equity plan at a minimum of every five years to ensure that no gaps have been reintroduced and to close them if they have.
City of Welland
For Immediate Release
JULY 7, 2021
Welland, ON – Welland City Council has selected a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) at last night’s council meeting. The City’s General Manager of Corporate Services, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, Steve Zorbas, who has been fulfilling the role on an interim basis, has been selected.

The City completed an extensive recruitment process supported by Organization Consulting Limited, which included a hiring committee and Council members.
Steve Zorbas has more than 35 years of municipal experience working for the City of Mississauga, Richmond Hill, and Burlington. Mr. Zorbas has built a comprehensive career portfolio in various leadership roles and brings extensive corporate experience with him, including seven years with the City of Welland.

“I would like to acknowledge the hard work and advice provided by Andrea Daisley, Manager of Human Resources, and Robert Johnson of Organization Consulting Limited in guiding the CAO selection committee and subsequently Council through the hiring process,” said Mayor Campion. “I am pleased with the decision to appoint Mr. Steve Zorbas to the position of CAO. Steve has proven to be a valuable, competent, and creative leader here in Welland. I want to thank Mr. Zorbas for his previous service and look forward to continuing to have him work with myself and Council through these very busy times.”

Mr. Zorbas moves into the permanent position on July 7th, 2021.

“It’s an exciting time for the City of Welland,” said Steve Zorbas. “As CAO, I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Mayor and Members of Council on achieving the City’s goals and objectives.”
– 30 –

Mayor Frank Campion
905 735 1700 Ext. 2101

Government of Canada supports cutting-edge biotechnology company in Welland

Today, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Parliamentary Secretary Neil Ellis and the Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, Vance Badawey, highlighted funding of up to $1.48 million for extractX Inc. to develop a mobile, ethanol-based extraction lab for biomass processing.

The announcement took place at extractX’s head offices in Welland, Ontario.

This funding helped extractX complete the final stages of research and development for its proprietary, fully-automated extraction technology. The company’s process uses ethanol, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to other processes widely used in the industry. As a mobile unit, extractX is able to bring environmentally-efficient processing facilities to producers across Canada and around the world.


Ontario expanding support for addictions treatment throughout the province

The Ontario government is investing $32.7 million in new annualized funding for targeted addictions services and supports, including treatment for opioid addictions. This funding is part of the government’s commitment to invest $3.8 billion over 10 years to implement Roadmap to Wellness, Ontario’s comprehensive plan to build a modern, connected and high-quality mental health and addictions system centred around the needs of individuals and their families.

Over half of Ontario adults vaccinated with second dose

More than half of all adults in Ontario have now received a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine rollout continues to reach all individuals aged 12 and over with first and second doses, while the province prepares for Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen. To date, more than 78 per cent of adults aged 18 and over have received at least a first dose and more than 51 per cent have received both doses, ensuring the strongest possible protection against COVID-19.

Between May 15 and June 12, 2021, more than 83 per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario were individuals who had not received either dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, more than 15 per cent had received one dose, and approximately one per cent had received both doses.

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker (July 7)

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

Total doses administered in Niagara: 509,396

Total doses administered in Niagara since yesterday: 8,476

Ontario is currently in Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen.

Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen will begin when Ontario has vaccinated 70-80% of adults with one dose, 25% of adults with two doses, has positive public health indicators, and has been in Step Two for at least 21 days. Step Two began at 12:01 a.m. on June 30, 2021.


Percentage of population with one dose

Percentage of population fully vaccinated




Ontario (all)



Ontario (adults)






United States



United Kingdom















Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project. 

Best regards,

Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, ON
L3B 3X4
Copyright © 2018, Welland Downtown Business Improvement Area, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
195 East Main Street Unit 4C
Welland, Ontario

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