News, updates, and so much more…


Today’s vital updates: 

  • The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is extending most orders currently in force under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) for another 30 days. Most of the orders under the ROA are extended to February 19, 2021, with the exception of O. Reg. 75/20 (Drinking Water Systems and Sewage Works) which is not being renewed. O. Reg. 82/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage One) was amended to ensure government infrastructure projects are able to continue as essential construction activities. The Provincial State of Emergency that came into effect on Thursday, January 14, 2021 supersedes the ROA where applicable.
  • The Ontario government has opened the 2021 Budget consultation. The first virtual consultation was held today with members of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. The discussion focused on the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19 and the need for a strong recovery fuelled by economic growth. Visit Ontario.ca/budgetconsultation to learn how to submit your ideas by email, mail or by filling out a survey. The 2021 Budget Consultations will close on February 12, 2021. 
  • The Ontario government announced today that starting January 25, francophone non-profit organizations can begin applying for financial assistance from the $1 million COVID-19 Relief Fund. The fund, which is being administered by the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario, will provide operational funding to eligible organizations to support them during the pandemic. Interested organizations should consult the AFO website at https://monassemblee.ca/fonds-secours-ontario/ to learn more.
  • Regional Chair Jim Bradley has created a Community Coordination Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccination to ensure that Niagara’s vaccine rollout is fair, equitable and ethical. This past week, Niagara began vaccinating long-term care residents, staff, essential visitors, and other high risk front-line health care workers. Niagara is off to a strong start, thanks to careful planning and execution by Niagara Health and Public Health. Already, 22 per cent of long-term care homes have had their residents vaccinated after only two days, and Niagara is expected to deliver its 1000th dose today – the third day of vaccinations. 
  • Niagara Health has been forced to make changes to Niagara’s vaccination plan owing to supply shortages of the Pfizer vaccine. The Province has directed that, effective immediately, all first doses of vaccine are to be used to vaccinate residents, staff and essential caregivers in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes. This is being done to ensure there is sufficient supply to vaccinate these individuals by Feb. 15. As a result, there will be a pause in vaccinating Niagara Health’s staff and physicians. “It is frustrating that vaccines to Niagara are being reduced again, when we have only just started vaccinating,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Health for the Niagara Region. “We are directing what vaccine we still do have to where it will save the most lives: long-term care and retirement home residents.” Niagara’s weekly shipment of Pfizer was delivered today as planned; however the anticipated shipment for the week of January 25 will no longer occur. Based on the provincial supply schedule, Niagara’s Pfizer supply will continue for the weeks of Feb. 1 and Feb. 8. Further supply allotments are expected to continue on a weekly basis and will be confirmed by the provincial government. Thus far, there is no plan for Niagara to receive the Moderna vaccine.

Today’s vital updates continued: 

  • The Ontario government has opened  applications for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The grant, first announced in December, provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict their operations due to the Provincewide Shutdown. More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and other rebates is available on Ontario.ca/COVIDsupport. Eligible small businesses include those that:
    • Were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26.
    • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level.
    • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019. New businesses established since April 2019 will also be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria.
  • The Ontario government has hired more case managers and contact tracers, building the provincial workforce to 1,600 by February 15, 2021. Along with staff who work in or have been redeployed within public health units, this support brings the total number of case and contact tracers in the province to nearly 5,600 staff.
  • The Insurance Bureau of Canada has launched a website to help businesses with commercial insurance. The website, accessible at https://businessinsurancehelp.ca, has resources for businesses looking for business insurance or experiencing issues with insurance. A The Business Insurance Action Team focuses on Ontario-based small businesses in the hospitality sector, specifically restaurants, bars, pubs and banquet halls, but businesses in all industries can utilize the resources and helpline. Businesses can also call 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) for assistance, or email bapvp@vop.pn.

To Whom It May Concern,

The City of Welland Recreation and Culture Division have been working on a new adventure for people in the community to participate in what is called Goose Chase – a scavenger hunt for the masses. Goose Chase is an APP people can download to their smart phones and look up our account with games/missions that we have set forth for people to accomplish. For more details on the game you can visit: https://www.goosechase.com/how-it-works/playing/ . If people wish to participate (which we hope they do) they gain points per completed mission and at the end, the person or team with the most points win a prize. That is where you come in!

We are writing to request if you would consider contributing or donating to this worthwhile cause. With the pandemic and second State of Emergency, we are trying to keep our community engaged and entertained during this uncertain time. We are looking for a minimum donation of $25 towards a prize for each game we set up. Ideally, we would like to set up as many games as possible. With this donation, your business will be recognized on our Goose Chase page for the game, any promotional materials we make including our social media outlets and can include your businesses as a part of our “check in” points, when certain restrictions are lifted.

If you choose to offer a sponsorship and/or donation – thank you! Please contact erperngvba@jryynaq.pn.  We can accept gift cards/physical items or if monetary, cheques only. If it is a cheque, please make it payable to: The City of Welland. If you are unable to currently participate, we completely understand given what is going on at this time. If you have anyone in mind that may wish to participate, please feel free to forward this email to them.

We thank you for your time and consideration.

Ryanne Hale & Jessica Duliban c/o
The Recreation and Culture Team 

The St. Catharines Digital Service Squad has a series of free webinars coming up to help local entrepreneurs gain insight on transforming their businesses digitally.
Digitally Transforming Your Business – How to be a part of the evolving world of marketing
Jan. 20 at 10 a.m.
Topics include: what a digital strategy is; how to establish a buyer profile; what marketing initiatives provide the greatest ROI; social media strategy; website strategy; what SEO is; and how and where to use paid advertising.
eCommerce: Why it’s important & which platform is right for you
Jan. 27 at 10 a.m.
Not selling online yet? You are missing out! With more consumers shopping online than ever before the importance of having an online store is growing. In this virtual class we will explore the benefits of operating an online store and breakdown some of the most popular eCommerce platforms.
Success with Paid Ads on Social & Google
Feb. 3 at 10 a.m.
Paid ads seem like the thing to do when you want to ramp up sales and drive the right people to make a certain action, but how do you do this when you have no idea where to begin? During this virtual class we’ll unpack each ad platform and learn about their capabilities to help you choose a platform.

Learn more about these webinars, and others we run for to help small businesses, at https://www.investinstc.ca/site/training-and-seminars

Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, Ontario
L3B 3X4

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

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