News, updates, and so much more…


Enhanced COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate with QR Code and Verify Ontario App available now

In advance of October 22, the Ontario government is making the enhanced vaccine certificate with official QR code and the free verification app, Verify Ontario, available for download. Together, these tools are designed to make it easier, more secure and convenient for individuals to provide proof of vaccination where required to do so, and for businesses and organizations to verify vaccine certificates while protecting people’s privacy.

To ensure a smooth user experience, the province is initially making the enhanced vaccine certificates available for download in cohorts. Enhanced vaccine certificates with official QR codes will be made available for download from the COVID-19 vaccination portal over three days based on birth month:

  • October 15, 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.: All individuals born between January and April
  • October 16, 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.: All individuals born between May and August
  • October 17, 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.: All individuals born between September to December

A guide for businesses can be downloaded here (PDF link).

An FAQ document for the public is available here.

Click here to review the media release.

Government of Ontario releases vaccine verification app for businesses

Ontario’s vaccine verification app for businesses, Verify Ontario, appears to be ready for download ahead of schedule, CBC News reports, rolling out on the Google and Apple app stores Thursday afternoon.

According to its description, the app gives businesses and organizations the ability to scan the QR codes on province-issued vaccine certificates. After the code is scanned, a green checkmark will appear indicating a valid vaccine certificate, a red X for an invalid certificate or a yellow warning for a QR that cannot be read.

The province had said it would release a digital verification app by Oct. 22, giving people a “safer, more secure and convenient” way to demonstrate that they’ve been vaccinated, according to the province.

Click here for more information.

Attention South Niagara Businesses
The South Niagara Chambers of Commerce (SNCC) have launched a digital program designed to Increase your online presence, drive consumers to your business and increase sales for restaurants, services and retail outlets. All at no cost to the business! Don’t miss out on this limited time opportunity!

The South Niagara Chambers of Commerce are excited to inform you about a new initiative to promote your business. 

What is the program? It is Niagara Gift Cards. The program is geared to support local restaurants, service, and retail businesses. As a participating business, your gift cards are promoted on the site! 

How will this help or benefit your business? Well, customers purchase directly from the site and when they come into your place you simply swipe their phone. At the end of each month you receive a cheque or e-transfer for the amount of gift cards sold. PLUS, the information on who purchased your gift cards.

As an additional incentive, during the next 6 months there is absolutely no cost to participate in the program. After the 6 month pilot period, all members in good standing with our Chamber of Commerce can continue to participate, and there will be a $99 per month subscription fee that will be deducted from your monthly revenue through the program. So in 6 months if you have found the program to be profitable for you, you can continue on those terms.  

PLUS we will be heavily marketing the program. All eyes will be on the website, with your business on it. There will be ads in all of the local papers, radio stations and we will be all over social media as well.  We are also going to be promoting the program to some of our larger corporations as Christmas gift giving for their employees.    

There is a limited time to sign up to participate during the pilot program. Contact Sandra at the email link below today!

Contact Us Today



Media Release


Concerns remain over consolidated transit financial and governance models; Council requests Region hit the brakes until updates provided


October 13, 2021

Welland, ON – City of Welland Council is again asking the Region to delay the triple majority vote on a consolidated transit system until they provide critical updates to all lower-tier municipalities. 

City staff maintain that it would be prudent to delay a triple majority vote into 2023 until the following actions are completed:

  • Updated financial models reflecting Welland, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, and Inter-Regional transit operating costs based upon council-approved 2022 budgets.
  • Updated five-year transit capital budgets for Welland, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, and Inter-Regional transit, including costs and allocation percentages to lower-tier municipalities.
  • Updated capital assets schedules for Welland, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, and Niagara Region summarizing assets including revenue, fleet, non-revenue vehicles, and facilities.

“The City of Welland is committed to fully supporting the enhancement of public transit services

throughout the Niagara Region,” said Steve Zorbas, CAO. “However, out of an abundance of caution for those who have been hit hard by the pandemic, staff believe there needs to be further work performed on the ridership modelling, commensurate service levels, and capital investments, which should be undertaken before a 2023 implementation date.”

Levels of Transit service and representation on the commission board are also a significant concern. The latest governance strategy model continues to disadvantage the City by providing only a single vote. Additionally, the disproportionate representation does not capture the investment Welland has committed to its residents for almost five decades and the City’s dynamic growth.

At the outset of the consolidated transit discussion, Council developed and adopted a series of guiding principles for inter-municipal transit that guides their decision making:

  • Fiscal responsibility and affordability for the City of Welland. Thus, no negative impacts to the City’s tax levy and receipt of the provincial gas tax are not negatively impacted.
  • Ease of implementation in the City of Welland.
  • Operational viability for the City of Welland.
  • Improving economic development opportunities for the City of Welland.
  • Local transit services will not be adversely impacted.
  • Respecting existing transit collective agreements in each respective municipality.



For media inquiries, please contact:

Marc MacDonald

Manager, Corporate Communications

905-735-1700 x2337


Ontario raises capacity limits for arenas, meeting spaces, theatres, and some other venues

The Government of Ontario, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required, as well as certain outdoor settings that have a capacity below 20,000.

Effective Saturday, October 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits have been lifted to allow 100 per cent capacity in the following settings:

  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas;
  • Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training);
  • Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing);
  • Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues; and
  • Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.

This announcement was made late on October 8th (and thus was not featured in that day’s Daily Update).

No mention of raising capacity limits for other venues or businesses has been made. The GNCC has asked for an evidence-based review of capacity limits for all businesses.

Click here for more information.

U.S. will lift land border restrictions in November for vaccinated visitors

The United States will lift restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, ending historic curbs on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement the administration next month “will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings.”

The new rules are similar but not identical to planned requirements announced last month for international air travelers, U.S. officials said in a call earlier with reporters.

Click here for more information.

Everyone loves a good party! Now, at 20 Division St, The Rainbow Party Store is bringing the party to Downtown Welland! With their great inventory and passion for throwing a great party, The Rainbow Party Store hopes to help you with party needs in the coming future. 

The store’s owner, Farrah, has a lot of business experience and has sold large amounts of different products with Amazon, this included party supplies! Farrah realized that there wasn’t a great party store in the Downtown Welland area and wanted to change that. With her experience at Amazon in moving large amounts of products, Farrah decided to open up a party store that offered the widest range spectrum of party supplies! This includes anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, milestone parties and even more! 

What separates The Rainbow Party Store from others? It’s simple, The Rainbow Party store offers the most unique and hard-to-find party supplies, including limited edition themes, and gives you the personalized experience of getting to choose what you want. Especially for birthdays and anniversary parties, it’s much more comforting getting to look at what you’re buying up close with someone who knows what you need and cares for your special event. 

But it’s not just party supplies that The Rainbow Party Store offers. They also offer highly collectable figurines, toys, and action figures! Anyone who is interested in collecting these items can go to the store and look at these highly desirable items! As well, anyone can have a look at their wide selection of kids’ books, toys, piñatas, and gifts! 

Most of all, The Rainbow Party Store is here to service you. Anyone who has a party idea, whether for a child’s birthday, a friend’s milestone, or a spouse’s anniversary, The Rainbow Party Store will be there every step of the way to make sure you get exactly what you need. 

The Rainbow Party Store is open at 20 Division St
Monday-Saturday: 11am-5pm
Closed on Sundays

Check it out for yourself!

Ontario opening temporary Road Test Centre in Niagara Falls

The Ontario government is opening a temporary road test centre in Niagara Falls to increase testing capacity and help clear the backlog of road tests due to COVID-19.

Located at 6080 McLeod Road, the temporary centre will open on October 18, 2021, and offer class G2 and G road tests seven days a week between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Customers will be able to book road tests online at DriveTest.ca beginning October 14, 2021.

Click here for more information.

Elisha House in Welland is holding a Century home & Shop Closing sale to help raise money for their amazing charity.
Elisha House is committed to providing hands-on assistance to those from all walks of life. This loving care is demonstrated by offering Pregnancy Options counselling, Parenting programs and Biblical counselling.
This is a non-profit organization offering
– free & confidential services
– one-on-one support
– information on pregnancy options
– Parenting preparation
– Developing decision and problem solving skills
** please note they are not a medical clinic and do not preform or refer for abortions.


Niagara’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy

Good morning,

Niagara Economic Development in collaboration with our local Economic Development Officials have started work on the Niagara Region 10-year Economic Development Strategy and we are looking forward to hearing from you.

We are launching a broad and comprehensive engagement process directly with Niagara businesses and community stakeholders. From Oct. 13 to Nov. 12, business owners and community stakeholders are encouraged to take a short online survey, with additional details available at   www.NiagaraCanada.com.

Take the Survey

Take the survey now to provide us with your feedback on Niagara’s greatest economic strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, as well as ideas on economic growth priorities.

In addition to the online survey, we want to consult with businesses and community stakeholders through direct one-on-one interviews and a series of digital workshops. This consultation will result in a dynamic vision for Niagara’s economic prosperity and 10 year economic development strategy. Pre-register for a workshop now.

Pre-register for a Workshop

Thank you and feel free to share the survey with your networks and together we can build a healthy and sustainable regional economy.   

Best regards,

George Spezza, 
Director, Economic Development
Niagara Region

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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