News, updates, and so much more…


Ontario will lift capacity limits on bars, restaurants and gyms Monday, other restrictions to be gradually lifted by end of March 2022

Ontario will slowly and incrementally lift all remaining public health and workplace safety measures, including the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination and wearing of face coverings in indoor public settings, over the next six months.

Effective October 25, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario will lift capacity limits in the vast majority of settings where proof of vaccination are required, such as restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments; indoor areas of sports and recreational facilities such as gyms and where personal physical fitness trainers provide instruction; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and indoor meeting and event spaces. Limits will also be lifted in certain outdoor settings.

At this time, the government will also allow other settings to lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements if they choose to require proof of vaccination, including:

  • Personal care services (e.g., barber shops, salons, body art);
  • Indoor areas of museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
  • Indoor areas of amusement parks;
  • Indoor areas of fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals;
  • Indoor tour and guide services;
  • Boat tours;
  • Indoor areas of marinas and boating clubs;
  • Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;
  • Open house events provided by real estate agencies; and
  • Indoor areas of photography studios and services.

Locations where a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony takes place may also implement proof of vaccination requirements for services, rites, or ceremonies at the location.

On November 15, the government intends to lift capacity limits in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, such as nightclubs or strip clubs.

On January 17, the province intends to begin gradually lifting capacity limits in settings where proof of vaccination is not required.

On February 7, the government intends to lift proof of vaccination requirements in high-risk settings, including night clubs, strip clubs, and bathhouses and sex clubs.

On March 28, it is intended that remaining public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted, including wearing face coverings in indoor public settings. In addition, the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination will be lifted for all remaining settings, including meeting and event spaces, sporting events, concerts, theatres and cinemas, racing venues and commercial and film productions with studio audiences.

All dates are contingent upon the ongoing assessment and monitoring of key public health and health care indicators, such as the identification of any new COVID-19 variants, increases in hospitalizations and ICU occupancy and rapid increases in transmission.

Click here for more information.

From the frontlines of the pandemic to opening a new business in Downtown Welland, Paulette Lindsay’s story of starting her business UpTop Salon & Beauty Supplies shows that it’s never too late to do what makes you happy!
For a large part of her life, Paulette worked as a nurse. The reason Paulette got into nursing was because of her passion for caring for others. For many years, Paulette had enjoyed the work she was doing. Connecting with people every day brought great joy to her work. 
The pandemic had put a strain on frontline workers greatly, including Paulette. Having been in nursing for a large portion of her life, the pandemic had pushed Paulette to re-evaluate what she wanted to do in her life. Of course, Paulette loved her job and greatly enjoyed connecting with people. As she thought of what she wanted, Paulette decided that going into hair and personal care would allow her to do something she always liked while also maintaining a personal connection with clients. 
Paulette opened UpTop Salon & Beauty Supplies in July of this year. Working at the salon, Paulette still gets to be the people person she always has been, and still feel amazing doing great work for people! UpTop Salon & Beauty Supplies offers a wide range of hair options, from dyeing to braiding, to wigs, to cornrows and even more! In addition, UpTop Salon offers beauty products for hair, face and body! Paulette still has great ambitions for the business and plans on expanding to other services in the future!
So, if you want to support a new business and see the great and personal care Paulette always offers, go visit UpTop Salon & Beauty Supplies! You can also find UpTop Salon on Facebook here:
UpTop Salon and Beauty Supplies or you can contact them via email (hcgbcfnyba21@tznvy.pbz) or via phone at 905-788-5524


Niagara’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy

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 [http://%20www.NiagaraCanada.com] 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


Government of Canada will not extend business supports, offers targeted programs to replace them for worst-affected firms

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced that the government is taking targeted action to replace aid programs to businesses. This includes moving from the very broad-based support to more targeted measures that aim to provide help where it is needed.

The government is proposing the following changes to business support programs:

  • Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10 per cent and increase the subsidy rate to 50 per cent. The extension would help businesses continue to hire back workers and to create the additional jobs Canada needs for a full recovery.
  • Deliver targeted support to businesses that are still facing significant pandemic-related challenges. Support would be available through two streams:
    • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent.
    • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, would support other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 per cent.
    • Applicants for these programs will use a new “two-key” eligibility system whereby they will need to demonstrate significant revenue losses over the course of 12 months of the pandemic, as well as revenue losses in the current month.
    • Businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns will be eligible for up to the maximum amount of the wage and rent subsidy programs, during the local lockdown, regardless of losses over the course of the pandemic.
    • These programs will be available until May 7, 2022, with the proposed subsidy rates available through to March 13, 2022. From March 13, 2022, to May 7, 2022, the subsidy rates will decrease by half.

To ensure that workers continue to have support and that no one is left behind, the government proposes to:

  • Extend the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit until May 7, 2022, and increase the maximum duration of benefits by 2 weeks. This would extend the caregiving benefit from 42 to 44 weeks and the sickness benefit from 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Establish the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit which would provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers should they be unable to work due to a local lockdown anytime between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.

Click here for details of these programs.


Ontario government will require businesses to grant washroom access for delivery drivers picking up or dropping off

The Ontario government intends to introduce legislation that would, if passed, allow delivery workers access to company washrooms at businesses where they are delivering or picking up items. Consultations conducted by the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee have indicated that couriers, truck drivers, and people who deliver food, including those for online delivery platform companies such as SkipTheDishes, are often denied use of a washroom at businesses they serve.

Click here for more information.


COVID-19 vaccines for children to be expedited following approval

On October 18, 2021, Pfizer submitted an application to Health Canada for regulatory review of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine COMIRNATY for children aged 5-11. The Government of Canada and Pfizer have agreed to an accelerated delivery schedule of this vaccine, pending regulatory authorization. Specifically, Pfizer and BioNTech have shared that deliveries of 2.9 million doses will begin shortly after regulatory authorization so that Canada receives enough doses to administer a first shot for all eligible children.

Click here for more information.



Media Release



City’s Vaccine Status Policy promotes and improves

safe and healthy working environment 



October 20, 2021

Welland, ON – The City of Welland adopted a vaccine status policy on October 19, supporting measures to fight against COVID-19. This policy applies to all City employees, including full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, casual, students, volunteers, Councillors attending in-person meetings, contractors, and vendors.

Recognizing that being unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated poses an increased risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and spreading the virus to others in the workplace, implementation and compliance with the policy contributes to a safer workplace. In addition, given the critical nature of the municipal services provided by the City to the community, vaccination is an essential support to workplace continuity.

“We designed this policy to protect our staff and keep them safe and healthy while working,” said CAO Steve Zorbas. “This policy went through several revisions before being presented to Council, and ultimately what we arrived at was a policy that allows everyone to continue working safely and with as little disruption as possible.”

The policy’s procedure outlines that proof of vaccination is required by November 19. For those not fully vaccinated, including those with a medical or Human Rights Code exemption or those who do not wish to disclose their vaccination status, a negative Rapid Antigen Screening test must be submitted twice a week beginning December 2.

The policy complements other workplace health and safety controls already in effect, including daily health screening, mandatory masking, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and enhanced cleaning.

Failure or refusal to adhere to the terms of this policy will result in an employee being placed on an unpaid leave of absence for a maximum of six weeks. Those on leave may not use vacation, lieu, or other credits during this leave of absence. Continued failure and refusal to adhere to the terms of this policy will result in further discipline up to and including dismissal.



For media inquiries, please contact:

Marc MacDonald

Manager, Corporate Communications

905-735-1700 x2337




Media Release



Council waives business licences fees and temporary patios

and outdoor displays on public and private property for 2022 



October 21, 2021

Welland, ON – Continuing efforts to support industries negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, City Council approved waiving all business license fees, minus fire inspection, and continues to permit temporary patios and outdoor displays for 2022.

For restaurants, though indoor dining has resumed, and proof of vaccination is required for those sitting down to meals, patios have proven to be a significant lifeboat for establishments to remain open and serve more customers.

“We acknowledge that the food service industry has been hit hard, and they’re not alone, as many of our businesses in Welland have felt the effects of COVID-19,” said Mayor Frank Campion. “As a council, we need to find ways to help businesses in our city. Waiving these fees keeps more money in the pockets of our businesses while they try to recover, and we’re proud to continue with creative and effective ways to help them do that.”

Though licensing fees are waived for 2022, businesses are still required to obtain a valid license and all required inspections and applications still need to be completed.

By the Numbers:

  • 300 – approximate number of businesses licences issued yearly
  • 23 approvals for new or expanded outdoor patios between 2020 and 2021 and of those;
  • 4 approvals were for outdoor patios on public lands in front of a restaurant
  • 19 approvals were for patios on private property.
  • 24 hours or less – most approvals were issued
  • 150 – in dollars, fee waived for road occupancy permit
  • 4,688 – in dollars, fee waived for site plan exemption for outdoor patios

Applications for 2022 patio and outdoor display licensing will be available in early 2022.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Marc MacDonald

Manager, Corporate Communications

905-735-1700 x2337


Prime Minister announces standardized Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that, in collaboration with provinces and territories, a standardized Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination is now available to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon, and will be available in the other provinces soon. Canada is also engaging with international partners to obtain recognition and acceptance abroad, so the proof can also be used to facilitate travel around the world.

Click here for more information.


Guidance for using Canada’s COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel

The Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination provides Canadian residents with a reliable way to demonstrate that they are vaccinated against COVID-19 when travelling within and outside Canada. Canadians can get their proof of vaccination from their province or territory (for more information, visit Canada.ca/vaccine-proof).

Each country decides what type of vaccination proof is required, the types of vaccines they accept, the number of doses required, and any exemptions to public health measures. Even with a Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination, a traveller may not be considered fully vaccinated in another country. Canadians should always check the entry and public health requirements of their destination country, as well as the Government of Canada’s travel advice and advisories, before booking a trip.

Click here for more information.

COVID-19 vaccine recommended for pregnant, breastfeeding or individuals trying to conceive

Niagara Region Public Health and Niagara’s Community Coordination Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccination are urging individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as vaccine uptake among those groups in Niagara remains low.

As of Oct. 3, 2021, Niagara was well below the provincial average in vaccinating pregnant individuals. Niagara is currently seventh lowest out of 34 health units across Ontario, with only 57 per cent of pregnant individuals that have received a first dose of COVID-19, and only 49 per cent having received a second dose.

Click here for more information.

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to help protect ourselves, and our families and communities against COVID-19. Learn more here.



Media Release



City sets timelines, invites the public to talk dollars and sense

for 2022 operating, capital and water and wastewater budgets


October 20, 2021

Welland, ON – The City of Welland’s Budget Review Committee (BRC) kicked off the 2022 budget process last week, and yesterday Council approved the timeline to discuss and gather public input on 2022 operating, capital, and water and wastewater budgets.

Council provided staff directions for preparing the 2022 budget, which included, but are not limited to such tasks as targeting a zero per cent tax increase after assessment and growth, preparing a capital budget and forecast for 2022-2031, and that all 10 years of the capital forecast be fully funded.

“From my perspective, the city’s budget is vital to our citizens; it provides the funding to support all strategic community priorities, service delivery, and programming our citizens depend on,” said David McLeod, councillor and budget review committee chair. “A progressive budget must focus on operational efficiencies while at the same time not ignoring past or present challenges. Furthermore, our community expects that we continue to invest in our city’s long-term collective prosperity. It is my belief that the public’s input helps the budget committee hear viewpoints directly from citizens and ensures we deliver a responsive budget on behalf of those we serve.” 

While deliberating the budgets, the BRC will focus on health and wellness, good governance, economic prosperity, new jobs, fiscal sustainability, and infrastructure renewal.

To engage the public, the City created Your Budget Talks 2022 on the City’s YourChannel for idea sharing, the opportunity to learn about the impacts of a municipal budget, and to view the timeline for various budget deliberations.

In addition to the online engagement, two public meetings are scheduled for Monday, December 6 (tax-supported and capital budgets), and Wednesday, December 8 (water and wastewater operating and capital), both at 5 p.m. Should you wish to speak at these meetings, contact the City Clerk, Tara Stephens, at pyrex@jryynaq.pn no later than noon on Friday, December 3, to be provided with a link to participate. Should anyone wish only to view the meeting, all Budget Review Committee meetings are live-streamed on the City of Welland’s website: www.welland.ca/Council/Livestream.asp.

Financial impacts from COVID-19 continue to impact municipal budgets. However, the City’s healthy financial position drives the net-zero base increase mandate. Despite the pandemic’s disruption to daily life, the City has provided residents a high level of service and continues to do so.



For media inquiries, please contact:

Marc MacDonald

Manager, Corporate Communications

905-735-1700 x2337


Upcoming Events

Niagara’s Economic Summit 2021: Shaping Niagara, November 2, 8:00am

Building the Foundation of a Resilient Future Through Business-Led Recovery: Competitiveness, the Long Game, and Our Ethical Future

Business After 5, November 9, 5:00pm

Grab your favourite drink, some snacks, and meet us for a virtual BA5 . Chat with other GNCC members, get updates on members, events, advocacy and more.

Espresso Live with Dr. Hirji, November 17, 11:00am

Update from Dr. Hirji, Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner, Public Health

2021 Women in Business Awards, November 19, 11:00am

Recognizing the leadership and success of women in our business community.

Ontario Business Registry launched

Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, joined by Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, launched the new Ontario Business Registry, which aims to make it easier, simpler, and more affordable for businesses and not-for-profit corporations to access government services.

Ontario businesses and not-for-profit corporations can visit Ontario.ca/BusinessRegistry for more information and to access the Ontario Business Registry.

Click here for a list of some of the services offered by the Business Registry.

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:
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