News, updates, and so much more…


Government of Ontario extends stay-at-home order to June 2nd

The Ontario government has extended the Stay-at-Home Order (O. Reg. 265/21) until at least June 2, 2021. All public health and workplace safety measures under the provincewide emergency brake will also remain in effect. During this time, the government will prepare to administer the Pfizer vaccine to youth between the ages of 12 and 17, beginning the week May 31, 2021, as the province also finalizes plans to gradually and safely re-open the province.

Despite improvements, key indicators remain high and more time is required before the province can safely lift the Stay-at-Home Order. From May 3 to 9, the provincial cases rate remained very high at 134.9 cases per 100,000 people, and per cent positivity was above the high alert threshold of 2.5 per cent. Hospitalization and ICU admissions also remain too high and well above the peak of wave two.

Province launches new Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant

The Ontario government is providing one‐time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to support eligible small tourism and travel businesses struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through the new $100-million Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant. The launch of the program was announced today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

This grant will support eligible small tourism and travel businesses that did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG), such as travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts. To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 100 employees and demonstrate they have experienced a minimum 20 per cent revenue decline between 2019 and 2020.

For information on eligibilty and how to apply: www.ontario.ca/covidsupport.


Niagara Medical Officer of Health offers COVID-19 update

Dr. Hirji, Niagara’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, will also join the GNCC for a live webinar and take questions on May 18.

For more information about COVID-19 in Niagara including local statistics, vaccinations, and answers to frequently asked questions, click here.
City of Welland
For Immediate Release
MAY 12, 2021
Welland, ON – “Spotlight-On” is a look into Welland’s new and existing businesses, providing a glimpse into what makes them a staple within the community. This month’s Spotlight is on RATESDOTCA.

RATESDOTCA Group Ltd. (formerly Kanetix Ltd.) expanded their operations into Welland in January 2019 and has been growing over the last few years. Employing 300 Niagara and Welland residents, RATESDOTCA recognizes talent from within; to date they have promoted 49 employees and look forward to more rising stars.

A proud Canadian company with over 20 years of experience, RATESDOTCA has been helping millions of shoppers make better insurance and financial decisions. You can compare quotes for
·      Car insurance
·      Home insurance
·      Travel insurance
·      Life insurance
·      Mortgages and more

RATESDOTCA is your one-stop shop for all your needs. The launch of RATESDOTCA includes the re-brand of Kanetix Ltd.

RATESDOTCA has an in-house insurance brokerage, which is currently recruiting a mix of Sales and Service Brokers. The current goal is to hire an additional 50 individuals by June 7. All interested can apply directly to jbex@engrf.pn. No insurance experience required, and complete training and licensing provided, including a new mentorship program for new hires!

RATESDOTCA ensures their newly licensed Sales Brokers “trainees” are successful by offering a peer-to-peer mentor program. Partnering trainees with experienced Brokers provides one on one coaching throughout their first few days and continues with one-hour one on one assistance.

Throughout the pandemic, to help employees stay connected, motivated, focused and assist with the elimination of stress, RATESDOTCA ensures all employees have options available to them, such as
·      Online stretching and Yoga sessions (weekly)
·      Online meditation (weekly)
·      Online portal for access to mental health & wellness support features including articles, crisis and support websites, and emails
·      Biweekly Friday Socials, an online event hosted by one employee with trivia, games, and group chats

RATESDOTCA https://rates.ca has quickly become a staple within the community; we look forward to their continued success.
City of Welland
For Immediate Release
MAY 13, 2021
Welland, ON – Premier Doug Ford, joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health announced an extension of the stay-at-home order for an additional two (2) weeks.

This extension of the stay-at-home order is set to expire on June 2, 2021. Medical experts have been very clear that we need to stay the course right now as Ontario struggles with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reminder of stay-at-home orders in effect include:
1.     You should only go out for necessities, such as:
•       the grocery store or pharmacy
•       health care services (including going to medical appointments or getting vaccinated)
•       outdoor exercise or walking pets in your community (As outdoor exercise is essential for physical and mental health, please use caution and follow all public health precautions)
•       work that cannot be done remotely
•       child care or school
2.     Gathering Limits, all events and social gatherings:
•       you are not allowed to gather indoors with anyone you do not live with,
•       limit close contact to only members of your household (the people you live with). If you live alone, you can have close contact with only one other household,
•       you must stay at least two metres apart from everyone else and wear a mask or face covering,
•       you should not travel outside your region or the province unless absolutely necessary
3.     Parks or recreational areas are open for the purposes of permitting persons to walk through or use portions of the park or recreational area. Waterway access is limited to personal recreation and we ask all to exercise cold water safety protocols.
4.     Outdoor recreational amenities and multi-use fields that remain closed are as follows:
•       baseball diamonds,
•       soccer fields,
•       tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts,
•       basketball courts,
•       BMX/skate parks,
•       portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
5.     Playgrounds, play structures, and equipment can be used by children if both the children and their parents can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from others (other than a person who is a member of the same household, a member of one other household who lives alone, or a caregiver for any member of either household).

Welland Farmers’ Market will remain open, a limit of 20 customers per building is in effect. All visitors to the Market are asked to avoid social gathering both inside and outside the buildings.

The Welland Public Library remains open for curbside/contactless pickup only. Please call 905-734-6210, ext. 2521 to reserve materials and/or make a curbside appointment.

During normal business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM), concerns around enforcement of COVID-19 emergency orders please contact By-Law Enforcement Division at 905-735-1700 Ext. 2224; by email at olynj_rasbep@jryynaq.pn. After 4:30pm, COVID-19 concerns should be directed to the Niagara Regional Police Service Non-Emergency Line at 905-
688-4111; Option 1.

To access services during the Stay-at-Home order please visit welland.ca. For more information on Ontario’s response to COVID-19, visit ontario.ca.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce launches Women in Business Summit

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Salesforce announced, today, the launch of the Women in Business Summit: Empowering an Inclusive Recovery. The one-day event on June 23, 2021 will focus on ensuring an inclusive economic recovery is a reality.

By bringing together influencers, business and community leaders, the Women in Business Summit aims to mobilize the business community to take immediate action to keep women in the workforce and build their success as entrepreneurs through the pandemic’s recovery.

Third survey provides updated picture of COVID-19 impact on Niagara’s businesses

Niagara’s Economic Rapid Response Team (ERRT) now has up-to-date information on the state of recovery of Niagara’s businesses, thanks to a recently completed Niagara COVID-19 Business Impact Survey – Part 3.

  • 81 per cent of businesses reported a loss of revenue in 2020. 354 businesses reported a combined loss of $388.5 million in revenue, an average of $1.1 million per business
  • Businesses expect a prolonged recovery process, with 30 per cent expecting a recovery within one year, 22 per cent within two years, 24 per cent within three years, and 18 per cent in over three years
  • The top obstacles facing businesses included a slow return of customers, cash flow/increased debt loads, and hiring/training staff, among others
  • Business indicated their immediate needs for the next six months included marketing and promotion, financial assistance, employee training, sourcing critical supplies, and hiring staff
  • The top five factors reported that are negatively affecting workforces during the pandemic include employee mental health, ownership mental health, overall business stability, uncertainty regarding employment stability and demand for products and services

You can download the full report online.


Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, ON
L3B 3X4
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195 East Main Street Unit 4C
Welland, Ontario

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