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COVID-19 Updates | Daily Workplace Round Up for May 22, 2020

COVID-19 Resources for Small Business

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Below are the key announcements from the Federal, Ontario, Alberta and B.C. governments that touch on workplace issues for May 22, 2020. 


New Online Tool to Find Financial Help during COVID-19

The Canadian government has announced a new web-based benefits tool called “Find financial help during COVID-19”. The tool is meant to help Canadians determine which government benefits programs best meet their needs.

By answering a few simple questions, individuals will be presented with a personalized list of financial benefits that could be available to them, based on their specific circumstances.

If you're a business owner, there is also a similar tool already set up to find support for your business. 

For more information, check out this news release


New Support Programs Focus on Unemployed Hospitality Workers

Ontario is preparing to get people back to work. To support hospitality workers and apprentices, the Ontario government is:

  • Providing an Ontario Tools Grant of $2.5 million in 2020-21 and $7.5 million in 2021-22 and ongoing.
  • Forgiving more than $10 million in outstanding loans owed by apprentices for tool purchases made at the beginning of their careers. 
  • Investing nearly $2 million to open a Virtual Action Centre in partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75. This virtual job training resource will provide up to 7,000 unemployed workers in the hospitality sector with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone.

For more information, check out this news release.

New Order Allows Businesses to Operate Virtually and Electronically

The Government of Ontario is making it easier for people to practice physical distancing and conduct business in the new COVID-19 environment. Under the COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020, the province is:

  • Permitting Ontario corporations to conduct virtual meetings and to defer certain annual meetings in specified circumstances.
  • Allowing the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents, and electronic filing of documents.

See all current legislative changes to support corporations and businesses.

For more information, check out this news release.


Calgary and Brooks to Reopen More Businesses

Alberta began reopening some businesses and services on May 14. Now, with a significant decline in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Calgary and Brooks, both cities can reopen more businesses starting May 25.

Opening May 25:

  • Hairstyling and barbershops.
  • Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars will be permitted to reopen for table service only at 50% capacity.

Opening June 1:

  • Day camps, including summer school, will be permitted with limits on occupancy.
  • Post-secondary institutions will continue to deliver courses; however, there will be more flexibility to include in-person delivery once the existing health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted.
  • Places of worship and funeral services can be expanded if they follow specific guidance already online.

For more information, check out this news release.

British Columbia

Service Area Expansions to Support Safe Reopening

B.C. government is supporting the province’s hospitality sector by temporarily authorizing the expansion of service areas, such as patios, to support physical distancing requirements and industry recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To further support businesses in their reopening efforts, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation branch (LCRB) will now permit food-primary, liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees, such as wineries, breweries and distilleries, to apply through a simplified online process to temporarily expand their service areas until October 31, 2020.

These temporary authorizations are focused on expanding a licensed service area’s footprint only and will not permit an increase in an establishment’s overall occupancy. Licensees must comply with all local bylaws and liquor-primary and manufacturer licensees must also receive the approval of their local government.

For more information, check out this news release.

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Sarah Visca
Sarah Visca is the Operations Manager at ConnectsUs HR, a company that provides tools & resources to quickly set up a Human Resources department.  
You can contact her here