COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

NEW -COVID -19 Rapid tests available for small to medium businesses (up to 150 employees)

NEW -COVID-19 Rapid Test Information

The Program

Simcoe, ON   – The Simcoe and District Chamber of Commerce (SDCC) is excited to bring a COVID-19 Self-Screening Program to Norfolk County small businesses. The latest information from Health Canada suggests that up to 1/3 of people carrying the virus are asymptomatic and over 50% of known cases were transmitted by an asymptomatic carrier! This makes it incredibly important to find asymptomatic carriers early.  Through this Program employees self-test twice per week, get results in 15 minutes, and dramatically increase the opportunity to detect carriers early and reduce the spread of the virus.   The Chamber said the rapid antigen detection (RAD) tests they acquired can be used by non-medical personnel. These tests are 90 percent accurate and can be used to help identify COVID cases quickly, ensuring the businesses can best protect their employees and keep customers safe in the event of a COVID case in their facility.


The Province of Ontario has provided SDCC with an initial 45,000 kits to distribute – at no charge -starting Monday, May 17, 2021, to any business with less than 150 employees.

Book an Appointment

Starting immediately, businesses can book an appointment at to come to our office at 10 Argyle Street, Simcoe to watch a short training video and pick up their testing kits. Businesses will receive a two-week supply of kits to start and can reorder as needed.

“Businesses are in a difficult position right now as they try to provide the goods and services we rely on while managing the potential for COVID cases to spread,” said Linda Branderhorst, Simcoe and District Chamber of Commerce, GM.  “These tests offer one more tool in their arsenal to help them protect their customers and employees while continuing to operate their businesses.”

 Simcoe and District Chamber of Commerce Board President, Sue Downs, says “I am thrilled that we are able to offer small businesses this amazing, free opportunity to help keep their employees, and our community safe. We are grateful to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for their help with this program at the provincial level so we can get these kits into the hands of local business.”

What do I need to do as a business owner/representative?

  • Participating businesses will be required to track and report all results weekly to the Chamber, and those results will be shared with the Ontario and federal Ministries of Health.
  • Businesses are also required to report positive or inconclusive cases to Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit.

“With workplaces experiencing a surge in cases, the timing and availability of these asymptomatic testing kits could not be better,” said Sue Downs.   “On behalf of the Chamber and its Board of Directors, I hope workplaces will take advantage of these kits to keep their staff healthy and safe.”

Distribution Centre

The distribution centre for the test kits will be located at 10 Argyle Street, Simcoe, Ontario. The centre will be operated by Chamber staff and volunteers between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday to Friday, though pick-ups will be by appointment only.

Norfolk County will be supporting this initiative by offering a safe way to dispose of the biomedical waste these test kits generate. Biomedical waste drop-off bins will be available at the Simcoe Chamber office for businesses to safely deposit used test kits.

 Ontario is the first province to roll it out, announcing it has already sent 760,000 rapid test kits to 28 chambers of commerce for distribution.

For More Information

For more information, or to schedule an appointment to pick up your Rapid Antigen Detection kits, contact the Simcoe and District Chamber of Commerce at (519) 426-5867 or visit 

To arrange interviews, or to obtain high-resolution artwork please contact:

Linda Branderhorst, General Manager

Simcoe & District Chamber of Commerce

10 Argyle Street, Simcoe ON   N3Y 1V5


Office:  519.426.5867

Mobile:  519.583.2248

Canadian Chamber of Commerce/Government of Canada Canadian Business Resilience Network

Collaborative website providing the latest updates on both federal and provincial business assistance programs as well as COVID 19 Containment Measures, Business Continuity Management and Recovery.  

Click on the tabs below to access the information

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  • Support for Business -Canadian Business Resilience Network full page
  • Direct Financial Support to Businesses and Workers -Government of Canada  

    • Government of Canada to provide eligible businesses, charitable or not-for-profit organizations that have experienced a 30% decline in revenue with a 75% wage subsidy for up to three months. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will cover employees’ salaries on the first $58,700 earned this year – to a maximum amount of $847 per week. The program will be backdated to March 15, 2020 and is designed to protect jobs and maintain the important link between employees and employers.  
    • Government of Canada to provide direct financial support of $2,000 per month, for up to four months, to workers who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation also qualify. CERB applications will be available by April 6, 2020 and payments will be received within 10 days of application with payments made every four weeks for the period of March 15 to October 3, 2020. 
    • Government of Canada to provide small businesses and not-for-profits with interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to help cover operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. The Canada Emergency Business Account program is for businesses with a total payroll of between $50,000 to $1 million in 2019; and is accessible through businesses’ financial institutions. Repayment of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 (up to $10,000). This will better position companies to quickly return to providing services to their communities and create employment. This program will roll out in mid-April, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.
    • Ongoing access to the Employment Insurance (EI) program is available for eligible workers who have lost their job. EI is designed to provide temporary financial support for those workers who have lost their job, are sick, pregnant, caring for a newborn or adopted child, caring for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death or providing care or support to a critically ill family member. 
    • Additional assistance for tourism operators, small businesses or organizations through  Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) for access to federal funding and services.   
  • Access to Capital -Government of Canada
    • Through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), the new Business Credit Availability Program(BCAP) will increase the credit available to small, medium and large Canadian businesses, providing more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges.
    • Farm Credit Canada (FCC) will augment credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector by $5 billion, including a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans or a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months, access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements or universal movable hypothec (Québec only).
    • Canadian banks will provide financial relief to businesses affected by the economic consequences of COVID-19. Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank will work with personal and small business customers, on a case-by-case basis, to provide flexible solutions to help them manage challenges, such as pay disruption, childcare disruption due to school closures or those facing illness from COVID-19.
    • Bank of Canada  cuts Overnight Rate to 0.25% – the interest rate at which major financial institutions borrow and lend one-day (or “overnight”) funds among themselves. 
  • Tax Relief
    • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020, with no interest or penalties applicable during this period.  
    • CRA will defer the filing due date for the 2019 individual tax return to June 1, 2020 and for May 1, 2020 for trusts with a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019 and will defer payments of tax owing until after August 31, 2020, with no interest or penalties applicable during this period.
    • CRA will defer the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances to June 30, 2020. 
    • Tax Returns -Flexibility Measures Announced

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  • Individual Financial Assistance for Canadians -Government of Canada

    • Enhancements to the Canada Child Benefit will see recipients receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment. If you have previously applied for the CCB, you do not need to re-apply. For more information on the Canada Child Benefit such as how to apply and eligibility requirements, go to  Canada Child Benefit  or call 1-800-387-1193.  
    • Deferral of repayments for the Canada Student Loans programs until September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest. These measures will become effective March 30, 2020 and will be automatic.   
    • 12 million low- and modest-income families will receive $5.5 billion through a one-time GST credit. This will mean payments of roughly $400 for an individual and $600 for couples.  
    • Enhanced Work-Sharing program  to support employers and their workers who are experiencing a downturn in business by expanding the program from 38 to 76 weeks, and by streamlining processes to improve access.

Stop the Spread Business Information Line-Province of Ontario

Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.

Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit

Coronavirus Latest News

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