COVID-19 Business Continuity & Recovery Information

Last Update: 04/03/2020, 4:00PM

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Economic Development, and the Flamborough and Stoney Creek Chambers of Commerce, are closely monitoring and assessing new developments pertaining to COVID-19, as well as its impacts on Hamilton business.

As business owners, employers, employees, and citizens, we recognize that this rapidly changing situation with COVID-19 is causing worry and concern.

To support you through this uncertainty, we have gathered and prepared several resources that you can navigate through on the green drop-down menu (on mobile) or on the left hand navigation (on desktop).

On this website, you can find access to:


Monitor COVID-19

Stay up-to-date on the rapidly evolving situation, and on the nature of the virus itself, by frequently checking municipal, provincial, and national websites.


Recent Government Updates

For all older updates, please click here.

AS OF April 3, 2020: Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government announced it is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close.

The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.

Private sector industrial, commercial and institutional projects will be affected, while public sector infrastructure work and some residential construction will be allowed to continue. 

Projects related to the health-care sector, including any work necessary to ensure the production of critical equipment and medical devices, as well those required to maintain the operations of petrochemical plants and refineries, will be exempted from the shut down.The updated essential businesses list can be found here.

AS OF April 1, 2020: the latest updates on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) can be found below.

To support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months.

  • The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration.
  • This subsidy continues to exist.

The Federal government announced further, increased wage subsidies to any business, big or small, along with charities and not-for-profit organizations, so long as they are not publicly-funded, and meet the criteria below.

  • A 75% wage subsidy is available, up to 3 months. This subsidy will be backdated to March 15th, 2020. 
  • To qualify, gross businesses revenues must have decreased by at least 30%, this will be reviewed and verified after the fact.
  • Revenues will be compared to the respective month in from last year (2019) in March, April or May.
  • Details for businesses who do not have revenue data from last year will come soon.
  • Companies will be required to show pre-crisis income of an employee. Business will then get 75% of the wages they paid out returned to them through the CRA.
  • Companies will need to apply for the subsidy each month. 
  • This subsidy applies to any business, big or small, including the hospitality sector (bars, restaurants).
  • The number of employees in your organization won’t determine if you qualify.
  • The subsidy will cover 75% of a salary on the first $58,700 earned.
  • Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker.
  • Your business does not need to be open to receive the subsidy.
  • The remaining 25% of wages is not required to qualify for the subsidy. However, employers will need to attest that they are doing everything they can to pay the remaining 25%of people’s wages.
  • Any one who fraudulently accesses these subsidies will face serious penalties.
  • Businesses will apply through the CRA website. 
  • The portal will open shortly; the funds will be available in 6 weeks (as of April 1st)
  • Further details of how and where to access the subsidy to come

AS OF March 30, 2020: the Federal government provided further details on wage subsidies for businesses.

  • The Federal government announced increased wage subsidies for SME business and not-for-profits. The wage subsidy is increasing from 10% to 75%, for 3 months. This subsidy will be backdated to March 15th, 2020. 
  • To qualify, businesses revenues must have decreased by at least 30%, this will be reviewed and verified after the fact 
  • The number of employees in your organization won’t determine if you qualify
  • The subsidy will cover 75% of a salary on the first $58,700 earned
  • Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker
  • Your business does not need to be open to receive the subsidy
  • The remaining 25% of wages is recommended, but not required to qualify to for the subsidy
  • Further details of how and where to access the subsidy to come

For all older updates, please click here.


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