The Grand Bend & Area Chamber of Commerce has been around since 1957. We are a small yet active Chamber serving businesses located in towns, villages and hamlets along Lake Huron’s shoreline corridor.
Our Members are located as far away as Sarnia and Goderich as well as closer to home in Arkona, Dashwood, Exeter, Forest, Grand Bend, Ipperwash, Northville, Parkhill, Port Franks, St. Joseph, Thedford and Zurich – and all points in between!
The Chamber had its roots in an earlier Grand Bend Promotion Committee in the 1950s which worked to promote tourism to the area and still today we provide Tourism & Visitor Services to the Municipality of Lambton Shores at the Welcome Centre located in Grand Bend, just 500-metres from the Beach that started it all.
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Covid-19 Resources for Business
Re-Opening – Step Three (July 16) & Latest News
- Step 3 Summary of Measures (PDF)
- 2021 Re-Opening: Download Susan’s alphabetically ordered quick reference chart of what is open and closed by each step (PDF). Ontario government’s Road Map to Re-Open. See also Reopening Ontario.
- COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB): Provides up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave for employees who have to take time off work because of certain reasons related to COVID-19, and an employer reimbursement program.
- Huron Perth Public Health Contact Tracing Chart (PDF): To help business owners understand which employees are required to isolate when a case of COVID-19 is identified within the workplace.
- StaySafe™ Lambton Rapid Antigen Screening Program: Provides free rapid antigen tests for small and medium-sized businesses, with 150 employees or less. The goal is to identify asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in the workplace, helping to curb the spread in the workplace, at home and in the community.
- Virtual Adviser Program: Program to help solve a business problem caused by Covid-19. FREE program matches qualified businesses with an experienced Virtual Adviser (powered by BoomersPlus), a seasoned professional with years of wisdom and experience, that can remotely help advise a small business or non-profit as they work through the COVID-19 crisis.
- Specialized Small Business Advisory Services: FREE specialized services relating to Human Resources, Legislative Compliance, Operations Management, Marketing, Brand Development, and Sales Strategies with professional advisors through the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership’s Business Enterprise Centre.
- TIAO Survey on the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant: TIAO wants to hear about whether you have applied for the grant, found yourself ineligible or learn of any other reasons why you’ve not been able to apply for the grant. This will help them advise government and work to ensure this much needed funding gets to the businesses it was intended to support.
- Huron Economic Development – BR+E: Businesses in Huron County, look for your Business Retention & Expansion survey package in the mail. Survey volunteers will also be calling (until November 2021). More Information: Cole Nicholson [email protected].
- Tourism Relief Fund (launched July 2021) – supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. Applicants will be a key supplier/operator in a visitor experience that provides the infrastructure and services necessary to support a tourism economy, connect tourism products to potential markets, leads planning for sustainable destination development and supports capacity building/skill development in the sector. (Not eligible: restaurants, retail sector, hotel chains).
- Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) – 100% fully government back low-interest loans of up to $1-million; applications open February 1, 2021 and available until December 31, 2021
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Ongoing!
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) – support for Businesses to avoid layoffs and provide financial support (grants, loans and access to credit), support for self-employed
- Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers FAQs
- Avoiding Layoffs, Access to Credit, Support for Farmers, Supporting Financial Stability
- Wage subsidies for individuals, including the self-employed
- Business Benefits Finder – get a tailored list of programs that fit your business situation
- Canada Small Business Financing Program – makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders. Download the brochure (PDF)
- Overview of federal government Services for Small Business
- ontario.ca/smallbusiness. One stop shop for information and resources for small businesses
- Framework for Reopening Our Province webpage or download here (PDF)
- Resources to prevent Covid-19 in the workplace by sector
- Request a temporary rule or regulation change to help your business respond to COVID-19
Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP)
- Lists and links to county, provincial and federal programs and resources to offset the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and the self-employed
- Get your business listed for FREE on ShopLambton.ca and let people know you’re are OPEN in whatever capacity
Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation (SLBDC)
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) support for small businesses in Lambton County announced! If you were unable to access federal or provincial relief funding programs or were unable to obtain a loan/credit from traditional financial institutions, you may be able to access up to $40,000 for operational costs, staff related costs and costs related to return to operations for businesses that were closed. See more information on SLBDC’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund page.
Sarnia Lambton Workforce Development Board (SLWDB) Job Board!
- Interactive job board – search by map and list views (nicknamed “Whistle” for it’s acronym WISL or Work In Sarnia Lambton)Visit: https://www.slwdb.org/
Huron County Economic Development
- Infographic Sheet: Sell Remotely on Facebook (PDF)
- Infographic Sheet: Set up Shopify (PDF)
- Infographic Sheet: Payments and Shipping (PDF)
- Creating Your Covid-19 Survival Cash Flow Webinar on Vimeo
- Get your business listed for FREE on BizMap and let people know you are OPEN in whatever capacity
- FREE WORKSHOPS on business-related topics offered monthly through-out the year.
Community Futures Huron
Community Futures Huron (CFH) is a non-profit Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Check their website regularly and get on their mailing list to access all kinds of resources including FREE WEBINARS. They have an entire section dedicated to Covid-19 business resources.
Business Development Corporation (BDC)
Have put together a great set of business financial planning and strategy tools for the entrepreneur, divided into 6 sections with each section providing easily digestible steps complete with downloadable Excel spreadsheets, Word planning documents etc. – visit COVID-19: Business planning tools for entrepreneurs
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- Post-Pandemic Business Playbook (PDF)
- Post Pandemic Business Resumption Checklist (PDF)
- Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings (PDF)
- Health & Safety for Restaurant Servers, Cooks and Dishwashers during Covid-19
Tourism Sarnia Lambton
- Discover Sarnia Lambton – a rewards program created to encourage visitors to visit local attractions, restaurants and retail locations. Contact TSL to get your business listed! Call 1-800-265-0316 / 1-519-336-3232 or email [email protected]
- Tour Ontario’s Blue Coast App – free download from the App Store and Google Play, the Tour Ontario’s Blue Coast app provides a curated guide to Ontario’s Blue Coast, along the St. Clair River and Lake Huron, including beaches, breweries, museums, restaurants, wineries and more. Users of the app can collect 10 points for every visit to one of the locations listed in the app. App users can redeem 100 points for a $10 gift certificate to be spend at any of these businesses included in the app. TO GET YOUR BUSINESS LISTED – first sign up with the Discover Sarnia lambton program!
Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation
- Restart & Reimagine webinars (pre-recorded & published) designed to help tourism-based businesses with marketing, sales, business planning and reopening tactics to survive Covid-19 impact.
DineSafe Guide by ORHMA
Restaurants Canada has put together 10 webinar sessions and guide (PDF) to help operators reopen, reinvent and rebuild their businesses. Sessions cover Profit Model Scenarios, Navigating Landlord and Tenant Agreements, Rebuilding Your Workforce, Winning Your Customers Back, Leveraging the Supply Chain for the Future.
Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)
Safe Travel Program – TIAO has been chosen by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to administer the Safe Travels Stamp in Canada. The Safe Travels Stamp is an international symbol designed to allow travellers to recognize governments and companies around the world, which have adopted health and hygiene, standardized protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’. Apply here. Look who has already applied (PDF).
Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab
- FREE virtual workshops aimed at creating sustainable digital adoption for hard-hit tourism and direct-to-consumer businesses. Tools and templates for take-away learning. tourisminnovation.ca
CHAMBER & BUSINESS ORGS
Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce
The Sarnia-Lambton Chamber is acting as the umbrella organization in Lambton County to provide businesses with the FREE Rapid Antigen Testing Kits for employees of businesses with less than 150 employees.
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
- Special Covid-19 Survival Kit on their website with key announcements, updates on the latest information and available resources and programs to support businesses and their owners.
Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN)
- Government of Canada and Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.
Retail Council of Canada
To assist retailers in their reopening planning, Retail Council of Canada, in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group and retailers from across Canada, have put together a Recovery Playbook webpage on which you can find and download quick and handy Retail Recovery Checklists and other recovery and re-start resources. Each “Playbook” covers a specific area and soon to be released will be Playbooks on Retail Operations, Merchandising and Marketing, Omni-channel and Finances. You can also subscribe for their Recovery Playbook updates.
If you’re having trouble sourcing personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer and other similar types of supplies, give these folks a try:
- Canadian government and institution actions regarding relief and tax programs related to Covid-19.
- Summary of tax developments in response to COVID-19
- KPMG COVID-19 Return to the Workplace Guide (PDF)
Dutton Employment Law Firm
- CEWS To Be Extended To Summer 2021
- Ontario Business Reopening FAQ (COVID)
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit FAQ
Tax Templates Inc.
- Visit their website for up-to-date Excel spreadsheets ready for download and use to calculate the “Temporary Wage Subsidy” and the “Emergency Wage Subsidy” amounts.
“Stop the Spread” Business Information Hotline
- The Government of Ontario has launched a toll-free line (1-888-444-3659) to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s Covid-19 directives and how emergency measures impact their business. Call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line Monday to Sunday, 8:30am to 5pm.
Municipal Accommodation Tax
In April of this year, the Chamber sent a letter to Mayor and Council outlining its concerns and recommendations regarding the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT tax) and the particular business climate within Lambton Shores and surrounding area regarding short term rentals, the good and the bad. A similar letter was provided to Tourism Sarnia Lambton in November.
Read the Letter (PDF)
Handy Member Quicklinks:
- Directory of Chamber Members
- Upcoming Chamber Events
- Current and previous newsletters
- Chamber Members Only Forum
- Pay My Bill