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.
Restaurants – Patio, Takeout & Delivery
Visit Shorelinetogo.ca to order food for takeout or delivery from the restaurants you love in Arkona, Bayfield, Blyth, Exeter, Forest, Grand Bend, Hensall, Kettle & Stony Point, Ipperwash, Northville, Parkhill, Port Franks, Thedford and Zurich!
Covid-19 Resources for Business
- Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) – 100% fully government back low-interest loans of up to $1-million; applications open February 1, 2021
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (Details of claim periods 11 to 13 were finalized January 6, 2021)
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
- Temporary Wage Subsidy 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
GRANT PORTAL OPEN JANUARY 15, 2021: for funding in support of PPE costs (up to $1,000) and rebates for Municipal property and education taxes AND energy costs. Covers period beginning March 17, 2020 to present day.
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)
November 16, 2020 – NEW ROUND of 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
- January Newsletter includes Tourism Summit, Huron Wish Book, Huron Hygge, upcoming webinars, workshops & events to help get your business chugging again under Covid-19
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
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
Grand Bend & Area Chamber of Commerce
- Basic action plan to survive Covid-19: 3 Step Small Business Action Plan(PDF)
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