COVID-19 Coronavirus Chamber Update
Mar 13, 2020
The Guelph Chamber of Commerce continues to monitor and assess new developments pertaining to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). In terms of the Guelph Chamber's upcoming programming, we are taking our lead from Public Health, who is currently not suggesting the postponement or cancellation of any scheduled events. The safety and well-being of our members and community are of the utmost importance to us. We have temporarily revised our refund policy to allow registrants to cancel up until the start of an event and receive a full refund.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any event changes to registrants, our members, and the public through email, social media posts, and updates on our website. Should the directive from Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health change, the Guelph Chamber will cancel or reschedule our events.
In an effort to provide our members with the knowledge and tools to develop effective pandemic mitigation and response plans, we are offering a Pandemic Mitigation and Response Planning Webinar on Thursday March 19th at 9:00am. For more information or to register to participate please click here.
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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has many resources for pandemic preparedness for businesses.
In today’s global world, systems are more interconnected than ever. It stands to reason then, if a pandemic strikes in one part of the world, the opportunities for it to spread are that much greater.
Should COVID-19 escalate in Canada, some of the things businesses need to plan for include:
- Staff absences due to a number of reasons (personal illness, ill family members, looking after children if schools close, feeling of safety being at home etc.). In some cases employees may themselves elect to stay home; in other circumstances the government may authorize or require them to do so.
- Disruption to essential services like information, telecommunications, financial services, energy supply, and logistics;
- Disruption to supply of necessary materials or contractors;
- A major increase or decrease in demand for products and services;
- Cancellation or disruption of travel and cross-border movement of people and goods;
- Cancellation of public meetings or gatherings like sports events, concerts or religious services;
- Impact on the trade status of Canada, or of our trading partners; and
- Increased public fear that causes citizens to avoid public places, including front line retail and tourist–related attractions, restaurants and leisure businesses.
To help businesses prepare for and manage through a potential COVID-19 escalation in Canada, the Canadian Chamber has developed a brief guide source from a number of best practice documents and designed to assist business planning and continuity efforts. This tool includes links to the some of the most relevant and credible information, best practice tools and resources and can be found here: Pandemic Preparedness Guide.
In addition to pandemic preparedness tools, we have also created templates for your use: a Crisis Communications Plan and a Business Continuity & Recovery Plan.
We will continue to update this information on our website so you may want to bookmark this page and visit it often.
We also want to hear from you on how prepared you are and what other support you might need, so please take a few minutes to compete our brief (4 min) survey on business preparedness.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has a useful page of resource including travel advice, updates and printable reference information. Also included is a reference sheet from the World Health Organization for workplaces.
COVID-19 - Specific Information and updates
To help you to stay alert on what is happening in your region, we’ve gathered some information sites that you can bookmark for updates on the COVID-19 virus.
Sign up for the newsletter here.
Tools our members have shared:
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP shares the following bulletins: Key Business and Legal Implications and Best Practices in the Workplace.
Borden, Ladner, Gervais (BLG) LLP issued this article recently.
BDC shared their information for businesses.
Deloitte has a page of useful documents. And also the following resources:
COVID-19: Managing Supply Chain Risk and Disruption
COVID-19: Managing Cash Flow During a Crisis
COVID-19: Practical Workforce Strategies that Put Your People First
GardaWorld │ COVID19 live updates
Fasken has uploaded information for employers and employees.
Creating a Crisis Plan
A few years ago, Calgary’s downtown flooded. The Calgary Chamber was in the frey of this crisis. Out of bad comes good, and the Chamber created an award-winning emergency preparedness kit.
As the Chamber says on their website: “Disasters big and small happen without warning, and being unable to provide your products and services to your customers can seriously hurt your business reputation. Having a plan in place before a disruption can make for a more effective response and faster recovery.”
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has also created a useful resource specially for SMEs and their employees.
The Canadian Association of Association Executives held a webinar on COVID-19 with Dr. David N. Fisman. To access it, click here.
Event-related tools and tips