/HCDC chamber offering assistance to businesses 

HCDC chamber offering assistance to businesses 

By Chad Ingram 

the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Haliburton County businesses have
minimized their hours of operation and a number of them, particularly
eateries, have shut down completely for the time being.
Haliburton County Development Corporation has developed a loan program
for business owners who’ve been affected by the outbreak of the virus,
and the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce is opening up resources
that would normally be available only to its members to the county’s
entire business community.
HCDC’s COVID-19 Loan Program will offer
loans with a zero per cent interest rate to businesses and non-profit
organizations that have been financially affected by the outbreak of the
virus. Loans of up to $25,000 will be offered with amortization periods
ranging from one to four years, and loan applications will be
considered on a case-by-case basis. Larger loans may also be considered
where a business demonstrates substantial need. Applicants will be
required to provide recent financial statements,  as well as a cash flow
projection for the next six months.
Application and cash flow projection forms are available online at www.haliburtoncdc.ca/loans/
HCDC’s office is currently closed to the public, with its staff working remotely.
HCDC can be reached at 705-457-3555. Executive director Patti Tallman can be reached at ptallman@haliburtoncdc.ca; loans officer Kelly Jones at kjones@haliburtoncdc.ca; loans and office administrator Cory Abbs at cabbs@haliburtoncdc; and program and operations co-ordinator Autumn Wilson at awilson@haliburtoncdc.ca.
all Canadians, we are closely monitoring official announcement and
expect to respond as this fluid situation continues to evolve,” reads a
statement from HCDC. “Concurrently, we are also proactively working with
our many partners and colleagues to collaborate on responses to the
changing needs of our clients. Please watch our website and social media
feeds for ongoing updates. The entire HCDC team remains committed to
serving our clients and the overall community during this challenging
time and encourage all to be, and stay, well. If you have any questions,
please do not hesitate to contact us.”
Current loan clients are
also encouraged to contact HCDC to see what options may be available for
them, and are also eligible to apply to the COVID-19 Loan Program.
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and
Businesses contains information about helping businesses keep their
workers; flexibility for businesses filing taxes; ensuring businesses
have access to credit; and supporting financial market liquidity. The
plan can be found at www.canada.ca/en/department-
for Canadian Businesses: COVID-19, another federal resource, includes
information about supporting employees; business supports; business
travel and events; as well as for businesses dealing in international
markets. It can be located at www.canada.ca/en/services/
Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce is making moves to support not
just its member businesses, but all businesses in the community.
of our retail and restaurant businesses have experienced huge
reductions in business with COVID-19, have been forced to change the way
they do business, and/or close,” says chamber executive director Jenn
Locke. “Dealing with a high level of uncertainty, they have many things
on their minds including their employees, their community, their
families, and the season to come.”
The chamber has been pushing its
#BuyCloseBy campaign, a partnership with the county, which encourages
the support of local businesses. The chamber has provided a list of tips
residents can use to support local businesses during this time,
including making purchases online; buying gift cards for future use;
ordering takeout; paying with plastic instead of cash; tipping extra;
and buying items now, while picking them up later.
“We have been
communicating the latest in updates to our membership, leveraging our
contacts at the Ontario and Canadian Chambers of Commerce and submitting
our member needs to them,” Locke says.  
A virtual town hall has
been arranged with Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP Jamie Schmale,
scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. Business owners
wishing to partake are asked to register at haliburtonchamber.com,
or through the chamber’s social media channels. For the time being, the
chamber is making all of its members-only resources, updates and
communications available to everyone.
 “The board of directors
understands that this is a pivotal time for local small businesses
across the county, and we want to support each and every one of them,”
Locke says.
Many of the chamber’s business members have implemented
social distancing in workplaces, while others have their employees
working from home, or have closed show spaces to the public.
The Haliburton Foodland has teamed up with the Rotary Club to deliver groceries to vulnerable residents.
of our local grocers have stepped up to the plate increasing sanitation
protocols, implementing seniors-only hours, and keeping their employees
working,” Locke says. “Food banks say that the demand is high and are
encouraging people to purchase grocery store gift certificates to help
meet the need.”
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce resource page is available at occ.ca/covid-19-updates
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce resource page is available at www.chamber.ca/resources/