Free rapid test kits for local businesses

The Ontario Chamber Network has supported the delivery of 2.4 million free rapid test kits in over 105 communities across the province through the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Ontario and Canadian governments.

Through this initiative, the Stouffville Chamber of Commerce is rolling out free rapid test kits for small and medium-sized businesses in the area. The program will help small businesses keep their employees and families safe by curbing the spread of COVID-19 at work so that we can get on the path to economic recovery faster.

“Chambers of commerce and boards of trade have been indispensable resources in their communities, particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Karen Wootton, executive director of the Stouffville Chamber of Commerce. “Public health and the health of our economy are interdependent.

“That is why our chamber is proud to distribute rapid tests to small businesses in Stouffville. We hope that through this program, we will be able to curb the spread and reopen our local economy safely.”

The COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative provides free rapid antigen tests for employees of small and medium-sized businesses. The tests are distributed through participating local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in Ontario. Businesses (including non-chamber members) with 150 employees or less are welcome to participate in this program. The goal of the program is to identify asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace that might otherwise be missed, helping to curb the spread in the workplace, at home and around the community in Stouffville.

A partnership with the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library has been initiated to allow Stouffville’s small- and medium-sized businesses efficient and simple access to pick up their designated kits.

“The Library is delighted to be able to help our local businesses find ways to ensure staff and customer safety as we begin to fully re-open,” said Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library Chief Executive Officer Margaret Wallace.

The Initiative builds upon the success of the program that was first successfully piloted in the Waterloo region by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo and Cambridge Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Communitech, the Government of Ontario and Government of Canada. Through this pilot, the chambers have delivered 300,000 kits to almost 3,000 businesses in the region.

“With vaccinations on the rise and case counts lowering, rapid testing is another critical part of curbing the spread of COVID-19, contributing to the safe reopening of our economy,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “As the indispensable partner of business, we are incredibly proud of the Ontario Chamber Network that has quickly mobilized to put free rapid screening kits into the hands of small businesses across Ontario.”

SMEs can log into to order their two-week supply of rapid tests.

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