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Business Resources: COVID-19

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As new announcements are made by municipal, provincial, and federal governments that affect businesses, we share them on our Economic Development Twitter Account and Facebook Page. Follow us to stay up to date as programs evolve.

Ontario to Require Proof of Vaccination in Certain Settings

Starting September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination, along with photo ID, to access certain public settings and facilities. The focus of this mandate will be on higher-risk public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn. This includes:

  • Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
  • Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
  • Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
  • Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
  • Sporting events;
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
  • Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
  • Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
  • Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).

To assist businesses, a specific guidance document has been produced by the Government of Ontario to assist with the proof of vaccination regulation. You may also wish to review the full Regulations regarding this mandate.

Individuals who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical exemptions will be permitted entry with a doctor’s note until recognized medical exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate. Children who are 11 years of age and younger and unable to be vaccinated will also be exempted from these requirements.

Ontario will develop and provide additional tools to improve user experience, efficiency and business supports in the coming weeks, including establishing alternative tools for people with no email, health card or ID.

Ontarians currently have access to a paper or PDF vaccine receipt that includes all relevant information to prove that they are fully vaccinated. As of September 22, Ontarians will be required to show their vaccine receipt when entering designated settings along with another piece of photo identification, such as a driver’s licence or health card. 

Ontario will also introduce an enhanced digital vaccine receipt that features a QR code, which is safe, more secure, and with you wherever you go. This digital vaccine receipt can be kept on a phone and easily used to show that you've been vaccinated if you need to. In addition, the province will launch a new app to make it easier and more convenient for businesses and organizations to read and verify that a digital vaccine receipt is valid, while protecting your privacy.

For questions about how to access vaccination records, Ontarians can contact the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488.

For more information, read the full press release as well as the provincially-issued and updated FAQs.

Ontario Entered Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen on July 16

With key public health and health care indicators continuing to improve and the provincewide vaccination rate surpassing targets, the province has moved into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen on Friday July 16, 2021 at 12:01am.

Step Three focuses on resuming indoor services with larger capacity limits. This includes, but is not limited to:

Capacity limits for businesses or facilities that are open to the public:

  • Limit the number of members of the public in the business/facility so that the members of the public are able to maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from every other person in the business/facility
  • The  maximum number of members of the public permitted in the business/facility that is indoors is 50% of the maximum occupant load
  • The maximum number of members of the public permitted in the business/facility that is operating in an outdoor setting is 75% (determined by taking the total square metres of area accessible to the public, dividing that number by 1.33, and rounding down to the nearest whole number).

Retail

  • Must post a sign that states the capacity limit of the store

Restaurants, bars

  • Tables must be configured so that patrons seated at different tables are separated by at least 2 metres or an impermeable barrier
  • Must post a sign that states the capacity limit of the restaurant
  • Actively screen dine-in patrons before they enter
  • Record the name and contact details of every patron and maintain those records for 1 month

Personal Care Services relating to the hair or body

  • Service providers must wear appropriate PPE
  • Must post a sign that states the capacity limit of the establishment
  • Actively screen patrons before they enter
  • Services provided by appointment only

Sports and Fitness

  • Indoor spectators limited to 50% capacity, or 1000 (whichever is less)
  • Outdoor spectators limited to 75% capacity
  • Must post a sign that states the capacity limit
  • Actively screen patrons before they enter
  • Record the name and contact details of every patron and maintain those records for 1 month
  • Safety plan required for event organizers and leagues using the facility
  • Spectators are required to wear masks (indoor and outdoor events) - some exceptions apply

Concert Venues, Theatres, Cinemas

  • Outdoor capacity limited to 75%
  • Indoor capacity limited to 50%
  • Reservations to attend are required
  • Must post a sign that states the capacity limit
  • Spectators must wear masks (indoor and outdoor events) - some exceptions apply

Museums

  • Indoor capacity limited to 50%
  • Outdoor capacity limited to 75%

Tour and Guide Services

  • All patrons must be able to maintain a 2 metre distance from others
  • All performers and employees must be actively screened
  • Contact information of all attendees must be recorded and maintained for 1 month

Boat Tour

  • Limited to the number of people that can maintain a 2 metre distance from others at all time, and may not exceed 50% capacity
  • Capacity limit must be posted
  • Reservations are required for all customers
  • Contact information for all customers must be recorded and maintained for 1 month

Live Entertainment

  • Performers must maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from any spectators or are separated from spectators by an impermeable barrier

For more specifics, please see the Provincial Regulations related to this order

Public health and workplace safety measures would continue to apply across all steps, including maintaining physical distance, capacity limits and wearing face coverings in indoor spaces and whenever physical distancing is a challenge.

Click here for the Safety Plan Template and safety plan guidance.


NEW - COVID-19 Tourism Relief Fund

The Tourism Relief Fund, administered by Canada's regional development agencies and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), 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.

Eligible applicants include tourism entities that cater mainly to visitors, such as:

  • businesses;
  • not-for-profit organizations, such as tourism associations; and
  • band councils or other Indigenous organizations and cooperatives.

To be considered eligible for this fund, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be a key supplier or operator in the visitor experience;
  • Be part of a defined tourism cluster or a tourism dependent community, including supporting downtown cores; or
  • Provide an anchor product or service in a tourism destination.

For more information on the Tourism Relief Fund, please read the application guide.

For additional funding and support, scroll down on this page to the "Government Programs" section below.

Other business supports and grants from the Government of Ontario to assist with costs associated with COVID-19 can be found on their website.


Navigating Government Business Support Programs

Find out more about the programs, services, and funding opportunities you business may be eligible for during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Government Programs

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. These loans are for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19.

Apply through your primary financial institution.

Click here for more information on HASCAP from bdc.

Regional Relief & Recovery Fund

The Fund supports businesses impacted by COVID-19 through COVID Relief Loans

Additional funding became available through this program in late 2020, applications are now being accepted through the Thousand Islands Community Development Corporation

  1. Community Futures: This stream supports businesses in rural and smaller communities through additional funding for the existing Community Futures Program (CFP).

In order to provide targeted assistance to the small towns and communities they serve, CFDCs, who will deliver this stream of funding, will focus on assisting “main street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants and corner stores, etc., and businesses of strategic importance to their communities, with loans up to $40,000. 

Please apply directly through our local CDC for funding through this stream. 

For full eligibility criteria and additional information, please visit FedDev Ontario’s RRRF page.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Subsidy

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring participation from your landlord.

If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

Click here to find out more about the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Subsidy

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

This subsidy helps employers by getting a percentage of employees' pay per eligible employee, per week. The amount you will received per employee is based on your revenue drop. Please visit the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy page for details. 

Canada Emergency Business Account

Support for small business cash flow with a new Canada Emergency Business Account offering loans of up to $60,000 guaranteed by the government and interest free for the 1st year (with up to 25% forgivable for those who qualify). This program will be administered through eligible financial institutions to businesses with a 2019 total payroll of $20,000-$1.5million (Applications are now open: apply through your financial institution where your business does its banking).

The program was expanded to include many owner-operated small businesses. The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution;
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return;
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

Business owners can apply for support until June 30, 2021 through their banks or credit unions. Click here for more information on the Canada Emergency Business Account.

Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Loan

The Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program (supported through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank), for guaranteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19:

  • Small and medium-sized businesses can also get support through a new Co-Lending Program that will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to these businesses for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program, which will be risk-shared at 80% between the Business Development Bank of Canada and the financial institutions. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and funding directly for customers. 

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business

The Government of Ontario is making $8 million available to support small business and registered charities who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.

To apply for CEAP funding, customers should contact their energy provider. Electricity and natural gas utilities and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs) will begin accepting applications for CEAP-SB on August 31, 2020, delivering the program in accordance with rules laid out by the OEB. CEAP-SB funding is limited, with utilities and USMPs expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. Please note, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

For more information, including eligibility requirements and on-bill credit amounts, visit oeb.ca/ceap.

Canada Recovery Benefit

The Federal government would provide $1000 every 2 weeks for up to 13 eligibility periods between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. This benefit is to provide income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. For more information on the Canada Recovery Benefit, please click here.

Other benefits include:

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (for those unable to work because of the pandemic due to caring for a child or family member who needs supervised care)

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (For employed or self-employed individuals who are sick or need to self-isolate due to the pandemic)

For more benefits from the Federal Government, please visit their Economic Response Plan page.


Additional Resources for Small Businesses

Find out more about programs specifically for small businesses beyond the government supports found in the section above.

Provincial Supports for Small Businesses

Click here to access Provincial supports related to the coronavirus pandemic.

NEW - Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant

Applications due June 25, 2021.

Similar to the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, this grant will provide between $10,000-$20,000 to eligible businesses in the Tourism and Hospitality Sector that have been hardest hit by impact of COVID-19. This funding was announced as part of Ontario's Action Plan.

For more details on how to apply, please click here.

Property Tax Rebate and Energy Cost Rebate Grant

Support for businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict service due to provincial public health measures. For more information, visit the Provincial website.

Need help figuring out which programs you are eligible for?

For assistance with grants and to learn about other supports that may be available for your business, please contact:

Lesley White
Manager of Business Engagement & Partnerships, City of Brockville
613-342-8772 x4439
lwhite@brockville.com

FanSaves Helps Gift Certificate Program "Brockville Shop Local"

Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce & Downtown Brockville have partnered with FanSaves Helps and invite your business to be a part of the "Brockville Shop Local" Gift Certificate Program (open to all Brockville businesses, you do not need to be a Chamber or DBIA member to participate).

How it works: Once a gift certificate is purchased through the FanSaves Helps website, the buyer will receive a digital gift certificate with a unique code that will be tracked for you in a spreadsheet (which you will have access to). Any money received on your behalf will then be transferred to you via Direct Deposit or e-transfer within 14 days (minus any credit card transaction fees that may come off the top). 

Lastly, once you re-open your doors, the buyer can then print off their gift certificate and bring it to you. You can then keep track of the balance however it works best for you (some businesses are transferring it to their own gift card program, or you can track the balance right on the printout).

All you have to do to sign up is fill out this online form: https://form.jotform.com/200865271814253
(be sure to select "Brockville Shop Local" when selecting the organization or community your business will be featured under).

Community members, once businesses have signed up, will be able to purchase gift cards from their favourite Brockville businesses at https://www.fansaveshelps.ca/collections/brockville

Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre

Their office is currently closed to the public, but staff are available to take phone or zoom calls with clients.
Call 613-342-0040 or email Jeanette at jeanette@lgsmallbusiness.com


Shop Local

It is now more important than ever to support local businesses who are trying to stay afloat during the pandemic. While many retailers have had to close their doors due to the provincial emergency proclamation, many are making a shift, where possible, to change the way that they do business by offering online or phone orders with delivery.

   

Please join us in supporting our local businesses by continuing to shop from them during these times, or by purchasing a gift card from them to use after things return to normal to help them with their immediate cash flow. You can also support your favourite local businesses by purchasing gift certificates to use after the pandemic from one central site: https://www.fansaveshelps.ca/collections/brockville (businesses are joining daily, so if you don't see the business you are looking for on here, please check back, or let that business know that you were trying to find them!)

Downtown Brockville (DBIA) has a list of downtown businesses that have moved to online shopping or phone ordering, as well as other businesses that are able to remain open at this time. You can find their list (updated regularly) on the Downtown Brockville website at www.downtownbrockville.com/for-the-public.php

Local Restaurants offering take out/delivery

Restaurants throughout the pandemic have been permitted to continue to operate provided that they move to take out and delivery only. The Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit requires that food establishments offering takeout and delivery practice “social distancing” of six feet, or 2.5 metres, between customers. Please click here to read the new precautionary measures in place for food premises by the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit.

If you operate a restaurant in Brockville, you may be interested in our upcoming Picnic Box summer program

Read more information on our upcoming initiative to support local restaurants this summer. This program will launch in July 2021.

Grocery and Pharmacy options while in isolation

If you are in isolation or are concerned about your susceptibility to the virus, we have put together a list of grocery stores, pharmacies, and a few services for seniors offering pick-up, delivery, or dedicated shopping times. If you know of any other options that we should include, please let us know. 


Business Continuity Plans

Planning how you will sustain your business as we advance through the pandemic is an important consideration for the days ahead. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, and the Business Development Bank of Canada have great resources on what you need to consider and how you can protect and maintain your staffing levels.

Template: COVID-19 Safety Plan (Word Document) - use this template from the Provincial Government to document how your organization will keep workers and other people safe at your workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Supply Request

The Government of Canada

The Canadian Government has issued a call to suppliers for products and services necessary to combat COVID-19. If you are a business that can supply products and services, please visit their website for more information and to complete their submission form.

The Provincial Government

The help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the response to COVID-19. 

  • Supplies: If your business or organization can provide medical products such as ventilators, swabs, masks and eye protection: Tell us what you have
  • Innovation: If your business or organization can help communities withstand the pandemic and you have a solution for:
    • virtual mental health services for people who are vulnerable or living in remote communities
    • supply chain resiliency monitoring
    • financial planning and advising for small businesses that can be delivered online at low-cost including advice about relief programs and how to apply
    • Tell us your solution
  • Ideas: If your business or organization has ideas, other products or services that could help Ontarians: Tell us your idea

Please visit the Ontario supply request website for more information and to apply.


Business Reopening Supports

Toll Free Business Information Line: 1-888-444-3659

The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province's recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Help is available Monday-Friday from 8:30am-9:00pm and Saturday & Sunday from 8:30am-5:00pm

Click for more information on their website.

Guidance Documents for Workplaces

In partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, the health and safety associations have released a series of more than 100 technical sector guidance documents to further support employers and employees in remaining safe in the workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak. They have also produced a general "return to business check list" that is applicable to most businesses, indicating the areas that should be considered before reopening. 

Local Resources to Assist with your Business Reopening

City Staff have compiled a resource guide to assist you as you prepare to reopen that includes relevant government links and resources such as sector guidance documents, best practices, government approved disinfectants and hand sanitizers, workplace posters, and a list of suppliers to help you outfit your workplace with the necessary signage, personal protective equipment, and cleaning agents you will need to reopen safely. Please click here to visit our Preparing your Business to Reopen Safely page to find the resource guide and additional information pertaining to reopening safely.

Tackling the Barriers online portal

Province launches COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers online portal.To support your ongoing work during COVID-19, you can request a temporary regulation or policy change to help:

  • Assist the health care system meet the needs of needs of the emergency
  • Assist businesses in retooling or producing essential or health-related products and supplies
  • Make it easier for businesses trying to operate remotely or in a non-traditional fashion and are facing unexpected challenges

Visit the portal to submit your request.


Ontario Newsroom

News releases and information related to the COVID-19 outbreak from the Government of Ontario can be found on the official Ontario Newsroom website. Checking their page regularly is a good way to stay up to date on decisions and new regulations that may apply to your business.


Please click here to access relevant staff in our City Departments: https://brockville.com/departments



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