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Home COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS Business Resources: COVID-19


Business Resources: COVID-19

Last Updated: Thursday April 2, 2020  11:00 am

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Are you a local business looking for help navigating all of the latest updates? Economic Development staff can assist businesses to navigate the funding channels. 

Mandatory Closures

March 23, 2020: Premier Doug Ford is ordering all non-essential businesses to close their doors this week in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The order, which will come into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, will remain in place for 14 days but Ford said the province is prepared to extend it "if necessary." 

"(The order) means food will remain on the shelves. It means Ontarians will still have access to their medications and essential products. It means the power will still stay on and telecommunications will continue to run," Ford told reporters at Queen's Park on Monday afternoon.

A detailed list of essential services that are not part of the order to close has been released and the information can be found below and in the Ontario News Release found here.

Toll Free Business Information Line

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-Sunday from 8:30am-5:00pm

Click for more information on their website.

List of Essential Workplaces

March 23, 2020 8:00 P.M. Office of the Premier

For the purposes of this order, businesses include any-for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing the goods and services described herein.

This does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery.

Note that teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.

  • Supply chains
  • Retail and Wholesaling
  • Food Services and Accommodations
  • Institutional, Residential, Commercial and Industrial  Maintenance
  • Telecommunications and IT Infrastructure/Service Providers
  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing and Production
  • Agriculture and food production
  • Construction
  • Financial activities
  • Resources
  • Environmental Services
  • Utilities and Community Services
  • Communications Industries
  • Research
  • Health Care and Seniors Care and Social Services
  • Justice Sector
  • Business Regulators and Inspectors

For more details, click here to visit the full list of essential workplaces


March 17, 2020: Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in Ontario on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The declaration called for the immediate mandatory closure of the following establishments until at least the end of March:

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
  • All public libraries;
  • All private schools as defined in the Education Act;
  • All licensed child care centres;
  • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery*;
  • All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and
  • Concert venues.

Essential services will remain available, with public transit, grocery stores, public services and office spaces still open. Please see the News Release from the Government of Ontario for further details.

*Restaurants are 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 practise “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.

Local Restaurants offering take out/delivery

Please click here for information on which local restaurants are currently offering take out or delivery. If you know of any other restaurants that are not on the list, please let us know.

Downtown Brockville (DBIA) is keeping a list of downtown businesses that are remaining open during this period.

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. 

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

March 18, 2020: The Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this period. This plan includes:

  • Temporary Income Support for Workers and Parents
  • Longer-Term Income Support for Workers
  • Income Support for Individuals Who Need it Most
  • Flexibility for Taxpayers
  • Role of Financial Institutions
  • Mortgage Default Management Tools
  • Supporting Canadian Business through the Canada Account
  • Helping Businesses Keep their Workers
  • Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes
  • Ensuring Businesses Have Access to Credit
  • Supporting Financial Market Liquidity

For more information on the economic response plan, please visit and the Prime Minister's News Release

The Government of Canada has launched a new "Resources for Canadian Businesses" website with information on new programs to help businesses through the pandemic. The Canadian Business App is also a great resource to find government services tailored to your business and will be updated with the new programs as soon as they become available.

Brockville businesses may be eligible for assistance and we are looking into criteria and how these programs can be accessed.

Economic Development staff can assist businesses to navigate the funding channels. 

Ontario Economic Response Package

March 26, 2020: Ontario Enabling Financial Relief for Businesses: New financial measure will allow insurance premium payment deferrals for six months.

The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province.

All employers covered by the WSIB's workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. They will not be required to opt in to receive this benefit. Additionally, the WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month deferral period. There will be no negative consequences for businesses who defer premium reporting and payments. The WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.  > Read more about this financial measure here or access the information directly from the WSIB website

March 25, 2020: Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

The government's action plan is a first step in its response to COVID-19 and includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs. It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets. > Keep Reading

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 Resources

The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Office has launched a webpage to provide businesses with resources, surveys and programs that become available to support them during this difficult time with the impact of COVID-19.

Information has already been posted from BDC (bdc Support For Entrepreneurs), Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) and FedDev Ontario. Businesses are encouraged to subscribe to the webpage (found at the bottom of their page) to ensure they receive updates as they are posted.

Navigating New Government Business Support Programs

The Ministry of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade has produced a comprehensive guide to the federal and provincial announcements on new economic support initiatives for businesses. This guide is updated regularly with as much program detail as are available with each update. We will keep this link updated with the latest version of this government support guide.

Resources for Small Businesses

Private Sector Resources and Supports:

The private sector has been stepping up to provide assistance and resources to small businesses who are impacted by COVID-19. Many are waiving fees for their services or are helping business owners adapt to the new circumstances. We have put together a list of small business resources here, if you find anything that our local businesses may benefit from, please share them with us.

Government of Canada Support for Small Businesses

March 27, 2020: PM Trudeau announced new measures to support Small Businesses:

  • Increase in the wage subsidy for small business will go up to 75% (up from the original 10%) for qualifying businesses, backdated to Sunday March 15;
  • Support for small business cash flow with a new Canada Emergency Business Account offering loans of up to $40,000 guaranteed by the government and interest free for the 1st year (with up to $10,000 forgivable for those who qualify). This program will be administered through eligible financial institutions to businesses with a payroll of at least $50,000;
  • New Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program (supported through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank), for guraanteed loans when small businesses go to their financial institutions to help weather the impacts of COVID-19.
    • Export Development Canada will provide guarantees to financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized businesses. These loans will be 80 per cent guaranteed by Export Development Canada, to be repaid within one year.
    • 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 per cent between the Business Development Bank of Canada and the financial institutions. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and funding directly for customers. 
  • HST and GST remittance deferred until June for businesses and self-employed inidividuals.
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit: This combined the previously announced “Emergency Support Benefit” and “Emergency Care Benefit”
    • Provides up to $2,000/month for the next four months to workers who aren’t receiving pay due to COVID-19. All employees of a business, including the owner, are eligible, as well as self-employed individuals.
    • The portal is in development and should be ready to accept applications on April 6th, and the benefit should be received within 10 days of applying.

More details can be found in this press release from the office of the Prime Minister. As more information is released on how to access these funds we will update this section. please check back for the latest announcements.

75% Temporary Wage Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply to 75% of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees, representing a benefit of up to $847/week for up to 12 weeks (March 15 to June 6, 2020). Eligible employers can be of all sizes and all sectors of the economy (excluding publically funded entities) and includes non-profit organizations and registered charities. Employers must show that they have had a drop in gross revenues of at least 30% in March, April, or May (when compared to the same month in 2019) to access the subsidy.

This program will be accessible through the CRA online portal (more details to follow)

Reduced Hydro Rates for Small Businesses

March 24, 2020: The Ontario Premier announced today that households will receive the off-peak rate (10.1 cents per kWh of electricity) for hydro for the next 45 days - this reduced rate is also applicable to small businesses and farms. No application required, the rate will be automatically applied on your hydro bill Learn more:

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.

Ontario Newsroom

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

March 25, 2020: Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

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 613-342-8772 ext. 4470 for Wendy or 4471 for Jeanette.

Please click here to access relevant staff in our City Departments: