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Timeline of Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Announcements related to Businesses
Use the timeline to find the latest announcements and direct links to information that affects you and your business.
- March 12 - Provincial Closure of Public Schools
- March 17 - Province Declares State of Emergency
- Provincial order to close public places and establishments, including:
- 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.
- Provincial order to close public places and establishments, including:
- March 18 - Canada closes international borders to non-residents
- March 18 - Federal Economic Response Plan announced. Federal supports for individuals and businesses can be found by clicking here
- March 20 - PM announces Canada's Plan to Mobilize Industry to Fight COVID-19
- March 21 - Province launches Ontario Together portal to manufacture PPE and supplies in-province
- March 21 - Canada closes US border to non-essential travel
- March 23 - Province mandates all non-essential businesses to close
- March 24 - Hydro One off-peak rate applied to all time-of-use customers (including residential and small business) for the next 45 days (extended until May 31)
- March 25 - Province launches "Stop the Spread" business information line
- March 25 - Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19
- March 26 - Province announces WSIB insurance premiums deferred for 6 months
- March 27 - Federal announcement of new supports for small business (includes wage subsidy increase, Canada emergency business account, small- and medium-sized enterprise loan, HST/GST deferrals until June, Canada Emergency Response Benefit)
- March 30 - Leeds & Grenville business working group launches COVID-19 business impact survey (click here to read the report)
- April 3 - Provincial list of essential businesses is amended. Click here to see the updated list. All businesses not on the list mandated to close as of April 4, 2020 at 11:59pm
- April 6 - Canada Emergency Response Benefit application opens
- April 11 - Federal wage subsidy legislation passed by the Senate
- April 14 - Provincial Emergency Declaration Extended for 28 days
- April 15 - Ontario Energy Board extends Winter Disconnection Ban until July 31st
- April 17 - Federal Government reveals additional support for small and medium rural businesses through Canada's Regional Development Agencies (locally through the 1000 Islands Community Development Corporation)
- April 21 - Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy online calculator launched
- April 24 - Federal and Provincial Government announcement of Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (administered through CMHC)
- April 24 - DBIA/Chamber/City launch Brockville Shop Local FanSaves Helps Gift Certificate Program
- April 27 - Province reveals "Framework for Reopening the Province"
- April 27 - Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy portal opens for applications (through the CRA)
- April 28 - Provincial "Tackling the Barriers" business request portal launches
- April 30 - Province releases sector specific guidelines to aid businesses in their plans to reopen safely (once the emergency order is lifted)
- May 1 - Province provides support to industrial and commercial electricity consumers
- May 4 - Province allows certain businesses to open under strict safety guidelines
- May 5 - AGCO reduces minimum price for spirits ordered with food for takeout and delivery
- May 6 - Province extends off-peak hydro rate for all residential, small business, and farm time-of-use customers until May 31
- May 6 - Province extends all emergency orders until May 19, 2020
- May 6 - Province announces eased restrictions on certain retail stores and essential construction
- May 11 - Province allows retail establishments with a storefront to offer curb-side pick up
- May 11 - Federal Government announces additional support for businesses, including:
- a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada's largest employers
- expansion of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to mid-sized companies with larger financing needs
- May 12 - Province extends Declaration of Emergency until June 2, 2020 (now extended until July 15)
- May 13 - Regional Relief and Recovery Fund Applications Open
- May 14 - Ontario Announces additional workplaces that can reopen
- May 15 - Federal Government extends CEWS program until August 29, 2020
- May 16 - Some additional seasonal services and activities permitted to reopen
- May 19 - Ontario's first stage of reopenings begin
- May 19 - Federal Government expands criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account to include many owner-operated small businesses
- May 19 - Ontario extends all emergency orders currently in force until May 29, 2020
- May 20 - Details on how to apply for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance are made available on the CMHC website
- May 22 - Government of Canada launched online tool to help you find COVID-19 support programs and services tailored to your business
- May 25 - Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance registration open (staggered application intake - please check the CMHC website for details)
- May 27 - Province extends all emergency orders currently in place until June 9, 2020
- June 1 - Province introduces a fixed electricity price, the COVID-19 Recovery Rate, of 12.8 cents/kWh for all time-of-use customers from June 1-October 31, 2020 and the Disconnection Ban will remain in effect until July 31, 2020. COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) to provide support to businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the outbreak announced.
- June 1 - Province extends Infectious Disease Emergency Leave for workers during COVID-19
- June 2 - Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency until June 30 (now extended until July 15)
- June 8 - Ontario announces that Stage 2 of the reopening framework will begin on Friday June 12
- June 12 - Brockville (and most of Ontario) enter Stage 2 of Reopening (over 100 sector-specific guidance documents to support reopening were produced by the provincial government and are available online)
- June 16 - Province launches general business safety toolkit to support reopening
- June 17 - Ontario pauses commercial evictions
- June 17 - Ontario extends Emergency Orders
- June 24 - Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency until July 15
- June 26 - The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) becomes available to more small businesses that were previously ineligible.
- June 29 - Federal Government announces one month extension to Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program (until the end of July, 2020)
- June 29 - Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) extends travel ban barring non-essential entry into the country until July 31, 2020
- July 7 - Mandatory Face Coverings/Masks to be worn in all enclosed public spaces throughout Lanark, Leeds and Grenville (as well as the surrounding regional health units). Click here for the instructions to all operators of enclosed spaces. Please also review our Preparing to Reopen Safely page for more information and resources.
- July 9 - Ontario extends Emergency Orders to July 22
- July 10 - Province Supports Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Launch of “Ontario Made” Program
- July 13 - Ontario Premier Doug Ford is announces Stage 3 to begin on July 17, 2020 in our region
Mandatory Closures and What Can Reopen
Access the Provincial List of Essential Businesses and information on the Emergency Declaration that pertains to your business.
Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to continue the Fight Against COVID-19. The Ontario Government is extending all emergency orders that have been put in place under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until July 22, 2020. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses, and will continue to be the recommendation as the province works towards the "new normal" amidst the pandemic. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.
On July 7, 2020 the Province announced legislation that would allow certain safety precautions related to the pandemic to remain in place after the Emergency Declaration is lifted. This will give the provincial government flexibility to respond to crisis related to the coronavirus while allowing operations to resume outside on an emergency order.
Provincial List of Essential Workplaces - Updated April 3rd
Under this emergency 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
- Services to the public that are restricted to alternative methods of sale
- Financial Services
- Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers
- Transportation services
- Agriculture and food production
- Resources and energy
- Community services
- Health care and social services
For more details, click here to visit the updated list of essential workplaces
Stage 3 Openings - Starting Regionally July 17, 2020
Nearly All Businesses and Public Spaces to Reopen in Stage 3 (starting July 17, 2020 at 12:01 am) with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place. Stage 3 will take a regional approach to opening most businesses, services, and all public spaces, with health and safety measures in place, and continuing to emphasize personal responsibility.
Stage 3 Gathering Limits:
Stage 2 Openings - June 12, 2020
On June 8, 2020 Premier Ford announced that certain regions, including Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark will be permitted to advance to Stage 2 of the Provincial Framework for Reopening starting on June 12, 2020.
Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:
- Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
- Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
- Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
- Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
- Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
- Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
- Camping at private campgrounds;
- Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
- Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
- Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
- Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people;
- Day care and summer day camps (not overnight camps) may resume, with additional restrictions in place.
July 7, 2020 Update: Local Health Unit mandates the use of face coverings/masks in all enclosed public spaces, which includes all businesses that are open to the public. Every Operator of an Enclosed Public Space shall adopt a policy to ensure that no member of the public is permitted to enter or remain in the public areas of an Enclosed Public Space unless they are wearing a Face Covering/Mask in a manner that securely covers their nose, mouth and chin. Instructions for Operators of enclosed spaces can be found here.
If you own a business in one of the categories that are being permitted to reopen, it is important that you do so safely and following all provincial health and safety guidelines, and do so ONLY IF you are able to put all of the necessary precautions in place. Continuing to offer curbside pick up, delivery, and cashless/touchless payment options as part of your regular operations is still advised.
To assist you with your reopening, the City of Brockville has put together a list of resources and suppliers to help make your reopening easier. Please visit our Reopening Safely page for details.
Stage 1 Openings - Starting May 19, 2020
On May 14, 2020 Premier Ford announced additional workplaces that can reopen.
Additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early as Saturday May 16, 2020 at 12:01 am
- Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
- Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
- Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
- Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.
The Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health & community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services as early as Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 am, provided the general trends on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government's reopening framework.
- Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.
- Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
- Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
- Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
- Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
- Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children's Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person.
Certain Businesses Permitted to Reopen Under Strict Guidelines - Starting May 4th
Ontario has announced that as of Monday, May 4, 2020 Certain businesses will be permitted to reopen under strict guidelines. The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects. The government, in partnership with Ontario's health and safety associations, has developed more than 100 guidelines in response to COVID-19. These sector-specific measures will help employers prepare their workplaces so they can be reopened safely and ensure workers, customers and the general public are protected.
By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 am:
- Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
- Lawn care and landscaping;
- Additional essential construction projects that include:
- shipping and logistics;
- broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
- any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
- municipal projects;
- colleges and universities;
- child care centres;
- schools; and
- site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
- Automatic and self-serve car washes;
- Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
- Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
- Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.
Province Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction - announced May 6
The Ontario government is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery starting Monday May 11th in accordance with the Ministry of Health's Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements. Workplace Safety and Prevention Services has developed a guidance document on offering curb-side pick up and delivery services. as well as a Return-to-Business Checklist.
Additionally, in-store payment and purchases at garden centres & nurseries (starting Friday May 8th), and at hardware stores and safety supply stores (starting Saturday May 9th) will be allowed. Touchless payments are still preferred and advised.
Businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines, such as promoting physical distancing and frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contactless payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to easing restrictions on retail, the government is also expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue. This will help clear the way for the housing and jobs our economy will need to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
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
Tackling the Barriers online portal
- 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
Framework for Reopening the Province
The Provincial Government released the Framework for Reopening the Province on April 27, 2020. No timelines have yet been attached to the framework, but the plan shows the anticipated stages to begin to reopen the economy as conditions of the pandemic improve. Officials will use recommendations from the health minister on when to reopen certain segments, and will require that the presence of new confirmed cases of coronavirus show a significant reduction over a sustained period of time.
Listening to people and businesses
To assess the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and develop an action plan to move forward, the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, as well as MPPs, will be meeting with people and businesses across all sectors impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. They want you to tell them about the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on your business. Your input will be shared with the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee and used to help make decisions about reopening our province and recovering following COVID-19. (This consultation closed on June 12, 2020.)
Survey: Economic impacts of COVID-19
The Provincial Government wants to hear from local businesses about the economic impacts that the coronavirus outbreak is having on your business and your community. Your feedback will help to develop a plan for economic recovery.
Click here to take the survey - closes August 31, 2020
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
Staff have compiled a resource guide to assist you as you prepare to reopen that will include 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.
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.
We have put together a small guide of how some of our local businesses are adapting to the pandemic and how they are supporting our community through this public heath crisis. If you know of any other businesses that are offering something new or different, please let us know. Use #Here4Brockville on social media to tag your good news stories on how you or other businesses are adapting and supporting each other through this.
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.
Restaurants may now also open for outdoor dining, with extra safety precautions and increased distance between tables and customers. Most restaurants with patios appreciate customers making reservations in order to make the best use of space and limit the numbers of people waiting for tables.
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.
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.
Additional Resources for Small Businesses
Find out more about programs specifically for small businesses beyond the government supports found in the section above, including resources and assistance from the private sector.
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 that includes both government supports and programs, discounts, and grants from the private sector (updated regularly). If you find anything that our local businesses may benefit from, please share them with us.
NEW: 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).
This platform allows people to buy gift certificates from businesses that are currently closed or offering limited services, which they can use in the future once things get back to normal. There is no cost to your business to participate (other than any applicable credit card processing fees) and is open to any business, whether you already sell online or not.
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 will your business be featured under).
Community members, once businesses have signed up, will be able to purchase Brockville gift cards 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 613-342-8772 ext. 4470 for Wendy or 4471 for Jeanette. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce Pandemic Preparedness for Business
- CCOHS Business Continuity Plan for Infectious Diseases
- bdc Business Continuity Plan and Templates for Entrepreneurs
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.
The Government of Canada
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.
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. https://news.ontario.ca/newsroom/en.
Please click here to access relevant staff in our City Departments: https://brockville.com/departments