Business Resources: COVID-19

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Updated April 8, 2021


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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 Enacts Provincial Emergency Stay-at-Home Order effective April 8, 2021 at 12:01am

Work from home except where necessary. Each person that is responsible for a business or organization that is open shall ensure that any person who performs work for the business or organization conducts their work remotely, with limited exception (for instance, where the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace).

Please read the provincial press release for details. This further strengthens the regulations in place under the Provincewide "Emergency Brake" Shutdown. 

What does this mean for your business?

Businesses that are permitted to remain open must do so following the Provincial guidance and regulations. This includes mask use, physical distancing, screening, and line management. 

As of April 8 at 12:01am, the majority of non-essential stores will only be open for curbside pick-up between the hours of 7am and 8pm, with delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6am and 9pm. 

Capacity limits for businesses that are permitted to be open:

In person shopping is only permitted for essential businesses. Discount and big box stores must limit in-person retail sales to grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, health care items, and personal care items only. Supermarkets and other stores tha tprimarily sell groceries, convenience stores, and pharmacies may operate at 50% capacity, while all other permitted retail (including discout and big box retailers, liquor stores, cannabis stores, hardware stores, and garden centres) may operate at 15% capacity, subject to the ability to maintain two metres of physical distancing. 

The following stores may operate for in-person retail by appointment only and subject to a 25% capacity limit and restricting allowable hours of operation to between 7am and 8pm, with delivery of goods to patrons permitted between 6am and 9pm: 

Outdoor garden centres and plant nurseries, and indoor greenhouses that engage in sales to the public, are permitted to operate with a 25% capacity limit and a restriciton on hours of operation between 7am and 8pm.

Please refer to the Provincial regulations for more details: More specifics on these provincewide regulations can be found here.

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


Ontario Small Business Support Grant - Second Round Announced

The deadline for applications for this support program has been extended until April 7, 2021.

The government has announced a second round of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help small business owners (including sole proprietorships) that were required to close or significantly restrict services under Ontario's provincewide shutdown effective December 26, 2020. If you applied for the first round (application deadline March 31, 2021), you will automatically receive the second round of funding. You must apply in the first round in order to be eligible for the second round of funding.

Each small business will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business. For example, some businesses will need support paying employee wages or rent, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.

Eligible small businesses include those that:

Application Requirements:

Businesses must provide and attest to the following information:

Round 1 Application Deadline: Extended until April 7, 2021

For full eligibly details, definitions, and other details to help you with your application, please click here to review the Ontario Small business Support Grant 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 loads 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 United Small Business Relief Fund

New Intake: Applications will be accepted again starting February 16th.

Created by RBC, Canada United is a movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund was established to help small businesses offset the cost of expenses to open safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online. The Fund will be managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Successful applicants will receive a relief grant of up to $5,000. 

Read more about the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund.

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. 

January 2021 changes for claim periods 11 to 13 (December 20, 2020, to March 13, 2021):

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-$1.5 million (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:

Business owners can apply for support until March 31, 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:

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.

COVID-19 Tourism Adaptation Fund

The COVID-19 Tourism Adaptation Fund - provided by the Federal Economic Development Agency (FedDev) and administered through Regional Tourism Organization 9 for tourism-related businesses in the form of a one-time, non-repayable grant of $1,500-$20,000 (excluding HST).

Grant can total up to 80% of net amount of approved project expenses. The applicant is responsible for 20% of net amount of project expenses and HST.

Tourism Operators as defined by Tourism HR Canada include: Accommodation (hotels, motels, resorts, campgrounds, and recreational vehicle facilities), Recreation and Entertainment (zoos, museums, theatres, sports facilities, amusement parks, government parks, heritage sites, hunting, fishing or outdoor adventure outfitters, and casinos), Food and beverage services (restaurants from fast service to fine dining, as well as pubs, nightclubs, cruise ships, and convention centres); Travel services (retail travel agencies, wholesale tour companies, or corporate offices with their own booking divisions) and Transportation (companies that provide transport by air, land or water, and include airlines, bus companies, taxi companies, ferry services, and cruise ships). Retail stores heavily dependent on tourism may also be considered.

The grant is for one-time adaptation and re-opening costs incurred between June 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 by registered businesses. To take advantage of this funding, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 

Click here for more details and to apply for the COVID-19 Tourism Adaptation Fund.

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 Hospitality Sector Grant

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.  More details will be announced soon. 

Ontario's Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support

The Province of Ontario is helping small businesses with the unexpected costs of PPE by providing eligible small businesses with one-time grants of up to $1000. To be eligible, your business must have 2 to 19 employees and be in one of the following sectors: retail, accommodation and food services, repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, gyms and yoga studios. Any small business that received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will not be eligible for this new grant. For more information and to apply, visit the Provincial website. 

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.

Ontario Small Business Support Grant - Second Round Announced

Second round applications will open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown. If you applied and received funds in the first round, you will automatically receive that same amount again. 

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with dollar for dollar funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the shutdown. 

The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20% when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. 

To be eligible, a small business must:

Visit the application portal

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 ext. 4470 for Wendy or 4471 for Jeanette. 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.

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. 

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:

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