Support for Businesses

Information & Resources for Businesses and the Workforce During COVID-19 

We are currently in Step One of the Province's Roadmap to Reopen; a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators.
What your business can expect

Temporary Restaurant Patio ProgramThe Town's Temporary Restaurant Patio Program is open for permit applications for the 2021 season. 
Learn more & apply 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town’s Economic Development Office has been working with industry and business development partners from throughout the region to identify important information and resources to assist local businesses and their employees in responding to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Financial Support Programs 

Operational Support Programs & Resources

For the most up-to-date information on municipal services, please visit our COVID-19 Information page.

Looking for expert insights into navigating your business through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Visit our Business Events Calendar for access to webinars, online events, and training sessions. 
Visit the Business Events Calendar


Financial Support Programs

Businesses and individuals can use these tools developed by the Government of Canada to quickly find COVID-19 support programs they may qualify for by answering a few simple questions. 
Support for Businesses
Support for Individuals

Support for Businesses

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides eligible employers that have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19 with a subsidy to cover part of employees' wages. The CEWS enables business owners to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease back into normal operations.

Apply for the CEWS

Canada Emergency Business Account

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free, partially forgivable loans of up to $60,000 to eligible small businesses and not-for-profits that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19, but face ongoing non-deferable costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, and wages. Businesses can apply for the CEBA through their banks and credit unions until June 30th, 2021.

Learn more about the CEBA

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides eligible businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities that have seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic with a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

Apply for the CERS

Canada Recovery Hiring Program

The proposed Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) would provide eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50 per cent of incremental remuneration paid to eligible active employees between June 6th, 2021, and November 20th, 2021.

Learn more about the CRHP

Ontario Tourism and Small Business Support Grant

The Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant provides one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and travel sector. Businesses that received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG) are not eligible for the new grant. 

Applications for this grant will close on Friday, June 25th, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Apply for Support

 Property Tax and Energy Bill Rebates

Businesses that required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures can apply for rebates on property taxes and energy bills, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs.

Apply for Support

Business Credit Availability Program

The Government of Canada established the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide additional support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). The program includes:

Businesses seeking support through any of the BCAP programs should contact their primary lender where they have a pre-existing relationship, so that the financial institutions may assess the client’s financial request.

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program

The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) provides small- and medium-sized businesses that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 with access to guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1-million to cover operational cash flow needs.

Learn more about the HASCAP

Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) COVID-19 Recovery Programs

RTO7 has a line-up of programs geared to support tourism operators, businesses, and organizations as they recover from the effects of COVID-19 on the tourism sector. 

 COVID-19 Recovery Support

If your business has had capital expenditures related to COVID-19 safety and security, RTO7 will reimburse between $500 and $2,000 of your business' pre-tax matching investment. Eligible expenses may include patio expansions at restaurants to accommodate more patrons, furniture, heaters, barriers, large scale sanitation equipment, booking and point of sale systems, and more.

Apply for Support

 Consumer Confidence Images

Leverage your operating expenses of $1,500 (pre-tax) into this free new opportunity (value of $3,000) to create or update an image library for your business to use as marketing collateral. Eligible expenses include rent, insurance, inventory purchases, and more. Receipts must be provided. These receipts cannot have been used to access other assistance programs.

Apply for Support 

 Consumer Confidence Videos

Leverage your operating expenses of $1,500 pre-tax into the creation of two videos - one 60-second and one-30 second (value of $3,000). Eligible expenses include rent, insurance, inventory purchases, and more. Receipts must be provided. These receipts cannot have been used to access other assistance programs.

Apply for Support 

 Partnership Programs

Applications are now being accepted for the 2021/22 Partnership Program for the following programs:

  • Video/Image Production (deadline: October 31, 2021)

  • Storytelling (deadline: October 31, 2021)

  • Tourism Wayfinding, Trails & Cycling Signage (deadline: September 30, 2021)

  • Experience Development (deadline: August 31, 2021)

  • French Translation Services (deadline: October 31, 2021)

As applications are accepted on an ongoing basis until the application deadline or available funds have been allocated, it’s important to submit your application as soon as possible. Submitted applications are reviewed in the order they are received and approval is based on merit and alignment with RTO7 business plans.

Apply for Support

 Experience Implementation Program

Through this program, RTO7 can assist tourism stakeholders to develop products and experiences unique to our region to help increase visitors’ length of stay, increase yield per visitor, and encourage a higher level of return visitation. As experiences work well with smaller groups, they can be an effective addition to your COVID-19 recovery plan.

Apply for Support

 Experience Development 101

Facilitated by Kim Clarke, RTO7’s Tourism Experience Development Specialist, this training course gives participants the tools for the development of new experiences with the goal of increasing visitor spend and visitation. Currently offered online, communities interested in developing tourism experiences can contact Kim directly for more information at kclarke@rto7.ca or by phone at 519-379-2506. 

Learn more

Ontario Energy Board COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business

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. 

Small business and registered charity customers may be eligible for up to $1,500 in support towards their electricity and natural gas bills, and can apply for on-bill credits for both electricity and natural gas separately.

Customers who applied and received CEAP support in 2020 may apply again to be considered for the increased funding available in 2021.

Apply for the CEAP-SB

Farm Credit Canada Support Program

To ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors can remain focused on business-critical functions rather than worrying about how to access funds to keep operating through this challenging period, effective immediately, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has put in place:

  • a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or

  • a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months

  • access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements.

Learn more about the FCC COVID-19 Support Program

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility

The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) provides bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going.

Apply to to the LEEFF

 Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Financial Relief

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) financial relief package allowed businesses to defer premiums due from March to August of 2020. All businesses that chose to participate in the financial relief package will have until June 30th, 2021 to repay deferred amounts, interest-free. Deferred amount payments can be made in one or multiple installments between January and June 30th, 2021.

Learn more about the WSIB Relief Package

Support for Individuals

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit

On April 29th, 2021, the Ontario Government amended the Employment Standards Act to require employers to provide employees with up to three (3) days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID-19. This entitlement is in addition to employees’ rights to unpaid infectious disease emergency leave.

Learn more about the benefit

Employment Insurance 

Temporary changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program have been made to better support Canadians looking for work. 

Learn more about EI

Canada Recovery Benefit 

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

Apply for the CRB

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit 

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks for workers who are unable to work because they contracted COVID-19, are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that, in the opinion of a medical professional, puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.

Apply for the CRSB

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit 

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers who are unable to work because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19 or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.

Apply for the CRCB

Operational Support Programs & Resources

Temporary Restaurant Patio Program

The Town is pleased to offer its Temporary Restaurant Patio Program to local establishments again in 2021. 

The program provides restaurants with the opportunity to establish or expand patio spaces to take advantage of the summer weather and offer safe outdoor dining areas to their customers.

Subject to the program’s conditions and public health measures, patios can operate in parking lots and adjacent premises on restaurants’ private property, as well as on municipal sidewalks at restaurants located in the downtowns of Alliston, Beeton, and Tottenham until November 15th.

To assist the local business community in its recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, no municipal fees will be charged to participating restaurants in 2021.

Submission requirements to obtain a permit include:

  • Application form

  • Property owner approval

  • Site specific conceptual site plan drawing

  • Health Unit Certificate of Inspection

  • AGCO Liquor License (if applicable)

  • Certificate of Insurance

  • Professional Engineers Certificate for temporary “bump-out” sidewalk structure and traffic barrier (if applicable)

  • Encroachment Agreement (if applicable)

Download the Curbside Patio Application Package

Download the Private Property Patio Application Package

For more information about the program and its submission requirements, or for assistance in completing your permit application, contact the Economic Development Office.

Business Events Calendar

Looking for expert insights into navigating your business through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic? Visit our Business Events Calendar for access to webinars, online events, and training sessions. 

Visit the Business Events Calendar

Support Local. Make It New Tec!

Now more than ever, local small businesses need the community's support. Make It New Tec with contactless curbside pick-up, delivery, or take-out options from local merchants and restaurants in Alliston, Beeton, and Tottenham.
Shop local. Eat local. Support local. Make It New Tec!

Support Local. Make It New Tec!

Nottawasaga Futures Free Local Business Consulting Services

Nottawasaga Futures provides a free business consulting program to assist business owners and entrepreneurs. In addition to supports for business planning, financials, and accounting, businesses can access help with:

  • confidential mental health support services;

  • applying for funding programs being offered by the federal government;

  • making sure their website is optimized for buying or booking appointments online;

  • setting up online ordering for both delivery and take-out through their website;

  • converting existing stores to e-commerce to offer online buying capabilities;

  • offering online and/or live classes or consultations using tools like Skype and ZOOM;

  • and much more!

Learn more about the business consulting program

Nottawasaga Futures Storefront to Online

The Storefront to Online (S2O) program is designed to teach traditional bricks and mortar stores, home based business owners, and not-for-profit agencies how to extend their business online as an additional revenue stream. The S2O program provides educational webinars, business tools, and digital resources directly to the business owner and provides one-on-one coaching to help business owners keep on track to reach their online goals. 

Learn more about S2O

Nottawasaga Futures eCommerce Accelerator Program

Learn how to grow, manage, and profit from your online store with this FREE 90-day online course offered through our partners at Nottawasaga Futures.

eCommerce Accelerator teaches you how to grow & manage your existing online store for more sales, and offers a real understanding of how ecommerce works, giving you an unfair advantage over your competitors.

Learn more about eCommerce Accelerator

Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street (DMS) is a program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and DMS' Digital Service Squad; a team of highly trained recent graduates who help main street businesses grow and manage their business through the adoption of digital tools and technology.

DMS shopHERE

DMS shopHERE is a program that provides independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and FREE way to get selling online right away.

Learn more about DMS shopHERE

DMS Future Proof

The DMS Future Proof program is meant as a detailed, deep dive, to support businesses that require support in either transforming their business model or developing and implementing an advanced digital transformation plan. It will help ‘future proof’ our small business’ and drive recovery by ensuring main street firms are well equipped to maintain clients, jobs and revenue in any economic storm, and continue to operate and grow in any climate.

Learn more about DMS Future Proof

DMS Future Proof Main Street Relaunch Program

The Main Street Relaunch Program will help small business owners relaunch their businesses with a focus on ecommerce and online marketing in the wake of COVID-19. The program goes beyond simply getting businesses online, it will help entrepreneurs create financial forecasts that allow them to recover from revenue loss, and transition their business model into one that relies less on foot traffic and face to face interaction.

Enroll in the FREE Main Street Relaunch Program

Digital Main Street and Beyond

The County of Simcoe's Digital Main Street and Beyond program helps businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and a Digital Service Squad, a team of highly trained professionals who help businesses grow and manage their business through the adoption of digital tools and technology. 

Eligible businesses will receive digital supports and up to 10 hours of free one-on-one coaching from a Digital Service Squad that will work with the business to establish or enhance their web presence by activating free and easy to use tools such as Shopify, Google My Business, and social media.

Learn more about Digital Main Street and Beyond

Help for Businesses in Ontario

Learn about changes to government programs and available supports as your business recovers from COVID-19.

Find Provincial business supports

Find small business recovery resources

Find resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace

Rapid Testing Kits for Businesses

The Ontario government has a rapid testing portal to make it easier for businesses to access free rapid testing to help keep employees and their families safe.

Rapid antigen screening goes hand in hand with public health measures, such as symptom screening, physical distancing, masking and hand hygiene. Any positive results from a rapid antigen point-of-care test must be confirmed with laboratory-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

Businesses are encouraged to get their own rapid antigen screening kits by registering through the portal

Check eligibility and apply

Signage Questions for Businesses and Organizations

The person responsible for a business or organization that is open must operate that business or organization in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health or another public health official on screening individuals.

This requirement includes posting signs at all entrances to the premises of the business or organization in a conspicuous location visible to the public that inform individuals on how to screen themselves for COVID-19 prior to entering the premises.

Download the Provincial Guidance Document

Ontario Energy Board Online Bill Calculator

New electricity rates came into effect on November 1st, 2020. Small business customers that pay Time-of-Use (TOU) electricity prices now have a choice to move to a tiered price system or continue with TOU rates.

Choose the price plan that’s right for how your business consumes electricity. With TOU, the price you pay depends on when you use electricity whereas with tiered prices, you use a certain amount of electricity each month at a fixed price anytime of the day. Once you exceed that limit, a higher price applies.

If you want to continue paying TOU prices, no action is required. If you’re considering a switch to Tiered prices, get a price comparison using the OEB’s online bill calculator. 

Use the OEB Calculator

Ontario Live

The Province of Ontario is working with industry and agency partners to launch Ontario Live — a new virtual hub designed to promote and support the province’s tourism and cultural industries. This initiative, developed in collaboration with industry partners and leaders, will provide support for Ontario’s culture and tourism industries and help to mitigate the economic toll of the COVID-19 outbreak on Ontario’s artists, creators and attractions.

Register Your Business with Ontario Live

World Travel & Tourism Council Safe Travel Stamp 

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in cooperation with the provincial government, has created a self-certified Safe Travel Stamp based on worldwide industry protocols for every aspect of hospitality and tourism industries.

The specially designed stamp will allow consumers to recognize governments and businesses around the world that have adopted standardized health and hygiene protocols.

Eligible businesses include hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, attractions, short term rentals, car rentals, outdoor shopping, transportation and airports.

Learn more about the Safe Travel Stamp

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan includes a wide range of measures to support Canadian businesses and their employees who are facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Mandatory Face Coverings

Owners or operators of all businesses, organizations and public transit services in Simcoe and Muskoka must have policies in place to restrict people from entering if they are not wearing a face coveringBest efforts shall be made to only allow entry to customers wearing a face covering.

Download signage to print and display

 Business Development Partner Resources

The Town's business development partners and service providers are regularly updating resource lists and hosting webinars to help educate business owners as they navigate this complex and challenging situation. Find more information at the following organizations' websites: