Support for Businesses

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

The Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG) is now open for applications. The OSBSG will provide eligible businesses with between $10,000 and $20,000 to help cover decreased revenues expected as a result of the provincewide shutdown.
Apply for the OSBSG

A declaration of emergency is currently in effect in Ontario.

A stay-at-home order took effect on Thursday, January 14th, requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise, or for work where the work cannot be done remotely.

Enhanced public health and workplace safety measures are anticipated to be in effect until at least Thursday, February 11th.  The Province's Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework is paused during this period.

Learn more about Business-related Restrictions and Public Health Measures

 The Town’s Economic Development Office is 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

Payment and Filing Deferrals

Operational Support Programs & Resources

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


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 $40,000 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 December 31st, 2020.

Learn more about the CEBA

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides a direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage subsidy of up to 65% of eligible expenses directly to qualifying businesses, charities, and non-profits. The current subsidy rates are in effect until December 19, 2020.

Lockdown Support

Qualifying organizations that have been significantly affected by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority would receive an additional 25% of rent support through the CERS.

Combined with the other support received under the CERS, this means that hard hit businesses, non-profits, and charities could receive a rent subsidy of up to 90%.

The CERS and the Lockdown Support are available until June 2021.

Apply for the CERS

Ontario Small Business Support Grant

The Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG) will provide eligible small businesses with between $10,000 and $20,000 to help cover decreased revenues expected as a result of the provincewide shutdown. 

Apply for the OSBSG

Ontario Main Street Recovery Grant

The Main Street Recovery Grant provides a one-time grant of up to $1,000 for eligible small businesses with two to nine employees to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Apply for Funding

 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

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides financial contributions in the form of interest-free loans to help support fixed operating costs of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nottawasaga Futures, the Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) that provides services in New Tecumseth, will focus on assisting eligible “main street” businesses with loans of up to $40,000.

Apply to the RRRF through Nottawasaga Futures

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.

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund (CUSBRF) was established to help small businesses offset the cost of expenses to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online. Managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the CUSBRF provides successful applicants with a relief grant of up to $5,000.

Learn more about the CUSBRF

Apply for a CUSBRF Grant

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 $850 in support towards their electricity bill if they primarily use electricity for heating, or up to $425 otherwise. Small business and registered charity customers could also be eligible for up to $425 in support towards their natural gas bill.

Apply for the CEAP-SB

Regional Tourism Organization 7 Funding Programs
 RTO7 COVID-19 Tourism Response Fund

RTO7 will be administering non-repayable financial support ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the following tourism-related sectors in Grey and Simcoe counties and the cities of Barrie and Orillia:

  • 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).

The intention of this fund is to help offset the high cost of keeping tourists and staff safe while adapting to the changing health and safety requirements and the increasing safety demands of tourists. Examples of adaptation are the addition or expansion of patios at restaurants, the plexiglass barriers at counters or between tables, touchless payment systems, reservation systems, sanitization stations, COVID sanitizer fogging equipment, etc.

Apply for the COVID-19 Tourism Response Fund

RTO7 Consumer Confidence Video Funding

RTO7 has committed $135,000 to produce 45 Consumer Confidence Videos with matching advertising videos for 45 tourism operators* in Bruce, Grey and Simcoe Counties (15 from each county). To participate, operators must provide proof of $1,500 in operational expenses (i.e. copies of receipts) to leverage this FREE opportunity (which has a value of $3,000).

The videos will depict the tourism operator's safety precautions in place to safely host their guests and to combat the spread of COVID-19. The matching advertising video will promote the business product offerings and help with recovery efforts. Videos can then be used by the operators on their websites, in digital advertising and on in-house video systems. They will be further leveraged on the BruceGreySimcoe.com website, YouTube channel and in BruceGreySimcoe’s future seasonal campaigns, at no cost to the participating operators.

Apply for Consumer Confidence Video Funding

*The term "tourism operator" is defined as a consumer facing organization that has direct access to the consumer and relies on that consumer for their income.

RTO7 Operations Implementation Program

The Operations Implementation Program (OIP) is designed to assist tourism operators* in their stabilization and recovery efforts from the effects of COVID-19 with social media marketing to promote their operations. Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) will match the business' investment in operational expenses (i.e. mortgage or rent payments, insurance, inventory purchases) with a $1,000 (including HST) social media advertising campaign. 

Learn more about OIP

*The term "tourism operator" is defined as a consumer facing organization that has direct access to the consumer and relies on that consumer for their income.

RTO7 Personal Protective Equipment Funding

If you’re a tourism operator* in the counties of Bruce, Grey and Simcoe and have incurred business expenses for personal protective equipment (PPE) during COVID-19, RTO7 can help!

With $150,000 in funding available, funds will be allocated on a “first come, first served” basis to 150 tourism businesses in our region, 50 per county.  Each business may be reimbursed a maximum of $1,000 to cover these expenses, retroactive to April 1, 2020.

Apply for PPE Funding

*The term "tourism operator" is defined as a consumer facing organization that has direct access to the consumer and relies on that consumer for their income.

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

Support for Individuals

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 achild 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

Payment and Filing Deferrals

Municipal Property Taxes

In an effort to provide financial relief to those who may need it due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the payment due dates for property taxes have been adjusted to the following:

  • Farmland final tax bills:

    • 1st installment was due Thursday, July 30th, 2020

    • 2nd installment was due Friday, October 30th, 2020

  • Commercial and Industrial final tax bills:

    • 1st installment was due September 30th, 2020

    • 2nd installment will be due November 30th, 2020

These changes are in addition to the deferral of the second installment of interim property tax bills from April 30th to May 29th, 2020.

Please note that this is not a reduction in property taxes. By extending the typical due dates, the Town is hoping to give businesses that are in need of financial relief additional time to make payments.

Learn more about paying your Property Taxes

Income Tax Filings

Businesses were able to defer the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18th and before September 30th, 2020. This relief applied to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. Penalties and interest were not applied if returns are filed and payments were made by September 30th, 2020.

Review extended payment and filing deadlines 

Sales Tax and Customs Duty Remittances

Businesses, including self-employed individuals, were able to defer payments of the GST/HST and customs duty owing on their imports, until June 30th, 2020.

Businesses that continue to experience difficulty in remitting GST/HST and customs duty amounts owing can contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to make a request for the cancellation of penalties and interest, and/or for a flexible payment arrangement with the CRA.

Learn more about the deferral of tax remittances

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Premiums 

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) financial relief package allowed businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31st, 2020. Businesses that report and pay monthly, quarterly, or annually based on their insurable earnings are eligible for this deferral. 

To continue to help reduce the financial burden on businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, any repayment of deferred WSIB premiums will not begin before January of 2021. The WSIB will provide more information on the repayment schedule for deferred amounts, along with 2021 premium rate information, in the fall. 

Any employer participating in the financial relief package will have to report deferred amounts by October 31st, 2020. Regular monthly and quarterly reporting and payment schedules resumed in September of 2020 for all businesses.

Learn more about the WSIB Relief Package

Utilities

Municipal Water and Wastewater

In an effort to provide financial relief to those who may need it due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town made the following changes to Water and Wastewater due dates:

  • Bills issued in July with a due date of August 17th were extended by 30 days, moving the due date to September 15th, 2020.

  • Bills issued in June with a due date of July 15th were extended by 30 days, moving the due date to August 15th, 2020.

  • Bills issued in May with a due date of June 15th were extended by 30 days, moving the due date to July 15th, 2020.

  • Bills issued in April with a due date of May 15th were extended by 30 days, moving the due date to June 15th, 2020. 

  • Bills issued with a due date of April 15th were extended by 30 days, making the revised due date May 15th, 2020.

Please note that this is not a reduction in water and wastewater fees. By extending the due dates, the Town is hoping to give businesses that are in need of financial relief additional time to make payments. If your business is still able to make payment on or before the original due date, we encourage you to do so.

Electricity

Alectra Utilities and Hydro One have each announced support measures for customers affected by COVID-19:

Natural Gas

Enbridge and Union Gas have each committed to supporting customers affected by the pandemic, ensuring residential and small business customers do not have their service disconnected for non-payment and providing enhanced payment plans for customers who have concerns about their ability to pay their utility bill.

Operational Support Programs & Resources

Support Local. Make It New Tec!

As New Tecumseth’s business community continues to reopen and resume operations, residents and workers are encouraged to safely support local and “Make It New Tec” the next time they’re shopping, dining, or unwinding.

Support Local. Make It New Tec!

Temporary Restaurant Patios Program

To help support local restaurant owners in their recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, the Town introduced its Temporary Restaurant Patios Program in 2020. The program provided restaurants that don't have a permanent patio space on their property with the opportunity to take advantage of the summer weather and offer safe outdoor dining space to their customers.

Patios were able to operate in parking lots and adjacent premises on private property, as well as at curbside locations on Victoria Street in the historic downtown of Alliston as part of a pilot project operated in partnership with the Alliston Business Improvement Association.

As an added measure of support, select Town fees associated with participating in the program were waived for the 2020 patio season.

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 Grow & Manage Your Online Store Program

Learn how to grow and manage your new online store with this FREE 90-day online course offered through our partners at Nottawasaga Futures. Go at your own pace with live one-on-one video calls and 24/7 online access to video lessons and downloads. Email ced@nottawasaga.com for more information and to register.

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 Future Proof Main Street program delivered in partnership with Communitech and Invest Ottawa helps businesses identify new markets, pivot their business model, and develop and implement a deep digital transformation plan.

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 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

Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover

Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover is the next phase of the Province's response to the serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19. The plan sets out a total of $45 billion in support over three years to make available the necessary health resources to continue protecting people, deliver critical programs and tax measures to support individuals, families and job creators impacted by the virus, and lay the groundwork for long-term economic recovery.

Reopening Ontario

Learn about Ontario’s plan to reopen businesses, services and public spaces as the fight against COVID-19 continues. To ensure that the actions to reopen the province are a success, the public should continue to adhere to public health measures, including practising physical distancing, wearing a face covering, regular hand-washing, and staying home when ill.

Learn more about Reopening Ontario

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

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

You are now required to wear a face covering when you enter into a public indoor space (e.g. grocery store, community centre, shopping mall, hair salon, library, place of worship, etc.), or use a public transit service in Simcoe Muskoka. The face covering must be worn inside the business or organization at all times, unless it is reasonably required to temporarily remove the face covering for services provided (such as eating or drinking).

What you need to know

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 covering.  Best efforts shall be made to only allow entry to customers wearing a face covering.

Download signage to print and display

Read the Health Unit's letter to businesses and organizations

 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: