Support for Businesses

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

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COVID-19 Business Impact Survey 3.0 
In an effort to continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses, the Town's Economic Development Office is supporting the County of Simcoe in conducting Regional Business Survey 3.
Similar to previous surveys conducted early in the pandemic, this survey will inform actions to enhance business supports and feedback will be shared with upper levels of government to inform policy and program development.
Your input is valuable and we appreciate your time in completing this survey. 
Complete the Survey

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

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will enable business owners to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and be better positioned to resume normal operations following the crisis. Employers that have experienced any drop in revenue as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for the CEWS, starting with the claim periods that began July 5th.

Apply for the CEWS

Canada Emergency Business Account

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to eligible small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover expenses that cannot be avoided or deferred during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

Learn more about the CEBA

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship from April through September.

Learn more about the CECRA

Canada Recovery Benefit

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

Learn more about the CRB

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they're sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.

Apply for the CRSB

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they're sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19.

Apply for the CRCB

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.

Ontario Main Street Recovery Grant

On October 7th, 2020, the Provincial Government announced its Main Street Recovery Act, which includes a one-time grant of up to $1,000 for eligible main street small businesses — in retail, food and accommodations, and other service sectors — with two to nine employees to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Learn more about the Main Street Recovery 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

Digital Main Street Ontario Grants

The Digital Main Street (DMS) Ontario Grants Program provides main street businesses with $2,500 Digital Transformation Grants, and municipalities and local communities with grants to implement a Digital Service Squad.

Learn more about DMS Ontario Grants

Regional Tourism Organization 7 Consumer Confidence Video Funding

Regional Tourism Organization 7 (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.

Regional Tourism Organization 7 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.

Regional Tourism Organization 7 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

Agri-Food Open for E-Business Targeted Intake

The Agri-Food Open for E-Business Targeted Intake has been well received. Due to high demand, the intake has been paused while applications that had already been submitted as of May 25, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. are reviewed and funding decisions are made. If funding is still available following the review of the remaining applications, the ministry will re-open this targeted application intake.

Learn more about Agri-Food Open for E-Business

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 will be 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.

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 has 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

To support families, small businesses and farms while Ontario plans for the safe and gradual reopening of the province, the Government of Ontario has introduced a new fixed electricity price of 12.8 ¢/kWh for customers that are on time-of-use (TOU) prices.

The COVID-19 Recovery Rate will be automatically applied to all time-of-use customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This fixed electricity price will be in place from June 1 to October 31, 2020.


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.

Ontario Small Business Recovery Resources

Learn about resources available for Ontario businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Find Provincial Business Recovery Resources

Ontario Energy Board Online Bill Calculator

New electricity rates come 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

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

Workplace Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Supplier Directory

To support business-owners, workers and the economic recovery of the province, the government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on PPE suppliers.

To prioritize the needs of patients, frontline health care workers and first responders when it comes to having critical equipment and supplies to protect themselves during the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses are encouraged to access only the PPE they need to keep their employees and customers safe.

Access the directory

Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace

The Province of Ontario is releasing safety guidelines to protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19 as the provincial economy continues to reopen. 

Develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan

Find guidance notes and tip sheets

Find posters for employers and employees

Find sector-specific guidance and multilingual tip sheets

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

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 Ontario Grants 

The DMS Ontario Grants Program provides main street businesses with $2,500 Digital Transformation Grants, and municipalities and local communities with grants to implement a Digital Service Squad.

Learn more about DMS Ontario Grants

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

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 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

Ontario's Framework for Reopening Our Province

The Province's Framework for Reopening Our Province lays out the government’s approach to the next chapter in the ongoing fight to defeat COVID?19. It outlines the principles the government will use to reopening businesses, services and public spaces in gradual stages.The Province of Ontario has New Tecumseth in Stage 3 of Phase 2 of its Framework for Reopening Our Province

Read the Stage 3 Framework

To ensure that these 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.

Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

Ontario's Action Plan will provide support for people and businesses through tax credits and deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets, while providing the resources necessary to protect their health.

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.

 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: