As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, businesses may have questions about whether or not they are able to stay open, whether they qualify as an essential business, how to screen employees, and what additional cleaning or sanitation protocols are required as a result of the lockdown. This page has been created to provide Smiths Falls’ businesses with the resources they need, such as funding opportunities, sourcing PPE, training resources, and the Town of Smiths Falls’ response to the pandemic.
For answers to frequent questions about the provincial response and ongoing mandates and restrictions, including vaccination passport requirements, please click this link: COVID Q&A Province of Ontario for Businesses
Proof of Vaccination: Guidance for Businesses and Organizations
Changes in provincial regulations will impact Smiths Falls’ businesses and organizations. Beginning on Sept. 22, 2021, businesses and organizations operating in Ontario will be required to ask for proof of vaccination from patrons. The following businesses are included in this mandate:
- Restaurants and bars (excluding patios, delivery and takeout)
- Nightclubs, including outdoor areas
- Meeting and event spaces
- Sports and fitness facilities and gyms (with the exception of youth recreational sports)
- Sporting events
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
- Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas
- Strip clubs, bath houses and sex clubs
- Racing venues
- Indoor areas of waterparks
- Areas of commercial TV
Businesses in Ontario will be required to cross reference vaccination receipts with government identification (driver’s license, birth certificate or passport) and to confirm the bearer has been fully vaccinated (second dose) for 14 days.
There are some exemptions to this mandate. Businesses are encouraged to read the full guidance release from the province of Ontario here: https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/coronavirus/docs/guidance_proof_of_vaccination_for_businesses_and_organizations.pdf
For answers to frequent questions about the provincial response and ongoing mandates and restrictions, including vaccination passport requirements, please click this link: COVID Q&A Province of Ontario for Businesses
New Modelling Released for Second Wave of COVID-19
The province of Ontario has released modelling to illustrate the potential impacts of the second wave in Ontario. The new modelling shows that following public health measures is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Special Event Guidelines for Stage 3
The Leeds Grenville and Lanark Health Unit has released guidelines for anyone running a special event while the province remains in Stage 3. Please review this document before planning an event.
Province Announces Stage 3 of Recovery – July 17 2020
The province of Ontario announced the beginning of Stage 3 of the re-opening of the province on July 13, 2020. Effective July 17, indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people while outdoor gatherings will increase to a maximum of 100 people. Gathering limits will remain subject to physical distancing requirements. Under these new and expanded restrictions nearly all businesses will be allowed to re-open in Ontario, subject to implementing health and safety requirements relevant for their industry.
Read the media release here: Stage 3 Re-opening Ontario Media Release
Read the Stage 3 framework for re-opening the province here: Stage 3 Framework for Re-opening
Health Unit Announces Mandatory Mask Wearing in Enclosed Public Spaces
Effective July 7, 2020, the Leeds Grenville Lanark Health Unit announced mask wearing will be mandatory for all visitors to enclosed public spaces. Business owners whose business is affected must ensure visitors to their workspace are wearing a mask and that appropriate signage is in place to inform visitors of this requirement.
Read the full media release here: Mandatory Mask Wearing Media Release
Find a full list of affected businesses here: Public Health Instructions and Definitions for Mandatory Mask Wearing
More information with questions and answers about masks here: Mask Questions and Answers
This policy will be reviewed before September 30, 2020.
The Health Unit has staff answering COVID-19 related questions and concerns for the public from 8:30am to 4:30pm every day at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2499. Public Health Inspectors are also available to discuss environmental health concerns. You can also get more information about COVID-19 by visiting https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/face-coverings-masks/ or by connecting with LGLHealthUnit on Facebook and Twitter.
COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan
Download the province of Ontario’s guide for employers. Whether you are currently operating or planning for your workers to return to work, the guide will help you develop a plan to work safely. It will help prepare you to put controls into place to make the workplace safer for everyone.
Health Unit Checklist for Patios
Province Announces Phase Two Re-Opening June 12
On Monday, June 8, Premier Doug Ford announced that some Health Unit regions in Ontario, including the Lanark Leeds Grenville Health Unit, will be entering Stage 2 of re-opening by the end of this week. Businesses affected by this announcement can visit this website for the media release:
COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Businesses
Get the information you need about re-opening guidelines for employers and employees here.
Read this document for general Public Health Guidance and information for businesses and the public here.
Province Announces Phase One Re-Opening May 19
Phase One of reopening starts for some businesses on Tuesday, May 19. Here is a list of those eligible to reopen: Ontario – List of Openings
The key message in Premier Ford’s announcement is businesses should ONLY open if they are ready. The health of owners and employees is critical. Businesses must review the framework for reopening as well as the workplace safety guidelines.
These can be found at:
Businesses who are searching for PPE can find resources here: Ontario – Covid19
Hand sanitizer is available at: Top Shelf Distillery in Perth
Other product sources include:
|Product||Company||Address||Phone||How to Order|
|Gloves||Allied Medical Supplies||100 Four Valley Dr Unit C, Concord, ON L4K 4T9||1 800-463-6677||Corporate Orders Only|
|Surgical Masks||RDC||28 Steve Fonyo Dr, Kingston, ON K7M 8N9||(613) 650-1487||In store or order online|
|Alcohol Wipes||J. Stone Company||62 Bradwick Dr, Concord, ON L4K 1K8||(416) 785-3752||Emergency Services Ordering Only|
|Lysol Wipes||Giant Tiger||29 Chambers St, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2Y3||(613) 283-2295||In Store|
WSIB Business Checklist
The Workplace Safety & Prevention Services has several resources for businesses including a pandemic recovery-return to business checklist found here, partner and industry association resources, as well links to useful sites with a wide range of up-to-date content. For more information visit their website: www.wsps.ca
Provincial Guidelines for Businesses
The Ontario government has released a list of more than 65 safety guidelines to protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19 as businesses prepare for the gradual reopening of the provincial economy. Click here for more information about these guidelines: Ontario – Preventing Covid19 in the Workplace
Public Health Guidance for Businesses
The Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has released a Public Health Guidance for Businesses fact sheet. The fact sheet describes the public health measures to support the reopening of stores or businesses while ensuring the risk of spreading the COVID-19 is minimized. The document reviews the role of the Public, Workers and Employer, with references to personal hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE) considered appropriate for various businesses. There are references for face masks, hand hygiene and keeping surfaces clean and disinfected. There is a link in the first paragraph with resources for up to up to 80 business types/sectors to meet specific business needs.
The Fact Sheet is available here: Public Health Guidance for Businesses – PDF
Retail Recovery Playbook
The Retail Recovery Council of Canada has released a Retail Recovery Playbook and Checklist for businesses to use as a reference as they prepare for reopening.
Find these references here: Retail Council – Covid19 Recovery Planning
Food Service Insights
Find information about changes restaurants can make in response to COVID-19 at these links:
Funding programs aimed specifically at small businesses are ongoing in the province of Ontario. To view a full list of available funding programs please download this handy reference chart: Small Business Support Funding Chart January 2021
Ontario Small Business Grant
Applications for the Ontario Small Business Grant continue to be accepted until March 31, 2021. The provincial government also made a NEW announcement that recipients of the Ontario Small Business Grant will automatically receive a second payment equal to the first payment received ($10,000 or $20,000). Businesses will not need to apply for this funding, it will be automatically delivered. To be eligible, a business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20% when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This time period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.
For more information visit the Ontario COVID-19 Business Support page: Ontario Business Support
NEW Tourism Business Funding
The government is introducing the new Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant, which will provide an estimated $100 million in one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. Examples of eligible businesses include:
- Travel agencies
- Amusement and water parks
- Hunting and fishing camps
- Recreational and vacation camps (for example, children’s overnight summer camps)
More information on this grant will be available in the coming days. Please keep an eye on the province of Ontario’s funding page at: Ontario Business Support
Tourism Recovery & Innovation Program – Capital Costs
*NEW* TRIP – Capital Projects is geared specifically to small to medium sized tourism businesses, this program intends to offset up to 80% of eligible capital expenses incurred to modify operations to a maximum of $20,000 in non-repayable funding.
Business owners interested in applying for this program are encouraged to review the program and eligibility guidelines and click “Apply” at the end of the guidelines. Be prepared to submit an application as soon as possible. Please review this list of frequently asked questions.
Applications to this funding stream will be accepted beginning Jan. 15, 2021 and on an ongoing basis until Dec. 31, 2021, or until funds are depleted.
For the purposes of this program a tourism-based business is one in which a significant percentage of customers come from out of region. Examples of eligible businesses would include restaurants, breweries, distilleries, events, theatres, and retail shops.
New Ontario Small Business Support Program
In January 2021, applications opened for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the new province-wide shutdown effective Dec. 26, 2020.
Businesses are eligible for $10,000 to $20,00 in dollar-for-dollar funding to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the province-wide shutdown. Businesses must demonstrate a revenue decline of at least 20% when comparing monthly revenue from April 2019 to April 2020.
Small businesses must:
- Be required to close or restrict services subject to the new province-wide shutdown effective Dec. 26, 2020
- Have fewer than 100 employees
- Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline comparing April 2020 to Aril 2019 revenues.
For more information please visit the following: Ontario Small Business Support Program Media Release.
Ontario Small Business Grant Programs
Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support (Grant)
Grants to help small businesses with the unexpected costs of PPE.
To be eligible, your business must have two to nine employees and be in one of the following sectors:
- accommodation and food services
- repair and maintenance
- personal and laundry services
- gyms and yoga studios
What you’ll get
Eligible small businesses will get one-time grants of up to $1,000.
What you’ll get
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 Provincewide Shutdown. The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20 per cent when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020.
Businesses will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for them. For example, some businesses will use the support to pay employee wages, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.
To receive the grant, a small business must:
- Be required to close or restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26
- Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level
- Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline comparing April 2020 to April 2019 revenues
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) program opens
The government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) program is taking applications beginning Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. The new subsidy will be retroactive to Sept. 27, when the previous program, Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program ended. Through CECRA the onus was on landlords to apply, not tenants, while the new program allows the tenants to apply.
CERS will allow eligible businesses or organizations to apply for subsidies of up to 65 per cent of their monthly rent within certain limits, or up to 90 per cent if they are under more sever pandemic restrictions such as a lockdown. The program is expected to run until June 2021. For more information please visit: Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
New federal support programs for business
On Oct. 9, 2020, the government of Canada announced a series of new initiatives to support businesses struggling with lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new programs include:
- The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which would provide simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.
- A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy. This follows a commitment in the Speech from the Throne to provide direct financial support to businesses temporarily shut down as a result of a local public health decision.
- The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021, which would continue to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encouraging employers to re-hire their workers. The subsidy would remain at the current subsidy rate of up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020. This measure is part of the government’s commitment to create over 1 million jobs and restore employment to the level it was before the pandemic.
- An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which would enable businesses, and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans—and that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic—to access an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. Half of this additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. Additionally, the application deadline for CEBA is being extended to December 31, 2020. Further details, including the launch date and application process will be announced in the coming days. An attestation of the impact of COVID-19 on the business will be required to access the additional financing.
Read the media release here: Federal government announces new business support programs
Province Assists Small Businesses Struggling to Pay Energy Bills
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, click here.
Changes to Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
There have been changes made to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for businesses. You can access an online calculator and find more information here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html
Read this infographic for an overview of the changes to the program: CEWS Inforgraphic
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Extended
The Government of Canada announced that CECRA has been extended to include the months of July and August. Find more details here: CECRA Rent Relief Extension
Ontario Supports Non-Profits through COVID-19 Recovery
The Ontario government has committed to investing $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation to provide grants to help eligible non-profit organizations, including food banks, child and youth programs and Royal Canadian Legion branches recover from COVID-19 and continue the delivery of vital programming in their communities. Read the full media release here: Provincial Funding for Non-profits
Changes to Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy – July 2020
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has been expanded and changed in ways that could make a difference to your business. As of July 5 the revenue reduction requirement will move to a sliding scale. If you were unable to access CEWS in the past due to eligibility requirements, please review the changes below to see if you now qualify.
- More businesses are now eligible: Any amount of revenue loss can make you eligible for some wage subsidy
- Some businesses will get more money: Businesses with a 50 per cent or greater reduction in revenue will qualify for up to a 25% top-up in addition to the base subsidy
- More employees are eligible: As of July 5 the 14-day rule will no longer exist
- Business owners may be able to subsidize their own salary: This affects non-arms length employees
- Larger subsidies available: From periods 1-4 using the deeming rule allows you to apply for CEWS without meeting the revenue drop test of 30 per cent when you have already qualified for a previous period. In period five, this deeming rule has been altered. In addition you can choose between the old and new revenue calculations for period five.
- December 2020 extension: CEWS has been extended until the end of 2020
For more information visit these pages:
RE3 Funding Available
With the support of FedDev Ontario and the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), RE3 provides non-repayable performance-based contributions of up to $5,000 to assist Southern Ontario-based Women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to REBUILD, REOPEN and REVIVE their businesses. Find more information here: https://financingandstrategy.com/re3/
Emergency Wage Subsidy Extended to December 2020
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program is being extended until December 2020. The program covers up to 75 per cent of an eligible company or non-profit’s wages, up to a weekly maximum of $847. For more information on how to apply for this program please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html.
Emergency Food Processing Fund – Up to $5 million in funding
Food processors can receive up to $5 million (on a cost shares basis) to help enhance worker health and safety and for domestic food processing.
The Emergency Processing Fund will offer:
- Emergency COVID Response – Non-repayable funding to help companies implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers, their families, and communities.
- Strategic Investments – Repayable funding to help companies improve, automate and modernize facilities to increase Canada’s food supply capacity.
Eligible costs related to a project will be shared between the Program and the successful applicant. Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) can receive up to 50 per cent of total eligible costs. Larger companies can receive up to 25 per cent of total eligible costs.All eligible activities must be completed by September 30, 2020. The program will fund activities retroactive to March 15, 2020.
Find more info here: Emergency Food Processing Fund
Province of Ontario Supports Online Transition
The Province of Ontario announced funding support to assist businesses in transitioning to online sales. The Digital Main Street Program will provide main street businesses with $2,500 Digital Transformation Grants, and municipalities / local communities with grants to implement a Digital Service Squad.
Through the $57-million contribution to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:
- shopHERE powered by Google will leverage Ontario’s strengths by hiring highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves. The core goal will be to help small businesses compete and grow, in a world that is increasingly online, and help them recover as quickly as possible following COVID-19.
- Digital Main Street Grant will help main street small businesses be digitally more effective. Through a $2,500 grant administered by the Ontario BIA Association, small businesses will be able to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. Municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) can apply for a Digital Service Squad grant, which will allow them to establish teams to provide personalized, one-on-one support.
- Future-Proofing Main Street will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that helps existing main-street firms adapt to changes in their sector and thrive in the new economy. By leveraging teams of digital marketing professionals and talented students, these firms will be able to create new online business models, develop and implement digital and e-commerce marketing strategies, and maximize digital tools, platforms and content.
Find more info here: Digital Main Street Grant Program
Postmedia Business Marketing Grant
Postmedia has announced the launch of a Marketing Grant Program for local businesses. The marketing grant program has two components:
- A full marketing grant program to select businesses in the hardest hit sectors of our economy, including, but not limited to the restaurant, tourism and hospitality sectors.
- A match program whereby local businesses can apply for matching media investments from $500 to $15,000 to complement their new programs.
Grants ranging from $500-$15,000 per month per client are available for the months of June, July and August 2020. Businesses can apply for the full marketing grant program or matching grant program at http://www.postmediasolutions.com/grant/. Within 48 business hours, your application will be reviews and you will be contacted with next steps.
Questions can be directed to Debbie Canning: email@example.com
Funding Opportunities Available for Non-Profits and Charities
Thanks to the Government of Canada Emergency Community Support Fund, the Canadian Red Cross COVID-19 Emergency Support to Community Organizations are launching funding through two programs:
- Granting Program for Non-profits Program
- Preventing Disease Transmission Training and Equipment Program
- The Canadian Red Cross Emergency Support for Community Organizations will be delivered through two main programs:
- Granting Program for Non-Profits
- Preventing Disease Transmission Training and Equipment Program for non-profits, registered charities, and qualified donees
- More information on the programs through Canadian Red Cross, can be found on redcross.ca/communityorganizations or by calling 1-866-221-2232
- Community Foundations of Canada, and community foundations across Canada, will support :
- Granting programs for registered charities and qualified donees. More information on how to apply is available on the Community Foundations of Canada website.
- United Way Centraide Canada, through its local United Way Centraide members, will support:
- Granting programs for registered charities and qualified donees. Some local United Way Centraides may work with non-profit organizations to deliver local services. More information on how to apply is available on the United Way Centraide Canada website.
Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation
New Regional Relief and Recovery Funding is now available through Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation. Funding is focused on assisting “main street” businesses such as retail shops, restaurants, corner stores, and businesses of strategic importance to their communities, with loans up to $40,000. Other details are:
- Loans are up to $40,000
- Available at 0% interest and no principal payments until Dec. 31, 2022
- If the client is unable to repay the loan by Dec. 31 2020 the loan will be converted to a three-year term loan with interest rates up to 5%, effective Jan. 1, 2023
- Principal repayments can be voluntarily made at any time; full balance must be repaid no later than Dec. 31, 2025
- Applicants must meet other eligibility criteria (see the website).
Applications must be submitted through Valley Heartland.
For more information please visit the website: https://www.valleycfdc.com/rrrf
- Tina Stevens, GM ext. 103
- Sharon Ruth, Loans Officer ext. 106
- Amber Coville, Business Development Officer ext. 110
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund, valued at more than $962 million nationally, is delivered by Canada’s six regional development agencies.
In southern Ontario, $252.4 million is available as follows:
- $213 million for SMEs facing financial pressure; and
- $39.4 million to provide rural businesses with access to capital and business support, delivered by southern Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations.
For more information: Ontario – Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
Canada Summer Jobs Program Update
The federal government has announced $263 million in funding to the Canada Summer Jobs Program to help small businesses that depend on the employment of young Canadians. Temporary changes to the program for 2020 include increases to wage subsidy to 100%; extension to February 28, 2021; flexibility to support essential services; and allowing hiring of part-time staff.
Currently these changes are only applicable to companies who had submitted an application prior to the deadline of February 28, 2020 and have been approved as eligible employers, however that could change in future.
For more information: Canada Summer Jobs
Agri-Food Open for E-Business Initiative – Funding Intake
The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products.
This targeted application intake features two funding streams:
- Bring Your Business Online: Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. Funding under this stream will be quick and responsive for those needing immediate solutions.
- Develop Online Business Opportunities: Eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.
For more information: Omafra.gov – ebusiness
Addressing Labour Supply and Training Challenges – Funding Intake
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep the nation’s supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the federal and provincial governments will provide support that will help people connect with job opportunities in the sector quickly. This program would help primary agriculture, food processing companies, and grocery retail to recruit and train workers who are important to keeping the essential food supply chain functioning.
For more information: Omafra.gov -Labour Supply Training
WSIB Financial Relief Package
WSIB is offering a financial relief package to all Ontario businesses to help reduce the financial burden of the COVID-19 situation. Developed in consultation with the Government of Ontario, the package is worth up to $1.9 billion and all businesses covered by our workplace insurance are automatically eligible.
The WSIB relief package will support businesses through this difficult time while protecting coverage for the people they serve. Benefit payments will continue for people with work related injuries or illness.
Also, WSIB has determined that costs associated with COVID-19 related claims will not be allocated at an employer or class level. Instead, they will be allocated on a schedule-wide basis and there will be no change in premium rates for 2020.
For more information: WSIB – Covid19 Update
Commercial Rent Relief
NEW: The CECRA portal opens on Monday, May 25, 2020.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June, 2020.
For more information: www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is offering free, customizable templates to easily put in place policies that keep employees, clients, and the business safe. Among these templates is a CECRA request letter to invite your landlord to participate in the federal rent relief program. Plug in your information to let your landlord know when your lease expires, what actions you’ve taken to obtain financial relief during the crisis and why their participation in the program would help.
See the full list of free templates on their website: www.cfib-fcei.ca
Industrial Research Assistance Program
There are two programs through IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program) which have been funded recently and have an open and rolling call for applications and proposals. These are not so much ‘defensive’ support programs, but are more so in place for companies that are pivoting and in a position to take on the offensive with new challenges through adaptation.
- NRC COVID 19 Programs- In particular, see ‘Challenge 1’…….companies that work with advisors at NRC will be in a strong position to capitalize on some of these procurement opportunities being put forward by Innovative Solutions Canada.
- NRC COVID 19 Community Support- This is a consultation service for anyone working on a COVID-19 related project. It also has a funding envelope for SME’s looking to develop COVID-19 solutions . There are technical advisors that can help, and this stream ultimately dovetails into the opportunity mentioned above as it would prepare businesses to be applicants for Federal procurement and challenges.
One Stop Resource for Help
The Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) Canada has updated its business support finder to include COVID-19 related programs. Stop scouring dozens of websites and making countless phone calls, click the link below and, through the magic and wonder of technology, a comprehensive list of information, tailored to your needs, is at your fingertips.
Find information here: www.innovation.ised-isde.canada.ca
Wage Subsidy Program
The Federal Government has announced a 75% wage subsidy available for businesses that have suffered a 30% or more loss in revenue due to COVID-19. The application process will open on April 27th.
Find information here: Canada – Wage Subsidy
The Canada Emergency Business Account has been created
To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges, the Government of Canada has launched the new Canada Emergency Business Account, which has been implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC). For more information visit: www.ceba-cuec.ca/
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), both financial Crown corporations, are working closely with private sector lenders to improve access to financing for Canadian businesses.
- All employers covered by the WSIB can defer premium payment and reporting for six months, until August 31, 2020. There will be no interest or penalties on deferred payments. Employers are automatically eligible, and don’t need to apply or opt-in.
- Deferral of Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30, 2020.
- CRA will extend until June 30, 2020 the time that:
- Monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
- Quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period; and
- Annual filers, whose GST/HST return or instalment are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.
To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has created the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
This taxable benefit will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB will be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.
For more information: Canada – Emergency Response Benefit
Canada’s 6 big banks are offering deferred mortgage payments and various credit product support. Call your local branch for details.
Farm Credit Canada (FCC)
Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has received an enhancement to its capital base that will allow for an additional $5 billion in lending capacity.
For more information: www.fcc-fac.ca
Employment and Social Development Canada
Small Business Advisory Centre webinars
The Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls, Lanark County, northern Leeds Grenville) will be hosting three free webinars on the following topics.
- How to Manage Your Cash Flow Through the Covid-19 Crisis
- How To Market Your Business Through the Covid-19 Crisis
- How to Operate Remotely and Online Through the Covid-19 Crisis
The three webinars will be led by Andrew Patricio, the founder and owner of BizLaunch.
For more information: Small Biz Centre – Events and Seminars
Algonquin College FREE Online Business Courses
Digital Tools to Keep Business Communications Open
Lake 88 Free Advertising
Lake 88 “Back to Business” Promotion – Submit your business name, location, phone number, website to: firstname.lastname@example.org
They will provide on air updates to get the word out to public and rotating mentions through all businesses. You will appear on website listings for 30 days, then require resubmission. For more information visit: www.lake88.ca/helping-our-communities-get-back-to-business
Local Suppliers of PPE
The Town of Smiths Falls has compiled a list of local suppliers of PPE to assist business owners in sourcing this important resource, particularly as the province re-opens for business.
Please note this list was updated on Dec. 22 and will be updated as new information becomes available.
You can access this list here: Local PPE Suppliers List
Hand Wash Stations
Provincial Workplace PPE Suppliers Directory
The Ontario government launched the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory to provide a list of Ontario companies that are ready to supply personal protective equipment (PPE). Their development team would like to learn more about the experience with this portal and inquire as to other information and supplies businesses would need for safe and confident reopening and operations. Ontario Digital Service wants to learn about the businesses and Ontario’s COVID-19.
Please take the following 2-min survey. Answers to this brief survey will help determine if the business is a good fit for one of the province’s 60-minute research sessions. If the business is contacted and participates, they will get a $60 gift card.
Protect My Staff – Plexiglass Resource
This Quebec-based company is offering plexiglass protective screens and has screens in stock. Businesses can order and expect a three-day shipping timeframe. For more information please visit: www.protectmystaff.com or call 514-360-1078.
Hawktree Solutions is a private company under license to host and manage the Canadian Red Cross merchandise shop. If you are in need of a bulk order of masks, please contact them directly. There is a 10 day delivery timeline.
Jason Plut, National Sales Manager | Hawktree Solutions
(289) 273-5370 | (905) 329-9412
products.redcross.ca | produits.croixrouge.ca
204-220 Kennevale Drive, Ottawa ON K2J 6B6
Service Canada Virtual Services
Essential Services information
Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, on April 3, 2020, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19.
For more information on the updated list: Ontario – Essential Workplaces
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.
For more information: Ontario – Stop The Spread
Message from the Province of Ontario
We welcome help from businesses and organizations. Tell us if you can:
Small Business Advisory Centre and Launch Lab
Business Advisors are available via phone and email to provide support:
General Business Advice for COVID-19
Cindy James, The Small Business Advisory Center
613-283-7002 x 108
Support with Cashflow Management for COVID-19
Scott Runte, Launch Lab
Canadian Business Resilience Network
In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.
For more information: Canadian Business Resilience Network.ca/
The Ontario and Canadian Chamber of Commerce Preparedness Help:
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
Further to legislative changes, Town of Smiths Falls planning and building staff have prepared a notice outlining the current service options for building and planning.
COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Launched
The Town of Smiths Falls launched a COVID-19 Business Impact Survey to better understand the effects the pandemic has had on local businesses.
A link to this survey can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID-19BusinessImpactSF
Please note the survey closes on May 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.