Business Resources

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

Check Supply Sources below for a list of local suppliers or click here.

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:

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: – How Restaurants Can Thrive in the Next Normal – Quick Service Restaurants

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:

Phone: 613-283-7002

  • Tina Stevens, GM ext. 103
  • Sharon Ruth, Loans Officer ext. 106
  • Amber Coville, Business Development Officer ext. 110

Email: and copy


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: – 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: -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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

Trade Commissioner


Work-Sharing Program


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

Free Virtual Training to support the business community during COVID-19

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:

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:

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 May 29 and will be updated as new information becomes available.

You can access this list here:

Hawktree Solutions

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 |
204-220 Kennevale Drive, Ottawa ON K2J 6B6

Service Canada Virtual Services

Service Canada is offering online and virtual e-services for business owners and members of the public. Find a list of these services for businesses here and for individuals here.

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

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:

Please note the survey closes on May 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.