COVID-19 Business Resources

The Town of BWG is taking many precautions to help protect our residents and businesses during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are aligning efforts between all levels of government, private sector support agencies, local community organizations and health authorities to ensure a coordinated response.

For complete information on what the Town of BWG is doing please visit: www.townofbwg.com/covid

You can also access information on local partner agencies such as the Bradford Board of Trade and Contact Community Services here.

County of Simcoe Economic Development staff have been working in partnership with all 16 area municipalities to develop and manage a complete list of resources for the business community. For updated information, please visit: edo.simcoe.ca/covid-19-business-resources

Below is a link to our YLM Business Directory, which has been modified to default to businesses operating during the COVID-19 situation, including food and beverage businesses.

Directory of businesses offering services during COVID-19.

 

Resources

Listed below is a collection of information and links to various resources available to the business community. Please check back frequently as the situation unfolds.

COVID-19 Business Impact Survey *Open until April 9*

We are working with our partners to gather information on how we can best support your business during this difficult time.

Please complete this survey by Thursday, April 9 to help us understand the changing conditions and the impact to your operations. A follow-up questionnaire may be posted to assess how the evolving situation has impacted business operations.

Synopsis of Preliminary Results (April 1, 2020):

  • There have been 586 responses to date
  • There continues to be good representation by business across all municipalities
  • The majority of respondents have between 1 and 9 employees
  • 37% of participants were unsure if they have business insurance that covers the things such as this pandemic, and 61% indicated they did not have business insurance that covers the things such as this pandemic
  • On average, businesses indicated that they have lost 72% of revenue compared to this time last year
  • 87% of those in the agriculture industry indicated that COVID-19 will not impact their production in 2020
  • 55% of respondents indicated they would need to close their businesses in 1-3 months if this situation continues

The top concerns:

  1. Health
  2. Lack of Work/Sales
  3. Inability to pay bills
  4. Will not be able to recover/will lose business
  5. Cant pay employees

Supports that businesses are looking for:

  1. Tax Deferrals
  2. Rent Deferrals/forgiveness
  3. Access to Grants/loans
  4. Listing of available resources
  5. Enforcement of social/physical distancing

Local Small Business Financing Available

Nottawasaga Futures, a small business support agency in South Simcoe County, will be making unsecured loans up to $10,000 available to business owners in our area, which includes Innisfil, BWG, New Tecumseth, Adjala-Tosorontio and Essa.

These loans could include low interest rates, interest-only payments and extended payback periods. For more information, contact Andie Cote, Loans Officer, at 705-435-1540 or andie@nottawasaga.com. You can also gather background information on Nottawasaga Futures at www.nottawasaga.com.

Free Local Business Consulting Service and Online Retail Setup

The Town of BWG has contracted with Nottawasaga Futures to host a free consulting program. Nottawasaga Futures can assist with applications for business assistance and:

  • Ensure your website is optimized for buying or booking appointments online
  • Setup online ordering for both delivery and take-out on your website
  • Convert existing stores to e-commerce to offer online buying capabilities
  • Offer online and/or live classes or consultations using Skype, ZOOM, etc

For more information, please contact 1-800-509-7554 or ced@nottawasaga.com.

General Resources for Businesses

Mortgage Deferrals for Small Business: Many financial institutions are deferring mortgage payments and potentially other credit product payments up to six months – businesses are encouraged to reach out individually to discuss with a representative.

Federal COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Specifics of the $82 Billion package from the Government of Canada to support all Canadians, including the business community.

Ontario Specific Updates: The most up-to-date information from the Government of Ontario and the Ministry of Health

Canada calls for Supply of Goods and Services: The Government of Canada is seeking businesses to supply key materials and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tools and Tactics for Business during COVID-19: A collection of resources from MARS in areas such as Human Resources, Cash Flow, Supply Chain and Sales/Marketing.

Online Resources for Employers: Agilec works with business owners, community leaders, and job seekers to help them navigate periods of change and challenge, and is providing free resources online to support the community. They also offer custom leadership webinars. Topics include mental health for leaders, objectivity, crisis intervention and others. Please connect with Crystal Dolliver at training@agilec.ca for more information.

Tools to Help Your Business Operate Virtually

Use an e-commerce platform to sell and market your products. Platforms such as Shopify offer all of the ecommerce and point of sale features that you need to get your business up and running virtually. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial period as well as access to an online academy to get you up and running.

Create a simple website to showcase your products/services. Platforms such as Wix give you the freedom to spin up a web presence for your business within minutes. Wix offers easy to use drag and drop technology as well as industry-leading SEO, making it easier for customers to find you via Google. They also offer a 14-day free Premium free trial. If wish to avoid integrating e-commerce, simply have customers call, text or email to place an order.

Learn how to sell and market your products/services across social media channels, such as Instagram or Facebook. Billions of people use channels such as Facebook and Instagram every month to connect with friends and family and to discover things that matter. Utilize this time to establish or refine your social selling strategy. Find new customers and build lasting relationships with them.

Want to offer your services virtually? Download a free Zoom, Microsoft Teams or WebEx account. Or for very large audiences utilize a YouTube Live Stream. Platforms such as Zoom allow you to video conference with up to 100 participants at no cost. You can get started within minutes and easily interact with your customers online. If you’d like to charge a fee for attendance, have registrants pay via your Business PayPal account or via e-transfer ahead of time.

Pivot to offering an online course. Teaching an online course is a great way to leverage your skills and earn income at the same time. Platforms such as Teachable allow you to create an online course for free and market it to over 23 million students.

Get creative and utilize online applications that transform traditionally manual tasks, such as Docusign. Docusign offers a 14-day free trail that allows your team to sign documents anywhere from any device, avoiding any in person contact. All documents are encrypted, and a complete audit trail is maintained.

Need a hand going digital? Connect with specialized, affordable talent online. Services such as Upwork allow you to post your job (or task) for free and within hours be connected with specialized talent that can solve your challenge (at an affordable rate). Services range from web and mobile app development to SEO, social media marketing, content writing, graphic design, admin help and thousands of other projects.

Take advantage of free resources that better enable remote operations. Several technology companies have banded together to assist small businesses to operationalize remotely by offering free services.

 

Economic Development staff will continue to work throughout this pandemic and are here to answer any questions you may have. For questions, please email ecdev@townofbwg.com