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. The following websites provide a summary of all available funding programs to assist local businesses:

A toll-free number is available from the Government of Ontario to provide support to Ontario businesses that have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. Please call 1-888-444-3659 for more information.

Vaccination Clinic Information is available on the Town of BWG’s main website, here: https://www.townofbwg.com/vaccine

You can also submit any questions to the Office of Economic Development, here.

Government of Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework: Step 3

On May 20, 2021, the Government of Ontario updated its Re-Opening Ontario framework with Roadmap to Re-Open, a cautious three-step plan that will guide a safe and gradual reopening of the province and the lifting of public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health system indicators.

On January 31, 2022, Premier Doug Ford announced that the province will return to Step 3. 

On February 14, 2022, e relaxing COVID restrictions by February 17.

As of March 1, 2022, the following changes to public health and workplace safety measures are in effect. For the full list of measures in effect, see O. Reg. 364/20.

  • capacity limits have been lifted in all indoor public settings
  • proof of vaccination requirements have been lifted
    • businesses and organizations may choose to require proof of vaccination upon entry
  • other protective measures, such as mask/face covering requirements and passive screening of patrons remain in place
  • businesses and organizations that are open must continue to have safety plans in place

 

Notices (Updated April 8)

April 8: More jobs created in Ontario for second consecutive month

April 7: Ontario launches first-ever Hydrogen Strategy

April 5: Ontario working for workers by raising minimum wage

April 3: Ontario Invests in Agri-Food Innovation

March 17: Ontario Expanding Economic Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

March 9: Province Launches Building Ontario Businesses Initiative

February 16: Ontario’s Safe Employers Receiving up to $1.5 Billion Rebate

February 14: Ontario moving to next Phase of Reopening on February 17

February 7: GO-VAXX Mobile Vaccine Clinics Now Accepting Walk-ins

February 4: Ontario offering free training for Food and Beverage Careers

January 31: Ontario advances major improvements to Bradford GO Station

January 28: Government Programs and Services Now More Convenient, Reliable and Accessible for People and Businesses

January 25: Ontario Launches New Intake to Support Economic Opportunities in Rural Ontario

January 25: Ontario launching new agency to better serve tradespeople

January 21: Ontario Businesses To See Full Impact of 2021 Electricity Rate Reductions

January 20: Ontario Outlines Steps to Cautiously and Gradually Ease Public Health Measures

January 17: Find your fit with a cart size that suits your household needs (County waste bins, blue bins and green bins)

January 7: Ontario Providing Supports for Small Businesses, Workers and Families

January 3, 2022: Ontario Temporarily Moving to Modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen

December 30: Ontario Updating Public Health Measures and Guidance in Response to Omicron

December 16: Ontario launching holiday pop-up testing blitz

December 10: Ontario Taking Action to Protect Against Omicron Variant

November 10: Ontario Pausing the Lifting of Capacity Limits in Remaining Settings Where Proof of Vaccination is Required

October 22: Ontario Releases Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term

October 15: Enhanced COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate with QR Code and Verify Ontario App Available for Download Starting October 15

October 8: Ontario Cautiously Lifting Capacity Limits in Select Settings

October 6: Ontario Providing Financial Relief to Employers

September 14: Ontario Releasing Guidance to Support Proof of Vaccination Policy

September 10: Ontario Supports Businesses and Workers as they Return to the Job Safely

September 1: Ontario to Require Proof of Vaccination in Select Settings

August 24: Ontario updates legislation for Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap to Exit Step

August 17: Ontario Makes COVID-19 Vaccination Policies Mandatory for High-Risk Settings

August 12: Metrolinx plans to bring 15-minute, two-way, all-day GO service further north on the Barrie Line to Bradford

July 20: Ontario Helping 100,000 Workers Train for In-Demand Jobs

July 19: Ontario Helping Small Businesses Establish Online Presence

July 9: Ontario moving to Step Three of Roadmap to Reopen on July 16

June 9: New Venture Ontario Fund Drives Economic Growth and Creation of High-Value Jobs

June 1: Ontario maintains COVID-10 restrictions as Stay-at-Home Order is set to expire

May 20: Ontario releases Three-Step Roadmap to Safely Reopen the Province

May 13: Ontario extending Stay-at-Home Order until June 2

April 28: Ontario to Introduce Paid COVID-19 Leave

April 27: Ontario Expands COVID-19 Vaccination Booking to Individuals 45 and Over in Hot Spot Communities

April 17: Ontario strengthens enforcement of province-wide Stay-at-Home order

April 16: Ontario Strengthens Enforcement of Stay-at-Home Order

April 8: Ontario Helps Farmers and Agri-food Operators Keep Workers Safe During COVID-19

April 7: Ontario enacts provincial stay-at-home order

April 1: Ontario implements province-wide emergency brake

April 1: Locations across the province offering AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals aged 55+

March 25: Ontario’s Action Plan Doubles Ontario Small Business Support Grant 

March 16: Ontario Supports Tourism, Culture, Sport and Recreation Organizations

March 15: Ontario Launching Provincial Booking System for COVID-19 Vaccines

March 5: Toronto, Peel and North Bay-Parry Sound Public Health Regions Returning to Strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework. Seven Other Public Health Regions Moving to New Levels in the Framework

March 2: County looking to find appropriate balance in Pandemic Framework

March 2: Ontario Provides More Than $1 Billion In Support for Small Business

March 1: Letter from Dr. Charles Gardner concerning Simcoe-Muskoka move to GREY

February 19: Ontario Launches Education Campaign to Help Workplaces Reopen Safely

February 16: Helping Small Businesses Access PPE as Province Returns to Framework

February 8: Ontario extending stay-at-home order across most of the province to save lives

January 15: Applications Now Open for Ontario’s Small Business Support Grant

January 14: Ontario Increasing Workplace Inspections during COVID-19

January 12: Ontario declares second Provincial Emergency-Issues Stay at Home Order

January 4: Ontario supporting home-based food businesses during COVID-19

December 16: Ontario launches new “Support Local” marketing campaign

December 16: Introducing a simplified process for claiming the home office expenses for Canadians working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic

December 11: Ontario Moving Regions to new levels with stronger public health measures

November 19: Ontario supporting small businesses with financial advice and training

November 3: Ontario releases COVID-19 Response Framework to help keep the province safe and open

October 29: Province proudly promoting Ontario-made products to spur economic recovery

October 13: Province helping to offset fixed costs and permitting alcohol with delivery and takeout food orders

October 7: Ontario supports small Main Street businesses with $60 million in funding through PPE Grant

September 19: Ontario Limits the size of unmonitored and private social gatherings across entire province

September 17: Lower limits for un-monitored and private social gatherings in Ottawa, Peel and Toronto Regions

August 31: Canada United Small Business Fund now open

July 13: Province announces Stage 3 Re-opening for Friday, July 17 (Guidelines for Businesses)

July 7: Ontario introduces legislation to protect public health as economy reopens

July 3: Ontario Supporting Restaurants as Province Safely Reopens

June 17: Ontario pauses commercial evictions

June 11: Ontario and Canada helping Small Businesses go digital

June 8: Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen in the Coming Days

Who is allowed to open?

June 6: Ontario extends emergency orders to support its reopening efforts

June 2: Ontario extends Declaration of Emergent until June 30

June 1: Ontario Supports Those Struggling with Electricity Bills during COVID-19

May 27: Ontario Extending Emergency Orders During COVID-19 Outbreak

May 19: Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to Keep People Safe

May 14: Ontario announces additional workplaces that can reopen

May 1: Certain businesses allowed to reopen under strict safety guidelines

April 30: Ontario Government providing employers with Workplace Safety Guidelines

April 28: Government of Ontario announces framework for re-opening the province

April 23: Emergency Relief provided to BWG Businesses – Applications are now closed

April 16 – Application period opens April 17 for Emergency Business Sustainability Funding

April 8: Town of BWG to provide multiple forms of support to local businesses

April 8: Stop the Spread website outlines Essential Businesses

April 6: Apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

April 4: New Government of Ontario Online Portal – Ontario Takes Steps to Keep Food on the Table during COVID-19

April 3: Ontario Extends Business Closures to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

March 27: Important information on property tax and utility bill deferrals

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The following programs are available to assist individuals:

  • Employment Insurance (EI) program
  • Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
  • Supporting low-income workers and families
  • Mortgage payment deferral
  • Provincial and territorial support
  • Waiving interest on student and apprentice loans

The following programs are available to assist businesses:

Financial Supports:

  • Wage and hiring support
  • Rent and property expenses support
  • Jobs and Growth Fund
    Extending the Work-Sharing program
  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)
  • Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)
  • Additional support by sector
  • Provincial and territorial support

Self-Employed:

  • Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit
    Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
    Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

Indigenous Businesses:

  • Supporting business through the pandemic and into recovery

Information on all these programs is available on the Government of Canada website.

COVID Safety Inspection Information

To ensure businesses are following the public health guidelines and properly protecting workers and customers from COVID-19, the Government of Ontario launches periodic COVID safety inspections.

All businesses operating during lockdown must have a COVID-19 workplace safety plan that is available to anyone who asks to see it and is posted in a place where it can be easily seen.

For more information, please visit the following link and help make our community safe by adhering to all Provincial and Health Unit guidelines: https://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/COVID-19/Reopening-and-Operating-your-Business-Safely.

Mental Health Support for Business Owners

The Town of BWG has partnered with Nottawasaga Futures to offer mental health support to entrepreneurs and business owners. Up to five hours of confidential support with a mental health professional is available to no cost.

Please contact Martin Kuzma of Nottawasaga Futures at 705-435-1540 or martin@nottawasaga.com to receive a referral to a mental health services professional.

Mental Health assistance

Free Local Business Consulting Service - Apply Online!

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

Apply for assistance with the Online Assistance Form. Information provided goes directly to Nottawasaga Futures and is confidential.

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


The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) offered by CONTACT Community Services allows community members with low income to have their income tax filed with the help of a volunteer at no cost. Due to COVID, clinics scheduled for March and April have been cancelled.

To assist, CONTACT is offering a Flex Funding program for applicants to receive financial assistance to have their taxes done by a tax professional. Please visit www.contactsouthsimcoe.ca/ or call Lacey DeBeer at 705-435-4900 ext. 206. for more information.

Grants, Loans & Support for Businesses

Ontario  Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

A new funding intake has opened for the federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program in the food processor stream.

Phase 1 has categories of matching funding that relate to developing new products, domestic market development, export market development, and increasing safety and traceability that might be needed for certifications, amongst other categories (each category has a different cost share and maximum contribution) .

Phase 2 focuses on technology and equipment to improve productivity (35% cost share up to $100,000). Phase 1 has opened and will remain open until September 2, 2021. Phase 2 will open on September 27, 2021. Businesses can submit an application to up to two categories.

More information is available here: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/processorindex.htm. Guidelines are available here: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/processorguidelines.htm.

Note: This will be the last intake of this program until 2023.

Nottawasaga Futures

Nottawasaga Futures offers business loans up to a maximum of $250,000.

This fund is available to new and existing businesses located in the municipalities of Adjala-Tosorontio, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Essa, Innisfil and New Tecumseth (Alliston, Tottenham, and Beeton.)

The loans are to support the creation of new jobs or maintain existing jobs in the community.

Click here for the loan application form.

Ontario Trillium Foundation Resilient Communities Fund

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is providing a one-time fund to invest in the recovery and rebuilding efforts of the non-profit sector impacted by COVID-19.

The Ontario Arts Council Grants

The Government of Ontario is providing an additional $25 million to support core cultural institutions and artists with emergency funding.

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.

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

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

Get Your Information Package

The Office of Economic Development is available to assist you with any business inquiries and has a variety of helpful publications available for download.

Learn More

CALL US TODAY

905-775-5366 X1310

Speak directly with one of BWG Economic Development’s knowledgeable and helpful staff today.

EMAIL US TODAY

ecdev@townofbwg.com

The BWG Office of Economic Development is committed to responsive, informative and comprehensive service. Do not hesitate to contact our staff with any questions or concerns.

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