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
Free Local Business Consulting Service and Assistance with Relief Applications - NEW - 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
NEW: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
NEW - Get Online with Digital Main Street!
The County of Simcoe is providing $60,000 in funding towards a unique program to help local businesses adapt their sales models to meet the needs of the ever-changing online consumer world. The funding will cover portions of the costs for a Digital Service Squad to provide one-on-one training to local businesses and their employees.
To qualify, the small or medium-sized business must:
- Employ 1-99 employees
- Pay commercial property tax (commercially assessed), either directly or through commercial rent
- Be registered business in Ontario and/or incorporated
- Operate within one of the County’s 16 member municipalities
- Be owned by an Ontario resident
To sign up for Digital Service Squad assistance, businesses in BWG should contact the Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia Small Business Enterprise Centre at 705-720-2445 or email@example.com.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
The Government of Canada has announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses. This program provides 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.
Details and eligibility requirements are available on the Government of Canada’s website.
Applications must be made by landlords. If you are a tenant and wish to ask your landlord to apply, here is a sample-CECRA-request-letter-for-tenants in Microsoft Word format.
COVID-19 Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
$39.4 million in funding available through CFDCs to help local small businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 technical support, delivered by southern Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations.
Funding available through your local CFDC
In order to provide targeted assistance to the small towns and communities they serve, CFDCs will focus 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.
- Eligible CFDC applicants must also meet the following criteria:
- established prior to March 1, 2020;
- impacted adversely by the COVID-19 pandemic;
- viable and not experiencing other financial difficulties prior to March 1, 2020;
- have attempted to access other federal relief supports and were ineligible, rejected, or require funding for expenses that have not been supported, with priority given to applicants who were ineligible or rejected from other federal relief supports.
Applications can be submitted for:
Loans of up to $40,000 to help address working capital needs.
- Follow the application process provided by your local CFDC – guidelines and applications will be posted to our website as soon as they are available. You may also contact Andie Cote at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-435-1540 ext. 104, 1-800-509-7554 ext. 104 for more details.
- Link for application will be live soon.
Funding available through FedDev Ontario
FedDev Ontario is delivering $213 million in funding support to SMEs impacted by COVID-19 that do not qualify for or have been declined for, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures.
Should you be interested in a loan of $40,000 or more and meet the following eligibility criteria, you may wish to apply to FedDev Ontario for direct funding.
Eligible applicants must:
- Be a Canadian or provincially incorporated business, co-operative or an Indigenous-owned business located in southern Ontario with 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees;
- Be facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs as a result of COVID-19;
- Have been a viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic and plan to continue to operate their business or resume operations.
- Have already applied to other Government of Canada emergency credit relief measures for which they are eligible, as outlined in the program guidelines.
For the RRRF funding provided directly by FedDev Ontario, priority may be given to SMEs that fall within the manufacturing, technology, tourism and other sectors key to the region, that are major employers in small communities, or that support the government’s commitment to underrepresented groups.
Please note: Applicants will not receive RRRF assistance from both their local CFDC and FedDev Ontario. Review the program guidelines to see which stream is right for you and contact us if you have any questions before applying.
Notices (Updated June 1)
April 4: New Government of Ontario Online Portal – Ontario Takes Steps to Keep Food on the Table during COVID-19
COVID Information by Community
Updated statistics on COVID-19, including demographics, employment and cases by community. Information is available on the Townfolio website.
Municipal Tax and Bill Deferral
Property tax and water/wastewater utility bill relief – complete explanation can be found in the Highlights of the March 26 Special Meeting of Council.
- Property tax due dates have been extended by 60 days for each remaining payment in 2020. This applies to both pre-authorized payment methods and manual payments.
- An additional 30 days grace is available if needed for the second instalment — no penalties or interest if paid by July 27.
- There is a 90-day grace period on payments of water/wastewater utility bills. No withdrawals of pre-authorized payments and no penalties or interest until July 16.
If you DO NOT want your pre-authorized payments of property tax and/or utility bills to be deferred, please contact us by email or by phone to 905-775-5303 ext.6030.
Sign Licence Renewals – An additional 60 days’ grace period has been extended to businesses whose sign licence renewal fee is due.
Downtown Community Improvement Plan (CIP) Loan Repayments – A 1-year grace period has been extended to businesses who have CIP loan repayments due in 2020.
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 email@example.com. You can also gather background information on Nottawasaga Futures at www.nottawasaga.com.
Government of Canada Support for Individuals
Apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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