As of Thursday, April 8 at 12:01 a.m., a stay-at-home order and province-wide declaration of emergency are in effect.  Businesses are encouraged to reference and follow all government guidelines.

The Town of Orangeville’s Economic Development & Culture/SBEC office continues to support our community during COVID-19. We have compiled a list of resources that may be helpful for local businesses. Contact us for further guidance in navigating the various programs and restrictions for your business.

 

Operating guidelines for businesses

  • On Thursday, April 8 at 12:01 a.m., a stay-at-home order and province-wide declaration of emergency are in effect for all of Ontario, including the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph public health region. 
  • Local businesses are encouraged to carefully review the sector-specific requirements outlined by the Province of Ontario.

Guidelines for Ontario’s businesses, services and public spaces

Workplace guidelines

Local business owners are invited to attend a free webinar on May 5 that will discuss the mandatory Workplace Safety Plan and other requirements. Register here.

Businesses must follow local public health measures and workplace guidelines published by the Province of Ontario. 

At minimum, all businesses that are permitted to open must:

  • actively screen employees (COVID-19 screening tool)
  • post signs at all entrances informing people how to screen themselves for COVID-19 before entering (COVID-19 Signage Questions for Businesses and Organizations)
  • limit capacity so guests can stay at least 2 metres apart
  • make sure anyone indoors wears a mask or face covering, including workers who have to come within 2 metres of anyone else (with some exceptions)
  • make sure workers use personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects their eyes, nose and mouth when they have to come within 2 metres of anyone who is not wearing a mask or face covering or separated by plexiglass
  • clean and disinfect often-touched surfaces
  • manage line ups to make sure customers are at least two metres apart wearing face coverings or masks
  • create a safety plan, post it in a place where workers and patrons will see it  and have it available upon request

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has launched an online customizable tool kit resource to help workplaces across Canada operate safely and prevent the spread of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anchored by the COVID-19: Workplace Health and Safety Guide, the online hub provides one-stop access to more than 40 free resources to reduce the spread and protect everyone in the workplace.

Face coverings

The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Unit has issued specific requirements for local businesses including an order for mandatory face coverings in commercial establishments. On October 2, the province of Ontario mandated the use of face coverings in all public indoor settings across the province, such as businesses, facilities and workplaces, with limited exemptions. The Town of Orangeville has passed a by-law to extend enforcement of face covering requirements to local by-law and police officers. 

Financing and Cash Flow Support

Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Applications are open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. Funding will help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020.

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.

Eligible small businesses include those that:

  • Are required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020
  • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

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.

Check eligibility requirements and apply online at ontario.ca.

The first application round was extended to April 7, 2021. A second round of support was announced on March 24. Businesses who were eligible for the first round will automatically be entitled to a second payment in an amount equal to the first payment they received. There is no need to apply again. 

Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant

The new Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant will provide one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Examples of eligible businesses include:

  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Travel agencies
  • Amusement and water parks
  • Hunting and fishing camps
  • Recreational and vacation camps (for example, children’s overnight summer camps)

Application details, including a full list of eligible businesses, will be available soon.

Note: Any small businesses that received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will not be eligible for this new grant.

 Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

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 and they have been unable to access other Government of Canada measures.

In Dufferin County, the fund is available through the Centre For Business and Economic Development. An additional $820,000 was announced on November 23 and is available to distribute to eligible local businesses. The fund aims to assist a range of businesses across the region with loans up to $60,000.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

The Canada Emergency Business Account provides interest-free loans in the form of lines of credit of up to $60,000. This amount was increased from $40,000 effective December 4. Eligible small businesses and not-for-profit organizations who have already received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the additional funding. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 33 percent (up to $20,000). These loans – guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada – will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital. The program has been extended to June 30, 2021.

Highly Affected Sectors Credits Availability Program (HASCAP) 

Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 may be able to access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs through HASCAP. These loans are for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19. Businesses can determine their HASCAP eligibility by contacting their primary financial institution. 

Property tax and energy bill rebates

Province of Ontario: Property tax and energy cost rebates

Support is available for eligible businesses that are required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures.

Eligible businesses can apply for rebates, in the form of grants, to help with these fixed costs:

  • municipal and education property taxes
  • energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil)

Learn more at ontario.ca.

Orangeville Hydro: Energy assistance program for Small Business (CEAP-SB)

Other Sources of Financing Support

There are a variety of financing supports being offered to help businesses navigate through COVID-19. If you need support in determining where you could access financing for your business, please contact us.

Workforce Retention and Support

 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) 

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) enables employers to re-hire workers, prevent further job losses, and ease back into normal operations. Canadian employers who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19 may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of employee wages, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The CEWS has been extended to June 5, 2021.

Complete the CEWS calculator to determine if your business is eligible. 

Recovery Benefits and Employment Insurance (EI)

The Government of Canada announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and new recovery benefits that will better support Canadians. Information about transitioning from CERB to EI can be found at canada.ca. Those not eligible for EI, may be eligible for one of these programs:

  • Canada Recovery Benefit
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefits
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

Note that the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) is now closed.

Rent Relief 

The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support for qualifying organizations, starting on September 27 until June 5, 2021. The new rent subsidy is available directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords. The CERS supports businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop by covering a portion of eligible expenses, subject to certain maximums. To learn how to apply and calculate your subsidy, visit canada.ca.  

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) has now ended.   

Other Relief Measures

Penalty, interest and licence renewal relief: Town of Orangeville

To provide relief to those businesses facing financial challenges as a result of the pandemic and the enhanced restrictions, expiry dates of restaurant and pet shop licences have been extended to April 30, 2021. The new expiry date would be carried forward to subsequent years.

 General Resources

Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 Resources and Programs

Province of Ontario's Small Business Recovery Resources

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) services, due dates and programs

Town of Orangeville Business Recovery Plan