Effective Thursday, January 14 at 12:01 a.m., the Ontario government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes. All businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home. A complete list of measures can be found at ontario.ca.

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.

Keep the community informed of your business's operating status by adding a listing to the Town of Orangeville's Business Resiliency Map

Guidelines for Ontario’s businesses, services and public spaces

Workplace guidelines

Businesses must follow public health measures and sector-specific guidelines published by the Ministry of Health. Recommendations include promoting physical distancing and frequent hand washing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contact-less payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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 now 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 the application guide for eligibility and apply at ontario.ca by March 31, 2021.

 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 $40,000.

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 March 31, 2021.

Property tax and energy bill 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.

PPE Support

Ontario's Main Street Relief Grant

Eligible small businesses can recover costs for the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE). One-time grants of up to $1,000 are available to cover PPE costs incurred since March 17, 2020. 

To be eligible, businesses must have two to nine employees and be in one of the following sectors:

  • retail
  • accommodation and food services
  • repair and maintenance
  • personal and laundry services

Learn how to apply at ontario.ca.

 

Central Counties Tourism Reimbursement

Central Counties Tourism is offering reimbursement of 50% of PPE costs to eligible private or not-for-profit businesses in the hospitality and recreation sectors. Applicants may receive up to a maximum of $1,000 ($2,000 total expense). Plexiglass, sanitizing stations, masks, stickers and other supplies required to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 are all eligible expenses for reimbursement. Access the application here

 

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 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 or one of the new recovery benefits can be found at canada.ca.

 

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 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.

Penalties and interest on property taxes and water and wastewater fees have been waived until the end of December.

Orangeville Transit fares are also waived until March 2021. Riders are reminded to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing.

Energy assistance: Orangeville Hydro

 

 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