Ontario is currently in Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures.  The province moved to Step Three on Friday, July 16 at 12:01 a.m.

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 and re-opening guidelines for businesses

  • The province entered Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16 at 12:01 a.m. For businesses, this means: 
    • Essential and non-essential retail open with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold

    • Personal care services, including services that require the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres and other restrictions

    • Indoor and outdoor dining with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres and other restrictions, with no limits on the number of people per table

    • Indoor fitness classes and personal training permitted, with maximum capacity of 50% and other restrictions

    • Indoor sports open at 50% capacity, with spectators permitted at a maximum capacity of 50% or 1,000 people (whichever is less) and other restrictions

    • Outdoor sports open, with spectators for unseated events permitted at a maximum capacity of 75% or 5,000 people (whichever is less) and other restrictions. For events with fixed seating, spectators permitted at a maximum capacity of 75% or 15,000 people (whichever is less) and other restrictions

    • Guidelines for other businesses and organizations can be found at ontario.ca

  • Local businesses are encouraged to carefully review the sector-specific requirements outlined by the Province of Ontario to understand how they can safely operate.
  • The Roadmap to Reopen plan includes information to help businesses prepare for the next stages of re-opening when permitted.

Guidelines for Ontario’s businesses, services and public spaces

Workplace guidelines

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

Tourism Relief Fund 

The Tourism Relief Fund supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. 

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be:

  • A key supplier/operator in the visitor experience
  • Part of a defined tourism cluster or tourism-dependent community
  • An anchor product or service in a destination

Eligible projects include two themes:

  • Product development/development and enhancement of tourism experiences 
  • Destination development

Funding available for for-profit businesses could be either:

  • non-repayable contributions under $100,000 (rate of assistance of 50% of eligible costs) or
  • fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 (rate of assistance of 75% of eligible costs)

For not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous entities (not generating profits), contributions will normally be non‑repayable:

  • project contribution amounts would not normally exceed $500,000
  • the actual contribution amount will be based on the minimum amount required to carry out the project

Find full details, project examples, and application requirements at feddevontario.gc.ca.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Economic Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to provide financing and loans to impacted businesses. A variety of programs are available. Learn more at canada.ca.

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. The program has been extended to December 31, 2021.

Ontario Together Fund (OTF)

The objective of the Ontario Together Fund (OTF) is to provide funding to firms and organizations for projects that support Ontario’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or Ontario’s preparedness for future public health emergencies. The OTF focuses on supporting manufacturing and innovation that helps combat COVID-19 and provides goods and services critical to the health, safety, and security of Ontarians. Find eligibility requirements and full details here.

Property tax and energy bill rebates

The Province of Ontario is providing support 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.

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 September 25, 2021.

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

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)

The Canada Recovery Hiring Program helps eligible employers hire the workers they need so that the economy can fully recover more quickly. Eligible employers could receive a subsidy of up to 50 per cent of incremental remuneration paid to eligible active employees between June 6, 2021, and November 20, 2021.

Recovery Benefits and Employment Insurance (EI)

The Government of Canada announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and new recovery benefits to support Canadians. Those not eligible for EI, may be eligible for one of these programs:

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

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit

Paid infectious disease emergency leave requires employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID-19. This entitlement is in addition to employees' rights to unpaid infectious disease emergency leave. Find details at ontario.ca.

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, 2020 until September 25, 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

 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