COVID 19- Business Resources
ALTHOUGH WE ARE NOT IN OUR PHYSICAL LOCATION AT THE SMALL BUSINESS ADVISORY CENTRE DUE TO THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC. We are here via phone (613) 283-7002 ext 108 (leave a voice and it will be sent to us through email, email us at email@example.com and we post a lot of information though Facebook @smallbizcentre and Instagram @smallbusinesscentre_SF_LC
June 12, 2020
June 12, 2020
Phase 2 of Reopening
Postmedia Business Marketing Grant
Postmedia has announced the launch of a Marketing Grant Program for local businesses. The marketing grant program has two components:
Grants ranging from $500-$15,000 per month per client are available for the months of June, July and August 2020. Businesses can apply for the full marketing grant program or matching grant program at http://www.postmediasolutions.com/grant/. Within 48 business hours, your application will be reviews and you will be contacted with next steps.
Questions can be directed to Debbie Canning: firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding Opportunities Available for Non-Profits and Charities
Thanks to the Government of Canada Emergency Community Support Fund, the Canadian Red Cross COVID-19 Emergency Support to Community Organizations are launching funding through two programs:
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
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:
For more information: Ontario – Regional Relief and Recovery Fund
Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation
Fully allocated to date
New Regional Relief and Recovery Funding is now available through Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation. Funding is focused 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. Other details are:
Applications must be submitted through Valley Heartland.
For more information please visit the website: https://www.valleycfdc.com/rrrf
Canada Summer Jobs Program Update
The federal government has announced $263 million in funding to the Canada Summer Jobs Program to help small businesses that depend on the employment of young Canadians. Temporary changes to the program for 2020 include increases to wage subsidy to 100%; extension to February 28, 2021; flexibility to support essential services; and allowing hiring of part-time staff.
Currently these changes are only applicable to companies who had submitted an application prior to the deadline of February 28, 2020 and have been approved as eligible employers, however that could change in future.
For more information: Canada Summer Jobs
Agri-Food Open for E-Business Initiative – Funding Intake
The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products.
This targeted application intake features two funding streams:
For more information: Omafra.gov – ebusiness
Addressing Labour Supply and Training Challenges – Funding Intake
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep the nation’s supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the federal and provincial governments will provide support that will help people connect with job opportunities in the sector quickly. This program would help primary agriculture, food processing companies, and grocery retail to recruit and train workers who are important to keeping the essential food supply chain functioning.
For more information: Omafra.gov -Labour Supply Training
WSIB Financial Relief Package
WSIB is offering a financial relief package to all Ontario businesses to help reduce the financial burden of the COVID-19 situation. Developed in consultation with the Government of Ontario, the package is worth up to $1.9 billion and all businesses covered by our workplace insurance are automatically eligible.
The WSIB relief package will support businesses through this difficult time while protecting coverage for the people they serve. Benefit payments will continue for people with work related injuries or illness.
Also, WSIB has determined that costs associated with COVID-19 related claims will not be allocated at an employer or class level. Instead, they will be allocated on a schedule-wide basis and there will be no change in premium rates for 2020.
For more information: WSIB – Covid19 Update
Commercial Rent Relief
NEW: The CECRA portal opens on Monday, May 25, 2020.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much 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.
For more information: www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is offering free, customizable templates to easily put in place policies that keep employees, clients, and the business safe. Among these templates is a CECRA request letter to invite your landlord to participate in the federal rent relief program. Plug in your information to let your landlord know when your lease expires, what actions you’ve taken to obtain financial relief during the crisis and why their participation in the program would help.
See the full list of free templates on their website: www.cfib-fcei.ca
Industrial Research Assistance Program
There are two programs through IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program) which have been funded recently and have an open and rolling call for applications and proposals. These are not so much ‘defensive’ support programs, but are more so in place for companies that are pivoting and in a position to take on the offensive with new challenges through adaptation.
One Stop Resource for Help
The Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) Canada has updated its business support finder to include COVID-19 related programs. Stop scouring dozens of websites and making countless phone calls, click the link below and, through the magic and wonder of technology, a comprehensive list of information, tailored to your needs, is at your fingertips.
Find information here: www.innovation.ised-isde.canada.ca
Wage Subsidy Program
The Federal Government has announced a 75% wage subsidy available for businesses that have suffered a 30% or more loss in revenue due to COVID-19. The application process will open on April 27th.
Find information here: Canada – Wage Subsidy
The Canada Emergency Business Account has been created
To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges, the Government of Canada has launched the new Canada Emergency Business Account, which has been implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC). For more information visit: www.ceba-cuec.ca/
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), both financial Crown corporations, are working closely with private sector lenders to improve access to financing for Canadian businesses.
To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has created the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
This taxable benefit will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB will be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.
For more information: Canada – Emergency Response Benefit
Canada’s 6 big banks are offering deferred mortgage payments and various credit product support. Call your local branch for details.
Farm Credit Canada (FCC)
Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has received an enhancement to its capital base that will allow for an additional $5 billion in lending capacity.
For more information: www.fcc-fac.ca
Employment and Social Development Canada
Training & Support Resources
Small Business Advisory Centre webinars
The Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls, Lanark County, northern Leeds Grenville) will be hosting three free webinars on the following topics.
The three webinars will be led by Andrew Patricio, the founder and owner of BizLaunch.
For more information: Small Biz Centre – Events and Seminars
Digital Tools to Keep Business Communications Open
Lake 88 Free Advertising
Lake 88 “Back to Business” Promotion – Submit your business name, location, phone number, website to: email@example.com
They will provide on air updates to get the word out to public and rotating mentions through all businesses. You will appear on website listings for 30 days, then require resubmission. For more information visit: www.lake88.ca/helping-our-communities-get-back-to-business
Canadian Business Resilience Network
In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.
For more information: Canadian Business Resilience Network.ca/
The Ontario and Canadian Chamber of Commerce Preparedness Help:
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
May 14th, 2020
The Provincial Government announcement today – Phase 1 of reopening starts for some more businesses.
A list of those that are eligible to reopen: https://files.ontario.ca/mof-detailed-list-stage-1-openings… .
The message from announcement is to only open your business if you are ready to. The health you and your employees is most critical. Please review the framework for reopening along with the workplace safety guidelines.
This information can be found at:
May 11, 2020 FACT SHEET
Public Health Guidance for Businesses in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark
As the Province of Ontario begins to reopen it is important that businesses prepare to operate in manner to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Sector specific guidance documents that provides health and safety information for employers and employees can be found at https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/certain-businesses-allowed-to-reopen-under-strict-safety-guidelines.html. The following public health measures will support reopening stores or businesses while ensuring the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus is minimized.
Stay home and away from stores and other business when sick. Do the symptom screening checklist before going out by using the provincial COVID-19 Assessment Tool https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, visit a local Assessment Centre.
Keep a 6 foot distance from others and adhere to all protective measures the store or business has in place. Wear a cloth face covering if the 6 feet distance can’t be maintained.
Practice proper hand hygiene. Have a supply of hand sanitizer with you at all times. Remember if you cough or sneeze do into your sleeve and not your hands.
1. Do the symptom screening checklist before going to work. Stay at home when sick with symptoms described on the provincial COVID-19 Assessment Tool https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/ and visit a local Assessment Centre. Stay home until test results are known. If the test is positive for COVID-19 then follow public health advice and self-isolate for 14 days and symptoms are resolving.
2. If become sick while at work then notify supervisor/owner and leave immediately. Follow #1 above.
3. Adhere to all the infection prevention and control measures in the workplace.
1.Implement a formal screening process for all workers and insist all complete it before coming to work.
2.Post signage on the door of the business to notify the public that if they are sick they are to not enter the premises.
3.Set up the environment to maintain safe physical distance (6 feet).
»Use appointments to limit the number of people in one place.
»Monitor the number of people in your premises- consider half or reduced capacity.
»Monitor customers while in the business to keep their distance- use signs, marks on the floor, staff directing traffic flow, PA system.
»Use clear barriers to protect workers where possible.
»Wear a cloth face covering in those areas where physical distancing is hard to maintain i.e. small spaces where more than one person works.
»If you use vehicles as part of your business consider one person per vehicle or one employee in the front and another employee in the back.
»Stagger employee work schedules and breaks. Set up the break room so people can stay 6 feet away from each other.
»Consider which employees can work from home
»Consider an online meeting platform to meet with customers or colleagues.
»Consider the flow of your business. Customers should be directed one way throughout your place of business.
»If possible have and in and an out door to avoid customer congestion.
»Reduce the amount of money being exchanged, encourage debit, credit or e-transfers.
»Maintain online or telephone ordering services.
»Maintain curbside and delivery services as part of your normal business .
»Have hand washing facilities are available and supplied with hot and cold running water, liquid soap and paper towels for employees and customers to wash hands.
»Have hand sanitizer available for employees and customers.
»Have hand wipes available for employees and customers.
»Avoid touching your face including eyes, nose and mouth, wash hands after.
»Coach employees that if they happen to sneeze or cough to do so in their sleeve, wash hands after.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)- consider PPE appropriate for your business
»Face shield (cloth face covering if face shield not available) should be worn by employees if they are working in areas where physical separation cannot be achieved or maintained.
»Encourage customers to wear cloth face coverings when necessary especially if you cannot physically distance.
»Install clear barriers at cash registers or any other locations in the work place where a barrier would be appropriate.
»Have handwashing or hand sanitizer available for employees and customers.
»Train employees on the proper use of PPE.
3170_43 JD Apr 2020
For more information, please call 1-800-660-5853 or visit our website at www.healthunit.org
- New details have been announced on the eligibility criteria for businesses to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) including additional flexibility for new businesses by reducing the 30-per-cent benchmark to 15 per cent. (April 8)
- The Prime Minister, announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program that will help employers hire summer staff and provide young Canadians access to the jobs they need during this unprecedented time. (April 8)
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – Remember to update your account monthly
The Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit have been merged into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The CERB has also been better integrated with Employment Insurance to allow workers to apply for benefits through a single window.
This new benefit will cover people who have lost their job, people who are sick or quarantined, and parents who must stay home without pay to care for children, the same as the two previously announced benefits. The new CERB also includes workers who have no income due to the COVID-19 slowdown, but who haven’t yet been officially laid off. It will cover employees, contract workers, and self-employed workers. To qualify, applicants must have had $5,000 in employment income, self-employment income, or maternity or parental leave benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day they make the application.
The CERB will pay out $2,000 per month for the next 4 months, backdated to March 15th.
The application form will be available on April 6. If you have already applied for EI, you do not need to also apply for this new benefit, your claim will be automatically moved over to the CERB and you will receive the 16-week benefit. If needed, you can use your hours to apply for benefits after October 3, 2020.
You can apply in one of these three ways:
- by accessing it on your CRA MyAccount secure portal;
- by accessing it from your secure My Service Canada Account; or
- by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process.
If you’ve already applied for EI you do not need to reapply for the CERB. Your claim will be automatically moved over to the CERB, and benefits paid from this program first. If needed, you can use your hours to apply for EI benefits after October 3, 2020.
You can qualify for the CERB if you had $5,000 in employment income, self-employment income, or maternity or parental leave benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day you make the application.
The application is expected to be available April 6. Benefits should be delivered 10 days after you submit your application form. The earliest you could receive benefits through direct deposit is April 16th (or slightly later if by mail).
You will continue to receive your EI benefits. If your EI benefits end before October 3rd, 2020, and you are still unable to return to work, you can apply to the CERB once your EI benefits run out.
If you have enough EI insurable hours, you will still be able to access your normal EI benefits after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.
The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces
Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.
Welcome to the Canadian Business Resilience Network where you’ll find the latest information, tools and resources businesses need to make it through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recordings of Webinars held through the centre in April
How to Manage Your Cash Flow Through the Covid-19 Crisis
How To Market Your Business Through the Covid-19 Crisis
How to Operate Remotely & Online Through the Covid-19 Crisis
Digital Resources For Businesses – Posted on the Smiths Falls DBA and Algonquin College sites
Algonquin College – Free courses
(Courses delivered by virtual classroom training are free until April 30, 2020).
Small Business Starter Kit – The DMS team wanted to put together a package of short snippet resource guides to provide you with topics and ideas you should consider
Product Photography Guide – Our own DMS team member Lana Pribic curated a small business product photography guide that is full of practical information
COVID19 Response Announcement – Including: 90 day free trials, Gift cards available on all plans, Local in-store/curbside pickup and delivery for POS, Community Forum/Live Webinars/Meetups for Support
Shopify Academy – Free Shopify training to help you build and grow a profitable business. Topics include starting your online store, promoting it via social media, photography, and more
Shopify Blog – Industry leading blog featuring articles on how-to-guides, practical advice, revenue strategies and more
If your organization uses Google G Suite, you now have free access to advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities through July 1, 2020
Think With Google Canada – Insights. Ideas. Inspiration. Take your marketing further with Google. Think with Google.
Grow With Google – Free training, tools, and events to help you grow your skills, career, or business.
Google Primer – Bite-sized lessons to better your business. Google Primer is a free mobile app that offers quick, easy-to-understand lessons to help business owners and individuals grow skills and reach their goals.
Google My Business – Businesses affected by COVID-19: Guidance on updating info and temporary closures
Hootsuite, the software that many of us use to manage our social media accounts, is giving free access to Hootsuite Professional plan tools to small businesses and non-profits until July 1st, 2020
Hootsuite Academy – Whether you’re looking to build your skills or take the next leap in your career, our courses and certifications will help you succeed with social media.
Digital Tools to
Keep Business Communications Open