Tuesday, 17 March 2020 12:49

Business Information–COVID-19

Credit: Sean Thibert Credit: Sean Thibert

Last Updated: July 8, 11:00am

This page will be used to direct local businesses to information and resources to support them during these challenging times. If you are looking for information on a specific business, we've launched our #LoveNG campaign with information on businesses here

The North Grenville Municipal Office is now open 9:00am-4:00pm, with a new temporary kiosk in the lobby. Safety measures have been put in place to maintain distancing. Members of the public are still encouraged to make appointments with staff. If you need anything from the Economic Development department, contact Matt (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Hillary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The Economic Development department is working on a set of Business Support Programs.

 

 

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Program NameResource ProviderProgram TypeDescriptionWebsite
Employment Insurance Service Canada Employee Support Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. Service Canada has made a number of enhancements to the EI program to better support Canadian affected by COVID-19 including; - Waiving the one-week waiting period for benefits - Prioritizing claims for those under quarantine - People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate - People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay.

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Canada Emergency Response Benefit Government of Canada Employee Support The CERB will support Canadians who have lost their income because of COVID-19 by providing $2,000 a month for up to 4 months. You will apply through a simplified application process and are encouraged to register an online My Account with the Canada Revenue Agency in order to receive direct payment. Applications will be accepted starting April 6, 2020. The benefit is available to workers who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19, who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and, who have not quit their job voluntarily. NEW: When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim. When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim. Click here for more information on the definition of self-employment income. Click Learn More to apply.

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Business Credit Availability Program, BDC Business Development Bank of Canada Business Financing & Income Support New relief measures for qualified businesses include: - Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses; - Postponement of payments for up to 6 months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less; - Reduced rates on new eligible loans - No restriction on business size.

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Business Credit Availability Program for Exporters, EDC Export Development Canada Business Financing & Income Support EDC has introduced initiatives to help Canadian exporters respond to COVID-19 including; - Guarantee on loans of up to $5M so that companies can access more cash immediately - Cover insurance losses for goods shipped even if the buyer has not accepted the goods, subject to terms - Waiving the 60-day waiting period for insurance claims.

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Private Bank Debt & Payment Relief Private Banks Business Financing & Income Support Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19.

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FedDev Ontario Repayment Deferral FedDev Ontario and other Regional Development Agencies Business Financing & Income Support A three month deferral for companies in repayment. This deferral takes effect on April 1, 2020, and will relieve some of the pressure your business is facing. FedDev Ontario will work with you to formalize these deferrals into an amended repayment schedule and outline other measures that may help your business. Tourism operators, small- or medium- sized business and organizations that have received FedDev Ontario funding in the past, may be eligible to receive additional funding and/or flexible arrangements. FedDev Ontario is also offering access to federal funding to help businesses impacted by the sudden shift in the economy and who require pressing assistance.

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Income Tax Deferral Canada Revenue Agency Business Tax Support Tax filing deadline for individuals moved to June 1 2020. For self-employed deadline is still June 15. Payments on 2019 owed taxes by individuals deferred to Sept 1, 2020. For self employed, any balance due for individual income tax deferred to August 31. For businesses, deadline to pay any income tax amounts that became owing or due after March 18, 2020 has been extended to August 31, 2020 (no penalties for payments on Sept 1, 2020).

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BDC Continuity Plan Business Development Bank of Canada Business Advisory Support Contains themed templates that can be used by businesses to develop contingency plans for dealing with emergency situations. Templates include but not limited to, identifying essential services, key customers, critical suppliers and action plan for maintaining essential services.

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Pandemic Preparedness for Business Canadian Chamber of Commerce Business Advisory Support Guidelines to assist businesses during pandemic. Includes, Pandemic Preparedness Guide which provides actions and key considerations a business should make regarding risk and crisis management, as well as a Crisis Communications Plan and Business Continuity & Recovery Plan (a template to assist businesses in recovery after an emergency situation).

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Stop the Spread Business Information Line: 1-888-444-3659 Province of Ontario Business Advisory Support 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.

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Province of Ontario Postponing Planned Property Tax Reassessment Province of Ontario Business Tax Support The government is postponing the planned property tax reassessment for 2021.

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CanExport Government of Canada Business Advisory Support Funding for international market development activities. Due to travel restrictions during COVID-19 crisis CanExport advises applicants to develop a project plan that can be executed remotely from your target market.

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Work Sharing Program Employment and Social Development Canada Employee Support Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The measure provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers. The Government of Canada has introduced temporary special measures that extend the maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks across Canada for those businesses affected by the downturn in business due to COVID-19. Other measures are still in place for the forestry and steel and aluminum sectors. You are eligible to apply if you are experiencing a downturn in business activity related to the global outbreak of COVID-19, and have: - WS agreements signed between March 15, 2020 and March 13, 2021 - WS agreements that began, or ended between March 15, 2020 and March 14, 2021, and - WS agreements that ended between June 23, 2019, and March 14, 2020 and are in their mandatory cooling-off period.

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Property Tax Deferral Municipality of North Grenville Business Tax Support The payment deadline for the Interim Property Taxes Bill (for residences and businesses) has been extended until June 30, 2020, and all new penalty and interest charges will be waived. Interim taxes were initially due on March 31, 2020.

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Water Bill Deferral Municipality of North Grenville Business Tax Support  The payment deadline for Water Bills that will be issued by the Municipality in early April has been extended to June 30, 2020. Late fees and interest charges that would normally apply will be waived until June 30, 2020.

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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Government of Canada Business Financing & Income Support Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020. NEW: announced May 15, the CEWS will be extended until the end of August. You can apply starting April 27. In advance, businesses are strongly encouraged to register a Business Account with the Canada Revenue Agency in order to receive payments online. Please see weblink for further details, including full eligibility rules.

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Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Export Development Canada Business Financing & Income Support EDC will guarantee new operating credit and cash flow term loans that financial institutions extend to SMEs, up to $6.25 million. Access details are forthcoming.

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Canada Emergency Business Account Government of Canada Business Financing & Income Support Government of Canada guaranteed interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover operating costs they have not been able to defer due to COVID-19. To qualify, organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). Businesses can now apply for these loans through their banking institution. 

NEW (May 19): To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:
  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

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GST, HST & Import Duty Tax Deferral Government of Canada Business Tax Support 

Government of Canada will allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments as well as customs duties owed for imports until June 30. 

Businesses that continue to experience difficulty in remitting GST/HST and customs duty amounts owing can contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to make a request for the cancellation of penalties and interest, and/or for a flexible payment arrangement with the CRA.  

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Temporary Doubling of the Employer Health Tax Exemption Province of Ontario Business Tax Support  In order to provide immediate financial relief to employers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, the government proposes to retroactively raise the EHT exemption from $490,000 to $1 million for 2020. The exemption would return to its current level of $490,000 on January 1, 2021.

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Provincial Tax Deferral and Penalty Relief Province of Ontario Business Tax Support  Beginning April 1, 2020, penalties and interest will not apply to Ontario’s businesses that miss any filing or remittance deadlines under select provincially administered taxes. This will continue for a period of five months, up until August 31, 2020. See link for list of tax programs.

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WSIB Financial Relief Package Province of Ontario Business Tax Support  The financial relief package allows businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. All businesses covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial package.

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Off-peak Time-Of-Use (TOU) Electricity Rate Province of Ontario Business Financing & Income Support The government recently announced that it will continue the suspension of time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates and, starting on June 1, 2020, customers will be billed based on a new fixed COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour. This price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers. This discount will be applied automatically to electricity bills without the need for customers to fill out an application form. The government also announced details of new programs. Initiatives include:
  • $8 million for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) to provide support to businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the outbreak; and
  • An extension of the Ontario Energy Board's winter disconnection ban until July 31, 2020 to ensure no one is disconnected from their natural gas or electricity service during these uncertain times.

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Business Development Bank of Canada Co-Lending Program Business Development Bank of Canada Business Financing & Income Support Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan. This program will be administered through private-sector financial institutions. Access details are forthcoming.

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Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace: Employers, employees and essential service workers Government of Canada Business Advisory Support The Government of Canada has outlined detailed policies and practices for employers to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

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COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre Canadian Federation of Independent Business Business Advisory Support The CFIB has put together a resource page for small businesses with FAQs related to employee management, health & safety and business continuity planning.

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Essential Business List Province of Ontario Business Advisory Support The Province of Ontario released a new list of essential businesses allowed to stay open after April 4th at 11:59pm.

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Ontario Agri-Food Job Portal Province of Ontario Business Financing & Income Support A one-stop-shop that highlights employment openings and training resources in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector.

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Canada Summer Jobs Program Enhancements Government of Canada Employee Support Temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program include an increase to the wage subsidy to 100% and an extension of the end date for employment to February 28, 2012. Please see link for further details.

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Isolation Fund for Temporary Foreign Workers Government of Canada Employee Support The federal government will provide support of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, to employers or those working with them to ensure isolation requirements are fully met. The funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory 14-day isolation protocols or any other public health order. 

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Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Government of Canada Business Financing & Income Support The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. To receive the loan, property owners will be required to reduce the rental costs of small business tenants for April to July 2020 by at least 75 per cent and commit to a moratorium on evictions for three months. Ontario applicants can apply on Tuesdays.

The Ontario government also passed the Protecting Small Business Act, temporarily halting or reversing evictions of commercial tenants and protecting them from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19. The legislation applies to businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance for evictions from May 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020.

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NRC IRAP Innovation Assistance Program Government of Canada Business Financing & Income Support The Federal government has committed an additional $250 million to The National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program to support innovative, early-stage companies. The program provides a wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks (details on amount of subsidy not yet released). Small or medium-sized businesses (SMEs) pursuing technology-driven innovation who have been unable to secure funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy are eligible. The call for applications opens April 22, 2020 and closes on April 29, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT.

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Agri-Food Open for E-Business  Province of Ontario Business Financing & Income Support

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:

  1. Bring Your Business Online. Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. Funding under this stream will be quick and responsive for those needing immediate solutions.
  2. Develop Online Business Opportunities. Eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.

Update: due to high demand this program has paused intake.

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Plan to Reopen Ontario Province of Ontario Business Advisory Support

Ontario is planning for the next phase of responding to the coronavirus (COVID‑19) outbreak – reopening our province. As a first step, we have developed a framework to guide our approach. This framework outlines the method and principles we will use to reopen businesses, services and public spaces to responsibly lead Ontario’s economy back to a strong position.

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Certain Businesses to Reopen May 4 Province of Ontario Business Advisory Support The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.:
  • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only
  • Lawn care and landscaping
  • Additional essential construction projects that include: shipping and logistics; broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure; any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services; municipal projects; colleges and universities; child care centres; schools; and site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only
  • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public
  • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.
Please see link for more details.

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Ontario Workplace Safety Guidelines Province of Ontario Business Advisory Support

The Ontario government is ensuring employers have the safety guidelines they need to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy. The government safety guidelines released today will provide direction to those working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector.

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Industrial and Commercial Electricity Global Adjustment Charge Deferral Province of Ontario Business Tax Support  The Province will defer a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan for the period starting from April 2020. This initiative is intended to provide companies with temporary immediate relief on their monthly electricity bills in April, May and June 2020. The GA rate for smaller industrial and commercial consumers (i.e., Class B) has been set at $115 per megawatt-hour, which is roughly in line with the March 2020 value. Large industrial and commercial consumers (i.e., Class A) will receive the same percentage reduction in GA charges as Class B consumers. Subject to the approval of subsequent amendments, deferred costs would be recovered over a 12-month period beginning in January 2021.

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Stepping Stone Loan Fair Finance Fund Business Financing & Income Support Do you need working capital for things like developing new online markets, seasonal inputs, new distribution channels, new local supply chains? The Stepping Stone Loan is a short term loan offering meant to help local food and farm businesses thrive and change. It is quick and easy, between $5000 and $10,000 for a one year term, 3.65% interest, with an accelerated application process and full interest and principal repayment at the end of the term.

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Ontario Opens More Retail Stores and Essential Construction May 8-11 Province of Ontario Business Advisory Support As early as Friday, May 8 at 12:01 a.m., garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. On Monday, May 11 at 12:01 a.m., retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health's Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements. In addition to easing restrictions on retail, the government is also expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue.

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Regional Relief and Recovery Fund Government of Canada Business Financing & Income Support

Two funding options are available to applicants for the RRRF through FedDev Ontario:

  • Option 1: Up to $40,000 conditionally repayable interest-free contribution (loan). Repaying 75 percent, or up to $30,000 of the contribution, on or before December 31, 2022, will result in contribution forgiveness of 25 percent, or up to $10,000 of the total contribution. This is intended for main street businesses, and delivered through the local CFDC-Grenville CFDC.
  • Option 2: Between $40,000 to $500,000 fully repayable, interest-free contribution (loan). This is delivered directly through FedDev.

    To qualify for the RRRF through FedDev Ontario, an applicant must be:

    • A Canadian or provincially incorporated business (operating with at least one full-time employee) located in southern Ontario;
    • Facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
    • Have applied to other Government of Canada COVID-19 emergency credit relief measures, for which they are eligible;
    • Planning to continue to operate its business or resume operations; and
    • A viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen May 16 & 19 Province of Ontario Business Advisory Support

As soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2020:

  • Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
  • Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
  • Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
  • Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.

The government's responsible and measured approach to reopening will allow business owners and service provider's time to ensure workplaces are safe for staff, consumers and the general public. Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, Ontario's first stage of reopening will begin on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will include:

  • Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.
  • Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
  • Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
  • Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
  • Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
  • Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children's Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person.

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Business Resilience Service Government of Canada Business Advisory Support

The Business Resilience Service (BRS) allows you to connect with experienced business advisors from across Canada for guidance on which government relief programs will be most appropriate to support your small- to medium-sized business, not-for-profit or charity on how to respond and reshape amid uncertainty.

The program, delivered to your organization free of charge, provides:

  • Guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility
  • Direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations
  • Help to make decisions to support recovery plans
  • Real time insights and feedback to policymakers

To access the BRS call 1-866-989-1080 to connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. The service is available 7 days/week from 8am – 8pm ET (5am – 5pm PT).

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More Businesses Allowed to Open June 12 Province of Ontario Business Advisory Support

Effective Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. our region has been permitted to move into phase two of re-opening. Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place include:

  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barbershops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
  • Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
  • Camping at private campgrounds;
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

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North Grenville Small Business Grant Municipality of North Grenville Business Financing & Income Support The Municipality of North Grenville has partnered with the Grenville Community Futures Development Corporation (GCFDC) to offer additional support to the North Grenville business community. Council has allocated $100,000 to establish the Small Business Grant (SBG) program.  

As part of the SBG program, GCFDC will offer grants up to $1,000 to individual businesses to help recover certain costs due to COVID-19. Specifically, the funding is intended to support businesses that are changing or have already modified the way they operate.

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