COVID-19: Business Resources and Updates

This is the Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s central hub for business resources and updates regarding COVID-19. Please visit this page often as we continue to provide the most up-to-date information. 

Order of Information Listed:
1. Chamber Updates
2. Recent Government Updates for Business
3. Financial Support for Business
4. Resources for Business: Navigating Support Programs, Business Operations & Continuity, Health & Safety, Human Resources, Marketing & Digitization,  and PPE.

5. Monitoring COVID-19


Chamber Updates


Canadian Chamber launches #FreezeTheAlcoholTax Campaign

Brought in by the federal government in 2017, the escalator tax on alcohol raises taxes every year on the price of beer, wine, and spirits, forcing Canadians to pay more and making domestic products less competitive. Last week the Canadian Chamber of Commerce launched the #FreezeTheAlcoholTax campaign, calling on the federal government to stop the unfair alcohol escalator tax in the next federal budget.

Learn more.


Canadian Chamber launches ‘Our Restaurants’ campaign

More than 60 percent of Canada’s restaurants risk having to close their doors permanently by November, according to new government data. When COVID hit, 83% of businesses in the accommodation and food services industries temporarily closed and two-thirds were forced to lay off some staff, including almost a quarter that were forced to lay off all their staff. That’s why the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and 15 food service businesses, representing more than 60 brands, has launched the ‘Our Restaurants’ campaign.

Learn more.


Welcome Back Oakville Campaign

The #WelcomeBackOakville encourages residents to safely explore Oakville and support local business. The campaign includes an interactive map to see what businesses are open or if they are offering modified services. The map also includes a list of local PPE Suppliers. Oakville businesses can use the easy to share graphics to join the campaign on social media, using the hashtag #WelcomeBackOakville.

Learn more.


Recent Government Announcements


Ontario moves regions to new levels in COVID-19 Framework – November 27, 2020


Ontario provides Public Health Advice for the Holiday Season – November 25, 2020


Ontario Appoints New Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force – November 23, 2020


Applications open for the Black Entrepreneurship Program’s National Ecosystem Fund and Knowledge Hub – November 23, 2020


Canada Revenue Agency opens applications for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy – November 23, 2020


Peel and Toronto to move into Lockdown on November 23rd – November 20, 2020 


Ontario extends COVID-19 Orders – November 19, 2020


Government of Ontario launches financial advice and online training for small businesses – November 19, 2020


Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy receive Royal Assent – November 19, 2020


Ontario launches workplace education and enforcement campaigns – November 19, 2020


Government of Ontario establishes Supply Ontario – November 16, 2020


Government of Canada moves forward on pay equity to address wage gaps in federally regulated workplaces – November 13, 2020


Halton Region in Red-Control Stage  as of November 16th – November 13, 2020


Federal Government announces investment in the Workforce Development Agreements – November 13, 2020


Ontario announces Inclusive Community Grants – November 9, 2020


Federal Lockdown Support for Businesses Facing Significant Public Health Restrictions – November 5, 2020


Ontario releases COVID-19 Response Framework – November 3, 2020


Financial Support for Business


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)


Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)


BDC Co-Lending Program


BDC Mid-Market Financing Program


COVID-19 Business Support Grants – Government of Ontario: Main Street Relief Grant for PPE, Property Tax Rebate Grant, Energy Cost Rebate Grant


EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee


Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)


Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)


Business Resources


Navigating the support programs for business


Business Continuity & Recovery


Health, Safety, & Security


Human Resources


Marketing & Digitization

  • Digital Main Street: The Government of Ontario in partnership with the Government of Canada, is helping small businesses enhance their online presence through the Digital Main Street Program. Sign-up for the Digital Main Street Program. It includes:

    • shopHERE powered by Google: The program will hire highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves.

    • Digital Main Street Grants: The grant will help main street small businesses be digitally more effective, through a $2,500 grant administered by the Ontario BIA Association. Small businesses will be able to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. Municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) can apply for a Digital Service Squad grant, which will allow them to establish teams to provide personalized, one-on-one support.

    • Future-Proof Main Street: The program will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that helps existing main-street firms adapt to changes in their sector and thrive in the new economy. By leveraging teams of digital marketing professionals and talented students, these firms will be able to create new online business models, develop and implement digital and e-commerce marketing strategies, and maximize digital tools, platforms, and content.

  • An online crowd-funding platform to connect small businesses with community donations. Learn more.   Learn how to set up your business page.

  • Recovery Activation Program: The Recovery Activation Program (RAP) is an immersive online workshop program that connects businesses with industry experts for guidance, mentorship, and practical advice about process modernization and end-to-end digital transformation. It is completely free for businesses and supports firms of any size across Ontario. Learn moreStart by taking your FREE Digital Assessment Needs.






Monitor COVID-19

Stay up-to-date on the rapidly evolving situation, and on the nature of the virus itself, by frequently checking municipal, provincial, and national websites.




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