Tag: Government of Ontario

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. Oakville Chamber Updates
2. Recent Government Updates for Business
3. Direct Financial Support for Business
4. Direct Financial Support for Workers
5. Access to Capital
6. Tax Relief
7. Other Support Measures
8. Resources for Business: Health & Safety, Re-opening Guidelines, HR, Marketing & Operations


The Mayor’s Economic Task Force

Welcome Back Oakville Campaign

The Mayor’s Economic Task Force (the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, Oakville’s Business Improvement Areas, Visit Oakville, and the Town’s Economic Development Department) launched #WelcomeBackOakville to encourage 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.



Recent Government Announcements


Ontario outlines regional approach to Stage 3 of reopening the province – July 13, 2020

Town to allow permits for small weddings, photography & fitness training – July 10, 2020

Province supports Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters with launch of “Ontario Made” Program
– July 10, 2020

Oakville Council passes motion supporting mandatory region-wide mask by -law  – July 9, 2020

Ontario seeking input on modernizing capital markets – 
July 9, 2020

Ontario opens applications for broadband and cellular program
–  July 9, 2020

Ontario extends Emergency Orders until July 22nd – 
July 9, 2020

COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act will help create jobs and opportunities, build stronger communities – 
July 8, 2020

Ontario launches online training to promote safe workplaces – July 3, 2020

Ontario supporting restaurants as the province reopens – July 3, 2020

ServiceOakville counter open for payments – July 2, 2020

Ontario courts gradually resuming in-person proceedings – June 30, 2020

Ontario encourages the support of local small businesses – June 30, 2020

Ontario provides stable electricity pricing for industrial and commercial companies – June 26, 2020

Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to July 15 – June 24, 2020

Halton Region to enter Phase 2 as of 12:01am on Friday, June 19 – June 15, 2020
Premier Doug Ford announced that as of 12:01am on Friday, June 19th Halton Region will enter Stage 2 of Reopening the Economy.

Places that can open in Stage 2:
  • Personal and Personal Care Services: Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Restaurants & bars: Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties
  • Shopping malls & centres: under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only
  • Photography: with limits to enable physical distancing
  • Film & TV: with limits to enable physical distancing
  • Tour & 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
  • Outdoor recreational facilities: utdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing
  • Beaches, parks & camping: Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks
  • Drive-in & drive-thru venues: for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installation
  • Weddings, funerals and similar gatherings
  • Libraries: reopen with limited on-site services, such as computer access and contactless book pickup and drop-off
  • Community centres:  with limited or modified on-site programs and services that follow workplace guidance and public health advice
  • Attractions & heritage institutions: Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos outdoor heritage institutions (for example, landmarks, outdoor historic sites, botanical gardens), and other establishments primarily engaged in preserving and exhibiting objects, sites and natural wonders of historical, cultural and educational value are permitted to reopen with restrictions.
  • Small outdoor events: Non-essential in-person gatherings of any size continue to be strongly discouraged. Small outdoor events, such as cultural celebrations, animal shows and fundraisers will be permitted in line with gathering-size restrictions, subject to local public health requirements.
Learn more about what can open in Stage 2.

Before your business reopens, review the Government of Ontario’s sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19

If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business, read the Government of Ontario’s frequently asked questions or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Read the media release.

Support for Business

Direct Financial Support for Businesses

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

Direct Financial Support for Workers

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Employment Insurance

Access to Capital

Business Credit Availability Program
Through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), the new Business Credit Availability Program will increase the credit available to small, medium and large Canadian businesses, providing more than $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

The government’s support for large employers through LEEFF will be delivered by a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Department of Finance. Additional information on the application process is available on the CDEV website. Broader sectoral dynamics for LEEFF applicants will be considered through processes led by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Learn more.



Financial Relief Offered by Canadian Banks
Banks will provide financial relief to businesses affected by the economic consequences of COVID-19. Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank will work with personal and small business customers, on a case-by-case basis, to provide flexible solutions to help them manage challenges, such as pay disruption, childcare disruption due to school closures or those facing illness from COVID-19.

Bank of Canada Interest Rate
The Bank of Canada cut its overnight rate to 0.25% – the interest rate at which major financial institutions borrow and lend one-day (or “overnight”) funds among themselves.

Tax Relief

Deferred Income Tax Payment for Businesses
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020, with no interest or penalties applicable during this period.
Deferred Provincial Taxes

Beginning April 1, 2020, the Government of Ontario is providing flexibility to about 100,000 businesses in Ontario to help manage their cash flows during this challenging time. This will continue for a period of five months, up until August 31, 2020.

For this period, the Province will not apply any penalty or interest on any late-filed returns or incomplete or late tax payments under select provincially administered taxes, such as the Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gas Tax.

Additional Assistance For Business

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program
On April 16th,  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government’s intent to introduce The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. This program will seek to provide loans, including forgiveable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Learn more.
 
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 Platform.
Through the $57-million contribution to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.


Sign-up for the Digital Main Street Program.

 
Distantly.ca
The Government Ontario is temporarily reducing electricity rates for small businesses, farms, and residential customers that pay time-of-use (TOU) rates. TOU rates will be suspended until at least May 8, 2020, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour.

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 more.


Stop the Spread Business Information Line
The Government of Ontario 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.

Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m. A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario’s website.

Work-Sharing Program
The Government of Canada has enhanced its Work-Sharing Program to support employers and their workers who are experiencing a downturn in business by expanding the program from 38 to 76 weeks and by streamlining processes to improve access.

Learn more.

WSIB Deferred Payments

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will allow employers to defer payments for a period of six months. This will provide employers with $1.9 billion in financial relief.

All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package. Schedule 1 employers with premiums owed to the WSIB will be allowed to defer reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. The deferral will also apply to Schedule 2 businesses that pay WSIB for the cost related to their workplace injury and illness claims. In addition, no interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.

Learn more.


Resources for Business

Navigating the support programs for business


Business Continuity and Recovery

Business Services, Operations and Marketing Support
  • #WelcomeBackOakville Marketing Campaign – Welcome Back Oakville
  • eBay: Register as a new Canadian business seller on eBay before  August 22nd, 2020 and receive an all-in-one online business solution to get more out of the eBay marketplace and millions of buyers. Learn more. 
  • Canada Post – Think Small Program.
    • Until August 31st, re-connect with your community with a mailing to inform customers that you’re open, re-opening or incentives to visit you: choose from the Shared Mailer, or the Solo Mailer. 
    • Until October 31st, take advantaged of an integrated marketing campgin to help keep your business top of mind: choose from a Canada Post Smartmail Marketing partner, or use Snap Admail.
    • Learn more.
 
Health & Safety, and Security

PPE


Human Resources

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.



      Unleashing the economic potential of Ontario’s beverage alcohol sector

      Ontario Chamber Network Recommends a Comprehensive Approach to Alcohol Reform in Ontario

      Today, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released a new report, Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario. This report outlines how the province could modernize the sale and distribution of beverage alcohol and responsibly promote growth across all four categories – wine, beer, spirits, and cider. 

      “Ontarians want to see a more modern, convenient beverage alcohol retail system and we are closer than ever to substantive reforms to how alcohol is distributed, bought, and sold in Ontario,” says Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

      The report finds that, despite public support for modernization, reform is a more complex undertaking than it appears at first glance, due to the complexity of legislation and regulation involved. As the government proceeds with reforms to beverage alcohol sales, the Oakville Chamber and Ontario Chamber Network the need for a comprehensive approach to avoid perpetuating inequities in the taxation and regulation of wine, beer, cider, and spirits that limit growth.

      “By removing barriers and levelling the playing field,” Rossi added, “The Province can unleash the potential of the beverage alcohol sector, support regional economic development, meet the needs of today’s consumer, and generate greater tax revenue to fund the public services on which Ontarians rely.”

      Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario provides the Government of Ontario with a number of timely recommendations including:

      • Modernizing the sale of beverage alcohol by allowing beverage alcohol producers to sell their products on e-commerce marketplaces and platforms using third parties to process payments.
      • Alleviating tax burdens by reducing taxes on Ontario wines, aligning taxation levels for craft cider with those of craft beer, and applying a graduated tax to the current spirits basic tax.
      • Cutting red tape by reducing the reporting Ontario wineries and cideries have to complete from a monthly to quarterly basis, allowing Ontario spirits and craft beer producers with a retail store to sell their products at farmers’ markets, and providing airports with an exemption to allow for the sale of alcohol 24-hours-a-day.
      • Removing antiquated inter-provincial trade barriers by allowing consumers to purchase alcohol online from other provinces/territories and producers to deliver these products to the consumer’s home.

      “The power of the alcohol sector to be a force for economic growth extends beyond just the expected industries. The production, distribution, and sale of alcohol has a ripple effect that benefits agriculture, tourism and hospitality, and retail throughout the province” stated Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce.  

       

      Read the Ontario Chamber Network report, Refreshing the Sale of Beverage Alcohol in Ontario here.



      2018 Fall Economic Statement

      The Oakville Chamber of Commerce has issued the following statement in response the the Government of Ontario’s 2018 Fall Economic Statement.

      “The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by many of the measures outlined in the Government’s Fall Economic Statement including the focus on fiscal accountability, electricity costs, and cutting cumulative red tape. Our local and provincial economy are strongest when industry and government work together.  We look forward to working with our local MPPs as we continue to discuss the measures outlined in the Fall Economic Statement and advocate on behalf of our members”

      Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce

      Read the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s analysis of the 2018 Fall Economic Statement.

      Read the 2018 Fall Economic Statement.