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
Province supports Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters with launch of “Ontario Made” Program – July 10, 2020
Ontario seeking input on modernizing capital markets – 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 Extends Declaration of Emergency to July 15 – June 24, 2020
Premier Doug Ford announced that as of 12:01am on Friday, June 19th Halton Region will enter Stage 2 of Reopening the Economy.
Halton Region to enter Phase 2 as of 12:01am on Friday, June 19 – June 15, 2020
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.
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
Direct Financial Support for Workers
Access to Capital
Business Credit Availability ProgramThrough 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 BanksBanks 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 RateThe 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.
Deferred Income Tax Payment for BusinessesCanada 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
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.
Digital Main Street
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:
3. Future-Proof Main Street:
Sign-up for the Digital Main Street Program.
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.
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.
Stop the Spread Business Information Line
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.
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.
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.
Resources for Business
Navigating the support programs for business
- Canadian Business Resilience Network – Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Government of Canada
- COVID-19: Making Sense of Federal and Provincial Business Support Programs – Ontario Chamber of Commerce and MNP LLP
- New Details: The Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Wage Benefit – Comparison by the Oakville Chamber of Commerce
- 1-888-444-3659 for Provincial business enquiries
- Support for your business: Find COVID-19 support and other programs and services – Innovation Canada
- Where to start for COVID-19 Support – The Office of the Minister of Small Business, Government of Canada (March 25, 2020)
Business Continuity and Recovery
- Roadmap to Recovery – Canadian Business Resilience Network
- Toolkit for Reopening Canada’s Economy – Canadian Business Resilience Network
- Business Continuity and Recovery Plan – Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Post-Pandemic Business Playbook – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
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
- Guide on How to Develop a Workplace Safety Plan – Government of Ontario
- COVID-19 General Information for Halton Workplaces – Halton Public Health
- COVID-19 Recommendations for Grocery and Retail Stores – Halton Public Health
- Commercial Business Security and Safety Tips – Halton Regional Police Service
- Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the Workplace – Government of Ontario
- Training for joint health and safety committee members – Government of Ontario
- COVID-19 Workplace Safety Posters – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- COVID-19 Sector-Specific Health and Safety Guidelines – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- Partners in Prevention Health & Safety: Free Virtual Event Series – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- Workplace Decontaminating Checklist – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- 7 Steps for Managing Hazards as Stores Reopen – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- PPE Supply Hub – Government of Canada
- Workplace PPE Supplier Directory – Government of Ontario
- PPE Rapid Response Platform – matches supply with demand, simplifying supplier discovery during the procurement process.
- Halton Region Chambers of Commerce PPE Procurement Portal
- What to do if you can’t acquire the PPE your workplace needs – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- Chambers Plan: COVID-19 Business Resource Centre – The Chambers Plan
- Mental Health Resources – Canadian Mental Health Association
- Mental Health Resources – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- Payroll and COVID-19 – Canadian Payroll Association
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.
- Halton Region Public Health
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Government of Canada Public Health
- Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention: COVID-19 Resources
- World Health Organization (WHO): COVID-19 Updates