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
Oakville Chamber Updates
Oakville Chamber launches #StrongerTogether Business Resiliency Awards
The Oakville Chamber of Commerce has launched the #StrongerTogether Business Resiliency Awards presented by BDC to honour Oakville’s small businesses that have shown innovation, compassion and determination during the COVID-19 lockdown and reopening.
Five businesses will be selected by a volunteer committee, consisting of Oakville Chamber members and award partners. The recipients will each receive a professional video highlighting their story and how their business remained resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic. These videos will premiere during BDC Small Business Week in October 2020 on the Oakville Chamber’s communication channels.
Nominate a small business.
Canadian Chamber launches #FreezeTheAlcoholTax Campaign
Canadian Chamber launches ‘Our Restaurants’ campaign
More than 60 per cent 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.
Welcome Back Oakville
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 presses Ottawa to increase share of health funding – September 21, 2020
Ontario limits the size of unmonitored and private gatherings across the province – September 19, 2020
Ontario presses Ottawa to increase funding for Ontario priorities – September 18, 2020
Support for women entrepreneurs in the tech sector in Southern Ontario – September 18, 2020
FedDev Ontario supports regional tourism across Southern Ontario – September 18, 2020
Prime Minister announces next steps for Safe Restart Agreement – September 16, 2020
Goverment of Canada announces support for Black entrepreneurs and business owners – September 9, 2020
Oakville expands Digital Service Squad to help small businesses adopt online technologies – September 8, 2020
Government announces extension of rent relief for small businesses – September 8, 2020
Goverment of Canada announces extension of CEBA and BCAP – August 31, 2020
Government of Ontario extends support for employers and employees impacted by COVID-19 – September 3, 2020
Ontario supporting the safe reopening of more spaces at gyms and recreation centres – August 14, 2020
Ontario implements additional measures at bars and restaurants to help limit the spread of COVID-19 – July 31, 2020
Halton Regional Council approves Temporary Mandatory Face-Covering By-Law effective July 22nd – July 15, 2020
Support for Business
Direct Financial Support for Businesses
Direct Financial Support for Workers
Access to Capital
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)Through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), the 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. The program will be in effect until June 2021.
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. Visit 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. The 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.
The Canada Revenue AgencyThe Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is extending the payment due date for individual, corporate, and trust income tax returns, including instalment payments, from September 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020. Penalties and interest will not be charged if payments are made by the extended deadline of September 30, 2020. This includes the late-filing penalty as long as the return is filed by September 30, 2020.
The CRA is also waiving interest on existing tax debts related to individual, corporate, and trust income tax returns from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020 and from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, for goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) returns. While this measure for existing tax debts does not cancel penalties and interest already assessed on a taxpayer’s account prior to this period, it ensures that a taxpayer’s existing tax debt does not continue to grow through interest charges during this difficult time.
Additional Assistance For Business
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program – Small Business (CEAP-SB)
The Government of Ontario is providing $8 million to support small business and registered charity customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.
The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Small business and registered charity customers may be eligible for up to $850 in support towards their electricity bill if they primarily use electricity for heating, or up to $425 otherwise. Small business and registered charity customers could also be eligible for up to $425 in support towards their natural gas bill.
CEAP-SB is being delivered by electricity distributors, natural gas distributors and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs), in accordance with rules laid out by the OEB.
Note: You must apply through your utility or USMP.
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.
Distantly.ca is an online donation platform that allows community members to make direct donations to small businesses.
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.
To start, take the free Digital Needs Assessment (DNA).
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.
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
- 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
- National Reopening Government Regulation Tracker (listed regulations by Province/Territory) – 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
- Pandemic Recovery: Return to Business Checklist – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- Business Recovery and Resilience Guide – Export Development Canada
Business Services, Operations and Marketing Support
- #WelcomeBackOakville Marketing Campaign – Welcome Back Oakville
- Ontario Made program for Ontario Manufacturers – Government of Ontario
- Canada Post – Think Small Program.
- Until October 31st, take advantage of an integrated marketing campaign 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
- Mandatory Mask By-Law and Resources for Business – Region of Halton
- Pandemic Planning: Reopening for Business – Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
- 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
- Guidance for the design and placement of COVID-19 signage, floor markings and barriers – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- COVID-19 Small Business Centre – Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
- PPE Supply Hub – Government of Canada
- Essential Services Contingency Reserve – Government of Canada
- Workplace PPE Supplier Directory – Government of Ontario
- Welcome Back Oakville Map – Oakville’s Economic Task Force
- 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