Tag: Town of Oakville

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.

Oakville Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Business Resilience Network launches Small Business Relief Fund

(May 25, 2020)

The Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) has announced the Small Business Relief Fund. It is a national initiative to provide small Canadian businesses with $10,000 grants to help in their COVID-19 recovery efforts. These grants are made possible by Salesforce. 

Applications for this grant opportunity will open June 1, 2020 and close June 12, 2020. 
Any business considering applying must hold a valid membership with a Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trade or any other business association that is a member of the CBRN.

Government of Canada partners with Canadian Chamber of Commerce to launch Busines Resilience Service

(May 25, 2020)

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).

Learn more.

May Events Update

(May 4, 2020)
As we continue to follow the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada, all May have been postponed or rescheduled. Please continue to monitor our website for updates. If you have any questions regarding tickets purchased or your participation in any of our upcoming events, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team at info@oakvillechamber.com – we are happy to assist you with any inquiry.


Recent Government Announcements

Government of Ontario extends Emergency Orders Until June 9thMay 27, 2020

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance now open for applicationsMay 25, 2020

Ontario Helps People Impacted by COVID-19 Get Back to Work and introduces Ontario Tools GrantMay 22, 2020

Ontario makes legislative changes to allow corportations to operate virtually and electronicallyMay 22, 2020

Canada Emergency Rent Relief Program Open for Applications May 25thMay 20, 2020

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility Program (LEEFF) Open for ApplicationsMay 20, 2020

Government of Canada Expands Eligibility Criteria for Canada Emergency Business AccountMay 19, 2020

Government of Canada Extends Emergency Wage SubsidyMay 15, 2020

Canada Summer Jobs start rolling out to keep young people working during COVID-19May 15, 2020

Government of Canada announces support for research staff in CanadaMay 15, 2020

Reopening the Ontario Economy: Stage One – May 14, 2020
Premier Doug Ford announced that the Government of Ontario will begin Stage One of Reopening the Economy on Tuesday, May 19th. The government also announced additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early as Saturday May 16th in time for the Victoria Day long weekend.

The government also launched the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply personal protective equipment.

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.

FedDev Ontario Launches Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
 May 13, 2020

Prime Minister announces Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility and Expansion of the Business Credit Availability Program
 May 8, 2020

Support for Business

Direct Financial Support for Businesses

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The Government of Canada will provide eligible businesses, charitable or not-for-profit organizations that have experienced at least a 15% decline in revenue in March 2020 and a 30% decline in revenue in April and/or May 2020, when compared to the same month in 2019, with a 75% wage subsidy for up to three months. Alternatively, organizations would qualify if they can demonstrate a drop in gross revenues of 30%+ in these months against January and February of this year.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will cover employees’ salaries on the first $58,700 earned this year – to a maximum amount of $847 per week. The program will be backdated to March 15, 2020 and is designed to protect jobs and maintain the important link between employees and employers. 

Frequently Asked Questions for the Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers.

Learn more.
Before you calculate your subsidy, make sure you are eligible to apply.
After you apply for the wage subsidy, your claim will be subject to verification.

Use the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The Government of Canada is providing businesses with interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to help cover operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced due to COVID-19. This program is for businesses with a total payroll between $20,000 to $1.5 million in 2019. Repayment of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000). This will better position companies to quickly return to providing services to their communities and create employment. Applications are available through your primary bank or credit union.

Learn more.

On May 19th, the Government of Canada announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on. Read the media release. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is being delivered by Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) to help more businesses and organizations in sectors across the economy such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and local economies. As the RDA for southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario will work with key partners, such as the Community Futures Development Corporations, across the region to help southern Ontario businesses during these difficult times.

Learn more.

Facebook Small Business Grants
Facebook knows that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. They’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we’re offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.

Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries will be able to receive a grant from Facebook. To be eligible to apply, your business must:

  • Have between 2 and 50 employees
  • Have been in business for over a year
  • Have experienced challenges from COVID-19
  • Be in or near a location where Facebook operates

Apply / Learn more.

Direct Financial Support for Workers

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The CERB provides direct financial support of $500 per week for up to 16 weeks to Canadians who have lost their job, have had their hours reduced, have had their EI recently run out, are seasonal workers, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. Employed workers who earn up to $1,000 per month may still qualify for the CERB. CERB applications are available through Service Canada and the CRA, though please only apply through one of the portals – not both. Payments will be received within 10 days of application with payments made every four weeks for the period of March 15 to October 3, 2020.

Learn more.

Employment Insurance
Ongoing access to the Employment Insurance (EI) program is available for eligible workers who have lost their job. EI is designed to provide temporary financial support for those workers who have lost their job, are sick, pregnant, caring for a newborn or adopted child, caring for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death or providing care or support to a critically ill family member. 

Learn more.

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 program will support Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing. LEEFF will help successful applicants keep their operations going. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic challenges, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis.

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 GST/HST Remittance
CRA will defer the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances to June 30, 2020.
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.

Deferred Property Tax in Town of Oakville

Tax installments due April 24: Penalty and interest for non-payment, and non-sufficient funds charges for returned payment will be waived until June 30, 2020.

Outstanding property taxes: Penalty and interest will be waived until June 30, 2020.

Pre-authorized payment plans: Property owners may opt-out without penalty from April 1 to June 30, 2020. Property owners must contact finance@oakville.ca by the 15th of the month to opt-out before payment is set to withdraw.

Learn more.

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.
Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the Federal Government and Provincial and Territorial Governments.

On April 24th, the Federal Government announced that this program will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. Read the media release.

On May 20th, the Federal Government announced that application documents and updated criteria for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses are now available, and that the program will be opened for applications beginning on May 25th. Learn more.
 
Distantly.ca
Oakville’s Economic Task Force announces the launch of Distantly.ca in Oakville; an online crowd-funding platform to connect small business with community donations. Learn more.   Learn how to set up your business page.
 
Elecricity Rates Reduction
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.

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

Human Resources

Safety and Security

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.



      Budget 2020 – Oakville Chamber calls on the Town to develop a strategy for urban mobility, prioritize infrastructure investments, and extend the parking incentives in Downtown Oakville

      On November 19th the Town of Oakville launched their proposed 2020 Operating and Capital Budgets to the Budget Committee.

      The Oakville Chamber’s submission focused on member’s concerns regarding the importance of supporting the growth of the existing business community, while remaining competitive against other jurisdictions when it comes to property taxes, development charges, and industrial land sale values.

      Moreover, as the Town continues to grow and intensify, we urged Council to prioritize infrastructure investment for the movement of people and goods and services.  Projects such as the Wyecroft Road Bridge and the Grade Separations of Burloak and Kerr will assist in alleviating congestion and improving safety.  However, the Chamber also encouraged Council to make the improvements to MidTown a priority by accelerating the planning and design for the Royal Windsor Interchange as well as working with the Ministry of Transportation on this crucial transportation network.

      The Chamber has been pleased to support many initiatives brought forward by the Town’s Economic Development department in an endeavor to strengthen our local economy.  According to the Town’s 2018 Economic Update, initiatives such as the new Brownfields Community Improvement Plan and the Economic Development Strategy have facilitated growth for the Town.  In fact, in 2018 new operations brought more than 1,600 new jobs while existing companies welcomed more than 560,000 square feet of new commercial and industrial development.[1]

      That’s why, we need to continue to support our business community that is the lifeblood of our Town. Oakville’s non-residential tax base represents 13.02 per cent of the total assessment base and contributes 18.24 per cent of all town taxes levied. In 2018, this amounted to $34.6 million in tax revenue collected.[2]  However, the financial contribution from the business community is further exceeded by the creation of jobs, the spending of funds locally as well as the contribution of companies giving back to the community.

      This underscores the importance of the Town remaining innovative and progressive in its effort to remain Canada’s best place to live.  As our communities become more “connected” through the collection of data, artificial intelligence and technology, it is vital that we are prepared for the business climate of the future.  To that end, the Chamber is encouraging the Town to develop a Strategy for Urban Mobility and Transportation Planning.  Moreover, it is crucial that this Strategy is aligned with the Town’s Economic Development Strategy to ensure that the needs of the business community are prioritized.

      We must support all businesses in Oakville including those located in our downtown.  Businesses have endured construction and decreased business on Lakeshore Road since April as a result of the downtown streetscape renewal project.  The Chamber strongly urged Council to resolve the impediments of this project and further called on the Town to evaluate the challenges of this downtown project to ensure that future streetscape projects don’t have similar delays and impacts on business. 

      Additionally, the Chamber supported the Downtown Mitigation Strategy and encouraged Council to continue to support our downtown core by extending the current parking incentives to January 2021. 

      On behalf of the business community, the Oakville Chamber will continue to work with Town Council on budget initiatives that will strengthen the local economy.

      [1] Oakville 2018 Economic Update

      [2] Oakville 2018 Economic Update


      Driving Oakville Forward

      The Oakville Chamber of Commerce encourages Town’s Infrastructure Readiness for connected and autonomous vehicle technology

      As our communities become more “connected” through the collection of data, artificial intelligence and technology, it is vital that we are prepared for the business climate of the future.  To that end, the Chamber is encouraging the Town to develop a Strategy for Urban Mobility and Transportation Planning.  Moreover, it is crucial that this Strategy is aligned with the Town’s Economic Development Strategy to ensure that the needs of the business community are top priority.

      Transportation infrastructure and congestion remains a top concern for the Oakville community. Congestion on Oakville roads is a barrier to business, and members cite that Oakville does not have the road infrastructure for the development it needs. Additionally, Oakville’s economic growth is an important factor in the success of the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA).

      According to the Provincial Ministry of Finance, the Greater Toronto Areas (GTA) population is projected to increase from 6.9 million in 2017 to 9.7 million in 2041. Halton is projected to be the fastest-growing census division in Ontario over the projected period, with growth of 56.2 per cent to 2041. [1] 

      Similarly, our economy is growing.  Currently, according to the Town’s Draft Economic Development Strategy our local economy supports approximately 116,300 jobs; and between 2013 and 2018, the local economy grew by 9,763 jobs.  However, 64% of residents are commuting to jobs outside of Oakville with most commuting to jobs in Toronto, Mississauga, and Burlington. Oakville is a net importer of labour, with companies attracting a total of 65 per cent of workers from outside of Oakville. This indicates an opportunity to attract the local resident labour market into Oakville employment opportunities. [2]

      Increased employment growth, as well as population growth, is positive for our local economy; however it also underlines the Chamber’s call for building a resilient transportation network that works for all modes of transportation to supply the movement of goods and people. 

      That’s why the Chamber is calling on the Town to engage with Chamber business and industry leaders.  Oakville is well-positioned in the automated vehicle industry due in large part to the businesses located in Oakville that are leading the way in economic development; such as automotive as well as the information and technology sector, to position itself as an economic development leader around automated and connected vehicle technology.  

      Oakville is not alone in needing to explore this space.  Researchers and academics working in the field of connected and autonomous vehicles have strong relationships with their counterparts, paralleled by discussion between provincial and federal governments and information-sharing between municipalities.  It is important that as a community we engage with our local talent as well as reach out to other jurisdictions, including those with similar structures and similar environments.

      This underscores the need for the Town to develop a working group of stakeholders.  Working with businesses and a broad set of stakeholders is essential to foster employment and investment growth.  Cross sector collaboration is essential for competitiveness.  This cannot be done in isolation.

      Innovation is also key to our communities’ success surrounding the Urban Mobility and Transportation Planning Strategy. The Chamber believes that the strategy needs to incorporate a plan on innovation that includes partnering with the business and tech community, and piloting projects that drive smart city initiatives. 

      Finally, the Oakville Chamber strongly encourages the Town to develop a Strategy for Urban Mobility and Transportation Planning that ensures that town policies, programs and activities create an attractive climate for business investment and job creation for economic growth as well as a transportation network that makes the movement of goods and people a priority. 

      On behalf of the Chamber members we will look forward to working with the Town on this important initiative and we will be strident in our efforts for results.

      [1] Ontario’s Ministry of Finance Population Growth Census Data, June 25, 2018

      [2] Town of Oakville, Draft Economic Development Strategy


      By Faye Lyons
      Vice President of Government Relations & Advocacy

      Letter to the Town of Oakville: Budget 2020

      Dear Mayor Burton and Town Councillors:

      On behalf of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce I am pleased to provide comment on the Town’s Budget for 2020. 

      The Chamber is pleased to support many initiatives brought forward by the Town’s Economic Development department in an endeavor to strengthen our local economy.  According to the Town’s 2018 Economic Update, initiatives such as the new Brownfields Community Improvement Plan and the Economic Development Strategy have facilitated growth for the Town.  In fact, in 2018 new operations brought more than 1,600 new jobs while existing companies welcomed more than 560,000 square feet of new commercial and industrial development.[1]

      An additional 200,000 people, in the next twenty years, coupled with new investment and supporting the growth of the existing business community, underlines the need for Oakville to remain competitive against other jurisdictions when it comes to property taxes, development charges, and industrial land sale values.

      Oakville’s non-residential tax base represents 13.02 per cent of the total assessment base and contributes 18.24 per cent of all town taxes levied. In 2018, this amounted to $34.6 million in tax revenue collected.[2]  However, the financial contribution from the business community is further exceeded by the creation of jobs, the spending of funds locally as well as the contribution of companies giving back to the community.

      This underscores the importance of the Town remaining innovative and progressive in its effort to remain Canada’s best place to live.  As our communities become more “connected” through the collection of data, artificial intelligence and technology, it is vital that we are prepared for

      the business climate of the future.  To that end, the Chamber is encouraging the Town to develop a Strategy for Urban Mobility and Transportation Planning.  Moreover, it is crucial that this Strategy is aligned with the Town’s Economic Development Strategy to ensure that the needs of the business community are prioritized.

      Furthermore, as the Town continues to grow and intensify, Council needs to prioritize infrastructure investment for the movement of people and goods and services.  Projects such as the Wyecroft Road Bridge and the Grade Separations of Burloak and Kerr will assist in alleviating congestion and improving safety.  However, the Chamber also encourages Council to make the improvements to MidTown a priority by accelerating the planning and design for the Royal Windsor Interchange as well as working with the Ministry of Transportation on this crucial transportation network.

      We must support all businesses in Oakville including those located in our downtown.  As Council is aware, businesses have endured construction and decreased business on Lakeshore Road since April as a result of the downtown streetscape renewal project.  The Chamber strongly urges Council to resolve the impediments of this project.  We call on the Town to evaluate the challenges of this downtown project to ensure that future streetscape projects don’t have similar delays and impacts on business. 

      Additionally, the Chamber supported the Downtown Mitigation Strategy and encourages Council to continue to support our downtown core by extending the current parking incentives to January 2021. 

      On behalf of the business community, the Oakville Chamber encourages Town Council to support budget initiatives that strengthen the local economy.


      Yours Truly,

      Drew Redden
      President & CEO 
      Oakville Chamber of Commerce
      ——————————————————

      [1]Oakville 2018 Economic Update

      [2] Oakville 2018 Economic Update


      Read as a PDF.