Ontario Workplace Closures and List of Essential Workplaces
Ontario has ordered many workplaces to close in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The list of workplaces that may remain open can be found here. Businesses can ask questions about closures of at-risk workplaces by calling the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659 or EssentialWorkplacesSupport.MHSTCI@ontario.ca.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to:
- reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants
- meet operating expenses on commercial properties
Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020.
Commercial evictions ban - retroactive to May 1, Ontario has banned commercial evictions for businesses that qualify for this program. See here.
Federal Business Support
On March 27, the Federal Government announced:
- A 75% wage subsidy for qualifying SME businesses, backdated to Sunday, March 15.
- The Canada Emergency Business Account, where banks will offer $40,000 loans to small businesses, interest free for the first year, and $10,000 will be forgivable for qualifying businesses.
- Deferring HST/GST on import/export duties until June.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is offering support to small businesses - see: https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/small-business-resources-dealing-covid-19. They have waived their membership fee.
Personal Protective Equipment Supplier Directory
The Ontario government has created a supplier list for businesses looking to order personal protective equipment for their workers. Access the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory here.
Hamilton Business Recovery
The City, in partnership with Hamilton’s three Chambers of Commerce, is forming an economic recovery working group and website to assist businesses. For resources and support, see: https://www.hamiltonchamber.ca/covid19/
Call for Submissions: How can your business help the COVID-19 response effort?
Both the Federal and Provincial Governments are asking businesses and manufacturers to help supply what the government needs to help fight COVID-19. That includes goods (medical supplies, cleaning supplies, etc.) and services. They are also receiving proposals for other ways businesses can help.
- Government of Ontario: Businesses can submit their ideas through the Ontario Together website.
- Government of Canada: See what is needed here.
Information for Landlords
The Ontario Government has created a resource for Landlords about how rental rules have changed during COVID-19. See here.
Ontario NDP's Plan to Save Small Business
On April 5, the Ontario NDP offered its plan to save small- and medium-sized businesses in Ontario. The plan calls on the Premier to provide small and medium-sized businesses, charities and community-based non-profits direct help from the province, including:
- A 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy up to $10,000 a month for three months
- A utility payment freeze
- A remote-work set up fund, which could help them with things like setting up an online retail operation, or buying laptops and software for staff
- An auto insurance grace period for taxis and car-sharing drivers, established in partnership with the insurance industry and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority
- A designated emergency fund for small businesses and entrepreneurs who have faced historic barriers to accessing traditional capital, as proposed by the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce