COVID-19 Updates & Supports

Ontario enters Step 1 of reopening on Friday, June 11… 3 days earlier than expected!

Overview

The Roadmap to Reopen is a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures.

The plan is based on:

  • the provincewide vaccination rate
  • improvements in key public health and health care indicators

Until we move to Step 1 of the roadmap, we must all continue to follow the rules and public health measures under the provincewide emergency brake.

Guiding principles

Step 1 – beginning Friday, June 11, 2021

An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and permitting limited retail with restrictions. This includes:

  • outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
  • outdoor dining with up to four people per table
  • non-essential retail at 15% capacity

Step 2

Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people and with face coverings being worn. This includes:

  • outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people
  • outdoor sports and leagues
  • overnight camps
  • personal care services where face coverings can be worn and with capacity limits
  • indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 25% capacity

Step 3

Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes:

  • indoor sports and recreational fitness
  • indoor dining
  • museums, art galleries and libraries
  • casinos and bingo halls with capacity limits

Moving through the steps

The province will remain at each step for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators. It can take up to two weeks for covid 19 vaccinations to offer protection against the virus.

The province will remain in Step 1 for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators.

If at the end of the 21 days the province has met the following vaccination thresholds, and there are continued improvements in other key public health and health system indicators, the province may move to the next step of the roadmap:

  • Step 1: 60% of adults vaccinated with one dose
  • Step 2: 70% of adults vaccinated with one dose and 20% vaccinated with two doses
  • Step 3: 70 to 80% of adults vaccinated with one dose and 25% vaccinated with two doses
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Financial Supports For Existing Businesses Amidst COVID-19
Likely your business has been affected by COVID-19. If you are looking for financial support as a result of the pandemic, we recommend reviewing this list of options.
Keep in mind, some of these programs have made changes to their processes and eligibility requirements since their original implementation.
 
Ontario’s Skill Development Fund
Designed to address the challenges brought by COVID-19 and reduce obstacles in hiring, training, and retaining workers, this fund provides financial assistance to small businesses and other organizations to train workers. *deadline of first application round is Feb 28th
Click here to learn more.
 
Canada United Small Business Relief Fund
Together RBC, the Federal Government, and other Canada United partners are offering grants of up to $5000 to help small businesses offset the costs of reopening and adopting technologies.
Click here to learn more.
 
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
Provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. These funds are available through different financial institutions.
*application deadline March 31st
Click here to learn more.
 
 
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
RRRF provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to incorporated businesses and economic development organizations with employees who are facing funding pressures due to COVID-19.
Click here to learn more.
 
Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
Self-employed individuals can apply to receive $1000 per 2 week period if they have ceased operations or have seen a 50% reduction in average weekly income due to the pandemic. Applicants must not be eligible for EI.
Click here to learn more.
 
Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund (from BEP)
This partnership between black-led businesses, financial institutions and the Federal Government will provide loans up to $250,000 to black business owners.
Click here to learn more.
 
The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)
HASCAP gives businesses the opportunity to access low-interest loans to cover operation costs by providing a loan guarantee to financial institutions. It also includes up to a 12-month postponement of principal payments.
Click here to learn more.
 
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Businesses, non-profits and charities who have seen a decrease in revenue can receive funds to cover part of their rent or property expenses. Landlord participation is not required.
Click here to learn more.
 
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
Subsidies are available for employers to re-hire and help prevent further job losses for businesses that have had revenues decrease due to COVID-19. *deadlines vary
Click here to learn more.
 
Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant: PPE
Small businesses with 2 to 19 employees can receive a one time grant of up to $1000 for the cost of personal protective equipment. This grant is available to select industries.
Click here to learn more.
 
Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebates
Businesses who are/were required to shut down or significantly restrict services in accordance with Ontario’s mandates are eligible to receive rebates/grants to cover costs for property tax and energy bills.
Click here to learn more.

 

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The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may cause anxiety and stress. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has put together mental health resources to help you during this time.
 
For Resources click HERE