Business To News – Jan 2021


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January 19, 2021
BusinessTO News is a weekly newsletter that primarily focuses on available resources and supports to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Toronto businesses. Learn about the current health situation, changes to City services, resources to support reopening and economic support at


Applications open for new Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Applications are now open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The program provides up to $20,000 to eligible small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the province-wide shutdown. New businesses established since April 2019 can apply if they meet other eligibility criteria. For help applying check out the user application guide, or contact the City’s BusinessTO Support Centre for one-on-one virtual support.

New regulations under Province’s stay-at-home order

In response to increasing COVID-19 case counts, the provincial government issued a province-wide stay-at-home order that came into effect on January 14 and will last for 28 days. Find out if your business is permitted to open—and get information about applicable public health and workplace safety measures—on the Ontario government website. The City of Toronto has also posted simple “Dos” and “Don’ts” about recommended and mandatory public health measures in its Lockdown Guide for Toronto Residents.

Ontario increasing workplace inspections during COVID-19

The Ontario Government announced an inspection blitz of big-box stores to enforce public health rules. The blitz focuses on ensuring workers and patrons are wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and following health and safety measures. Inspectors will have the authority to ticket supervisors, employees and patrons who do not comply with COVID-19 safety requirements, temporarily close a premise, and disperse groups of more than five people.

Business Community News

Developing a COVID-19 workplace safety plan

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers must take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect a worker. All employers are encouraged to develop a COVID-19 workplace safety plan and to review and update it regularly. Some businesses, including all those operating during a lockdown or shutdown, must have a written safety plan by law. Find Government of Ontario resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace, including a downloadable template (Word document) to create your own workplace safety plan.

The 10 biggest tech stories of 2020

Last year was not just about COVID-related bad news. From the success of labs in rapidly developing new vaccines, to virtual healthcare, to diversity initiatives in Canada’s tech sector, there were several tech-related good news stories. MaRS Magazine looks at some 2020 tech developments worth celebrating.

Webinars and Online Events

Guidelines for Mandatory Mask Usage in Enclosed Public Places (Free)
Watch On Demand

Small Business Financing 101 (Free)
Wednesday, January 20, 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Register

Ask the Expert: Marketing & Sales (Free)
Friday, January 22, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Register

Ask the Expert: Legal Advice for Businesses (Free)
Friday, February 5, 9 a.m. to noon – Register

B Corp 101 Workshop: Learning to Measure What Matters (Free)
Tuesday, February 16, 10 a.m. to noon – Register

City of Toronto Programs and Resources

Financial Support and Resources

Federal and provincial government financial supports:

For one-on-one help with applications for any of these programs contact the BusinessTO Support Centre.

Forward Forward
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