BusinessTO News is a weekly newsletter that focuses on available resources and supports to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Toronto businesses. Learn about the current health situation, service changes, as well as resources to support reopening and economic support at toronto.ca/covid19.
Federal government announces new support to help businesses through pandemic
The Federal government plans to introduce new, targeted supports to help hard-hit businesses safely get through the second wave of COVID-19, including:
the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which would provide rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19
a top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order
extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021
expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which would enable businesses and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans to access an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000
Toronto Live Music Venue study released
The City of Toronto and the Canadian Live Music Association, in partnership with Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area and Ontario Creates, last week released the results of a long-awaited Toronto venues study entitled Re:Venues: A Case and Path Forward for Toronto’s Live Music Industry. Among other findings, the study confirms that the total economic impact of Toronto live music venues is $850 million annually, providing the equivalent of 10,500 full-time jobs.
Government of Ontario implementing additional public health measures
The Ontario government announced it is implementing additional public health measuresin Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. These modified Stage 2 restrictions came into effect on Saturday, October 10 and will be in place for a minimum of 28 days. The targeted measures include:
reducing limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained
prohibiting indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls
closing of indoor gyms and fitness centres, casinos, bingo halls, indoor cinemas, performing arts centres and more
PPE grants for small main street businesses
The Ontario government last week announced the Main Street Recovery Plan, which includes proposed legislation that would provide one-time grants of up to $1,000 for eligible main street small businesses with two to nine employees—in retail, food and accommodations, and other service sectors—to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Government of Ontario to help apprentices cover living expenses during training
The Ontario government announced new initiatives to make the skilled trades more accessible by helping apprentices cover living expenses during their in-class training. These include the Grant for Apprentice Learning to support those ineligible for Employment Insurance (EI) while attending in-class training, and the Apprentice Development Benefit that will increase the maximum benefit rates for EI-eligible apprentices in full-time in-class training.
Business Community News
New initiative promotes Ontario-made products
A new Ontario Made branding initiative free for Ontario manufacturers is promoting the purchase of products made here in this province. The initiative includes: a searchable database that connects consumers and supply chain partners to manufacturers of made-in-Ontario products; a new Ontario Made logo that manufactures can use to help consumers identify local products; and outreach to retailers to promote these products in-store.
Businesses asked to promote COVID Alert app with poster display
With the number of COVID-19 cases in Toronto continuing to increase, the city is at risk of experiencing exponential growth of COVID-19 infections. To help mitigate the spread of infections, the City of Toronto is encouraging businesses to display a new posterpromoting the COVID-19 Alert app.
COVID-19 prevention and control guidelines for businesses