City of Toronto Updates October 20th


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BusinessTO Newsletter

October 6, 2020
Toronto skyline at sunset
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


New COVID-19 prevention measures for restaurants and bars

On Thursday, October 8, new temporary bylaw amendments will come into effect to prevent COVID-19 transmission in food and drinks establishments. These businesses will be required to:

  • limit the total number of patrons permitted to be inside at any one time to 75 (down from 100),
  • maintain a customer log for each patron, not just one person from the party,
  • limit the maximum number of people sitting at a table, both inside and outside, to six people (down from 10),
  • keep background music and any other background sounds, such as from televisions or other electronic sound producing devices, to no louder than the volume of normal conversation.*

* With the exception of live performances carried out in accordance with the provincial Stage 3 regulation.

Mayor Tory announces five-point plan to support restaurants and bars

Mayor Tory last week announced a five-point plan to support food and drink establishments through the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the plan, City staff are exploring ways to facilitate winter patio operations. The City is encouraging the Government of Ontario to extend regulations that would continue to permit liquor sales licensees to sell beer, wine and spirits with takeout and delivery orders. The City will also request that the provincial government work with the insurance industry to prevent undue increases to policy costs and premiums that negatively impact hospitality businesses. In addition, the City will urge the province to continue the pause on commercial evictions until the COVID-19 resurgence eases. These measures are in addition to the City’s efforts to extend the patio season by allowing portable heaters to be installed on temporary patio spaces set up in curb lanes and on sidewalks as part of CaféTO, which is set to end November 15.

City Council advocates for mask use in workplaces

Toronto City Council voted last week to request that the Province of Ontario require masks or face coverings in all workplaces where physical distancing for employees and visitors is challenging. This move follows after Toronto Public Health had identified that COVID-19 case clusters and outbreaks have occurred among staff and patrons in a diverse range of workplaces.

Business Community News

City of Toronto encouraging businesses to display COVID Alert app poster

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.

Online event to promote mutual assistance among entrepreneurs

A free online event hosted by the Open People Network will bring together startup entrepreneurs to share their business needs and offer mutual support. Startups will each have two minutes to explain their business and what they need help with. Other online participants will then have a chance to offer help where they can. If you are you looking for a Chief Technical Officer, manufacturer, designer, or other startups to partner with, the #PitchIt e2e event is a way to find support. Thursday, October 22, 2 p.m. Register and apply to participate.

Business Diversity Economic Expo to address equity gap in business

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is hosting a virtual business-to-business equity trade show and networking event that will spotlight businesses that are black-owned, indigenous-owned, people of colour-owned, women-owned, LGBTQ2+-owned, and owned by people with disabilities. The Business Diversity Economic Expo takes place October 22, October 28  and November 17.

Local Recovery Challenge offers financial support to businesses using connectivity in their product or service

A digital services initiative is offering up to $50,000 in financial support to start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises for product development, market traction and scaling their company using connectivity. Part of the ENCQOR 5G initiative to support Ontario-based businesses in testing and/or adopting 5G capabilities, the Local Recovery Challenge is open to all businesses—with a special focus on sectors such as ride sharing services; delivery services; navigation, mapping and route optimization; proof of delivery; credential validation; and more. Complete a short contact form before October 30 and someone will reach out to you to discuss your application.

COVID-19 prevention and control guidelines for businesses

Business owners and operators must ensure that they continue to follow Toronto Public Health guidance in order to provide a safer environment for employees and customers. Find up-to-date online information specific to retail stores and shopping malls, food and drink establishments, and banquet halls and other event venues. For further information and support, contact the BusinessTO Support Centre.

Webinars and Online Events

Reopening Guidance (Free)

*Webinars were developed based on guidelines that had been published and available up to and including the following dates – Retail Sector: June 11, Food Service Sector: August 7, Manufacturing Sector: June 16, Personal Care Service Sector: August 7,Events and Festivals: July 27 and Gym and Fitness Services Sector: August 17. Effective July 7, the use of non-medical masks or face coverings are now required in all indoor public spaces.

Site Design and Planning for a New Era of Live Events (Free) – Watch On Demand

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

Ask an Accountant – Applying for Government COVID-19 Support Programs (Free) – Watch On Demand

Building your Digital Presence (Free)
Thursday, October 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Register

Cash Flow Management Strategies for Small Business (Free)
Wednesday, October 14, 10 a.m. – noon – Register

B Corp 101 Workshop: Learning to Measure What Matters (Free)
Tuesday, October 20, 9 – 11 a.m. – Register

Starting Your Business 101 (Free)
Wednesday, October 21, 9:30 – 11 a.m. – Register

Low-Cost Marketing Ideas to Increase Traffic to Your Business (Free)
Wednesday, October 21, 10 a.m. – 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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Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2


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