City Update – June 9th

BusinessTO Newsletter

June 9, 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 and economic support at


Ontario Government proposes temporary ban on commercial evictions

The Province announced its intention to protect commercial tenants from being locked out or having their assets seized by their landlords due to COVID-19. If passed, the proposed changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act would temporarily halt evictions of businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance.

Restaurants and personal care services advised to prepare for safe reopening

The provincial government has advised restaurants, cafes, and personal services including hair salons, barbers, tattoo parlours, nail salons and aesthetics to begin preparing for their reopeningGuidelines for Reopening your Restaurant and Guidelines for Personal Service Settings are now available. Restaurateurs are also invited to participate in a webinar on Reopening Guidance for the Restaurant Sector on Friday, June 12 at 2 p.m. Decisions about when and how businesses can begin operating will be made in accordance with the Government of Ontario’sframework to reopen the province.

City of Toronto announces CaféTO

CaféTO, an initiative to create more outdoor space for local restaurants and bars, will make it easier for businesses to open and expand patios and access additional outdoor space for physical distancing during the summer months. The program will allow the City to act quickly to help restaurants and bars when the next phase of reopening begins.

Canadian destination marketing organizations to receive federal funding

The federal government is investing in the recovery of the tourism sector through direct funding support to destination marketing organizations across Canada. To drive visitors back into local communities as the economy reopens, the initiative will help generate new revenue for tourism-dependent small and medium-sized businesses. Tourism Toronto will receive $7.9 million through this initiative.

Google Canada investment expands ShopHERE initiative across the country

The ShopHERE initiative developed in Toronto to help independent small businesses set up online stores is being expanded to municipalities across the country, thanks to a $1 million investment by Google Canada. The national rollout of ShopHERE powered by Googleis based on the Digital Main Street model created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas and the City of Toronto. The goal is to help 50,000 Canadian small businesses get online by 2021.

City of Toronto Programs and Resources

  • Stay connected to other entrepreneurs and leaders with Business AdviceTO, a series of free weekly online events for tech, retail and female-led businesses.

  • The BusinessTO Support Centre is available to help businesses complete applications for government assistance programs, retail opening guidelines and general business advice.

  • Signup for the ShopHERE powered by Googleprogram for help setting up and launching your own Shopify online store quickly, easily and at no cost.

  • Join Digital Main Street for access to tools, resources, connections to trusted digital vendors, online learning and a Digital Service Squad who provide one-on-one virtual assistance.

  • Reopen safely with help from resources in the Toronto Public Health Planning Guide.

  • Make a difference in your community with DonateTO.

Supporting COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts through DonateTO

Faced with the overwhelming need to accommodate large volumes of perishable food items, The Toronto Office of Partnerships helped connect Second Harvestwith Exhibition Place and Spectra Food Services & Hospitality to secure a large cold storage facility at the Enercare Centre. This partnership has allowed Second Harvest to expand its capacity to store and distribute much-needed perishable food items to community food programs across Toronto. Learn how you can help at COVID-19: DonateTO.

Financial Support and Resources

Federal and provincial government financial supports:

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

Support from industry groups and private sector organizations:

  • Ritual One helps food businesses easily take commission-free orders online

  • Next Generation Manufacturing Canada providesfunding for companies producing COVID-19 equipment and supplies.

  • Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Technology Assessment Program supports manufacturers looking to complete a technology assessment.

Webinars and Online Events

COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for the Retail Sector(Free)
Thursday, June 11, 11 a.m. – Register | Watch On Demand (This webinar was developed leveraging guidelines that had been published and available up to and including May 18.)

Reopening Guidance for the Restaurant Sector (Free)
Friday, June 12, 2 p.m. – Register

Ask an Accountant – Applying for Government COVID-19 Support Programs (Free)
Wednesday, June 10, 3:30 p.m. – Register

Business AdviceTO Event Series (Free)
Business AdviceTO with Partners SheEO World | Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – Register
Business AdviceTO with Partners Retail Insider | Wednesday, June 10, 11a.m. – Register
Business AdviceTO with Partners TechTO | Wednesday, June 10, 12 p.m – Register

Scarborough Business Association Cyber Breakfast – The Future of the Franchise (Free)
Wednesday, June 10, 9:15 a.m. – Register

Digital Strategies for Artists and Organizations (Free)
Wednesday, June 10, 10 a.m. – Register

Collision from Home
June 23 to 25 – Register

Elevate Live Event Series (Free)
Wednesdays, 12 p.m. – Register

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