COVID-19 update for small businesses


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February 16, 2021
BusinessTO News is a weekly newsletter focused on resources to help Toronto businesses mitigate the impact of COVID-19. For a full list of resources, visit


COVID-19 update for small businesses

Toronto will remain in the Shutdown Zone of Stage One of the Province of Ontario’s Stages of Reopening until at least February 22. Most nonessential businesses must remain closed. Businesses that are open must continue to actively screen all workers before they enter the workplace. Businesses must also post signs at all entrances to the premises, in a location visible to the public, that inform individuals on how to screen themselves for COVID-19 prior to entering the premises. For more information, please view Toronto Public Health’s guidance for employers, workplaces and businesses, and printable posters and graphics.

Increased reporting for workplace outbreaks

Toronto Public Health (TPH) will increase reporting of active COVID-19 outbreaks at local workplaces. This information will be published on the COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard, which is updated weekly on Thursdays. TPH has been publicly posting the names of workplaces in active outbreak that employ 20 or more people. This is to help protect the personal health information and the identity of people with COVID-19 in small workplaces.

CERB repayments for self-employed individuals

The Government of Canada announced that self-employed individuals who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and would have qualified based on their gross income will not be required to repay the benefit, provided they also met all other eligibility requirements.

Find financial help during COVID-19

The Government of Canada launched an interactive website dedicated to helping individuals and businesses find financial support with the ongoing struggles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business Community News launches LocalLicious

From February 25 to March 7,, a coalition of independent Canadian restaurateurs and suppliers, is encouraging independent restaurants to participate in LocalLicious and offer a three-course prix fixe menu, with $1 from every menu sold to be donated to a local charity.

Meet Canada’s future economic stars

Canadians have always been innovative and in extraordinary times some businesses are experiencing rapid growth. Meet MaRS’ future Canadian economic stars and exciting companies gearing up for great things in the upcoming year.

Tips for business transformation during a pandemic

Local businesses are doing all they can to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how some small businesses have adapted and what successes and mistakes they’ve had throughout the year.

Webinars and Online Events

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

Ontario Small Business Support Grant Webinar (Free)
Watch on Demand

Ask the Expert: Marketing and Sales (Free)
Friday, February 19, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Register

The Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) – Information Webinar
Wednesdays at 2 p.m. – Email to register.

Ontario Small Business Support Grant – Information Webinar (Free)
Thursday, February 25, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Register

Lower Water Costs For Business – Partners in Project Green (Free)
Thursday, February 25, 1 to 2 p.m. – Register

General Small Business Tax Literacy Seminar (Free)
Friday, February 26, 9:30 a.m. to noon – Register

Ask the Expert: Legal Advice for Business (Free)
Friday, March 5, 9 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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