Let’s Get Back TO – June 15th 2021


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June 8, 2021
TTC streetcar with CN Tower in background
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 toronto.ca/covid19.


Let’s Get Back TO

Toronto entered Step One of the provincial Roadmap to Reopen last week. While this is an exciting time, we must remain cautious. Everyone should continue to practise physical distancing, wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing is not possible, and wash hands often.

Step One will remain in effect for a minimum of 21 days and includes:

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
  • Outdoor dining with up to four people per table
  • Non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity

In order for Toronto to move into Step Two, it’s important for everyone to get vaccinated. So, if you haven’t already, book your second dose as soon as you are able. Everyone 12 years of age and older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who received a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna on May 9 or earlier, and those who received AstraZeneca at least eight weeks ago, can book an accelerated second dose through the provincial booking system and call centre.

Let’s all get vaccinated and to continue to stay as the City reopens.

Reopening Supports for Businesses

The City continues to offer several programs to help local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Information about these programs, economic supports and resources, including the BusinessTO Support Centre for one-on-one virtual support, as well as on demand and live webinars to help business re-open, is available on the City’s COVID-19: Economic Support & Resources for Businesses webpage.

Businesses and residents are encouraged to check back often to ensure that they are following the most up-to-date public health guidance, provincial regulations and City bylaws. Access reopening resources including sector-specific guidelines created by Toronto Public Health.

City of Toronto and Toronto Region Board of Trade to Distribute COVID-19 Screening Kits to Help Businesses Safely Reopen

The City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto Region Board of Trade to provide free COVID-19 rapid screening kits to small- and medium-sized businesses across Toronto. Businesses in Toronto with 150 or fewer employees are welcome to participate in this voluntary initiative.

Use of rapid screening kits by employees of small- and medium-sized businesses can help identify asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace, thereby reducing the spread of COVID-19 in those workplaces, at home and in the community.

Eligible businesses can order their initial four-week supply of testing kits online from the Toronto Region Board of Trade and book a time slot for pickup.

Business Community News

CafeTO Registration Window #3 Is Open

CafeTO will support more than 1,000 restaurants and bars this summer with expanded outdoor dining options in BIA and non-BIAs across Toronto. Registration window #3 is open now until mid-August for operators interested in sidewalk and/or curb lane (on-street) cafe. Details about CaféTO, including how to register, are available online.

Directory of Toronto Made Bicycles Released

The City has released its 2021 directory of locally made bikes and bike racks including helpful information on maintenance, repair, reuse and more. The directory provides information for individuals and businesses looking at purchasing a locally made bike and for business and property owners seeking to add more parking spaces for cyclists.

Toronto has a long history of making bikes and is a hub of the bike industry in Canada with 11 bike makers and five manufacturers of bike racks in the GTA.

Gardiner Expressway Maintenance June 25 to 28

The annual maintenance and improvement closure of the Gardiner Expressway, from the DVP to Highway 427, is planned from Friday, June 25 at 11 p.m. until Monday, June 28 at 5 a.m. weather permitting.

Businesses that rely on weekend deliveries and shipments that would normally use the Gardiner Expressway should notify vendors and customers of the closure so that they can plan their travel accordingly. More details are available online.

Webinars and Online Events

Legal Bootcamp – How to Start & Grow Your Business
June 16, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Register (Free)

Small Business Financing 101
June 16, 10:30 a.m. – noon – Register (Free)

Ask the Expert: Marketing & Sales
June 18, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Register (Free)

Starting a Home-based Food Business
June 21, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Register (Free)

Founding and Funding a Food Business
June 22, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Register (Free)

Food Business Scale-up from home to Kitchen?
June 23, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Register (Free)

Pivoting Your Food Business During Covid-19
June 24, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Register (Free)

Women’s Entrepreneurship Forum
June 24, 10 a.m. to noon – Register (Free)

Pushing the Potential of Food Entrepreneurs
June 25, 1 to 2 p.m. – Register (Free)

CaféTO & Expanded Outdoor Dining Program 2021
Watch on Demand (Free)

Business Learning Hub Courses
Register (Pay what you can)

Small Business Centres Ontario
On-going Online Events and e-Learning – Register (Free – $35)

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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