In the coming days, we will continue to:
- Share new legislation, information and directives as they become available via the established network of trusted authorities here and on our Facebook page.
- Remain dedicated to assisting local businesses in this time of incredible need. We are available to assist, guide and refer wherever possible. Make sure you let us know what you need by sending us an email.
- Assist our members to network – online during this time. It is critical that we all do what we can to help local small businesses survive. We are actively sharing business updates from our members on our Facebook page.
Together, we will get through this. Stay healthy and help us help businesses prosper.
The Bradford Board Of Trade is keenly aware of the concern the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought to our members and BWG. Please refer to this page to find updates from all levels of government, as well as business resources to support you during this extraordinarily challenging time.
COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan:
As an employer it’s your responsibility under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect a worker. This guide will help you use current public health and workplace health and safety information to develop a plan and put controls into place to help make the workplace safer for everyone.
All businesses that are operating must have a written safety plan by law. The plan must be made available to anyone who asks to see it, and posted in a place where it will be seen easily.
Business & Financial Programs
The Tourism Relief Fund, administered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. With a budget of $500 million over two years (ending March 31, 2023), including $50 million specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives and $15 million for national initiatives, this fund will help position Canada to be a destination of choice as domestic and international travel rebounds by:
- empowering tourism businesses to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors
- helping the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors by providing the best Canadian tourism experiences we have to offer the world
This communication is to inform you about two extensions that have happened under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA):
- The “COVID-19 period” has been extended to July 30, 2022
- The availability of paid infectious disease emergency leave has been extended to July 31, 2022
- The COVID-19 Period
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government made a regulation that changed certain ESA rules during the “COVID-19 period.” This regulation has been amended to extend the COVID-19 period to July 30, 2022.
During the COVID-19 period (March 1, 2020 to July 30, 2022):
- A non-unionized employee is deemed to be on unpaid infectious disease emergency leave when they are not performing the duties of their position because their employer temporarily reduced or temporarily eliminated their hours of work for reasons related to COVID-19.
- A non-unionized employee is not considered to be laid off under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or temporarily eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19.
- A non-unionized employee is not considered to be constructively dismissed under the ESA if their employer temporarily reduces or temporarily eliminates their hours of work or wages for reasons related to COVID-19.
Beginning on July 31, 2022:
- Non-unionized employees will no longer be deemed to be on unpaid infectious disease emergency leave.
- The ESA’s regular rules around constructive dismissal will resume. This means a significant reduction or elimination of an employee’s hours of work or wages may be considered a constructive dismissal, even if it was done for reasons related to COVID-19.
- The ESA’s regular rules around temporary layoff will also resume. For practical purposes, a non-unionized employee’s temporary layoff clock resets on July 31, 2022.
- Paid Infectious Disease Emergency Leave
On April 29, 2021, the Ontario government announced the COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB), which includes:
- up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave under the ESA for employees who take time off work because of certain reasons related to COVID-19, and
- an employer reimbursement program.
Paid infectious disease emergency leave was originally set to end September 25, 2021 and was later extended to December 31, 2021. It has now been extended to July 31, 2022.
Eligible employers are entitled to be reimbursed the amount of infectious disease emergency leave pay that they paid to their employees, up to $200 per employee per day taken. Eligible employers must make their application within 120 days of the date the employer paid the employee, or by November 28, 2022, whichever is earlier.
If you need help understanding your employment rights and responsibilities, you can:
- Visit Your guide to the Employment Standards Act at Ontario.ca/ESAguide.
- Call the Employment Standards Information Centre at 1-800-531-5551 or TTY (for hearing impaired) at 1-866-567-8893. Information is available in many languages.
- Get advice from a lawyer.
- Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development news.
Changes to CRB amounts
When period 22 opens for application on August 2, 2021, CRB amounts will change to $600 ($540 after taxes withheld) for each 2-week period if either:
- you already applied for 21 periods (42 weeks)
- your first time applying for the CRB is for period 22 (July 18 to 31, 2021) or later
The last day you can apply is September 29, 2021 (11:59 pm ET). Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) are ending October 23, 2021.
Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)
As a Canadian employer who continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible to apply for one of the two subsidies to cover part of your employee wages.
The CRHP and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) support wages you pay through different phases of your economic recovery. Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either CRHP or CEWS, whichever is higher.
July 7, 2021: First day you can apply for claim period 17 (Claim period 17 is the first claim period that the CRHP is available).
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.
If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 4 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. You cannot apply for periods that are closed.
Click here to apply
These services may be particularly relevant with the recently implemented public health measures. Businesses are welcome to apply by filling out this Expression of Interest (https://lnkd.in/e_tcWfd). Upon receipt, VentureLAB will reach out and facilitate introductions.
CEBA requirements and deadlines have changed:
- As of December 4, 2020, CEBA loans for eligible businesses will increase from $40,000 to $60,000.
- Applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion, which provides eligible businesses with an additional $20,000 in financing.
- All applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.
*NEW* All applicants can now check the status of their CEBA Loan online at https://status-statut.ceba-cuec.ca/. Please wait 5 to 7 business days after finalizing your application before checking your loan status on this loan status website or with the call centre.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
The government’s recent Speech from the Throne committed to extending the wage subsidy through to June 2021 as part of its work to create over one million jobs and restore employment to pre-pandemic levels. The government confirmed its intention to extend the wage subsidy until June 2021 and is providing details on the parameters of the wage subsidy that are proposed to apply until December 19, 2020. In addition, other enhancements are being proposed to the program to ensure that it provides continued support to employers and responds to the health and economic situation as it evolves. These changes complement the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy.
Provides a 75 per cent wage subsidy to eligible employers, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
A 10% subsidy will be available for those who do not qualify for the 75%. Click here
How to apply
Opened April 27, applications will be open for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
- Most businesses may apply using My Business Account
- If you represent a business, you may apply using Represent a Client
- Alternatively, you may apply using a separate online application form (available April 27)
The CEWS will be processed at the payroll program (RP) account level, so you will have to file a separate application for each RP account. Read on….
The Talent Opportunities Program (TOP) is an initiative of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce designed to help employers located anywhere in Canada hire college and university students on work placements. Employers hiring eligible students may receive a wage subsidy up to 75 per cent (up to a maximum of $7,500) per placement.
Storefront Online Program
Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant: PPE support
We are helping small businesses with the unexpected costs of PPE.
Property tax and energy bill rebates
Businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures (in areas with modified Stage 2 restrictions or categorized as control or lockdown) can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Replacement for the now closed “Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)” program
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.
This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.
If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will provide financial support directly to SMEs to address COVID-19 impacts on rural and remote communities, contributing to their short-term stability. This access to financing will support southern Ontario SMEs, and NFP organizations, including Social Enterprises that provide support services to SMEs (such as business or sector-based organizations) as well as those engaging in commercial activities (commercial activities refer to conduct that is commercial in character such as selling, bartering or leasing) that do not qualify for or have been rejected from, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures.
Funding available through your local CFDC
To provide targeted assistance to the small towns and communities they serve, CFDCs will focus on assisting “main street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants, corner stores, and businesses of strategic importance to their communities, with loans up to $40,000.
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program – Small Business (CEAP-SB)
The Government of Ontario is providing $8 million to support small business and registered charity customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Applications open as of August 31st, 2020.
The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Small business and registered charity customers may be eligible for up to $850 in support towards their electricity bill if they primarily use electricity for heating, or up to $425 otherwise. Small business and registered charity customers could also be eligible for up to $425 in support towards their natural gas bill.
CEAP-SB is being delivered by electricity distributors, natural gas distributors and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs), in accordance with rules laid out by the OEB.
You must apply for CEAP-SB through your utility or USMP. More info….
Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)
To provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. The objective of this support is to help protect Canadian jobs, help Canadian businesses weather the current economic downturn, and avoid bankruptcies of otherwise viable firms where possible. This support will not be used to resolve insolvencies or restructure firms, nor will it provide financing to companies that otherwise have the capacity to manage through the crisis. The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF will allow Canada’s largest businesses and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and position them for a rapid economic recovery.
· Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
· Working capital loans of up to $2MM with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses.
· Postponement of payments for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1MM or less
· Funding may also be in the form of guarantees provided by BDC to Banks, or BDC may step in to take over debt and reduce the risk to the Banks
· New loan guarantee program through the EDC Business Credit Availability Program Guarantee (EDC BCAP Guarantee)
· Offers financial institutions a guarantee on a client’s operating loan or one year working capital term loan.
· Some key insights include on the EDC BCAP Guarantee:
o A program built on the same principles as the Export Guarantee program with expanded risk appetite targeted at SMEs
o A 75% guarantee to your FI on the underlying credit facility
o Up to 1 year on an operating line up to $5MM
Consulting Assistance with Applications Program CAAP
Free Local Business Consulting Service and Assistance with Relief Applications
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury has contracted with Nottawasaga Futures to host a free consulting program. Nottawasaga Futures can assist with applications for business assistance and:
- Ensure your website is optimized for buying or booking appointments online
- Setup online ordering for both delivery and take-out on your website
- Convert existing stores to e-commerce to offer online buying capabilities
- Offer online and/or live classes or consultations using Skype, ZOOM, etc.
For more information, please contact 1-800-509-7554 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Business Resources
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury is taking many precautions to help protect our residents and businesses during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are aligning efforts between all levels of government, private sector support agencies, local community organizations and health authorities to ensure a coordinated response.
Information contained on this page helps link to various resources available to the business community. Please check back frequently as the situation unfolds.
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
Helping to improve outcomes for children, youth, families and individuals who need support, advancing the interests of women across Ontario and helping new immigrants settle and integrate.
Employment Insurance benefits and leave
Employment Insurance benefits and leave information for workers, families, fishers and sickness, as well as how to apply and submit a report.
Apply as soon as possible after you stop working. If you wait more than 4 weeks after your last day of work to apply, you may lose benefits.
- A deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or
- A deferral of principal payments up to 12 months
- Access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements
Updates are being released frequently in this very fluid situation. We will do our best to maintain this page as frequently as possible. Below you will find links to resources for business and government status updates & recommendations regarding COVID-19. Feel free to contact us if you have any requests or suggestions.
March 23rd, 2020 – Mayor Rob Keffer Declaration Of Emergency for Bradford West Gwillimbury – Click Here for details
For the purposes of this order, businesses include any-for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing the goods and services described herein. This does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery.
Note that teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.
April 26th, 2020 – Schools remain closed to May 31st, 2020
May 4th, 2020 – List of business reopenings – full article
Opening Mid-May, 2020 – Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
May 14th, 2020 – Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen
Additional seasonal, retail and household businesses must follow public health guidelines. READ MORE….
June 8th, 2020 – Ontario doubling limit on gatherings, more businesses to reopen in next stage of COVID-19 recovery plan
Premier Doug Ford outlined the details of Stage 2 of Ontario’s plan to lift restrictions on its lockdown, to gather in groups of up to 10 and many more businesses and services will be allowed to begin operating again as part of the next stage of the province’s regional reopening, set to begin in some areas. READ MORE….
July 17th, 2020 – Some areas of Ontario moving on to Stage 3 of Reopening
Stage 3 is another significant step towards fully restarting our economy. In Stage 2, over 90 per cent of economic activity was enabled to resume, which resulted in employment increasing by 377,900 net new jobs in June, including 66,200 jobs in the manufacturing sector. READ MORE…
September 19th, 2020 – Ontario rolling back to smaller gatherings across ALL OF ONTARIO: To help stop the spread of COVID-19, our government is reducing limits on the number of people allowed to attend unmonitored social gatherings and private parties. How we face the next surge and hold off the next wave will depend on everyone continuing to follow public health rules. READ MORE…
– 10 People Inside
– 25 People Outside
September 26th, 2020 – Starting at 12:01am, Alcohol serving restrictions: Last call 11pm, complete consumption by midnight & closing. READ MORE…
November 24, 2020
To all residents of County of Simcoe and District of Muskoka:
As the transmission of COVID-19 continues to grow in Simcoe Muskoka, and indeed throughout the rest of the province and the country, we are facing a critical time in our fight against this disease. We must increase our efforts to contain its spread. This second wave of transmission impacts and threatens our health and lives, and the ability of our healthcare system to manage the increased demands on its services.
Our local data indicate that COVID-19 cases in our area are at the highest levels to date, confirming the upward surge of this disease, placing us in the Orange – Restrict level of the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework. Furthermore, in keeping with provincial projections we are on track for much higher disease levels unless we take more action to curb its spread.
December 14th, 2020
Simcoe-Muskoka will be moved to RED – Control level as outlined in the COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open
COVID-19: provincewide shutdown
Learn about the time-limited restrictions and public health and workplace safety measures during the province-wide shutdown. The province-wide shutdown is in effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown. Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Provincewide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
Thursday, January 24th at 12:01am, 2021 – State Of Emergency
“The government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work.”
Feb. 16th, 2021 – Simcoe Muskoka back to Red Zone
March 1st, 2021 – Simcoe Muskoka back to Grey Lockdown
Effective Monday March 1, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) region is in the Grey-Lockdown level classification in the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open. The framework guides public health restrictions based on COVID-19 transmission in the province.
Monday, March 8th, 2021 – Simcoe Muskoka returning to Red Zone at 12:01am
April 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. the province has placed all 34 health unit areas under an emergency shutdown, pausing the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open framework. More on the shutdown measures can be found on the province’s website.
April 8, 2021 at 12:01am – Returning to lockdown for 6 weeks.
May 13, 2021 – Lockdown extended to June 2nd, 2021
May 20, 2021 – Provincial announcement 3-Step Roadmap To Safely Reopen The Province
“Based on current trends in key health indicators, including the provincial vaccination rate, the government expects to enter Step One of the Roadmap the week of June 14, 2021. The province will confirm closer to the expected start of Step One.”
- Step 1: 60 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose.
An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and permitting retail with restrictions. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.
- Step 2: 70 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses.
Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, overnight camps, personal care services where face coverings can be worn and with capacity limits, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity.
- Step 3: 70 to 80 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent vaccinated with two doses.
Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.
June 2, 2021 – Effective Wednesday June 2, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the provincial declaration of emergency and stay-at-home order will expire. All other existing measures and restrictions will remain in place until the province is ready to enter Step One of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen. The province expects to enter Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen the week of June 14, 2021, but this date has not yet been confirmed.
Ontario government announced that all publicly funded schools in Ontario will remain closed for the duration of the 2020-2021 school year in response to COVID-19.
June 11, 2021 – Stage 1 Reopening Begins Today
Step 1: An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and permitting limited indoor settings with restrictions.
- Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events for up to 10 people
- Outdoor dining for up to 4 people per table
- Essential retail capacity at 25%
- Non-essential retail capacity at 15%
- Religious services, rites and ceremonies indoors at 15% capacity and outdoors with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres
- Outdoor sports training (no games or practices), fitness classes and personal training up to 10 people
- Day camps
- Overnight camping at campgrounds and campsites, including Ontario Parks and short-term rentals
- Outdoor horse racing and motor speedways without spectators
- Outdoor pools and wading pools
June 30 at 12:01 a.m. – Ontario was moved to Stage 2
July 16th, 2021 – Ontario Enters Stage 3
Monday, January 31st, 2022 – Reopening
- increasing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
- increasing capacity at organized public events to 25 people indoors
- increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 per cent in most indoor public settings
Please click the link for More Details.
Changes to public health and workplace safety measures
The following changes to public health and workplace safety measures are in effect as of March 21, 2022.
- general masking requirements will be lifted; however, masking will still be required in certain indoor settings, including:
- public transit, including indoor areas and vehicles. This does not include businesses or organizations that provide sightseeing or touring services
- health care settings including:
- psychiatric facilities
- doctors’ offices
- immunization clinics
- specimen collection centres
- home and community care provider locations only if you are an employee or contractor
- long-term care and retirement homes
- shelters and other congregate care settings that provide care and services to medically and socially vulnerable individuals
For a complete list of settings and exceptions to masking requirements that may apply, please refer to O. Reg. 364/20.
Visit the face covering and masking page, for additional information including wear and fit.
Also as of March 21, 2022:
- passive screening of individuals prior to entering a business will no longer be required
- businesses and organizations that are open will no longer be required to prepare and make available a safety plan
COVID-19 Information & Updates:
Learn how the Ministry of Health is helping to keep Ontarians safe during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Find out how to protect yourself and how to recognize symptoms.” Regularly Updated
The Government of Canada has created the infrastructure to respond to the public health threats of the virus, and is well prepared to act—in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and international partners—to minimize the health, economic, and social impacts of this rapidly evolving public health issue.” Regularly Updated, many links to programs, reports and more.