COVID-19 Business Information and Resources

Open for Business

The Economic Development and Tourism Division is regularly updating information on this page to keep you up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 business supports and services.

Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism team is available to assist you in navigating the various resources and programs. Contact us at 905-318-5932 or by email at

Haldimand Face Covering By-law

Effective August 1st, businesses require face coverings in specific enclosed public spaces where physical distancing cannot be achieved. Learn more.

Ontario extends temporary layoff provisions

The Ontario Government announced further amendments to extend the maximum periods of temporary layoffs to January 2, 2021, before they could be deemed to be terminations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000. Learn more.

Reimbursing Tourism Businesses for Safe Opening Expenses

The Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation are offering tourism businesses a new limited-time ‘Safe Openings’ Program that will allow reimbursement for a portion of their safe opening expenses (up to $1,000). Applications will be accepted on September 15th at 10:00 am on a first-come first-served basis. Learn More.

Haldimand County is now in Stage 3. 

  • Nearly all businesses and public spaces will be able to gradually reopen in Stage 3, with public health and workplace safety restrictions in place, while some high-risk venues and activities will remain closed until they can safely resume operations.
  • A Framework for Re-opening – Stage 3
COVID-19 Canada Information

Commercial Rent Assistance Extended

The Canadian Government announced that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses will be extended by one month to help eligible small businesses pay rent for September. Across the country, thousands of small businesses that were forced to close or were especially hard hit have been able to use CECRA to help cover rent and position themselves to reopen as the economy reopens. Learn more.

Ban on Commercial Evictions

The government of Ontario is proposing a bill that would support small businesses by extending the ban on commercial evictions. Learn More.

Transition from CERB to Employment Insurance

The federal government is extending the CERB into September before transitioning CERB recipients onto a revamped Employment Insurance program starting Sept. 27th.   Learn More

RE3: Rebuild, Reopen, Revive Program

Funding specifically for Women-led small and medium-sized enterprises in Western Ontario, which includes Haldimand. Up to $5,000 on eligible expenses for the acquisition of required/mandated Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), workspace reconfiguration to accommodate physical distancing, or hardware/software upgrades to enhance online capacity, client servicing, and accessibility.   Learn More or Apply

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Up to 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. (Now extended to December!)  Learn More

Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy

The Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy is a three-month measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency.  Learn More

Extending work sharing program

Extending the maximum duration of the Work Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. This program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.  Learn More

Creating new jobs and opportunities for youth

Creating up to 116,000 jobs, placements, and other training opportunities to help students find employment and develop valuable skills this summer and over the coming months.

Temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program to allow employers to:

  • Receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100 % of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee;
  • extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021;
  • adapt their projects and job activities;
  • hire staff on a part-time basis.

Learn more about the various programs:

Income tax deferrals

Allowing all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments.  No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.  Learn More

Sales tax & customs duty deferrals

Allowing businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as customs duties owing on their imports including amounts owing for March, April and May.  Learn More

Waiving Tariffs on Medical Goods

Waiving tariffs on certain medical goods, including PPE such as masks and gloves.

This will reduce the cost of imported PPE for Canadians, help protect workers, and ensure our supply chains can keep functioning well.  Learn More

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Providing interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.  To qualify, you will need to demonstrate you paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.

  • Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises – EDC & Financial Institutions
  • Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises – BDC & Financial Institutions

CEBA has now been extended to October 31, 2020

Learn More

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).  BDC and EDC are working with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exportation and tourism. Learn More

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

Providing funding to help more businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and to local economies. This fund is specifically targeted to those that may require additional help to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but have been unable to access other support measures.  Learn More

Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Over the course of the program, property owners will reduce rent by at least 75 % for the months of April and May (retroactive), and June, for their small business tenants. CECRA will cover 50 % of the rent, with the tenant paying up to 25 % and the property owner forgiving at least 25 %.  Learn More

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) provides 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 additional liquidity provided through LEEFF allows Canada’s largest businesses, their workers and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and position them for a rapid economic recovery.  Learn More

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides $2,000 per month to qualified workers who have lost income because of the COVID-19 pandemic (including self-employed individuals).  Learn More

Ontario's Action Plan

Ontario Implementing Additional Measures at Bars and Restaurants

  • All patrons will be required to be seated at all times, in both indoor and outdoor areas, with limited exceptions (effective July 31st); and
  • Bars and restaurants (and also tour boat operators) in Ontario will be required to keep client logs for a period of 30 days and to disclose the client logs to the medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request, which will support case and contact tracing (effective August 7th).
  • Complementary changes are being made in respect of existing provisions relating to tour operators and tour boat operators.

Learn more.

Support for Industrial and Commercial Electricity Users

Companies that participate in the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) will not be required to reduce their electricity usage during peak hours, as their proportion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for these companies will be frozen. Due to COVID-19, electricity consumption in Ontario has been below average and the province is forecast to have a reliable supply of electricity to accommodate increased usage. Learn more

Interest and Penalty Relief 

Between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, the province will not apply any penalty or interest on any late-filed returns or incomplete or late tax payments under select provincially administered taxes, such as Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gas Tax.

Employer Health Tax Relief

Increasing the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million. As an employer, this means relief of up to $9,945.  Learn More

WSIB Payment Deferrals

All employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package.

  • Schedule 1 employers who owe premiums to the WSIB will be allowed to defer reporting and payments until August 31, 2020.
  • Schedule 2 businesses that pay WSIB for the cost related to their workplace injury and illness claims can defer reporting and payments until August 31, 2020.

No interest will be accrued on outstanding premium payments and no penalties will be charged during this six-month deferral period.

Affordable Electricity Bills

Effective June 1, 2020, Ontario introduced a COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8¢/kWh for TOU Regulated Price Plan customers, also effective 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This temporary rate will be in effect until October 31, 2020.

Pausing Commercial Evictions

We are temporarily halting or reversing evictions of commercial tenants and protecting them from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19. This applies to businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance for evictions from May 1 to August 31, 2020.


The pause on evictions does not apply to those participating in CECRA for small businesses.

Grand Erie Business Centre
Brantford Brant Business Ctr

Haldimand County Council Acts To Reduce Charges

Haldimand County announces it will waive interest costs and fees attached to the next two property tax instalments. View the Message from Mayor Hewitt.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

Funding available through Grand Erie Business Centre (Community Futures Development Corporation)

In order to provide targeted assistance to the small towns and communities we serve, we will focus on assisting “main street” businesses, such as retail shops, restaurants, corner stores, and businesses of strategic importance to our communities, with loans up to $40,000. Eligible applicants must also meet the following criteria:

  • established prior to March 1, 2020;
  • impacted adversely by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • viable and not experiencing other financial difficulties prior to March 1, 2020;
  • have attempted to access other federal relief supports and were ineligible, rejected, or require funding for expenses that have not been supported, with priority given to applicants who were ineligible or rejected from other federal relief supports.

Learn more

Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program

This program allows farmers and provincial meat processors to take additional steps to improve health and safety measures such as: purchasing personal protective equipment, purchasing medical testing, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection equipment. Learn more.

Expanded Risk Management Program

This funding supports farmers with unforeseen challenges such as fluctuating market prices, extreme weather events like flooding or drought, and disease. Learn more.

Additional Supports for Agri-Businesses bringing in Foreign Workers

April 13 – Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced $50 million in federal funding to provide $1,500 per worker, which can be used to cover wages while they are in quarantine or the costs of space to isolate for the 14 days required under a law meant to stop the spread of COVID-19. Read more.

Ontario Federation of Agriculture provides Guide to Operating your Essential Farm Business during COVID-19

The Guide for farms and farm businesses is split into three parts: Facilitating Business Interactions on the Farm, Responding to Exposure to COVID-19, and Managing Risk during Business Operations. View the guide.

Ontario’s New Online Portal Connects Agri-Food Employers with Workers

April 4, 2020 – The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is launching a new web portal tool to make it easier to match people to essential jobs and training resources throughout the provincial food supply chain. Learn More at

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

“We know how much we depend on these foreign workers for the agricultural sector. Today we have reassured the industry that we will find a way to let them come. We still have to develop the conditions under which they will come because our priority is still to make sure that we protect the health of Canadians,” said Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. Source:  Read more about it at

Destination Ontario COVID Invo

FREE Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) Membership for 2020

The Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries has made it possible for TIAO to extend complimentary membership to the entire tourism industry in Ontario for 2020. Contact TIAO directly at:  to set up your membership and provide you additional information.

Destination Ontario Releases Survey on Impact of COVID-19

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian Economy & Consumer Sentiment survey was conducted and analyzed by-weekly to track trends. Find out what Canadians are thinking in these unprecedented times. View the June 18, 2020 survey results.

E-Commerce Support:

The provincial government is “encouraging businesses to explore opportunities to continue operations through work-from-home and innovative business models”. The Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation is working with Shopify to migrate sales to an e-commerce platform.  What does this look like?  For a limited number of tourism operators (first come, first served) they are offering free access to a Shopify account, starting March 25th, expiring May 31st, 2020. Visit to learn more (Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page).

Are You Covered?

A reminder to businesses that are adding home delivery, check with your insurance company to ensure you have adequate coverage for your employees undertaking new functions.

Peninsula Employment Services – Series of free webinars for small businesses including recalling employees, preparing for a second wave, and COVID-19 workplace training.

Brantford/Brant Business Resource Enterprise Centre – FREE Webinars to Manage COVID-19 Crisis

Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium – COVID-19 Labour Law Q & A

BDC – How To Cope with the Impacts of COVID-19 on Your Business

Conference Board of Canada – Advice for employers dealing with COVID-19

Credit Counselling Society – Schedule of Webinars for those impacted financially by Covid-19