COVID-19 Business Information and Resources


The Economic Development and Tourism division is monitoring the impact of COVID-19. We will provide timely and relevant information for businesses on this page and are ready to help you access supports as they become available. Our team continues to offer advisory consultations for your business via phone or email.

Contact us at 905-318-5932

  • Lidy Romanuk, Manager – Ext. 6342
  • Jaymie Nelson, Senior Economic Development Officer – Ext. 6305
  • Alison Earls, Senior Economic Development Officer – Ext. 6315
  • Jane Anderson, Research Technician – Ext. 6352
  • Bree Beauchamp, Division Support – Ext. 6331

Or email us at

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Ontario's Action Plan (3)

Canada Raises Wage Subsidy to 75%

On March 27th the Prime Minister announced a major increase to the wage subsidy for small- and medium-sized businesses, boosting it to 75 per cent, up from the 10 per cent previously promised. Read the CTV news article.

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

On March 25th, Ontario released it’s Economic fiscal update and it’s $17B response include $10B in support for people and businesses including:

  • Providing a five-month interest and penalty-free period to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes
  • Deferring the upcoming quarterly (June 30) remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days. This will provide municipalities with the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals of over $1.8 billion to local residents and businesses.
  • Providing up to $1.9 billion in financial relief by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months.

Learn more.

Alcohol and Gaming Commission Announces Temporary Measures

These temporary measures include:

  • Allowing licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario to sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders.
  • Extending by three months the term of all active liquor, gaming and cannabis licences, authorizations and registrations during this extraordinary situation.

Learn more about the restrictions and hours of operation here.

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.

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.

Government Procurement Opportunities:

Contact Your Bank to Explore Financing Options

Canada’s banks have made a commitment to support businesses and individuals through these difficult times in a responsible, fair, and compassionate way. To help provide some stability for businesses through this time of uncertainty, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer requirement, releasing more than $300 billion of additional lending capacity for Canadian financial institutions.

Federal Government Action to Support Businesses and Workers

Learn more about Ottawa’s $82B stimulus package with support for workers and businesses. Learn More.

RDA Assistance for tourism operators, small businesses or organizations

If you are a tourism operator, a small business or an organization affected by COVID-19 and need pressing assistance, the regional development agencies (RDAs) could assist you with access to federal funding and services.

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC):

Support for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19

  • Small Business Loan: Up to $100,000 can be obtained online in as little as 48 hours, from time of approval.
  • Working Capital Loan: Get extra funds to bridge cash flow gaps and support everyday operations.
  • Purchase Order Financing: Increase your cash flow to fulfill domestic or international orders with very flexible times.

Learn more.

Canada Business App

Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC):

  • Work-Sharing (WS): an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity, beyond the control of the employer.
  • Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits: one-week waiting period will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim.

Learn More.

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

Ontario Closing Non-essential Businesses

Effective Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 pm, the Ontario government orders at-risk workplaces to close-down, while encouraging businesses to explore opportunities to continue operations through work-from-home and innovative business models. View the Press Release Here and view the list of  Essential Businesses.

Ontario Launches “Ontario Together” Business Webpage

Ontario Together, will help businesses and their employees work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. It will identify the province’s supply challenges and solicit ideas and advice from Ontario’s business and manufacturing communities on how the government can work together to meet the need.

Ontario Providing Electricity Rate Relief

Province suspending time-of-use rates for 45 days, providing immediate electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms paying time-of-use (TOU) rates.

This discount will be applied automatically to electricity bills without the need for customers to fill out an application form. Read the Press Release.

Ontario Announces Job Protection

Ontario has introduced legislation that, if passed, would immediately provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures. Learn more.

Panel-Palooza – Pivot Webinar Series

Ontario South West Tourism Corporation is bringing tourism businesses together during this challenging time, to showcase how businesses are pivoting to engage their customers and continue sales. Join us online for one or all of the following sessions:

  • Product to Porch, Thursday March 26, 10 am (Getting products to customers)
  • Take-in Restaurant Ideas, March 31, 10 am (How restaurants and caterers are innovating)
  • Online Relationships, April 1, 10 am (Engage people and grow your audience with virtual events)
  • From Farm to Table: Delivering the Goods, April 2, 10 am (Farms getting local goods to households)

There will be dial-in instructions for those who have limited internet access. These webinars will also be recorded and shared on at a later date. Register or Learn More.

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).

COVID-19 Canada Information
Ontario's Action Plan
Ontario Together Business Website