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Province of Ontario Shutdown Information

January 15, 2021 - Applications Now Open for Ontario's Small Business Support Grant 

TORONTO — The Ontario government has opened  applications for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The grant, first announced in December, provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict their operations due to the Provincewide Shutdown. The tightened restrictions were put in place to help stop the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in Ontario.

"As Ontario's employers do their part to defeat COVID-19, they are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of this global pandemic," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board. "I encourage every eligible small business owner in Ontario to visit Ontario.ca/COVIDSupport to access the support our government has made available. While we still have a lot of work ahead of us, we can all look confidently to the future as we resolve to do our parts and put COVID-19 behind us."

Small businesses required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for a one-time grant and use this funding in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business needs. For example, some businesses could need support paying employee wages, while others could need support with their rent.

Eligible small businesses include those that:

  • Were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26.
  • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level.
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019. New businesses established since April 2019 will also be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria.

"Small businesses are the heart of Ontario's economy," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "The Ontario Small Business Support Grant will help thousands of small businesses get through this difficult time, while strengthening our province's economic recovery."

"As the son of two small business owners, I understand what small businesses mean to the families, employees, and local communities they support," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "Our hardworking businesses can be encouraged that the government's new Ontario Small Business Support Grant offers yet another helping hand that will give them the boost they need to meet the challenges of today and prepare for a brighter tomorrow."

Businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown are also eligible for additional supports, including the government's program to provide rebates to offset fixed costs such as property tax and energy bills. These rebates will continue to be available for businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown and earlier restrictions.

More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and other rebates is available on Ontario.ca/COVIDsupport

December 21, 2020 - Ontario Building On Supports for Employers During COVID-19 

The Ontario government continues to provide a variety of supports to employers facing challenges as a result of COVID-19. The government will now be providing even more support to small businesses that are required to close or severely restrict their operations due to the necessary Provincewide Shutdown. This will help ensure they can continue serving their communities and employing people once COVID-19 has been eradicated.


The New Ontario Small Business Support Grant

The government is announcing the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help small business owners during this challenging period.

Small businesses required to close or restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for this one-time grant. Each small business will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business. For example, some businesses will need support paying employee wages or rent, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.

Eligible small businesses include those that:

  • Are required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26
  • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with dollar for dollar funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown. The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20 per cent when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This time period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.

For small businesses not in operation in April 2019 or April 2020, eligibility criteria will be announced in January 2021.

Businesses that are not eligible include those that were already required to close prior to the introduction of modified Stage 2 measures, and essential businesses permitted to operate with capacity restrictions (e.g., discount and big box stores selling groceries, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, and beer, wine and liquor stores).

Further details, including how to apply for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, will be announced in January 2021.


Other Supports for Businesses During COVID-19

Other ongoing supports for businesses include measures announced in Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover:

November 19 - Ontario Supporting Small Businesses with Financial Advice and Training 

The Ontario government is investing over $2.2 million through the Ontario Together Fund to provide small businesses with free, tailored financial advice and online training to help them make informed financial decisions and navigate the unprecedented economic circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 

When included alongside the 2020 Ontario Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover and the Main Street Recovery Plan, these supports are part of a comprehensive package of proposed legislation, funding programs, and services and resources to help small businesses when and where they need it the most.

 

"Many small businesses across the province are being hit hard by COVID-19, and our government is doing everything it can to help them get back on their feet and recover, not just today, but every step of the way," said Minister Fedeli. "By providing these entrepreneurs with financial advice and training we can arm them with the information they need to remain viable and contribute to Ontario's economic recovery." 

 

Ontario is providing $2,040,000 to support Ontario's 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBEC) led by the Business Advisory Centre Durham to create a new Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network. This network will enhance the capacity of all SBECs across the province to expand their services, supporting businesses across the province. 

 

The project will also build one central portal where businesses can access digital tools and training, connect with mentors and industry experts, and get information on government programs to help them navigate COVID-19 and beyond. Through this network, up to 75,000 small businesses in Ontario can be reached.

 

The government is also providing $131,000 for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada to develop and deliver a four-part COVID-19-specific financial literacy tool kit for small businesses. Key components of the project include podcasts, webinars and online booklets that will focus on pandemic recovery, cash management, managing risks, and information on small business tax.

 

Ontario is also providing $51,000 for Financial Advisors Association of Canada, a non-profit association of financial advisors, to provide pro-bono professional financial advice for small companies through its online platform, Advocis Connect. With the government's support, the association will connect small businesses with financial advisors for free advice on the current financial state of their business, how to pivot the business to manage the current economic emergency, and guidance for applying to federal and provincial government support programs.

 

"Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario's economy and they are making extraordinary sacrifices to keep their employees safe, their customers confident and their communities strong during these toughest times," said Minister Sarkaria. "These new programs build on our government's commitment to be in the corner of small businesses and previous actions including our Main Street Recovery Plan, our $60 million personal protective equipment grant program and helping small businesses build their e-commerce presence, among others."

 

The Ontario government also launched applications for eligible businesses to apply for the Main Street Relief Grant and temporary property tax and energy cost rebates through a single, online application portal. Many businesses should expect to receive their grants or rebate payments within a few weeks of finalizing and submitting their completed application. The Main Street Relief Grant is available to small businesses with two to nine employees in retail, accommodations and food services, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services to help cover personal protective equipment costs.

Quick Facts

  • In October, the government launched the Ontario’s Main Street Recovery Plan and introduced the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020, proposed legislation that would support small businesses and modernize rules to allow them to innovate and meet the challenges of today. If passed, the act will remove hurdles faced by small businesses and allow them to pursue new opportunities — while maintaining or enhancing protections for public health, safety and the environment.
  • The government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses retool their operations to produce PPE and develop technology-driven solutions and services for businesses to reopen safely.
  • Businesses and individuals looking to help in the fight against COVID-19 can submit their proposals through the Ontario Together web portal.
  • The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory provides businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers.
  • This November marks the 10th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month in Canada, which reminds Ontarians of the importance of understanding and managing personal finances.

October 8 - Ontario Supporting Local Festivals and Events 

TORONTO - Ontario is investing $9 million through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program to support municipalities and event organizers during COVID-19. This funding will be used to maintain public safety requirements and allow people to reconnect with their communities through online, drive-through and other innovative experiences. Organizers will be developing creative programs such as virtual Remembrance Day events, reverse holiday parades with drive-by static oats, drive-in music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightings and New Year's Eve displays that light-up iconic buildings.

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries at Ontario Place.

"COVID-19 has had an unprecedented and devastating impact on our local festivals and events," said Minister MacLeod. "This important investment through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program will continue to support Ontarians as they reconnect and experience all their local communities have to offer."

Funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile applications and website development, and implementation of health and safety measures.

The application period for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program runs from October 8 to December 1, 2020. 

Quick Facts

  • The Reconnect Festival and Event Program is open to organizers with a minimum $50,000 operating budget and the capacity to safely reconnect Ontarians with their communities.
  • Tourism is a key economic driver in Ontario, supporting more than 400,000 jobs and generating over $36 billion in spending.
  • This year, through Celebrate Ontario, the government invested $9.75 million to support more than 250 festivals and events in communities across the province, including Blockbuster events.
October 2 - Government of Canada Expands Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to provide more support for southern Ontario businesses 

Minister Joly announced that $184 million in additional relief funding is now available for small- and medium-sized businesses in the region

October 2, 2020 – Waterloo, Ontario

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped to protect millions of jobs, provide emergency support to families and keep businesses afloat as they deal with the impact of COVID-19. A central part of this is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), which helps support those who may not be eligible for other programs. Since the Fund was launched in May, over 12,000 businesses have been assisted through the RRRF, helping them keep their employees, cover costs and play a role in our economic recovery.

Since the launch of the RRRF, FedDev Ontario has provided critical support for southern Ontario’s businesses and other organizations, saving more than 43,000 jobs in the region. This includes support for those vital to the region’s economy and hit hardest by the pandemic, from main street and rural businesses to the tourism, technology and manufacturing sectors to women-led businesses.

Support for workers and businesses across southern Ontario

With the second wave upon us, businesses across southern Ontario need more support – now. That’s why the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced an additional $184 million for FedDev Ontario to help more businesses across southern Ontario through the RRRF.

The RRRF is a vital tool, supplementing the existing suite of federal relief measures to address the immediate needs of Canadians during the pandemic. This funding for FedDev Ontario is part of an additional $600 million in RRRF funding announced today for RDAs across the country. Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) will provide $30 million of FedDev Ontario’s additional funding to businesses in rural communities across southern Ontario.

For more information on the RRRF, including how to apply, please visit FedDev Ontario’s website. 


Quick facts

  • In southern Ontario, FedDev Ontario was originally allocated a total of $252.4 million through the RRRF. Today’s announcement brings the total RRRF funding for southern Ontario businesses and organizations to $436.4 million.  

  • In addition to the hundreds of businesses receiving support directly, key FedDev Ontario investments made to-date through the RRRF include:

    • $50 million to help main street businesses and SMEs reignite their recovery and embrace a digital future.
    • $4.5 million to help Francophone businesses, not-for-profits and social enterprises in official languages minority communities (OLMCs).
    • $4 million to support women-led businesses in southern Ontario.
  • Recognizing the significant impact that COVID-19 has had on tourism in the region, FedDev Ontario has invested nearly $68 million in RRRF funding to support the recovery and growth of this important industry.  

  • Delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs), the Fund addresses gaps left by other federal relief measures and complements those already provided by other levels of government.

September 17 - Ontario Supporting Renters and Small Businesses in COVID-19 Recovery 

Families and small businesses continue to be impacted by COVID-19. In response, Ontario has introduced the proposed Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, 2020 to freeze residential rent increases in 2021, and give the vast majority of Ontario's 1.7 million tenants some relief during these unprecedented times. The proposed legislation would also support Ontario's small businesses by extending the temporary ban on commercial evictions, and it will make legislative changes to create a single register of electors for both municipal and provincial elections.

 

The Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act includes the following proposed changes:

Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)

The Residential Tenancies Act sets out the formula for calculating the maximum allowable rent increase for the next year in rent-controlled units. The proposed changes would make the 2021 rent increase guideline zero per cent and freeze annual rent increases from January 1, 2021 and lasting until December 31, 2021.

The freeze would apply to the vast majority of rental units covered by the RTA, including those first occupied after November 15, 2018, which are typically exempt from rent control. If passed, no rent increases could come into effect during the freeze period, even if a rent increase notice was provided. Households living in rent-geared-to-income housing will also have their rent capped at 2020 levels.

Landlords would still be required to give at least 90 days' notice for any rent increase that will take effect in 2022. Notices for an eligible 2022 increase may be issued in 2021.

 Exceptions to the freeze would include:

  • Some above-guideline increases in rent, which allow landlords to invest in repairs and upgrades to their aging rental buildings, that are approved by the Landlord and Tenant Board; and
  • Agreed upon rent increases - where a landlord and tenant agree upon an increase in rent in exchange for an extra service or facility, such as air conditioning or parking.

Above guideline increases would not be allowed for increases in municipal property taxes during the rent freeze, unless they were already approved by the Landlord and Tenant Board before the proposed legislation receives Royal Assent.

Commercial Tenancies Act (CTA)

As part of Ontario's response to help business recover from COVID-19, proposed changes would extend the temporary ban on evictions of small business tenants and protect them from being locked out or having their assets seized.

This extension would continue to apply to businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance under the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses program, if their landlord chose not to apply for the program.

The amendments would apply to evictions that occur on or after September 1, 2020 to align with the extended CECRA for small businesses program. Landlords who evicted tenants or seized their assets between September 1, 2020 and the date the amendments come into force would be required to return any unsold goods and let the tenant back into the unit.

Ontario initially banned commercial evictions from May 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020. Extending the ban would allow Ontario to continue to protect small businesses and help them get back on their feet so they can create jobs and help rebuild the economy.

Municipal Elections Act, Municipal Act, Election Act, Assessment Act, and Municipal Property Assessment Corporation Act

The proposed amendments would create a single register of electors for municipal and provincial elections that would be used by Elections Ontario and municipalities. A single list is expected to be more accurate, and could mean fewer corrections for voters at polling stations, and fewer delays for people on election day.

These changes would cut red tape and help make voting easier for voters, candidates and municipal clerks in time for the 2026 regular municipal elections and any municipal by-elections initiated after January 1, 2024.

The single list would be managed by Elections Ontario. Currently, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation provides municipalities with a preliminary list of people eligible to vote for every municipal election. Municipal clerks then correct and revise this list to develop the voters list.


September 14 - Health Preparedness and Rebuilding the Economy Top Priorities in Ontario's Fall Legislative 

TORONTO — The Ontario government is returning to the legislature today, ready to continue implementing its made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and long-term recovery. The government's fall legislative agenda will build on the work undertaken over the summer, focusing on job creation, skills training, attracting investment, strengthening communities, and fortifying the front lines of the province's health care system. 

 

"Our government worked through the summer passing emergency legislation to protect individuals, families and businesses during one of the most difficult periods in our province's history," said Premier Doug Ford. "Over the past few weeks, we have heard from people in every corner of the province and from all walks of life that they continue to feel the impact of the pandemic each and every day. To start us down the road to long-term recovery, this legislative session will focus on implementing our comprehensive plan to get Ontario back on track."

Priorities for the upcoming session include:

  • Investing in Ontario's health care system to ensure the province is prepared for a potential second wave of COVID-19 and for any future public health challenges;
  • Building Ontario's production capacity for personal protective equipment, ventilators and other medical gear so the province never has to rely on any other jurisdiction again for these critical supplies;
  • Protecting families and those most vulnerable and helping them get back on their feet as the province reopens;
  • Helping young people and workers receive the skills training they need to join the modern workforce and contribute to the recovery of the province;
  • Accelerating the construction of critical highway, transit and broadband infrastructure projects to create jobs and boost the local economies of communities across Ontario;
  • Providing relief to Mainstreet Ontario and small business owners so they can recover from the impact of COVID-19 faster and get back to the work of building their business; and
  • Expanding manufacturing by creating the conditions to bring investment and jobs to the province and world-class, Ontario-made products to consumers around the world.

"When faced with a global pandemic, Members of Provincial Parliament came together in an unprecedented level of cooperation to protect people and support businesses," said Paul Calandra, Ontario's Government House Leader. "Working across party lines, we were able to quickly pass important programs and protective measures through a special summer sitting of the legislature. Now, as we return to regular fall sittings, the people of Ontario expect us to continue to cooperate to defeat COVID-19 and rebuild our economy."

In March and through the summer, the legislature met for special sittings of the Assembly, which included unprecedented and innovative public health protections to allow for the passage of emergency legislation. From March to July, the government was successful in passing 18 pieces of legislation, including emergency measures needed to protect public health and prepare for economic recovery, such as the Economic and Fiscal Update Act, the COVID-19 Support and Protection Act, the Protecting Small Business Act, and the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act. The expedited passage of much of this emergency legislation would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of the Official Opposition and independent Members.

A full list of legislation passed during the summer session is available here.


Quick Facts

  • Since the Ontario legislature reconvened in February 2020, the government has passed 17 government bills and one private member’s bill. Of the 17 government bills passed, six of them received unanimous consent of all parties for expedited passage.
  • The legislature has sat for 22 days since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 220 hours of committee study to date hearing from nearly 500 witnesses.
  • The government took steps to implement unprecedented measures to allow the full participation of all Members of the Assembly, while respecting public health guidance, including: Permitting Members to vote from the public galleries and in the lobbies adjacent to the Chamber; Permitting Members to sit at, speak from, or vote from any desk in the Chamber; Managing the number of Members present in the Chamber at any given time; Permitting the use of virtual technology for meetings of Legislative Committees; Allocating additional Question Period questions to the Official Opposition and Independent Members; and completing an in-depth sectoral-based study at an expanded Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs to be conducted virtually to study the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and measures contributing to economic recovery.

September 8 - Emergency Funding Grant Available for local Non-profit Groups and Registered Charities

Are you a local non-profit group or registered charity in need of financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

 

The County of Brant may be able to help.  If you are an incorporated non-profit group or registered charity within the County of Brant, you may be eligible for one-time funding required for emergency assistance related to unplanned needs.

 

Applications will be accepted until Tuesday, September 15, 2020. 

 

To view the application, visit www.brant.ca/Grants.  Applications will be reviewed by County of Brant Council at an upcoming Council meeting.

 
The 2021 Municipal Grant application form will be available late fall or early winter.

For additional information on Community Grants, please contact grantrequest@brant.ca or call 519.44BRANT (519.442.7268), 1.855.44BRANT.

August 5 - Ontario Supporting Non-Profits as Province Recovers from COVID-19 

TORONTO ― The Ontario government is investing $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to provide grants to help eligible non-profit organizations, including food banks, child and youth programs and Royal Canadian Legion branches, recover from COVID-19 and continue the delivery of vital programming in their communities.

The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

"I am proud of the hundreds of volunteer organizations and thousands of volunteers who have stepped up over the last few months and shown the Ontario spirit in caring for others through these difficult times," said Premier Ford. "Our local non-profits, including our local Legion branches and food banks, are the bedrock of our communities and their work will be absolutely critical in helping people to rebuild their lives as we restart our economy and reopen the province."

The OTF's Resilient Communities Fund will provide grants of up to $150,000 to help eligible non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 with support for:

  • Equipping board members and employees with supports to implement new approaches, prepare for change and build resiliency (e.g. organizational training and coaching, strategic planning and implementation, research & development, mental and physical health and wellbeing supports);
  • Improving and increasing ability to access financial resources and develop new and/or alternative sources of revenues (e.g. develop fundraising plans, identify fundraising and financial technology resources, seek opportunities for public-private partnerships and social finance);
  • Adapting or re-imagining the delivery of programs and services to meet the needs of the community, employees and volunteers (e.g. identify new health and safety processes and required personal protective equipment, technology supports, staffing and volunteer recruitment and training);
  • Procuring equipment or renovating spaces to meet the changing needs of the organization, its programs and services, and adapt to new ways of working (e.g. equipment and/or renovations to meet changing technology health and safety, and service delivery requirements); and
  • Creating and/or adopting new approaches for organizations to work together to meet the needs of communities (e.g. peer learning, professional development, networking, resource, knowledge and data sharing).

"The Resilient Communities Fund is a tremendous example of the innovation and flexibility of Ontario agencies," said Minister MacLeod. "While we work towards the province's economic and social recovery, we're proud to support programs like the OTF Resilient Communities Fund that are making a positive contribution in communities across Ontario."

"Due to the significant impacts of COVID-19 on the non-profit sector, the Ontario Trillium Foundation saw an opportunity to respond to the needs of non-profit organizations that have been struggling to deliver their programs and services," said Katharine Bambrick, CEO of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. "The Resilient Communities Fund will support the recovery and rebuilding of non-profits and help them as they return to building healthy and vibrant communities."

For more information, visit the Ontario Trillium Foundation website on eligibility requirements and application deadlines.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations.
  • OTF awarded $115 million to 645 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
  • OTF has redirected provincial funding previously allocated for the 2020 Grow and Capital grant streams into the one-time, $83 million Resilient Communities Fund.
  • Provincial funding delivered through the OTF supports the arts, culture, heritage, sports and recreation, human and social services, and environment sectors.

Additional Resources

July 31 - Ontario Implementing Additional Measures at Bars and Restaurants to Help Limit the Spread of COVID-19 

TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, has amended orders O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 and O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, implementing additional measures for restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments, as the province carefully and gradually reopens.

"Protecting the health and well-being of all Ontarians has always been our top priority," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "These additional measures will help reduce close contact between individuals in these settings, and support case and contact tracing, thereby limiting the spread of COVID-19."

In order to keep patrons of restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments safe, the amended orders will implement the following measures:  

 

  • All patrons will be required to be seated at all times, in both indoor and outdoor areas, with limited exceptions; 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.
  • Complementary changes are being made in respect of existing provisions relating to tour operators and tour boat operators.

 

The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health measures or restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened.

It remains critically important for everyone to continue following public health advice as more businesses and services reopen in Stage 3. This includes practising physical distancing with those outside your household or social circle, wearing a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so, staying home when ill, and washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.

Quick Facts

  • Businesses and sectors unable to open or facing significant difficulties in operating under the current restrictions are invited to visit Ontario.ca/reopen to submit a reopening proposal. Businesses are also encouraged to use the government’s guide to develop a workplace safety plan. Government officials will work collaboratively with them on a plan to safely reopen, where feasible. The plan will be considered by public health officials and the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee as part of Ontario’s approach to Stage 3.
  • Some local municipalities may have enacted by-laws or local medical officers of health may have issued Section 22 orders under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, mandating the use of face coverings, and other restrictions, in some settings. Other medical officers of health may have mandated the use of face coverings, and other restrictions, through reference to emergency orders. Refer to local municipal or public health unit webpages for more information.
  • For questions on restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, review the Stage 3 Emergency Order on the emergency information portal or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1 888 444-3659.
  • Over 180 guidance resources are available to businesses to help them safely reopen and keep customers and workers safe.
  • The province has set up a Workplace PPE Supplier Directory, where employers can find suppliers who sell personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to support a safe reopening of their workplaces.
  • Testing is available at any of the province’s 144 assessment centres currently open. To find your closest assessment centre, please visit Ontario.ca/coronavirus.
  • The province has developed a practical step-by-step guide to help Ontarians as they safely develop and join a social circle.

Additional Resources

July 13 - Nearly All Businesses and Public Spaces to Reopen in Stage 3

TORONTO — The Ontario government announced nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place. As Ontario continues down the path to economic recovery, decisions on which regions will enter Stage 3 and when will be made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts and based on trends of key public health indicators.

Details on the Stage 3 reopening framework were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

"Our success in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and getting Ontario to a place where we are ready to reopen most of the province is a testament to the hard work of business owners, individuals and families right across the province," said Premier Ford. "So many have stepped up and played by the rules, demonstrating that we can restart our economy safely and responsibly. Small actions can make a big difference. Now more than ever, we must continue to follow the public health advice to preserve the progress we have made together."

As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following:

  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
  • Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.

Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses. A two metre distance must still be maintained at such events.

Regions remaining in Stage 2 will maintain the existing gathering limit of 10. Social circles in all stages at this point will also be kept to a maximum of 10 people province-wide, regardless of stage.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID‑19:

  • Amusement parks and water parks;
  • Buffet-style food services;
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements;
  • Overnight stays at camps for children;
  • Private karaoke rooms;
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports;
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars;
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.

For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, as well as the public health guidance necessary to keep the people of Ontario safe, visit Ontario.ca/reopen.

The province is committed to working closely and collaboratively with businesses and sectors not yet able to reopen or who are experiencing significant challenges for reopening due to Stage 3 restrictions. These businesses can visit Ontario.ca/reopen to work with the government on a reopening proposal that will enable them to safely resume or increase operations. Government and public health officials will review proposals and contact businesses for feedback or clarifications.

"With almost all businesses and services able to resume operations, Stage 3 is a major step forward in our plan to reopen the province," said Minister Phillips. "We have to keep treating each other with respect and acting responsibly to keep up the progress in our fight against COVID-19. Our government will continue working with our partners across Ontario to rebuild our economy so that our province is a place of economic strength and prosperity for every person and family."

The following public health unit regions will be allowed to move into Stage 3 first, on Friday, July 17, 2020:

  • Algoma Public Health
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Businesses and municipalities will be permitted to enter Stage 3 based on their region and, as in the previous stages, may choose to take more time before reopening. For a list of regions that will remain in Stage 2, visit Ontario.ca/reopen.

At the beginning of each week, the province will continue to reassess local trends in public health indicators, including rates of transmission, hospital capacity, progress on testing and contact tracing, to determine if additional public health unit regions can progress to Stage 3. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened or reapplied.

"Having seen a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases as the province safely re-started over 90 per cent of economic activity with Stage 2, we now have the confidence to move certain regions into Stage 3, including expanding the size of gatherings indoors and outdoors," said Minister Elliott. "As we do, it's never been more important for all Ontarians to continue to practise physical distancing and wear a face covering when doing so is a challenge, such as safely visiting a favourite local store. Together, we'll continue to move Ontario forward."

As the province safely and gradually enters Stage 3, child care centres and home child care providers across Ontario will be able to continue to operate with strict safety and operational requirements in place. Beginning on July 27, 2020, child care centres will be permitted to operate with cohorts of 15 children, which is an increase from the current cohort cap of 10. This change will allow parents to return to work, and bring the child care sector to approximately 90 per cent of its operating capacity before the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Providing child care for parents is critical so that, as more Ontarians return to work, they can do so with confidence in knowing that their children are being safely cared for," said Minister Lecce. "Child care is an integral enabler to the continued restart of Ontario's economy, and we remain committed to working to ensure child care remains accessible, affordable and, most importantly, safe as we gradually increase capacity of Ontario's child care sector."

The government, in partnership with health and safety associations, has released over 170 guidance resources at Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety to help employers in multiple sectors ― including fitness, restaurant and food services, and the performing arts ― keep spaces safe for workers and customers. Guidance will be available for all spaces permitted to open in Stage 3. As they prepare to reopen, employers are strongly advised to review and implement appropriate measures to help protect their communities.

"As we enter Stage 3 and continue on the path to economic recovery, it is more important than ever that we support business owners and workers," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "That is why we launched the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment suppliers so they can keep their employees, customers and clients safe as they resume their operations. By continuing to work together, we will ensure Ontario is prepared and well-supplied for any future challenges."

Based on community needs, some municipalities and local medical officers of health have implemented more restrictions or requirements, such as mandatory face coverings in commercial establishments and all indoor public places. Check your local public health unit's or local municipality's website.

Quick Facts

  • The government invites businesses not able to open or resume full activities due to Stage 3 restrictions to visit Ontario.ca/reopen to submit a reopening proposal.
  • For questions on restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, review the Stage 3 Emergency Order on the emergency information portal or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
  • The Ontario government has launched a website to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The Workplace PPE Supplier Directory has an up-to-date list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply PPE.
  • The government has also launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal to help businesses retool their operations.
  • Free online workplace health and safety training is available through Employment Ontario for up to 100,000 job seekers, with topics such as infection control, conducting health and safety incident investigations, ladder safety, slips, trips and falls prevention. Contact an Employment Ontario service provider in your area to enroll.
  • Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board, is leading a new committee focused on strengthening the work of the Ontario government following the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee will ensure public sector services are customer focused and digital- and data-driven, while increasing the speed of government operations and decisions.
  • Find sector-specific guidelines and return-to-sport resources to help facilities, trainers and athletes safely return to play and recreation activities in Ontario at Ontario.ca/returntoplay.

Additional Resources

June 16 - Ontario Releases Guide on How to Develop a Workplace Safety Plan

TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing employers with a new general workplace guide, which will help them develop a safety plan to better protect workers, customers and clients. The new downloadable toolkit offers tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more people get back on the job during Stage 2 of the reopening of the province.

The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

"As more regions enter Stage 2 of reopening, we want to give businesses the tools and resources they need to adapt and succeed in this new environment," said Premier Ford. "By providing this guide on COVID-19 workplace safety, employers, employees, and customers can have the confidence they need to resume business as usual with the right health and safety measures in place."

The new guide will help each employer create a safety plan that is right for their own unique workplace. It includes information on the use of face coverings, as well as applying controls in the workplace, from most important to least important. It also includes information on what personal protective equipment may be needed for workers.

The government's first general workplace guide is accompanied by a template that employers can fill in to develop their own unique COVID-19 safety plan. The materials will help employers:

  • Identify the risks for transmitting the virus through person-to-person contact and actions such as touching faces with hands that have been contaminated by contact with surfaces and objects;
  • Determine what controls are needed to help mitigate risk, such as engineering controls like the installation of plexiglass to separate workers from customers, administrative controls limiting the number of workers in a space at one time, and personal protective equipment including face and eye protection;
  • Create a workplace safety plan based on the identified risks and appropriate controls specific to the employer's workplace;
  • Implement the plan in the workplace, and review and update it as the situation evolves; and
  • Communicate the actions being taken to workers and other people entering the workplace.

The new guide is supported by 121 workplace resources available at Ontario.ca/covidsafety to help protect workers from the virus. They include safety guidelines and helpful posters with tips for 28 distinct sectors such as construction, food, agriculture, manufacturing and long-term care. These materials were developed by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development in consultation with provincial health and safety associations.

"Nothing is more important than protecting the health and safety of workers and others during these unprecedented times," said Minister McNaughton. "I strongly encourage all employers in the province to visit our website at Ontario.ca/covidsafety. The tools are there. The resources are there. The most up to date information is there. As more businesses reopen, we want to ensure they are able to adapt to this new environment quickly and efficiently."

Quick Facts

  • Inspectors from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development have inspected 10,716 workplaces as of mid-June. They have issued 6,405 orders, including 23 stop work orders, related to COVID-19.
  • Any worker who thinks they are working in unsafe conditions should report their concerns to Ontario’s Health and Safety Contact Centre, at 1-877-202-0008.

Additional Resources

June 11 - Ontario and Canada Helping Small Businesses Go Digital 

TORONTO — The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is helping small businesses reach more customers through the Digital Main Street platform. It is a $57-million program which will help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students.

The new program was unveiled today by Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, joined by Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

"Ontario's small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and their recovery is critical to Ontario's recovery," said Minister Sarkaria. "As thousands of small businesses across the province closed their doors and halted business during the COVID-19 outbreak, many struggled to shift sales or services online. I am very pleased, that together with Minister Joly and our federal partners, we are providing small businesses with the tools they need to recover, and flourish, as Ontario reopens."

Through the $57-million contribution to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:

  • shopHERE powered by Google will leverage Ontario's strengths by hiring highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves. The core goal will be to help small businesses compete and grow, in a world that is increasingly online, and help them recover as quickly as possible following COVID-19.
  • Digital Main Street Grant will help main street small businesses be digitally more effective. Through a $2,500 grant administered by the Ontario BIA Association, small businesses will be able to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. Municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) can apply for a Digital Service Squad grant, which will allow them to establish teams to provide personalized, one-on-one support.
  • Future-Proofing Main Street will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that helps existing main-street firms adapt to changes in their sector and thrive in the new economy. By leveraging teams of digital marketing professionals and talented students, these firms will be able to create new online business models, develop and implement digital and e-commerce marketing strategies, and maximize digital tools, platforms and content.

In addition, the Recovery Activation Program, operated through the Toronto Region Board of Trade, will help businesses grow and digitize their operations with custom consulting sessions, online resource sharing, learning webcasts and business planning. As a result of the investment announced today, the program will be offered province-wide and at no cost to businesses.  

"As local economies across Ontario reopen, we're focused on ensuring that our main streets don't just survive, but thrive," said Mélanie Joly, Canada's Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario."These businesses are the backbone of our economy, a source of local jobs - and local pride. Thanks to the expanded Digital Main Street platform, they'll be able to expand their offerings and take advantage of more and more people shopping online. Our message to Ontario's small businesses and those whose livelihoods rely on them is clear: we're working with you to support good jobs and help our economy come back stronger than ever."

"The global marketplace is rapidly changing, and in order to compete and succeed Ontario must adapt," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "By using innovative tools and technologies, Digital Main Street will help our businesses in expanding their reach to meet new markets and adjust to the new realities of doing business during the pandemic and into the next phase of economic recovery."

About 60 percent of Ontario's small enterprises have a website, and only seven percent have an online payment solution. Digitally, Canadian businesses are estimated to be two years behind their U.S. counterparts.

In response, the Ontario government is providing significant support to small business. Along with the Digital Main Street platform, the province is investing an additional $150 million in rural broadband which will help open the digital road for many Ontario small businesses. In addition, the province has proposed a ban on commercial evictions to help businesses that have been impacted by restrictions due to COVID-19.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario Government reduced the small business Corporate Income Tax rate by 8.7 percent starting January 1, 2020. This will deliver up to $1,500 in annual savings to more than 275,000 businesses.
  • Ontario’s Small Business Success Strategy, launched prior to COVID-19, identified the need for small businesses across the province to build or enhance their online presence to remain competitive and expand their markets. The 2020 pandemic has further reinforced the need for Ontario small businesses to embrace digital tools, including having online storefronts and expanding them.
  • To further support small businesses with physical storefronts impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, Ontario is Proposing a Temporary Ban on Commercial Evictions.
  • The planned expansion of these Digital Main Street programs, including ShopHERE powered by Google and the Future-Proofing Main Street program, are the next evolution in efforts to help businesses embrace digital tools that began with the City of Toronto. Through the leadership of Mayor John Tory and the City of Toronto, the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) pioneered the creation of Digital Main Street and laid the foundation for it to be expanded and scaled-up to serve businesses across the province.
  • The expansion of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas’ (TABIA) Digital Main Street platform and program is delivered by the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) with the financial support of the provincial and federal governments.
  • shopHERE is a Digital Main Street program operated by TABIA. TABIA will also support the delivery of the Future-Proofing Main Street program, along with Communitech and Invest Ottawa.
  • The Recovery Activation Program is operated by the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

Background Information

Additional Resources

June 8 - Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen in the Coming Days 

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government announced that it is getting more people back to work and more recreational activities open by moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province.

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local health officials, the government is easing restrictions in communities where it is safe to do so, based on trends of key public health indicators such as lower rates of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals, and progress made in testing.

Effective Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., the province will increase the limit on social gatherings from five to 10 people across the province, regardless of whether a region has moved to Stage 2. Additionally, all places of worship in Ontario will also be permitted to open with physical distancing in place and attendance limited to no more than 30 per cent of the building capacity to ensure the safety of worshippers.

Public health unit regions allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. include:

  • Algoma Public Health
  • Brant County Health Unit
  • Chatham-Kent Public Health
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit
  • Grey Bruce Health Unit
  • Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Huron Perth Public Health
  • Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
  • Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
  • Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
  • Northwestern Health Unit
  • Ottawa Public Health
  • Peterborough Public Health
  • Porcupine Health Unit
  • Public Health Sudbury & Districts
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit
  • Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
  • Southwestern Public Health
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit
  • Timiskaming Health Unit
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Details of the Stage 2 reopening were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

"We are able to make this announcement today because of the extraordinary effort of our frontline workers and every other person in the province who helped to stop the spread of this deadly virus," said Premier Ford. "Entering Stage 2 means parts of the province will see more people back on the job and an opportunity to get back together with friends and family. Although this is extremely encouraging, I urge everyone to exercise caution and continue to follow public health advice as we are not out of the woods yet."

Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:

  • Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;
  • Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;
  • Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only;
  • Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;
  • Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;
  • Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;
  • Camping at private campgrounds;
  • Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;
  • Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;
  • Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing; and
  • Weddings and funerals, with limits on social gatherings to 10 people.

As more people return to work, the services they rely on will need to be available regardless of the stage a region is in. The province will soon release more details on:

  • Child care;
  • Summer camps;
  • Post-secondary education pilots to help people graduate;
  • Training centres; and
  • Public transit.

"The health and long-term economic well-being of the people of Ontario has guided every decision we have made in response to COVID-19," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance and Chair of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. "The people and employers of Ontario have demonstrated responsible behaviour throughout the global pandemic. I'm confident that will continue in Stage 2 and beyond. Our collective health and the economic recovery of the province depend on it."

At the beginning of each week, the government will provide an update on the ongoing assessment of these regions, and whether they are ready to move into Stage 2 at the end of the week.

Everyone, regardless of where they live in the province, must continue to follow public health advice, including to practise physical distancing, wear a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, wash hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened.

"As a result of efforts of all Ontarians to stop the spread of COVID-19, many regions have met the criteria to move into the next stage of our reopening plan, including a decrease in new daily cases and sufficient hospital capacity in the event of any spikes in cases or outbreaks," said Minister Elliott. "Our regional approach recognizes that different regions in the province are experiencing COVID-19 differently and can safely and gradually ease restrictions and reopen local businesses. We will continue to monitor any shifts in the spread and take decisive action to contain any outbreaks."

The government, in partnership with health and safety associations, has released more than 100 health and safety guidance documents at Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety to help employers in multiple sectors ― including retail, restaurant and food services and child care ― keep spaces safe for workers and customers. As they prepare to reopen, employers are strongly advised to review these guidance documents and implement appropriate measures to help protect their workers and customers.

"Ontario employers have the information and the tools they need to keep workers safe," said Minister McNaughton. "That includes safety guidelines, posters and tip sheets to promote safe workplaces and help stop the spread of COVID-19. I strongly advise everyone to visit Ontario.ca/COVIDsafety to read, download, print and post them, for your sake and the sake of those around you."

"Since the beginning of this pandemic, our government has worked together with Ontario's business community to mobilize our manufacturing and innovation might to develop made-in-Ontario solutions," said Minister Fedeli. "As we proceed into Phase 2 of the reopening process, we will continue to support both businesses and workers as we move forward on the path to economic recovery together."

Quick Facts

  • For questions about what is currently able to open during Stage 1, or what will be open or impacts to your business or employment when we enter Stage 2, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
  • The Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee wants to hear directly from people and organizations from all regions and sectors to help inform the next steps in Ontario’s Action Plan in response to COVID-19. You can provide your input here.
  • Visit Ontario.ca/reopen to learn how you can provide your feedback on the impacts of COVID-19 on personal finances, business supports and government relief measures.
  • On April 1, 2020, the government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal and help businesses retool their operations.
  • The government has launched the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory to provide businesses with information on personal protective equipment (PPE) suppliers. The directory can be accessed here.

Additional Resources

May 14 - Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction During COVID-19
 TORONTO ― The Ontario government is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores. The business owners should review the health and safety guidelines developed by the province and its health and safety association partners.

Today's announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

"We haven't been sitting on our hands. Whether it's releasing our framework for reopening or putting in place the workplace safety guidelines needed to help businesses adapt to the new environment, we've been laying the groundwork for the safe, measured, and gradual reopening of our province," said Premier Ford. "As the trends improve, we can move forward with reopening more and more of our economy and getting people back to work."

As early as Friday, May 8 at 12:01 a.m., garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. On Monday, May 11 at 12:01 a.m., retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health's Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.

In addition to easing restrictions on retail, the government is also expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue. This will help clear the way for the housing and jobs our economy will need to support economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines, such as promoting physical distancing and frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contactless payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"It's due to the progress we have made collectively to slow the spread of COVID-19 that we are able to see a gradual easing of restrictions, allowing certain businesses to reopen safely," said Minister Fedeli. "During this period, we must move cautiously and strike the right balance between getting people back to work and preventing further outbreaks. Protecting the safety of staff, customers and the general public is our number one priority."

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, in partnership with Ontario's health and safety associations, has released over 60 sector-specific health and safety guidelines, including guidelines for curbside pickup and delivery services. Business owners should review the guidelines and consult with local public health officials to ensure they have the information they need to protect workers, customers and the general public as the province prepares for the gradual reopening of the economy.

"Small businesses across Ontario have done their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "I encourage all business owners to learn the new health and safety guidelines, so when it comes time to reopen you will be prepared to hit the ground running and provide the services we all count on every day."

The government's Framework for Reopening our Province, which was released on April 27, 2020, includes guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces, and the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts are using to advise the government on the loosening of public health measures, including emergency orders.

"The health and safety of every Ontarian will always be our top priority as we continue planning for the next phase of our fight against COVID-19," said Minister Elliott. "Together, each of us have put in tremendous effort to stop the spread, and because of these collective efforts we have made tangible progress. More than ever, we need to continue practicing physical distancing while we slowly and carefully reopen Ontario's economy."

Additional Resources

 

News Release

Ontario Supporting Local Festivals and Events

October 8, 2020

Government investment will help promote creative and safe programs during COVID-19

TORONTO - Ontario is investing $9 million through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program to support municipalities and event organizers during COVID-19. This funding will be used to maintain public safety requirements and allow people to reconnect with their communities through online, drive-through and other innovative experiences. Organizers will be developing creative programs such as virtual Remembrance Day events, reverse holiday parades with drive-by static floats, drive-in music concerts and movies, holiday tree lightings and New Year's Eve displays that light-up iconic buildings.

Details were provided today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries at Ontario Place.

"COVID-19 has had an unprecedented and devastating impact on our local festivals and events," said Minister MacLeod. "This important investment through the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program will continue to support Ontarians as they reconnect and experience all their local communities have to offer."

Funding may be used for eligible expenses such as programming and production, promotion, mobile applications and website development, and implementation of health and safety measures.

The application period for the Reconnect Festival and Event Program runs from October 8 to December 1, 2020.

 

 

 

QUICK FACTS

  • The Reconnect Festival and Event Program is open to organizers with a minimum $50,000 operating budget and the capacity to safely reconnect Ontarians with their communities.
  • Tourism is a key economic driver in Ontario, supporting more than 400,000 jobs and generating over $36 billion in spending.
  • This year, through Celebrate Ontario, the government invested $9.75 million to support more than 250 festivals and events in communities across the province, including Blockbuster events.

 

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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