During this difficult time, the Town of Halton Hills is committed to engaging with and supporting the business community. We are monitoring the situation and are continuously gathering information and supports to help navigate through the available resources being announced through all levels of government. We encourage businesses to visit the interactive business benefits finder for a tailored list of government supports that your business may be eligible for.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Economic Development Team with any questions or concerns. We will also be updating the business community on Town initiatives through our Invest Halton Hills newsletter. To subscribe, visit the newsletter page at HaltonHills.ca and find the Economic Development, Innovation and Culture newsletter registration box.
September 14, 2021 Update: Halton Region Public Health has prepared a business toolkit with links and resources for employers to help create and promote a safe work place. Click here for the business toolkit.
September 7, 2021 Update: Halton Region's Medical Officer of Health has issued an amended Letter of Instructions to businesses to support their efforts in preventing the spread of COVID-19. These instructions will make it easier for businesses to understand and implement requirements and current Provincial Rules for Step 3.
September 1, 2021 Update: The Province of Ontario will require people to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and settings, starting September 22, 2021. Click here for more information about this new requirement.
August 26, 2021 Update: Halton Region's Medical Officer of Health is now recommending that businesses develop workplace vaccination policies. Click here to learn more about this recommendation. In addition, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has just released "Vax-Pass-Tenets," a proof-of-vaccination framework to support re-opening plans for Ontario private sector businesses. Click here to learn more about this framework.
For current Provincial Government announcements, visit the Ontario COVID-19 webpage.
Revised updates from Halton Region Public Health: Halton COVID-19 webpage.
Visit the Town of Halton Hills COVID-19 page for safety protocols and Town service updates.
Town Partners with Chamber to Distribute Workplace Rapid Screening Kits to Small Businesses
The Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Halton Hills have joined forces to provide free self-screening kits to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who employ up to 150 employees throughout the Town of Halton Hills. The goal of the program is to identify asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals and prevent them from spreading COVID-19 in the workplace, at home and around the community.
The booking portal will be launched next week and kits can be picked up starting May 26 (supply and delivery dependent). SMEs are required to electronically submit screening metrics weekly. Accumulated data will be reported to the appropriate government officials. It is recommended that staff be screened twice weekly.
Call to Action
MICRO PPE PROCUREMENT PORTAL -Local Companies Helping Local Healthcare and Essential Services
Currently, the Federal and Provincial governments are working toward procuring large quantities of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In the short term, there are local companies across Halton Region which can help alleviate short-term critical supply of PPE for local hospitals and long-term care facilities, as well as, essential service businesses. No amount is too small. Learn more.
- SUPPLIERS NEEDED - The Government of Canada is calling all businesses that can supply products and services in support of Canada's response to COVID-1. Learn more.
- MANUFACTURERS NEEDED - If yo u are a manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed. Learn more.
- SUPPLIES, INNOVATION, IDEAS - Ontario is looking for help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the response to COVID-19. Learn more.
- NGen's COVID-19 Response Program - $50 million to fund projects that involve the rapid production launch of products in short supply, including virus screening test kits, gloves, gowns, masks, and other personal protective equipment, hospital equipment such as ventilators and peripherals, as well as cleaning and sterilization chemicals and equipment.
Local Information and Updates
Visit the Town of Halton Hills COVID-19 for safety protocols and Town service updates
Mandatory Mask By-Law
On July 9, 2020, Town Council passed temporary By-Law No. 2020-0037, requiring the wearing of a mask/face covering in enclosed public places during the COVID-19 pandemic, effective Thursday, July 16, 2020. On July 15, 2020, Halton Regional Council passed temporary By-law No. 47-20, requiring the wearing of non-medical masks/face coverings in enclosed public places in the Regional Municipality of Halton, effective Wednesday, July 22, 2020.
The Halton Small Business Centre is committed to continuing to support Halton’s small businesses and is now offering services remotely, including free one-on-one consultations by phone and video conferencing.
Global Business Centre
Small Business Centre
Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce
Local Business Updates during COVID
Food and Restaurant Updates during COVID
Virtual Meeting and Events
The Retail Council of Canada has prepared a Retail Recovery Playbook
The Playbook includes a comprehensive Retail Recovery Checklist.
What are the guidelines that I need to follow?
Businesses must follow public health measures and should review workplace safety guidelines, such as wearing masks, 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. 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.
Economic Support & Recovery Task Force
To continue to support the local business community, the Town of Halton Hills has established an Economic Support and Recovery Task Force in collaboration with the Acton and Georgetown Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and Chamber of Commerce.
The move comes as a continuation of the Town’s efforts to bring together stakeholders and collectively work to support business continuity. Co-chaired by Mayor Rick Bonnette and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Brent Marshall, the task force includes the Director of Economic Development, Innovation and Culture, other senior staff, key business stakeholders and representatives from the two BIAs and Chamber of Commerce. “These are unprecedented times,” said the Mayor. "And it is during times of duress that it is more important than ever that we work together to address the significant challenges faced by our business community.”
The goals of the Economic Support and Recovery Task Force include:
1. Continued engagement of the business community;
2. Coordination of communication;
3. Data collection, analysis and reporting on business needs;
4. Minimizing economic impacts of COVID-19 by investigating potential support measures and best practices;
5. Exploring actions to support long-term economic recovery;
6. Advocating to other levels of governments to address local business needs; and
7. Developing and implementing an Economic Recovery Action Plan to position Halton Hills for an accelerated economic recovery.
According to CAO Marshall, the establishment of the task force is critical to supporting the ongoing health of the community. “The success of our businesses, large and small, supports the Town’s ability to deliver services. We have always fostered an attractive business environment to support the creation of opportunities for a strong, local workforce and now it is time to support their efforts to be resilient.”
The Task Force will build on the Town’s actions taken to date (as of April 9, 2020). These have included property tax relief, Halton Hills Hydro rate relief, launch of a dedicated website for COVID-19 business resources, ongoing business and investor outreach, a business survey, continued processing of existing and new planning applications, and the ongoing development of a Recovery Plan.
Province of Ontario
Visit the Ontario Newsroom for the latest Provincial COVID-19 updates, funding and support announcements.
Ontario Small Business Support Grant
The Ontario Small Business Support Grant is intended to help businesses with under 100 employees that were required to close or significantly restrict services under the provincewide shutdown on December 26, 2020. Eligible businesses have experienced a minimum of a 20 per cent revenue decline when comparing April 2020 to April 2019 monthly revenues.
Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with funding up to a maximum of $20,000 to help with revenue losses expected as a result of the provincewide shutdown. Businesses will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for them. For example, some businesses will use the support to pay employee wages, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.
Apply for the grant on the Ontario COVID-19 Business Support Website
Note: If you have already applied to support programs including the Main Street Relief Grant for PPE or the Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grants, select "Resume application" on the application page. If you have not applied for previous funding, select "Apply for funding".
Ontario's "Stop the Spread" Business Information Line
The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. Assistance is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Stop the Spread Business Information Line Now Open
Tourism, Arts & Culture Resources
Spring Virtual Tourism Development Training Series - In response to COVID-19, the Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association (HHBRTA) has organized a Spring Virtual Tourism Business Development Series to support the tourism industry’s business re-emergence efforts. All modules selected for this series have been qualified based on HHBRTA’s; Mitigate, Re-Imagine, Re-Emerge Strategic Framework. Starting May 19th until June 25th, HHBRTA will host 5 one hour long webinar sessions providing informational training geared to help maximize present and future post-Covid business environments.
Tourism Industry Association of Ontario
Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association
COVID-19 Response and Recovery Hub
Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
10 Point Action Plan
Canada Council For the Arts
Ontario Arts Council
Ontario Providing Employers with Workplace Safety Guidelines
The government safety guidelines released today will provide direction to those working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector.
Governments Invest $2.5 Million to Grow Agri-food e-Business During COVID-19
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2.5 million to help the agri-food sector expand online, providing more opportunities for producers to grow their business and offer more food choices for families who are shopping from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Canada and Ontario Supporting Agri-food Sector Supply Chain During COVID-19
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep the nation's supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Quarantine Assistance Program
Up to $1,500 per temporary foreign worker (TFW) will be provided to employers or those working with them to ensure isolation protocols are met.
Eligibility: Employers with TFWs adhering to the upon-arrival 14-day isolation period.
Increase to Farm Credit Canada’s lending capacity
An additional $5 billion in lending capacity to assist the industry in addressing cash flow challenges.
Eligibility: Farmers, agri-businesses, and food processors.
Canada’s Advance Payment Program
$173 million in loan repayment deferrals under the Advance Payments Program through Agricultural Credit Corporation.
Eligibility: Farmers with APP loans
Canada’s Deferral of HST Remittance and Customs Duty Payments
Businesses, including self-employed individuals, can defer until June 30, 2020 their remittances of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), as well as customs duties owing on their imports.
Eligibility: Business who must remit HST and Customs Duties. Note that GST/HST rebates that are late filed may be considered for processing.
Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Ins. Board’s Financial Relief Package
As part of the Ontario government’s $1.9 billion in relief for employers, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will defer premium payments for six months for all businesses in the province.
Canada Emergency Business Account
An interest-free loan of $40,000 for qualifying businesses. Up to $10,000 of that amount will be eligible for complete forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022.
Eligibility: Businesses and not-for-profits are eligible to apply for this loan if they have an annual payroll of between $20,000 and $1.5 million.
Non-Profit and Charity Supports
In partnership with Halton Region, surrounding municipalities and local organizations, the Town of Halton Hills has established the Community Support Action Team (CSAT) to aid the community’s most vulnerable during COVID-19. The CSAT team is working with all local not for profit agencies and organizations to help those in need during this time. If you require support for funding, volunteers or resources, please contact us at 905-873-2600 x2273.
In an effort to support community, arts and culture organizations, the Town has also compiled a list of various supports available to eligible nonprofits and charitable organizations below:
Other Business Resources
Conference Board of Canada:
COVID-19: Implications for Canada and the Economic Impact
Export Development Canada:
Managing the impact on global supply chain
Canadian Chamber of Commerce:
Pandemic Preparedness for Business
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
COVIC-19 Emergency Preparedness Toolkit for Ontario Businesses
World Health Organization
COVID-19 - Business and Employees
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Small Business Resources for Dealing with COVID-19
Business Development Bank of Canada:
Support for Entrepreneurs Impacted by the COVID-19 Coronavirus