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.
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.
NEW: Retail Business Updates
Please see drop-down below for current information.
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.
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
Town of Halton Hills News Releases related to business:
Letter from the Mayor:
Business Continuity and Business Resources
Town of Halton Hills COVID-19
Important Town of Halton Hills updates and information related to:
- Services, programs and operations
- Tax Information
- Planning & Development Process
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
Update: May 11, 2020
This update is provided as a joint communication from the Town of Halton Hills (including some members of the Town’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force), Acton Business Improvement Area (BIA), Georgetown Business Improvement Area (BIA) and the Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce. Read the official town-issued media release.
The following text reflects an agreed upon common understanding for retailers seeking to operate following the Provincial announcement of allowing curbside pick for street entrance businesses.
- It is agreed that the opening of retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery applies only to self-contained businesses. That is, businesses that have their own individual entrance and exit, either to a public road or a parking lot.
- Businesses must also have their own washroom facilities for staff.
- Retail businesses located within enclosed shopping malls or plazas without their own entrance and exit access to a public road or parking lot are not permitted to offer curbside pick-up under current regulations.
Businesses are encouraged to take the time to prepare for reopening in response to the Province laying the groundwork for a safe, measured, and gradual reopening. Since each retailer is unique, businesses are encouraged to work with their legal and financial advisors to review the Retail Recovery Playbook prepared by The Retail Council of Canada and adapt the tools, as appropriate, to best address their specific situation. The Playbook includes a comprehensive Retail Recovery Checklist.
The Town, BIAs and the Chamber of Commerce are relying on the cooperation of the retail sector to implement a safe reopening process.
We are all in this together. Essential workers continue to keep our community together and the economy going by providing the essential services and products we all need. Treat one another with respect, understanding and kindness.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I am a business that offers services? Can I open?
Retail is defined as selling merchandise. If you sell merchandise such as clothing, shoes, work boots, books etc. you can open however you must be able to offer your merchandise on-line or through over the phone ordering. Merchandise can then be delivered or picked up through curbside pick-up. Outlets that offer services such as beauty salons, nail salons fitness centres, and yoga studios are to remain closed at this time.
- My business is located within the interior of a mall. Can I offer curbside pick up?
No. Unless you are a self-contained business with its own entrance/exist to a public road or a parking lot, you cannot offer curbside pickup at this time.
- I am a business with an entrance/exist to a public road or a parking lot, but have no on-site washroom. Can I open?
No, washroom facilities must be available on-site within the business unit in order to ensure proper health conditions for employees.
- My business is located in a plaza. Can I open?
Yes, provided that you are a self-contained business with its own entrance/exist to a public road or a parking lot and a washroom facility for employees.
- What type of retail businesses can open?
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.
- I meet the criteria as a retail store with a street entrance. I want to open for curbside pickup but I do not have a wireless payment card reader. Is there any flexibility if a retailer cannot accept payment without a customer coming into the store?
In the event that a wireless card reader is not available, a customer may enter a store only for the purposes of paying. To ensure both the customer and staff are well protected you should have a supply of Personal Protective Equipment and sanitary supplies.
- How do I ensure physical distancing rules are kept when people are picking up their items?
It’s important to plan ahead on how pickups will happen. Consider whether deliveries will be made directly to a patron’s vehicle or whether they will be collected via walk up pickup. Consider staggering times for pickups, and marking areas.
- Where can I find information on the Provincial announcement?
Please read the May 6 announcement regarding Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction During COVID-19.
- Where can I get more business-specific COVID-19 information?
Visit Invest Halton Hills for frequently updated COVID-19 information, supports and tools related to businesses.
- What are the guidelines that I need to follow?
Businesses must follow public health measures and should review 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. 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.
Update: May 8, 2020
The Province’s announcement that retail operations with street entrances may commence and offer curbside pick up as of May 11 has prompted a meeting amongst local business organizations. Halton Hills’ Chief Administrative Officer called the meeting which included municipal staff from the divisions of Clerks and Economic Development, and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Acton and Georgetown BIAs to discuss the impacts of the Province’s decision. Identified issues include:
- Lack of clarity in interpreting the announcement
- Lack of availability of wireless payment units
- Profitability of opening in this manner
- Securing employees to return to work
The Town and business organizations are working on a joint communications piece. Businesses may be interested in the Retail Recovery Checklist prepared by the Retail Council of Canada which includes:
- Returning to work team checklist and action plan
- Employee temperature screening
- Employees working from home
- Employer occupational health & safety considerations
- Social distancing and sanitation for retail stores and other workplaces
- Sample cleaning checklists for stores and other facilities
- Preparing the store for opening: Facilities checklist
Premier Ford noted that all businesses must follow safety regulations. More information will be posted next week.
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
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
Ontario Providing Electricity Relief to Small Businesses and Farms during COVID-1
Ontario Closing At-Risk Workplaces to Protect Health and Safety
- List of essential workplaces
Ontario Ministry of Health - Statistics and self assessment tool
Business Recovery Webinars
Halton Food and Beverage Webinar Series
Join local leaders in the Food and Beverage industry for a series of informative webinars in support of economic growth and recovery for one of Halton Region’s leading sectors.
Learn about how to mitigate the various challenges that businesses face due to COVID 19. In this virtual symposium our aim is to provide you with; an overview of your employment obligations as a business owner, considerations on how to minimize your business exposure and losses, resources that are available to businesses in the Food & Beverage Sector, and how to build your brand during a crisis.
Register Now for the following free webinars:
- Monday, April 27th, 10AM - 11:30AM
Understanding your legal Employment Obligations and Commercial Lease Commitments
- Wednesday, April 29th, 10AM - 11:30AM
Highlighting Resources for the Food & Beverage Sector
- Friday, May 1st, 10AM - 11:30AM
Building a Brand During a Crisis
Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce:
List of virtual meetings and events
Export Development Canada (EDC):
COVID19: Managing the impact on global supply chains
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC):
How to cope with the impacts of COVID19 on your business
Digitize your business and gain a competitive edge with a step-by-step Plan
"How to" success with ecommerce
How to leverage the marketing power of the Internet
Conference Board of Canada:
Effective Crisis Communication: Moving Crisis to Opportunity
You’re It: Crisis, Change and How to Lead When It Matters Most
Creating a Respectful Virtual Workplace
Increasing Resilience Through Times of Change
COVID19: Retail Solutions
Digital Main Street:
A variety of webinars including small business websites 101, SEO fundamentals, social media, digital marketing and advertising, ecommerce and more. Learn more
Destination Canada Webinar Updates on COVID19
Virtual office hours focusing on topics related to COVID19. Learn more.
Events Industry Council:
How to transition your live event to an engaging virtual experience
Toronto Region Board of Trade:
Business Continuity Webinar Series
- Monday, April 27th, 10AM - 11:30AM
Government of Canada
Extending eligibility for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - May 15, 2020
- Wage Subsidy Details News Release -April 1, 2020
- Enhanced Measures for Small/Medium Businesses - March 27, 2020
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
Take part in COVID-Survey 4.0 to help shape economic recovery packages.
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