Services & Resources to Manage Your Business During COVID-19
We know that COVID-19 has presented a number of unprecedented economic and operational challenges to our city’s business owners. We have compiled a list of services and resources designed to support and inform our business community during this time.
Rapid Antigen Screening Kits
These screening kits are provided by the Ontario Government complimentary to small- and medium-sized businesses (under 150 employees) as an additional tool to help keep workplaces in Ontario safe. Any misuse of the procedures can negatively impact the workplace. Care and attention to the proper process is essential for this tool to be effective.
The latest information from Health Canada suggests that up to one-third of people carrying the virus are asymptomatic causing little or no noticeable signs, however, over 50% of known cases were transmitted by an asymptomatic carrier. This makes it incredibly important to find asymptomatic carriers in order to combat the spread and get to more normalized community life.
A COVID-19 rapid screening test can be performed anywhere (e.g., on-site, at the place of employment) and does not require shipping a specimen to a lab for processing. It takes approximately 15 minutes to yield a result.
Frequent screening with rapid antigen tests increases the chances of early identification of cases in asymptomatic individuals only. Recommended frequency is twice per employee, per week.
Ontario has also released guidance for organizations that choose to participate in COVID-19 testing that falls outside of the public health care system, to ensure there is appropriate oversight and consumer protection and that public resources are supporting public health initiatives.
Burlington Economic Recovery Network (BERN)
In response to COVID-19’s financial impact on our city’s businesses, the Burlington Economic Recovery Network has been formed. Led by Team Burlington, the network’s mission is to develop a recovery strategy for our business community.
Team Burlington and BERN are committed to supporting our business community. In partnership with the City of Burlington, we continue to lead on advocacy work that calls on higher levels of government to ensure businesses are receiving the support and resources they need to navigate the pandemic and prepare for long-term economic recovery.
- City of Burlington and Team Burlington calling for renewed funding to support future proofing and digital adoption for local business (February 22, 2021)
- Burlington City Council and Team Burlington calling for renewed and expanded funding to support local businesses during COVID-19 (January 26, 2021)
- Burlington City Council and Team Burlington seeks fairness for local businesses during COVID-19 (December 11, 2020)
Burlington Safe Restart Program
Team Burlington, in partnership with the City of Burlington, is pleased to announce the creation of a small business relief grant program. The Burlington Safe Restart Program is designed to help the city’s for-profit businesses open safely while following key public health guidelines.
The maximum grant amount available is $2,500.
In order to qualify, your business must be independently owned and customer-facing, one that has experienced closure or employee layoffs, or significant revenue decline due to COVID-19. You must use the grant amount towards the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or for the renovation of your business’s spaces (in order to meet reopening guidelines).
The grant does allow for PPE and renovation expenses that you have already incurred, as long as your purchases were not made before March 15, 2020.
In the two rounds of the Safe Restart Business Relief Grant, a total of $240,481 was given to 153 Burlington businesses. Applications for the Burlington Safe Restart Program are currently closed.
Digital Service Squad (DSS)
The Digital Service Squad is part of the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association’s (OBIAA) newly introduced Digital Main Street program. The Squad is composed of trained specialists who will introduce you to the digital tools and technologies businesses need today to stay competitive and grow. These resources are particularly important with the advent of physical distancing and mask laws.
The Squad will first conduct a complimentary audit of your digital presence, then help you develop a Digital Transformation Plan. A $2500 grant is available to help you purchase equipment and services necessary to implement your plan.
DSS services can include:
- Training you or your staff on a basic website build.
- Improving your existing online presence (through a Google My Business account, Social Media channels, 360º photos and more).
- Introducing you to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) techniques.
- Setup of E-commerce, Point of Sale (POS) and Customer Database programs.
Additional grant amounts may also be available.
Team Burlington Business Support Forum Series
Team Burlington has developed a YouTube channel to provide you with the opportunity to hear from subject matter experts and decision-makers on COVID-19 and other subjects.
A Business Guide To Masks in the Workplace
By-Law 62-2020, currently in effect until January 31, 2021, requires the use of face masks or face coverings (with some exceptions) in all indoor spaces here in Burlington. In order to make it easier for you to understand the law and how you can ensure cooperation from the people who visit your business establishment, we have developed a COVID-19 Mask Guide. To see all the Mask By-Law resources available click here.
Sector Specific COVID-19 Guidelines
Here are COVID-19 industry specific guidelines, as provided by the Government of Ontario.
Provincial Workplace Safety Plan
Here is a workplace guide designed to help you develop a safety plan so you can better protect your workers, customers and clients from COVID-19.
The Post Promise Program
The Post Promise Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that provides a training platform designed to improve health and safety in the workplace. As a participating business, you will receive a Post Promise logo, a nationally recognized symbol of your commitment to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Provincial Supports Available to Businesses
Ontario Small Business Support Grant
- The new Ontario Small Business Support Grant will help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services due to Provincial regulations. Learn more about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant here.
Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant
- One-time grants of up to $1,000 to cover unexpected costs of personal protective equipment. Learn more about this program, eligibility requirements, and apply online here.
Property Tax & Energy Cost Rebates
- $600 million is available in property tax and energy cost rebates to help eligible businesses. Learn more about this program, eligibility requirements, and apply online here.
Digital Main Street Program
- Helping small businesses create and enhance their online presence to reach more customers through the $57 million Digital Main Street program. Learn more about this program here and apply here.
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business
- Providing $8 million to help small business and registered charity customers with energy bills. Learn more about this program and apply here.
Here is a list of city, provincial and federal government and public health organization sites with additional information on COVID-19:
Burlington’s business support organizations have created a one stop destination for resources and information to support our business community during COVID-19.
City of Burlington
The City of Burlington continues to take appropriate action to prioritize the health and well-being of our community and staff. Our overriding goal is to keep the public and staff safe and help minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
City of Burlington
Halton Region is firmly in a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. As cases continue to rise across the province and in Halton, it is more important than ever to follow public health direction and take personal responsibility to protect yourself and others. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort and what we do today is critical to what we all experience two to three weeks from now.
Government of Ontario
Get the latest case data and updates, learn how to protect yourself and others and get advice on what to do next if you think you might have COVID-19covid 19.
Government of Ontario
Government of Canada
Links to COVID-19 (coronavirus) information for Canadians including current situation, statistics, financial support, your health, travel, immigration, safety and awareness resources.
Government of Canada