Burlington Economic Development is committed to supporting our businesses during COVID-19. Learn More

Services & Resources to Manage Your Business During COVID-19

We know that COVID-19 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 and throughout recovery.

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.

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.

Last updated: July 13, 2022

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.

Digital Service Squad (DSS)

The Digital Service Squad is part of the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association’s (OBIAA) 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.

For more information, contact Burlington’s Digital Service Squad member Ana at ana@techplace.ca.

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.

Burlington Safe Restart Program

Team Burlington, in partnership with the City of Burlington, stepped up to serve businesses during the pandemic with the creation of a small business relief grant program. The Burlington Safe Restart Program was designed to help the city’s for-profit businesses reopen safely while following key public health guidelines.

The maximum grant amount available was $2,500.

To qualify, your business must have been 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).

In the two rounds of the Safe Restart Business Relief Grant, a total of $240,481 was given to 153 Burlington businesses.

Team Burlington Business Support Forum Series

During the pandemic, Team Burlington developed a YouTube channel to provide businesses with the opportunity to hear from subject matter experts and decision-makers on COVID-19 and other subjects.

Spring/Summer Temporary Patio Applications

On March 11th, the City of Burlington released details on the 2022 spring/summer temporary patio program. We’ve developed a list of FAQs to help businesses better understand this program and the requirements. View it here.

Masks in the Workplace

While provincial mandates of masks have been revoked at this time, private businesses or healthcare settings can choose to adopt their own masking policies for the safety of their staff and patrons.  

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.

Supports Available to Businesses

Halton Region Small Business Centre 

  • Many businesses have felt the impact of COVID-19 over the past two years. The Halton Small Business Centre has a suite of programs, services, and resources to help businesses recover and succeed in the changing economy. Click here to learn more about programs and supports. 

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.  

My Main Street Accelerator Program  

  • The My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program has launched in four communities in Burlington, including Fairview, Aldershot, and Downtown Burlington. Click here for to learn more.  

Canada Digital Adoption Program  

  • The Canada Digital Adoption Program helps get businesses online and helps digitalize business operations. Apply here for a grant. 

BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) Small Business Loan 

  • Up to $100,000 online for businesses who have been in operation for at least 24 months and are generating revenues. Learn more here. 

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit 

  • Until March 31, 2023, eligible employers are entitled to be reimbursed the amount of infectious disease emergency leave pay that they paid to their employees, up to $200 per employee per day taken. For more information, click here 

 

Last updated: July 21, 2022

Other Resources

Here is a list of city, provincial and federal government and public health organization sites with additional information on COVID-19:

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