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.
- 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)
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 email@example.com.
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.
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
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-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