Business Support & Resources
Burlington Safe Restart Program
Team Burlington (Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington), in partnership with the City of Burlington, is launching the Burlington Safe Restart Program with the intent to provide grants to assist Burlington’s small business community.
The Burlington Safe Restart Business Support Program will help businesses open safely and follow key public health guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19. This Program was a direct outcome of the Burlington Economic Recovery Network (BERN) stakeholder sessions.
Burlington Safe Restart will launch the week of September 29.
Background and Objectives
At the July 22, 2020, Burlington Economic Recovery Network (BERN) meeting, key issues were identified to support economic recovery including supporting the safe restarting of the economy and rebuilding consumer and employee trust in engaging with businesses. As a result of this, a report was submitted to Council (BEDC–05-20) outlining the business conditions in Burlington and the impact of COVID-19 on small independent owners, particularly public-facing businesses, such as retail and restaurants. On August 13th Burlington City Council approved the provision of $125,000 for an immediate and timely small business relief grant program for COVID–19 related reopening costs.
Team Burlington, in partnership with the City of Burlington and POST Promise, is launching the Burlington Safe Restart Program with the intent to provide grants to assist Burlington’s small business community. The Burlington Safe Restart Business Support Program will help businesses open safely and follow key public health guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The objectives of the program are:
- To support the restoration of consumer confidence in engaging with the economy as measured by an increase in customers or sales for the businesses supported;
- To support employee safety and increase employment in Burlington for businesses supported as measured by an increase in employees returning to work, new employees hired or employees’ increasing hours;
- To support public health and safety and stop the spread of COVID-19 by the adoption of the POST Promise as measured by businesses participating in the program;
- To support the retention and growth of Burlington businesses by offsetting business investments to support safe reopening as measured by the number of businesses participating that report negative impacts due to COVID-19 and that this program, along with other business supports, have resulted in continuing business operations; and
- To support Burlington’s recognition as a supportive and open for business community by displaying the Burlington Safe Restart materials as part of the grant conditions.
These objectives will be measured by a post–support survey administered to businesses three months after the funding disbursements are approved.
Conditions of Supports
- Meet all the eligibility criteria that have been adapted to reflect a small business definition in the Burlington economy from the Canada United Small Business Relief Program.
- Costs applied for must meet the eligible activities and costs criteria.
- Businesses must confirm that they will adopt the POST Promise in their business operations in support of public health guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Businesses will display Burlington Safe Restart signage acknowledging that their business has been supported by Team Burlington, including the City of Burlington.
- Businesses will participate in the promotion of the Burlington Safe Restart program including participating in a site visit by members of Council and Team Burlington representatives to promote the business’ participation in the program. This may include onsite photography and promotion via social media and other channels.
- Participation in a brief survey to track their business success after receiving the Burlington Safe Restart Grant.
Eligibility Requirements for Applicants
- Independently owned small business;
- Located within the geographical boundaries of Burlington;
- One application per business;
- Only for-profit organizations are eligible to apply, that must be incorporated, or operating as a sole proprietor in Canada as of March 1, 2020;
- Customer-facing business with a publicly open space;
- Had less than 20 full-time employees for the period prior to March 2020;
- Is in full compliance with all applicable government laws, rules, regulations, guidelines, and other legally binding measures (laws);
- Meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Closure or temporary closure of business operations from March 2020 due to emergency measures
- Employee layoffs from March 2020 due to emergency measures
- Significant revenue decline (over 30%) from March 2019 to March 2020 due to emergency measures
- Must submit one of the following documents (dated prior to March 1st, 2020):
- Proof of business registration
Eligible Activities and Costs
The maximum amount available per application is $2,500. The following categories of purchases are eligible for reimbursement under the program:
- Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – masks, face shields, latex gloves ;
- Renovation of space to adhere to re-opening guidelines (as described below);
- Renovation of space includes any alterations, temporary or permanent, made to the applicant’s business specifically to reduce the risk of customers or staff contracting the novel coronavirus, referred to as COVID-19. These renovations can include:
- The building or purchase of physical barriers
- The creation of signage or floor markers
- The building or purchase of sanitizing stations
- The building or purchase of materials used to create a structure to facilitate curbside pickup or contactless payment, or to otherwise move aspects of the business outside
- The alteration of a building’s windows and doors
- The installation of touchless devices such as doors or waste containers
- The expansion of space to allow for physical distancing (e.g. patios)
- Third party labour costs associated with any of the above provided there is no conflict of interest with said third party.
Eligible expenses directly related to the above categories are permitted provided that purchases were made no earlier than March 15, 2020. This grant program provides funding for PPE and renovation expenses that have already been made. Receipts for all eligible expenses should be kept; however, you do not need to provide them as part of your application right now. The City of Burlington reserves the right to audit all eligible expenses.
The program will have an initial 2-week application window. At the end of this period, applications will be assessed to prioritize businesses experiencing the most hardships and negative financial impacts from COVID-19. Additional funding application windows will be opened until funds are exhausted.
Digital Main Street: Programs for Ontario Business
As part of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, Digital Main Street has announced three new programs to support businesses across Ontario.
A program that provides independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away. More information here.
Make the POST Promise
The POST Promise is a self-declaration that a business is working to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and is the key to building consumer confidence. Once completed, a business is provided with the necessary communication and implementation tools to educate employees on the five key steps to workplace safety, which were created to be consistent with what has been recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Businesses who make the promise will be able to use and prominently display the POST Promise logo which is a nationally recognized symbol of a business’ commitment to doing their part to protect their customers’ and employees’ health and safety as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Participating business can also purchase a kit which will include additional communication tools like window decals, posters and tent cards which can be used to further build awareness of their commitment within their place of business.
Please visit postpromise.com to make the POST Promise.
Halton Business Resources for COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses of every size. Halton’s website includes information on supports, services and relief programs that can assist business owners as the situation evolves and as the economy re-opens and recovers.
Visit halton.ca for more information.
Small Business Portal
DeGroote School of Business is partnering with Team Burlington to provide advisement to businesses navigating uncharted situations. DeGroote faculty members have a depth of research and industry knowledge that they are making available to support the livelihood of our business community.
CCC Pandemic Preparedness
In addition to the work of the health care industry when a pandemic hits, businesses play a critical role in protecting the health and safety of employees, and limiting the negative impact on the economy and communities. They also need to have business continuity plans that will minimize the impact on the business itself and facilitate a speedy resumption of activities if the business has been forced to scale
back or close during the pandemic. Preparedness, not panic, is the best way to mitigate the risks posed by a COVID-19 pandemic to the Canadian economy and our citizens.
OCC Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, it is critical that businesses are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources to respond to protect public health and ensure the continued essential operations of their organizations.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce team, in collaboration with Hicks Morley, have put together a toolkit to help support businesses be prepared for any human-resources or operational-related disruptions.
The guidelines and resources contained in this toolkit have been prepared to assist businesses in planning for and adaption to the disruption of COVID-19 and any future influenza pandemics.
Peninsula COVID-19 Toolkit
The recent outbreak of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus has now been deemed a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. Read Peninsula’s guidance on how to manage the impact of COVID-19 on your workforce.
Business Support Phone Lines
Business Resilience Service
The Business Resilience Service (BRS) allows you to connect with experienced business advisors from across Canada for guidance on which government relief programs will be most appropriate to support your small to medium-sized business, not-for-profit or charity on how to respond and reshape amid uncertainty.
The program, delivered to your organization free of charge, provides:
- Guidance on COVID-19 financial support program options and eligibility
- Direction on accessing the most appropriate support organizations
- Help to make decisions to support recovery plans
- Real-time insights and feedback to policymakers
To access the BRS call 1-866-989-1080 to connect with a business advisor from the accounting profession. The service is available 7 days/week from 8 am – 8 pm ET (5 am – 5 pm PT).
Burlington Economic Development Phone Line
Burlington Economic Development has set-up a business support phone line to provide businesses with a direct line to staff to answer questions and help make sense of new information coming out from higher levels of government. Businesses can reach out to (289) 337-5505 ext. 102, Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.
Stop the Spread Phone 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. If you have any questions about essential versus non-essential businesses, assistance is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.
Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline
For the duration of the pandemic, if a member of the public wishes to report an incident of non-compliance with the emergency orders, they may contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Enforcement Hotline at 905-825-4722.
It is critical that residents use 911 for emergencies only.
Innovation Canada Matching Tool
With various economic relief measures available from all levels of government, it can be difficult to know what programs your business is eligible for. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has created a matching tool for businesses seeking programs, services and supports that are currently available.