Burlington’s business organizations (Team Burlington) which include Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Burlington Economic Development, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington are taking a coordinated approach in engaging and supporting Burlington’s business community. We are constantly monitoring developments with COVID-19 and the impact locally.

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone in our community. Please know that we are committed to continuing to support Burlington Businesses through it. The provincial and federal governments have made announcements pertaining to Businesses and how they will be responding to the economic effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are in communication with these levels of government to ensure we stay educated and informed. If you have questions that are not addressed by the sources below, please contact lindsay@burlingtonchamber.com and we will do our best to source the information you are looking for.

We recognize that there is a lot of information coming out, from many different sources, and it can be difficult to know where to go for up-to-date and reliable information. It is our hope that the below list will make it easier and less overwhelming for businesses to get the information they need.

Burlington Safe Restart Program

Team Burlington (Burlington Economic DevelopmentBurlington 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 COVID19 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 postsupport survey administered to businesses three months after the funding disbursements are approved. 

Conditions of Support
  • 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
    • Sales tax (GST/HST) registration
    • Recent sales tax (GST/HST) filing
Eligible Activites 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. 

The second round of funding is now closed.

Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street is an innovative program designed to help main street small businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, grants and Digital Service Squads teams of street-level experts that help main street small businesses manage and grow their operations through technology adoption. The program was originally created by the Toronto 3 Association of BIAs (TABIA) and a group of strategic partners including Google, MasterCard, Microsoft, and Shopify. For more information, please visit digitalmainstreet.ca.  

THE DIGITAL SERVICE SQUAD 

 The Digital Service Squad (DSS) is a program delivered by Digital Main Street. On behalf of Team Burlington (Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington), Burlington Economic Development applied to bring a Digital Service Squad to our community, and in August 2020 we were successful!  

Thanks to Digital Main Street, FedDev Ontario, Ontario Association of BIAs (OBIAA)Tabiaand the Government of Canada, The Burlington DSS is a free digital resource to help you grow your business by adopting and implementing digital tools and technologies.  

HOW DOES THE BURLINGTON DSS SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?   

The Burlington DSS are trained specialists that go to Burlington main street small businesses and help them adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. DSS can help you build a basic web presence or improve your existing online presence through tools such as Google My Business and social media. Our squad members can also help you optimize your website for search, setup a POS solution, and create customer databases. In addition, Digital Service Squads provide advice and recommendations to streamline your fundamental business operations (including back-office processes) and can help you find local digital vendors for potential projects.   

Burlington’s Mandatory Mask and Face Coverings By Law: A Guide for Business

As businesses and services reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a pressing need for businesses to implement regulations and safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and to protect the health and wellbeing of Burlington residents. In particular, these measures are needed within enclosed spaces, where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.

As a result, the City of Burlington has enacted By-Law 62-2020 requiring the use of face masks or face coverings, with some exceptions, in all indoor public spaces. This by-law is enforceable as of July 20, 2020, and will be in effect until September 30, 2020, unless extended or revoked by City Council. A detailed FAQ on the bylaw can be found at www.burlington.ca/masks.

On July 15, 2020, Halton Region passed By-law 47-20. This regional by-law is in effect until November 30, 2020, unless revoked or extended by Regional Council. If you have any questions or concerns regarding By-law 47-20, please call 311.

Individuals or organizations that are responsible for the operation of businesses or facilities with enclosed (indoor) space open to the public are required to ensure no member of the public is permitted entry or remains on the premises unless wearing a mask or face covering.

Guide for Businesses

Burlington Economic Development in partnership with the City of Burlington have developed a comprehensive to support you in ensuring you and your business comply with this by-law.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

This by-law requires all owners/operators of establishments open to the public to do the following:

  1. Develop a policy to ensure members of the public wear a mask or face covering upon entry, and while remaining within all enclosed spaces of your establishment;
  2. Upon request, provide a copy of your policy for inspection by any person authorized to enforce this bylaw;
  3. Post signage, visible at all entrances of the Establishment, reminding people to wear a mask or face covering;
  4. Train all persons working at the Establishment on the requirements of the policy and this bylaw; and
  5. Encourage kindness and compassion in your establishment’s approach to fellow community members who may not be wearing a mask.

WHAT IF I DON’T COMPLY?

Every person, business or facility who contravenes any provision of this bylaw is guilty of an offence, and upon conviction is liable to a fine as provided for in the Provincial Offences Act. See the City of Burlington By-Law 62-2020 for more information. Fines associated with this by-law range from $500 – $100,000.

We appreciate your support in the effort to combat COVID-19 in our community. Please don’t hesitate to contact the City directly if you have any questions at city@burlington.ca

QUICK DOWNLOADS

  • POSTER – General use poster 1 with mask by-law language
  • POSTER – General use poster 2 listing all by-law exemptions
  • POSTER – How to wear a face-covering
  • FAQ FOR BUSINESSES – Frequently asked questions for business owners and operators
  • SAMPLE POLICY – Example policy that can be used by business owners and operators

 

PURCHASING BURLINGTON MADE FACE MASKS

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce has curated a list of all Burlington businesses providing all types of PPE including sanitizer, face shields, and disposable face masks here. Many Burlington businesses have pivoted to include reusable face masks in their product offerings. Support Burlington businesses and shop local!

Team Burlington Business Support Forum Series

Team Burlington has launched the Business Support Forum Series, a video conference series, that provides businesses of all sizes with an opportunity to ask questions and hear from subject matter experts, as well as key leaders and decision-makers from all levels of government.

Previous Business Support Forum Series
  • May 28: Returning to Work – The Next New Normal
  • May 28: Tourism Economic Recovery 
  • May 27: Mohawk Business Support Forum – Ask an Expert 
  • May 5: DeGroote Business Support Forum – Ask an Expert 
  • April 16: Small Business Support Forum
  • April 6: Provincial & Federal Business Support Forum
  • April 2: Municipal and Regional Business Support Forum

Click here to view the webinar recordings.

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