We're committed to helping your business navigate the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
During the COVID-19 crisis, we at Kingston EcDev are making sure your business has the support you need to get through this uncertain and challenging time.
We will provide you with expert advice and ensure that you have all of the latest information on government announcements and available support.
During this time, we will be suspending site visits and the scheduling of in-house consultations. But we welcome businesses to reach out to our team with requests for information or support.
This page has a list of resources and relief programming available for your business during this crisis. We will continue to update the page as more information becomes available.
Director of Business Development
Local COVID-19 Information
Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise , or for work that cannot be done remotely. As Ontario's health care capacity is threatened, the Stay-at-Home order, and other new and existing public health and workplace safety measures will work to preserve public health system capacity, safeguard vulnerable populations, allow for progress to be made with vaccinations and save lives.
The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is strengthening enforcement of the province's Stay-at-Home order while imposing new travel restrictions and further strengthening public health measures. These urgent actions are targeted at stopping the rapid growth in COVID-19 case rates and relieving mounting pressures on the province's health care system.
This guide is for employers. Whether they are currently operating or planning for their workers to return to work, the guide will help them develop a plan to work safely. It will help prepare them to put controls into place to make the workplace safer for everyone.
The following guidance document has been developed through consultation and review of industry best practices, available health and safety resources and input from various industry professionals. Based on the lack of a formal regulated document at this time, the process for re-occupancy of commercial, community and public spaces outlined herein should be used as a resource and basic framework to assist businesses and organizations as they plan for the varied stages of reopening.
A list of suppliers and contractors that will help you with obtaining proper supplies for a safe reopening.
Each document offers health and safety tips and good practices, for both employers and workers, specific to each industry or sector. Organizations and businesses can adopt this guidance to protect their workers and prevent the spread of infections.
Before your business reopens, review sector-specific guidelines to identify personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies to keep your employees and customers safe. Supplies are in high demand and the needs of frontline health care workers and first responders will continue to be prioritized.
The Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) has been working closely with industry leaders, government agencies, technology experts, legal advisors and key supply partners. Together, we have developed DineSafe, a catalogue of best practices to help guide your safe and successful reopening.
Ontario is releasing safety guidelines to protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy. These resources are available for different sectors. They will help employers and workers better understand how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Utilities Kingston is now delivering the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business or CEAP-SB, funded by the Government of Ontario. We are here to support our customers through this difficult time.
Learn about resources available for Ontario businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
A few tips on how business owners and staff may address concerns with the use of face coverings in commercial businesses.
Find out if your business is eligible for grants to help with the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) and your property taxes and energy bills.
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.
This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.
The Ontario Small Business Support Grant is intended to help small businesses (including sole proprietorships) in Ontario that are required to close or significantly restrict services under Ontario’s provincewide shutdown effective December 26, 2020.
Eligible businesses can receive between $10,000 and $20,000. Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with dollar for dollar funding up to a maximum of $20,000 to help with revenue losses resulting from government mandated lockdowns.
Businesses must have two to nine employees and be in one of the following sectors:
- accommodation and food services
- repair and maintenance
- personal and laundry services
Eligible small businesses will get one-time grants of up to $1,000 for PPE purchased since March 17, 2020
Hydro One Pandemic Relief Fun
Hydro One customers can contact are eligible for Pandemic Relief Fund and get assistance at 1-88-664-9376.
WSIB Workplace Insurance Relief
All employers covered by the WSIB's workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package and can defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. Businesses are not be required to opt in to receive this benefit. Additionally, the WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month deferral period. There will be no negative consequences for businesses who defer premium reporting and payments. The WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.
Ontario Emergency Assistance Program
On April 9, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that they are providing $52 million to support individuals and families in financial crisis through social assistance. This funding will support those who are not able to access federal assistance to cover needs such as food costs, rent, medicine and other essential services during this time. Individuals can easily apply online for assistance
Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The measure provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers.
Ontario Provides Urgent Relief for Small Businesses and Landlords
Ontario has partnered with the Government of Canada to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses and commercial landlords experiencing financial difficulties during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
FedDev will be offering interest free loans for SMEs that have not been able to access other resources. No security, no payments required until December 31, 2022. All applications will be completed online. CFDCs will be offering the same option 1 product in rural communities that are serviced by the Community Futures Program. Businesses can only apply to one stream.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program
The Federal Government will give 75% wage subsidy of an individual’s first $58,700 of earnings for qualifying businesses up to a maximum of $847 per week, back-dated to March 15, 2020 for up to 3 months. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
The program will further support financing in the private sector through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). Under this program, BDC and EDC will enhance their cooperation with private sector lenders to coordinate financing and credit insurance solutions for Canadian businesses. This will allow BDC and EDC to provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses.
The government is providing an Ontario Tools Grant of $2.5 million in 2020-21 and $7.5 million in 2021-22 and ongoing. This will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers.
Canada Emergency Business Account
To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges, the Government of Canada has launched the new Canada Emergency Business Account, which has been implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC).
As of December 4, 2020, CEBA loans for eligible businesses will increase from $40,000 to $60,000.
Looking to grow your business globally? Apply online for up to $75,000 in CanExport SMEs funding to cover up to 75% of your international market development activities. Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may choose up to (5) export markets to target, where your company has no or minimal business.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June, 2020.
Find COVID-19 support, programs and services for your business using a tool from the Federal Government for a business owners based on details specific to your business and what assistance you are looking for. It will customize the resources they would have available to you.
The hotline is a national, bilingual service operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As of today, small business owners with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).
Having trouble navigating the financial supports available during COVID-19? United Way Centraide Canada is supporting the development of Prosper Canada’s Financial Relief Navigator alongside United Way Greater Toronto, TD Ready Commitment, Bridgeable, and Maple Leaf’s Feed Opportunity.
Royal Bank of Canada, ‘Corporate Canada’, Business Associations and Major Media Partners have teamed up to start a movement, Canada United™, where everyday Canadians and large businesses come together in support of small and local businesses. The movement will start with a #CanadaUnited campaign where Canadians are asked to complete ‘micro-actions’ (likes, views, etc.) in support of small and local businesses on social media. In short, Canada United encourages action from everyday Canadians and Corporate Canada and kickstarts the recovery of local economies and small businesses.
To help support as many Ontario Food & Beverage establishments as possible and raise greater awareness of the value of small businesses to the local economy and social scene.
Resources for Canadian Businesses: COVID-19
The government of Canada has set up numerous programs to assist businesses with various challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic such as avoiding layoffs and rehiring employees, access to credit, deferred payments, support for self-employed individuals, indigenous businesses, supporting financial stability etc. These include various programs such as Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and more.
Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak. This includes support for qualifying businesses, individuals and industries.
Regional Development Agencies (RDA) Support for SME
If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization and have received RDA funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations, you are encouraged to contact your local RDA office. Your local RDA office can review your situation and provide guidance.
Find COVID-19 Related Support for Businesse
Qualifying businesses can get access to funding, advice and expertise, tax credits, loans and capital investments, partnering and collaboration, wage subsidies and other programs and services to help support your business.
Managing the Impact on Global Supply Chains (Webinar)
Watch to learn:
- How EDC is monitoring the impact of the virus and its effect on global supply chains
- How the virus outbreak will impact the global economy and which countries will be most affected
- How to protect your company against the risk of not getting paid if your suppliers or customers don’t pay
- How to get more working capital from your ban
Resources for Creative Arts
Many arts events scheduled to take place in the upcoming months have been cancelled, and most arts venues will be closed for an indeterminate length of time. The KAC understands how stressful this situation can be for artists and organizers. The KAC will continue to work with artists, arts organizations and venues to provide support and information throughout this time.
Canadian Exporters Impacted by COVID-19
These are challenging times for Canadian companies. Export Development Canada (EDC), along with government and partners, stands ready to support you. As Canada’s international risk experts, that’s why we’re here: to offer expert advice as well as insurance and financial support, in both good times and bad.
Support Local 613
SUPPORT LOCAL 613 is an initiative to help support local and regional small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.
Selling to new and current customers remains the only way a business survives and since COVID-19 began the selling arena has changed. Within a matter of a few days, face to face interaction were gone and working and selling remotely became the new norm.
Getting through an economic shutdown depends on making changes that minimize disruption to your business. At the top of the list: protecting your cash flow and mitigating operational risk. These actions keep your business functioning during challenging times, creating a pathway through the crisis.
Public health experts agree that hygiene and physical distancing guidelines won’t be lifted any time soon. While many businesses have already implemented measures to protect their staff and customers, these may not be optimal for the company’s unique work environment.
Employment and Social Development Canada Programs
Information and updates about coronavirus in the workplace, in the Service Canada Centres and how it affects ESDC programs such as EI.
MaRS Startup Toolkit
This collection brings together a set of tools and tactics startups can use to prepare, plan and respond to the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Benefit Information for Employees
This website has been adapted from information compiled and published freely by Dr. Jennifer Robson, Associate Professor of Political Management at Carleton University
Emergency Response Benefit
The Government of Canada continues to take action to help Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more about the latest measures at Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.
Support for Individuals
Learn more about Canada’s actions to help Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Employers, employees and essential service workers
List of steps you as an employer or employee must take in the workplace to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as well what to do regarding work-related travel.
In partnership with Mitacs, Smith School of Business at Queen's University is participating in the Business Strategy Internship (BSI) program. This program supports graduate and undergraduate students in undertaking a strategy project with a business or not-for-profit to help restore or modify their business operations disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students complete a supervised project as a 16-week paid internship during which they gain valuable experience while the organization benefits from the strategic work accomplished
- Businesses and NFP’s must provide $2500 in funding to support an internship
- A lead partner can submit on behalf of a sector consortium
- Funding will be matched by Smith and Mitacs 3:1 for a $10,000 paid student internship
- Meet weekly with student (virtually ok) to update on progress and plan next steps
- Requests can be posted with no commitment for students to respond with proposals.
Employees are the most valuable resource in any organization. Resolve Consulting & Education Services believes that a company performs at its best when its workforce is healthy, efficient, and actively engaged. This means it is critically important for employers to keep their workforce healthy and emotionally secure.
Tourism & Hospitality Emergency Response (THER) is a new recovery plan for workers and workplaces to assist people who have lost their jobs or are working fewer hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to hear directly from workers like you, so we can understand what supports or training you need to get back to work.
Prepare your COVID-19 Contingency Plan
Employers should be aware of new changes and considerations that they may face as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak
Tax Deadline Delay
Canada has announced new financial and tax measures in response to COVID-19.
CFIB Small Business Help Centre
During the COVID-19 crisis, our primary concern at CFIB is making sure you have the support you need to get through this uncertain and challenging time.
Leading Successfully in Turbulent Times
In turbulent times, how can boards, senior management and risk managers safeguard the business and discover opportunities amid a crisis?
Small Business Centre COVID-19 Resources
In order to keep our businesses informed about the ongoing changes with the COVID-19 virus, we are posting links to help and support services as they become available.
Updating Your Google Business Information
If your business is affected by COVID-19, update your Google My Business profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers.
Kingston Police Business Safety Tips
Safety measures and tips to help keep your business safe and secure.
Support for Entrepreneurs Impacted by the Coronavirus
Here are options for accessing credit as well as additional resources to support you through to a more stable time.
Business Continuity Plan and Templates for Entrepreneurs
While some companies have developed contingency plans, most have not. This lack of preparedness not only threatens the viability of sectors in Canada but, as in the case of manufacturing, it also jeopardizes the delivery of critical goods that depend on complex supply chain systems. Creating and maintaining a business continuity plan helps ensure that your business has the resources and information needed to deal with an emergency.
Launch your organization into the future of digital procurement. Join the bids&tenders platform as a buyer or supplier and see how we can improve your process.
Biddingo.com is an online portal that connects suppliers providing various goods and services to buyers from the Provincial, Municipal, Education, Crown Corporation, Housing, Construction and Healthcare sectors and Private companies from across Canada.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) information for Canadians including links to disease updates, travel advice, how to be prepared, symptoms, prevention, risk, Canada’s response, current case numbers, answers to questions and links to printable resources.
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Learn how the Ministry of Health is helping to keep Ontarians safe during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Find out how to protect yourself and how to recognize symptoms.
Ontario COVID-19 Updates
Find out about Ontario's response to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and what you need to do.
Canada’s Response to COVID-19
High-level view of Government of Canada's response to the COVID-19 pandemic including: economic and financial support, travel advisories, at Canadian borders, support for Canadians abroad, collaboration, for clinical trial sponsors and drug and medical device supply monitoring.
Ontario Self-Assessment Tool
Take this self-assessment if you think you were exposed to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) or have symptoms. You’ll get information on what to do next. You can also take it on behalf of someone else.
Ontario Together: help fight coronavirus
Find out about Ontario's response to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and what you need to do.
- Equipment & supplies
- Hand-sewn masks
- Audio/video equipment
In support of the Government of Canada’s whole-of-government response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we are asking suppliers about their ability to provide products and services.
If I am offering online sales or take out/delivery how can I get the message out that I’m open?
I really want to move to more online sales but have no idea where to start, can I get help with this?
There are many ways to sell your products and service online. Strategies for how to get started will vary based on your industry and products. The best way to get started is to start, however that looks for your business. We’ve listed some resources to help get you started on our Go Digital page.
ShopHERE creates online stores for independent small businesses and artists at no cost.
Contact Chris Morris for support:
Digital Business Advisor
I think I have an idea to help with the fight against COVID or a new support mechanism for local businesses. Where do I take this?
Contact one of our Business Development Officers for a walk-through available R&D support and to connect with community organizations and contacts.
Business Development Officer
Business Development Officer
Business Development Officer
I could really use some extra eyes on my financial forecasting for my business future. Where can I get help?
Our Small Business Advisors are available to help you with financial overviews. Please contact Norman to set up a meeting.
Small Business Advisor
I’m looking to connect with like mind entrepreneurs to discuss the current cleat and do some virtual networking, how do I connect with other businesses?
We have a vast network of business contacts in the region, we would be more than happy to connect you with others who come from varying backgrounds and length of time in business. Our small business advisors would be happy to help connect you and even set up virtual meeting’s in the near future.
I am a solopreneur, what funding is available for me to apply to?
If you have received an income of at least $5,000 in 2019, you are eligible to apply to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). If you are not eligible for CERB, you may be qualified for the Ontario Emergency Assistance.
If you're having a problem accessing these funds, contact:
MP Gerretsen’s Office
613 542 3243
I do not need financial support now, should I still apply to the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)?
If you anticipate that you might need financial support, it will not hurt to apply to BCAP. There is also a $10,000 forgiveness if you repay $30,000 before December 31, 2022.
Contact your financial institution directly for support.
What programs are available to hire students?
The Career Ready Program: is a project funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) and is administered by TECHNATION. Briefly, this project seeks to address the talent gap in the tech sector by developing Work Integrated Learning (WIL) initiatives, and many other projects by covering up to 70% of gross wages for Canadian companies and scale-ups that leverage student talent during the COVID 19 pandemic.
For SMEs, MITACS is boosting their Accelerate Program funding to 75% of a project’s cost from 50%.
The Government of Canada has announced $263 million in funding to the Canada Summer Jobs Program to help Canada’s small businesses that depend on the employment of young Canadians.
I am a business owner, what programs are available to help with commercial rent?
Businesses are encouraged to speak to their landlords to apply for the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA).
If you have questions or concerns contact:
MPP Arthur's Office
613 547 2385
I’m a sole proprietor and only have a personal chequing account. Can I still apply to Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)?
Unfortunately, no you cannot. Only business clients who have a business account and have been a registered operation on or prior to March 1, 2020, are eligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account. Sole proprietors may be able to gain financial support from another program, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). With this program, individuals who have lost their income due to COVID-19 and are unable to apply for EI may be qualified to receive $2000 a month for up to 4 months. In order to qualify for this benefit, you may need to show that you have had to stop working because of COVID-19. Your income has to be a minimum of $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months before the date that you apply, and you believe that you won't be generating any income for at least 14 consecutive days over the initial 4-week time frame.
I am a business looking to have a patio permit, how can I go about applying for one?
The City announced that it was introducing a streamlined patio application process, to make it easier and faster for businesses that operate patios to obtain a patio permit this year. City staff are working hard to support businesses facing challenges related to COVID-19, and are in communication with the AGCO on recent provincial changes to licensing requirements.
For all inquiries and requests for patios, please email [email protected]. If you have already been in contact with City staff about requests (including if you're a downtown business that has completed the survey circulated by the BIA), there is no need to re-apply/email this account.
When requesting patio or outdoor space for queuing or displays, please include the following information.
- Proposed location(s) shown on a sketch
- Whether the patio will be licensed or not
- Whether a patio on private property is intended to be temporary or permanent – please note additional approvals may be required for permanent proposals
- Detailed use of the outdoor space or patio, including locations of tables or displays and dimensions
Please note that an application form will be prepared for the requests for space in the City's right of way - this will be circulated to those that have been in contact or completed the survey and available on the website shortly with more information on the space available and the next steps in this process.
This new process is effective immediately and applies to all businesses across the city. Businesses are responsible for ensuring these spaces comply with direction from Public Health and the ACGO, when liquor licenses are involved.