COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses

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.

Last Updated
Tue, 06/08/2021 - 13:50
Contact Us for Direct Business Support
Business Retention & Economic Support
For business support, please contact one of our business development officers...

Shelley Hirstwood
Director of Business Development
(613) 876-6772
[email protected]

Donna Gillespie
Chief Executive Officer
Kingston Economic Development Corporation
(613) 329-4671
[email protected]

Small Business & Start-up Support
For small business support, please contact one of our small business advisers...

Norman Musengimana
Business Development Manager
Small Business & Entrepreneurship
(613) 217-0932
[email protected]

Claire Bouvier
Small Business Advisor
(613) 876-9697
[email protected]

Digital Business Support & Workshops
For digital support and workshops, please contact one of our digital support officers...

Nour Mazloum
Communications & Events Officer
(613) 329-9270
[email protected]

Chris Morris
Digital Business Advisor
(613) 539-8438 
[email protected]

For additional information and support with your business.

Book a 1-on-1 Zoom Meeting

Local COVID-19 Information


Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will move the province into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.



Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will move the province into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.

Step One of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of more outdoor activities with smaller crowds where risk of transmission is lower. It will also permit more limited indoor settings to be open, all with restrictions in place. In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government has amended Step One to also permit indoor religious services, rites and ceremonies, including wedding and funeral services limited to 15 per cent capacity.

Step One of the Roadmap to Reopen includes but is not limited to:

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 10 people; 
  • Outdoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, capped at the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; 
  • Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted at up to 15 per cent capacity of the particular room; 
  • Non-essential retail permitted at 15 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold; 
  • Essential and other select retail permitted at 25 per cent capacity, with no restrictions on the goods that can be sold; 
  • Outdoor dining with up to four people per table, with exceptions for larger households; 
  • Outdoor fitness classes, outdoor groups in personal training and outdoor individual/team sport training to be permitted with up to 10 people, among other restrictions; 
  • Day camps for children permitted to operate in a manner consistent with the safety guidelines for COVID-19 produced by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health; 
  • Overnight camping at campgrounds and campsites, including Ontario Parks, and short-term rentals; 
  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas may open outdoors for the purpose of rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted concert, artistic event, theatrical performance or other performance with no more than 10 performers, among other restrictions; 
  • Outdoor horse racing tracks and motor speedways permitted to operate without spectators; and 
  • Outdoor attractions such as zoos, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens with capacity and other restrictions.

Local Resources

Financial Support & Relief
Resources for Reopening
Employee-Related Resources
Industry Resources
Frequently Asked Questions

If I am offering online sales or take out/delivery how can I get the message out that I’m open?

Reference and contact the Tourism Kingston to have their info uploaded. They can also reach out to for inclusion in their website as well as Downtown Kingston.

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:

Chris Morris
Digital Business Advisor
(613) 539-8438 
[email protected]

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.

Shelley Hirstwood
Business Development Officer
(613) 876-6772
[email protected]

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.

Norman Musengimana
Small Business Advisor
(613) 217-0932
[email protected]

I’m looking to connect with like mind entrepreneurs to discuss the current climate 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.

Contact Us

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
[email protected]

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
[email protected]


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.