Monday, July 13, 2020: Ontario Government Announces Stage 3

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves, the ByWard Market BIA continues to closely monitor developments.

The safety of ByWard Market business owners and employees, community residents and visitors is our priority. All updated temporary business closures and event cancellations will be notified on our website and social media, based on verified information and directives issued by appropriate public health authorities.  

The Premier announced that the Ottawa region will enter stage 3 of Ontario’s re-opening as of 12:01 AM, Friday, July 17th. 

The limit on indoor gatherings is now extended to 50 people and outdoor gatherings will increase to 100 people. Physical distancing remains a requirement for everyone that are not from the same household or part of the same 10-person bubble. 

Key notes for businesses: 

– Bar and restaurants can reopen for indoor dining 

– Gyms, personal care services can open 

– Movie theatres (50 person max per facility, not including staff)

– “99% of businesses will be opened” 

– Things that are not open include (bu not limited to): amusement parks, karaoke bars, banquet halls, buffet services

Key notes for municipalities: 

– Playgrounds and recreation facilities can re-open 

– All childcare centres can open with 15-child max capacity (as of July 27th) 

Key Resources

Government press release

Detailed list of what is able to re-open

Sector-specific safety guidance documents for workplaces and here is the provincial PPE supplier directory

Ontario has a hotline that folks can call for questions around the re-opening at 1-888-444-3659. 

This morning the federal government announced the extension of the wage subsidy program until December

As always, feel free to contact us if you have questions or feedback about these plans, or if you have businesses/constituents who are being unfairly left out of the re-opening for some reason. Businesses not able to re-open are also able to submit a re-opening proposal to the government

If you have detailed questions on how these can be implemented locally, we’ve found Ottawa Public Health is an excellent resource.

Certified Nursing Assistants:
How to Properly Wash Your Hands – Guide:
https://cnaclassesnearme.com/how-to-properly-wash-your-hands/ 

***

Friday, June 12:  Ontario Government Announces Stage 2

Ontario’s reopening plan update announces restaurants/bars, personal care services, and attractions & heritage institutions allowed to reopen this Friday, June 12

Places that can open in Stage 2:

Restaurants & Bars

Restaurants, bars, food trucks and other food and drink establishments (e.g., wineries, breweries and distilleries) can open for dining in outdoor areas only, such as patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent premises.

ByWard Market BIA is working with the City on patios — please email us to confirm your interest and patio requests with your contact info: communications@byward-market.com

  • Establishments must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different households, including:
  • Using reservations.
  • Limiting number of patrons allowed in the outdoor space at one time.
  • Ensuring enough space between tables, including to allow for movement.
  • Access to indoor facilities is limited to patio/outdoor dining area access, food pickup, payment, washrooms or other health and safety purposes.
  • Liquor sales licensees who wish to temporarily extend the physical size of their existing licensed patio, or temporarily add a new licensed patio within the approved period are authorized to do so, if all the following criteria are met:
  • The physical extension of the premises is adjacent to the premises to which the licence to sell liquor applies.
  • The municipality in which the premises is situated does not object to an extension.
  • The licensee is able to demonstrate sufficient control over the physical extension of the premises.
  • There is no condition on the liquor sales licence prohibiting a patio.

Personal Care Services

Establishments providing personal care services can open with the proper health and safety protocols in place.

  • Examples include:
  • Hair services (including barber shops, hair salons, hairdressers/stylists, colour consulting services, scalp treatment services, hair weaving services, and hair replacement services)
  • Beauty salons, shops and parlours (including beauticians, estheticians, cosmetology shops or salons, manicure and pedicure salons)
  • Hair removal services
  • Diet centres (non-medical), diet workshops, weight control clinics, and weight-reduction centres (non-medical)
  • Piercing services
  • Day spas
  • Tanning salons
  • Tattoo studios
  • Where physical distancing cannot be maintained, personal care service providers should ensure that:
  • Patrons wear face coverings at all times.
  • Workers wear face coverings and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves.
  • Personal care services must take measures to enable physical distancing between patrons, such as limiting the number of people who may be in the business at any one time.
  • Businesses should also consider operating by appointment and/or recording each patron’s name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.
  • Restrictions include:
  • Prohibiting services that tend to a customer’s face, such as facials, facial hair grooming, eyebrow grooming and makeup, as well as oxygen bars.
  • Steam rooms, saunas and bath houses must remain closed.
  • Baths, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods are closed except for therapeutic purposes prescribed by or administered by a regulated health professional. Change rooms and showers for water amenities will be available to the public if operators have the ability to adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities.
  • For clarity, a business can open to offer other permitted services even if a restricted activity is its primary service (e.g., a facial salon can open to provide other services).

Attractions & Heritage Institutions

Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos outdoor heritage institutions (e.g., landmarks, outdoor historic sites, botanical gardens), and other establishments primarily engaged in preserving and exhibiting objects, sites and natural wonders of historical, cultural and educational value are permitted to reopen with restrictions.

    • Interactive and high-contact exhibits, amusement parks, water parks and conference centres will remain closed in Stage 2.
    • Lockers will remain closed.
    • The opening of commercial areas (e.g., restaurant, cafe, bookshop, giftshop) are subject to the related guidelines and restrictions.
    • Persons in the place of business shall maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from each other at all times by:
    • Timed entry.
    • A limited number of visitors allowed in a place at one time.
    • Managed visitor flow (e.g., one-way flow).
    • Establishments should consider operating by appointment and/or record each patron’s name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.
    • Click here for details

***

April 6, 2020

Key Points:


1) Restricted list of Essential Businesses released by Ontario Government Friday

See link below.


2) Event cancelations and other measures extended beyond May

School closures extended further. City announces all events cancelled until July 1.

 —

PLEASE NOTE: This page is provided as a public service, and while we will try to be as accurate and timely as possible, please refer to government agencies and public health experts for the final word.

Please let us know if you find any broken links or information, or would like to subscribe to member updates for business, at communications@byward-market.com

We deeply appreciate your continued support for your locally owned businesses.

APRIL 3: Shortened List of Essential Businesses announced

The Premiere of Ontario has just announced a set of additional restrictions to the types of business that may remain open during the COVID-19 crisis.

We’ve summarized the main points we’ve seen below in our quick review, but please refer to the official release for authoritative details. Please let us know If we’ve missed anything: communications@byward-market.com. If you need or can provide any clarification.If your status changes or you start offering something new online, please tell us! 

CLICK HERE FOR OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT LIST

APRIL 1: 11:00 p.m. Details of Federal Wage Subsidy program

Full release here.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.

Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.

MARCH 31: 8:00 a.m.

More changes announced to federal wage subsidy program

This is what Justin Trudeau announced. No more details were provided, but we were promised more information in today’s 11:00 a.m. briefing. We’ll keep you posted.

Tax deferral form now online

All commercial and residential taxpayers have been granted an interest-free grace period until April 15 to pay their 2020 interim tax bill.

For properties affected by the current Covid-19 pandemic, the March 19 (interim) and June 18 (final) bills can be extended until October 30. You must apply for the deferral by July 31.

Full details are here.

MARCH 27: 5:00 p.m.: More financial support for small business

Hopefully, the announcement below will come as good news in this dark time that may provide a *bit* more tangible help to business owners as you face difficult month-end decisions.

In brief, the federal government announced today: 

  • 75% Wage Subsidy.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced dramatic expansion of the federal government wage subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses who choose to retain employees during the COVID shutdown to 75% – up from the 10% previously announced. He also announced these would be retroactive to cover any wages since March 15 and promised that details and application instructions will come on Monday. 
  • Canada Emergency Business Account: This $25 billion program implemented by eligible financial institutions will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits with payrolls between $50,000 and $1 Million, to help cover their operating costs. Up to 25% or $10,000, will be forgivable for businesses who pay back the loan by the end of 2022.
  • Deferral of Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30, 2020.
  • Additional co-lending and loan guarantees to expand previously announced programs. 

These programs are in addition to earlier EI expansion, and the improved support program for workers announced on Wednesday March 25.

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – including workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19. “This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.”

Unfortunately, none of this yet addresses either of the two critical we’ve been calling for with BIAs across Ontario: a) direct financial compensation for lost revenue, or b) rent relief as . But these are significant improvements.

MARCH 26: 4:00 p.m.: Liquor licensed Ontario bars, restaurants can sell alcohol with takeout and delivery food

Effective immediately, licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario may sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 pm. All active liquor licensees may immediately begin offering this service if they choose and there is no application process or fee required. Liquor may be sold for takeout or delivery through a third party, such as a food delivery service or ordering platform, provided they are acting on behalf of the licensee.

From Ontario Government Announcement – click for full details.

MARCH 26: 6:30 a.m.: federal measures announced yesterday:

MARCH 24: 9:00 a.m.: List of Essential business types

We distilled the following list for your convenience based on the shops and services most prevalent among more than 600 businesses in the ByWard Market BIA. See the full provincial order for official definitions / details.

Online, telephone, and delivery sales are clearly permitted for ALL businesses. “Order does not apply to services or products delivered online, by telephone or by mail/delivery. Online commerce and teleworking are permitted at all times for all businesses.”
Summary list of essential business types
NOTE: NOT AUTHORITATIVE OR COMPLETE LIST –
SEE PROVINCIAL ORDER FOR OFFICIAL DEFINITIONS!
Food retail, wholesale, supplies
Restaurant takeout, delivery (only)
Pet supplies, animal health services
IT, software, online services
Beer, wine, liquor, cannabis
Telecomm service, hardware
Gas, fuel suppliers
Transportation services
Automotive, bicycle repair
Manufacturers, supply chains
Hardware stores
Agriculture and food production
Office supplies, computers
Construction industry  
Safety supplies
Banks, insurance, payroll services
Laundromats & dry cleaners
Medical, senior care services
Property management
Social service agencies
Legal services
Business organizations, regulators

MARCH 23 – 4:00 p.m.: Province orders non-essential businesses to close

The province has announced this afternoon that any “non-essential” businesses must close as of midnight Tuesday night, March 24, and remain closed for at least 14 days.

We are told grocery, pharmacy, takeout, and manufacturing businesses will be exempted, but beyond that, we are seeking more clarity on the exact definition and what the restrictions might entail.

You will find the link to the Press Release below:

Release from Government of Ontario   


MARCH 22 – 9 a.m.: Increased level of Public Health warnings

This was the statement issued last night from Ottawa Public Health about changes to the COVID-19 situation today. You can read the whole statement here.

Ottawa Public Health now has laboratory confirmation of community spread of  the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ottawa. Additionally, we are starting to see cases among health-care workers who have not traveled or been a close contact of a confirmed case . Based on modelling data, there could now be up to 4,000 undetected cases of COVID-19 in our community.

Now is also not the time for non-essential excursions. We are working with the City of Ottawa to provide greater clarity on what we consider non-essential vs essential businesses here in Ottawa. People should not visit non-essential businesses including but not limited to clothing retail stores, hair and nail salons, tattoo parlours, gym and fitness facilities, banquet halls and conference centres.

Dr. Vera Etches – Ottawa Medical Officer of Health

March 20: Urgent call to Federal Government for direct aid for merchants

We sent this email letter with our OCOBIA colleagues calling on the federal government for direct financial aid. Small merchants are facing an urgent month-end rent-payment crisis in the next 10 days. Click here to read letter.

MARCH 18: Summary of announced support for businesses

Federal Government:

Canada’s Finance Minister announced $27 Billion worth of stimulus and aid for employees, landlords, and businesses affected by the current COVID-19 situation. The full details are below.

But briefly, businesses should know about these programs:

  • Tax Deferral – The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer tax payments until after August 31, 2020.
  • Expanded Employment Insurance eligibility – “Emergency Support Benefit” – for self-employed or people who lose job or hours reduced, but not eligible for EI – payments every 2 weeks, comparable to EI for up to 14 weeks
  • Temporary Wage Subsidy – for employers who choose to keep staff on payroll – 10% of salary for 3 months – up to $25,000 per employer.
  • Emergency Care Benefit – for infected, self-isolated/quarantined, or those caring for ill family members but not eligible to paid sick leave or EI benefits. Payments every 2 weeks for up to 14 weeks.
  • Emergency Credit / loans from BDC – “Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)” – these were announced last week, but reaffirmed March 17.

City of Ottawa – Municipal Government

The proposed measures announced on Wednesday March 18 apply mainly to property owners, although the mayor is urging commercial landlords to pass on any savings from deferred payments on to their tenants.

  • Grace period for interim property tax payment – City will grant property owners a grace period for payment – late payment penalty will not be applied to current March 19 deadline, moving instead to Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
  • New 2020 Interim Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program – longer deferrals to October 30 are available for small commercial property owners with property values under $2.5 Million.

Province’s Declaration of Emergency: effective Tuesday, March 17:

Link: Ontario Enacts Declaration of Emergency to Protect the Public. Summary below.

On March 16, 2019, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Ministry of Health, has now advised cancelling events or gatherings over 50 people because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this declaration and its associated orders, the following establishments are legally required to close immediately:

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
  • All public libraries;
  • All private schools as defined in the Education Act;
  • All licensed child care centres;
  • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
  • All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and
  • Concert venues.

Further, all organized public events of over fifty people are also prohibited, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship. 

This declaration does not apply to other merchants, fitness studios, and services, who may choose to remain open to provide important health services, groceries, and supplies. But since Monday, most have closed voluntarily.

Recommendations for workplaces from Ottawa Public Health:

If businesses choose to remain open, we recommend taking the following precautionary measures:  

  • Apply social distancing measures;  
  • Provide access to handwashing facilities and place hand sanitizing dispensers in prominent locations throughout the workplace, if possible;
  • Review and make use of Public Health Ontario’s resource on Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings – COVID-19
  • Notify customers of the social distancing measures you are taking by posting these on the front door. 
  • Consider additional strategies that workplaces can put into effect

Some important things to note:

  • Customers and business owners should study and follow all public health advisories and take all recommended cleaning, hand-washing, and social distancing precautions, as well as self-isolating at the first sign of a fever or cough.
  • Businesses should prepare for potential disruptions. Talk now to your insurance provider, your neighbouring businesses, suppliers, and employees to make sure you understand your obligations. This is a good resource about employment standards in Canada.

Some good sources of information:

These are the most current and easy-to-understand and print sources of information we’ve been able to find.

Financial Assistance for business:

Emergency Federal Loan program – administered by the federal Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

General COVID-19 situation updates:

Advice for business:

    Thank you for your cooperation and support. If you have general questions or helpful information/resources, please contact: communications@byward-market.com.

    Jasna Jennings
    Executive Director, ByWard Market BIA

     

    Monday, July 13, 2020: Ontario Government Announced Stage 3

    As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves, the ByWard Market BIA continues to closely monitor developments.

    The safety of ByWard Market business owners and employees, community residents and visitors is our priority. All updated temporary business closures and event cancellations will be notified on our website and social media, based on verified information and directives issued by appropriate public health authorities.  

    The Premier announced that the Ottawa region will enter stage 3 of Ontario’s re-opening as of 12:01 AM, Friday, July 17th. 

    The limit on indoor gatherings is now extended to 50 people and outdoor gatherings will increase to 100 people. Physical distancing remains a requirement for everyone that are not from the same household or part of the same 10-person bubble. 

    Key notes for businesses: 

    – Bar and restaurants can reopen for indoor dining 

    – Gyms, personal care services can open 

    – Movie theatres (50 person max per facility, not including staff)

    – “99% of businesses will be opened” 

    – Things that are not open include (bu not limited to): amusement parks, karaoke bars, banquet halls, buffet services

    Key notes for municipalities: 

    – Playgrounds and recreation facilities can re-open 

    – All childcare centers can open with 15-child max capacity (as of July 27th) 

    Key Resources

    Government press release

    Detailed list of what is able to re-open

    Sector-specific safety guidance documents for workplaces and here is the provincial PPE supplier directory

    Ontario has a hotline that folks can call for questions around the re-opening at 1-888-444-3659. 

    This morning the federal government announced the extension of the wage subsidy program until December

    As always, feel free to contact us if you have questions or feedback about these plans, or if you have businesses/constituents who are being unfairly left out of the re-opening for some reason. Businesses not able to re-open are also able to submit a re-opening proposal to the government

    If you have detailed questions on how these can be implemented locally, we’ve found Ottawa Public Health is the best resource.

    ***

    Friday, June 12: 

    BREAKING NEWS: Ontario’s reopening plan update announces restaurants/bars, personal care services, and attractions & heritage institutions allowed to reopen this Friday, June 12

    Places that can open in Stage 2:

     

    Restaurants & Bars

    Restaurants, bars, food trucks and other food and drink establishments (e.g., wineries, breweries and distilleries) can open for dining in outdoor areas only, such as patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent premises.

    ByWard Market BIA is working with the City on patios — please email us to confirm your interest and patio requests with your contact info: communications@byward-market.com

    • Establishments must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different households, including:
    • Using reservations.
    • Limiting number of patrons allowed in the outdoor space at one time.
    • Ensuring enough space between tables, including to allow for movement.
    • Access to indoor facilities is limited to patio/outdoor dining area access, food pickup, payment, washrooms or other health and safety purposes.
    • Liquor sales licensees who wish to temporarily extend the physical size of their existing licensed patio, or temporarily add a new licensed patio within the approved period are authorized to do so, if all the following criteria are met:
    • The physical extension of the premises is adjacent to the premises to which the licence to sell liquor applies.
    • The municipality in which the premises is situated does not object to an extension.
    • The licensee is able to demonstrate sufficient control over the physical extension of the premises.
    • There is no condition on the liquor sales licence prohibiting a patio.

    Personal Care Services

    Establishments providing personal care services can open with the proper health and safety protocols in place.

    • Examples include:
    • Hair services (including barber shops, hair salons, hairdressers/stylists, colour consulting services, scalp treatment services, hair weaving services, and hair replacement services)
    • Beauty salons, shops and parlours (including beauticians, estheticians, cosmetology shops or salons, manicure and pedicure salons)
    • Hair removal services
    • Diet centres (non-medical), diet workshops, weight control clinics, and weight-reduction centres (non-medical)
    • Piercing services
    • Day spas
    • Tanning salons
    • Tattoo studios
    • Where physical distancing cannot be maintained, personal care service providers should ensure that:
    • Patrons wear face coverings at all times.
    • Workers wear face coverings and other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves.
    • Personal care services must take measures to enable physical distancing between patrons, such as limiting the number of people who may be in the business at any one time.
    • Businesses should also consider operating by appointment and/or recording each patron’s name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.
    • Restrictions include:
    • Prohibiting services that tend to a customer’s face, such as facials, facial hair grooming, eyebrow grooming and makeup, as well as oxygen bars.
    • Steam rooms, saunas and bath houses must remain closed.
    • Baths, hot tubs, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods are closed except for therapeutic purposes prescribed by or administered by a regulated health professional. Change rooms and showers for water amenities will be available to the public if operators have the ability to adequately sanitize and disinfect the facilities.
    • For clarity, a business can open to offer other permitted services even if a restricted activity is its primary service (e.g., a facial salon can open to provide other services).

    Attractions & Heritage Institutions

    Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos outdoor heritage institutions (e.g., landmarks, outdoor historic sites, botanical gardens), and other establishments primarily engaged in preserving and exhibiting objects, sites and natural wonders of historical, cultural and educational value are permitted to reopen with restrictions.

    • Interactive and high-contact exhibits, amusement parks, water parks and conference centres will remain closed in Stage 2.
    • Lockers will remain closed.
    • The opening of commercial areas (e.g., restaurant, cafe, bookshop, giftshop) are subject to the related guidelines and restrictions.
    • Persons in the place of business shall maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from each other at all times by:
    • Timed entry.
    • A limited number of visitors allowed in a place at one time.
    • Managed visitor flow (e.g., one-way flow).
    • Establishments should consider operating by appointment and/or record each patron’s name and contact information for the purpose of contact tracing.

    Click here for details

     

    ***

    April 6, 2020

    Key Points:


    1) Restricted list of Essential Businesses released by Ontario Government Friday

    See link below.


    2) Event cancelations and other measures extended beyond May

    School closures extended further. City announces all events cancelled until July 1.

     —

    PLEASE NOTE: This page is provided as a public service, and while we will try to be as accurate and timely as possible, please refer to government agencies and public health experts for the final word.

    Please let us know if you find any broken links or information, or would like to subscribe to member updates for business, at communications@byward-market.com

    We deeply appreciate your continued support for your locally owned businesses.

    APRIL 3: Shortened List of Essential Businesses announced

    The Premiere of Ontario has just announced a set of additional restrictions to the types of business that may remain open during the COVID-19 crisis.

    We’ve summarized the main points we’ve seen below in our quick review, but please refer to the official release for authoritative details. Please let us know If we’ve missed anything: communications@byward-market.com. If you need or can provide any clarification.If your status changes or you start offering something new online, please tell us! 

    CLICK HERE FOR OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT LIST

    APRIL 1: 11:00 p.m. Details of Federal Wage Subsidy program

    Full release here.

    The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy would apply at a rate of 75 per cent of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week. The program would be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

    Eligible employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30 per cent in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.

    Eligible employers would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.

    MARCH 31: 8:00 a.m.

    More changes announced to federal wage subsidy program

    This is what Justin Trudeau announced. No more details were provided, but we were promised more information in today’s 11:00 a.m. briefing. We’ll keep you posted.

    Tax deferral form now online

    All commercial and residential taxpayers have been granted an interest-free grace period until April 15 to pay their 2020 interim tax bill.

    For properties affected by the current Covid-19 pandemic, the March 19 (interim) and June 18 (final) bills can be extended until October 30. You must apply for the deferral by July 31.

    Full details are here.

    MARCH 27: 5:00 p.m.: More financial support for small business

    Hopefully, the announcement below will come as good news in this dark time that may provide a *bit* more tangible help to business owners as you face difficult month-end decisions.

    In brief, the federal government announced today: 

    • 75% Wage Subsidy.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced dramatic expansion of the federal government wage subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses who choose to retain employees during the COVID shutdown to 75% – up from the 10% previously announced. He also announced these would be retroactive to cover any wages since March 15 and promised that details and application instructions will come on Monday. 
    • Canada Emergency Business Account: This $25 billion program implemented by eligible financial institutions will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits with payrolls between $50,000 and $1 Million, to help cover their operating costs. Up to 25% or $10,000, will be forgivable for businesses who pay back the loan by the end of 2022.
    • Deferral of Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30, 2020.
    • Additional co-lending and loan guarantees to expand previously announced programs. 

    These programs are in addition to earlier EI expansion, and the improved support program for workers announced on Wednesday March 25.

    • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – including workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19. “This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.”

    Unfortunately, none of this yet addresses either of the two critical we’ve been calling for with BIAs across Ontario: a) direct financial compensation for lost revenue, or b) rent relief as . But these are significant improvements.

    MARCH 26: 4:00 p.m.: Liquor licensed Ontario bars, restaurants can sell alcohol with takeout and delivery food

    Effective immediately, licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario may sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 pm. All active liquor licensees may immediately begin offering this service if they choose and there is no application process or fee required. Liquor may be sold for takeout or delivery through a third party, such as a food delivery service or ordering platform, provided they are acting on behalf of the licensee.

    From Ontario Government Announcement – click for full details.

    MARCH 26: 6:30 a.m.: federal measures announced yesterday:

    MARCH 24: 9:00 a.m.: List of Essential business types

    We distilled the following list for your convenience based on the shops and services most prevalent among more than 600 businesses in the ByWard Market BIA. See the full provincial order for official definitions / details.

    Online, telephone, and delivery sales are clearly permitted for ALL businesses. “Order does not apply to services or products delivered online, by telephone or by mail/delivery. Online commerce and teleworking are permitted at all times for all businesses.”
    Summary list of essential business types
    NOTE: NOT AUTHORITATIVE OR COMPLETE LIST –
    SEE PROVINCIAL ORDER FOR OFFICIAL DEFINITIONS!
    Food retail, wholesale, supplies
    Restaurant takeout, delivery (only)
    Pet supplies, animal health services
    IT, software, online services
    Beer, wine, liquor, cannabis
    Telecomm service, hardware
    Gas, fuel suppliers
    Transportation services
    Automotive, bicycle repair
    Manufacturers, supply chains
    Hardware stores
    Agriculture and food production
    Office supplies, computers
    Construction industry  
    Safety supplies
    Banks, insurance, payroll services
    Laundromats & dry cleaners
    Medical, senior care services
    Property management
    Social service agencies
    Legal services
    Business organizations, regulators

    MARCH 23 – 4:00 p.m.: Province orders non-essential businesses to close

    The province has announced this afternoon that any “non-essential” businesses must close as of midnight Tuesday night, March 24, and remain closed for at least 14 days.

    We are told grocery, pharmacy, takeout, and manufacturing businesses will be exempted, but beyond that, we are seeking more clarity on the exact definition and what the restrictions might entail.

    You will find the link to the Press Release below:

    Release from Government of Ontario   


    MARCH 22 – 9 a.m.: Increased level of Public Health warnings

    This was the statement issued last night from Ottawa Public Health about changes to the COVID-19 situation today. You can read the whole statement here.

    Ottawa Public Health now has laboratory confirmation of community spread of  the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ottawa. Additionally, we are starting to see cases among health-care workers who have not traveled or been a close contact of a confirmed case . Based on modelling data, there could now be up to 4,000 undetected cases of COVID-19 in our community.

    Now is also not the time for non-essential excursions. We are working with the City of Ottawa to provide greater clarity on what we consider non-essential vs essential businesses here in Ottawa. People should not visit non-essential businesses including but not limited to clothing retail stores, hair and nail salons, tattoo parlours, gym and fitness facilities, banquet halls and conference centres.

    Dr. Vera Etches – Ottawa Medical Officer of Health

    March 20: Urgent call to Federal Government for direct aid for merchants

    We sent this email letter with our OCOBIA colleagues calling on the federal government for direct financial aid. Small merchants are facing an urgent month-end rent-payment crisis in the next 10 days. Click here to read letter.

    MARCH 18: Summary of announced support for businesses

    Federal Government:

    Canada’s Finance Minister announced $27 Billion worth of stimulus and aid for employees, landlords, and businesses affected by the current COVID-19 situation. The full details are below.

    But briefly, businesses should know about these programs:

    • Tax Deferral – The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer tax payments until after August 31, 2020.
    • Expanded Employment Insurance eligibility – “Emergency Support Benefit” – for self-employed or people who lose job or hours reduced, but not eligible for EI – payments every 2 weeks, comparable to EI for up to 14 weeks
    • Temporary Wage Subsidy – for employers who choose to keep staff on payroll – 10% of salary for 3 months – up to $25,000 per employer.
    • Emergency Care Benefit – for infected, self-isolated/quarantined, or those caring for ill family members but not eligible to paid sick leave or EI benefits. Payments every 2 weeks for up to 14 weeks.
    • Emergency Credit / loans from BDC – “Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)” – these were announced last week, but reaffirmed March 17.

    City of Ottawa – Municipal Government

    The proposed measures announced on Wednesday March 18 apply mainly to property owners, although the mayor is urging commercial landlords to pass on any savings from deferred payments on to their tenants.

    • Grace period for interim property tax payment – City will grant property owners a grace period for payment – late payment penalty will not be applied to current March 19 deadline, moving instead to Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
    • New 2020 Interim Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program – longer deferrals to October 30 are available for small commercial property owners with property values under $2.5 Million.

    Province’s Declaration of Emergency: effective Tuesday, March 17:

    Link: Ontario Enacts Declaration of Emergency to Protect the Public. Summary below.

    On March 16, 2019, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Ministry of Health, has now advised cancelling events or gatherings over 50 people because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    As a result of this declaration and its associated orders, the following establishments are legally required to close immediately:

    • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs;
    • All public libraries;
    • All private schools as defined in the Education Act;
    • All licensed child care centres;
    • All bars and restaurants, except to the extent that such facilities provide takeout food and delivery;
    • All theatres including those offering live performances of music, dance, and other art forms, as well as cinemas that show movies; and
    • Concert venues.

    Further, all organized public events of over fifty people are also prohibited, including parades and events and communal services within places of worship. 

    This declaration does not apply to other merchants, fitness studios, and services, who may choose to remain open to provide important health services, groceries, and supplies. But since Monday, most have closed voluntarily.

    Recommendations for workplaces from Ottawa Public Health:

    If businesses choose to remain open, we recommend taking the following precautionary measures:  

    • Apply social distancing measures;  
    • Provide access to handwashing facilities and place hand sanitizing dispensers in prominent locations throughout the workplace, if possible;
    • Review and make use of Public Health Ontario’s resource on Cleaning and Disinfection for Public Settings – COVID-19
    • Notify customers of the social distancing measures you are taking by posting these on the front door. 
    • Consider additional strategies that workplaces can put into effect

    Some important things to note:

    • Customers and business owners should study and follow all public health advisories and take all recommended cleaning, hand-washing, and social distancing precautions, as well as self-isolating at the first sign of a fever or cough.
    • Businesses should prepare for potential disruptions. Talk now to your insurance provider, your neighbouring businesses, suppliers, and employees to make sure you understand your obligations. This is a good resource about employment standards in Canada.

    Some good sources of information:

    These are the most current and easy-to-understand and print sources of information we’ve been able to find.

    Financial Assistance for business:

    Emergency Federal Loan program – administered by the federal Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

    General COVID-19 situation updates:

    Advice for business:

      Thank you for your cooperation and support. If you have general questions or helpful information/resources, please contact: communications@byward-market.com.

      Jasna Jennings
      Executive Director, ByWard Market BIA