Wasaga Beach Business Newsletter - Volume 3 | March 31, 2020
Economic Development Office
COVID-19 News & Resources
Don't Panic. Plan.
To see our last Business issue, Click Here.
To see the last general Town of Wasaga Beach issue, Click Here.
What's In This Issue?
Local Surveys: Have Your Voice
Government Needs Your Help
Recent Federal Announcements
Recent Provincial Announcements
Business News
Upcoming Events
Quick Business Links
Business Tools
Government of Canada
Important Notices
Government of Canada's coronavirus information line (1-833-784-4397)
Public Health Ontario (1-866-797-0000)
Ontario Business Information Line (1-888-444-3659)
Simcoe County Business Impact Survey
In an effort to monitor the progression of COVID-19 on local businesses the Town of Wasaga Beach, the County of Simcoe, and partners are seeking your assistance in providing information on how we can best support your business

If you have any questions about the survey, please feel free to email [email protected].
Digital Business Marketplace - List Your Business!

The Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce is working on compiling a local business listing in response to COVID-19. They plan to share news about your business, including the unique and creative business models you have put in place to continue serving the community.
Destination Ontario Requesting Virtual Content

Together we can bring this province into the homes of our community. We are reaching out today for inspirational and/or entertaining consumer-facing tourism virtual experiences that we might share with our community to enjoy from the safety of home.
Guidelines include: 

  • An Ontario-based experience
  • Available for Destination Ontario use, includes third-party talent and creative rights
  • Good for children, families and/or adults to enjoy

Please email [email protected], for editorial consideration, with details including the URL, social page, videos, photos, etc., and do let us know if you have any questions.
Remember to tag us at #DiscoverON with this kind of content as well as other content you are using to keep your communities engaged.
Your Governments Need Your Help

If you are a business able to supply products and services in support of Canada's response to COVID-19, the Federal Government is asking companies​​​  complete this form​

Focus areas include:

Products: Disposable N95 masks, Disposable surgical masks, Nitrile gloves, Vinyl gloves, Gowns, Bottles of hand sanitizer, Other prevention products

Services: Guard / security services, Nursing services, Food services, Laundry services, Accommodation maintenance services, Personal services, IT support services, Other services

The Ontario Government is looking for help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the response to COVID-19: Learn more ​
Business News
Federal Announcements
Provincial Announcements
Relief for Wasaga Beach Businesses and Residents

The Town of Wasaga Beach Council has approved suspending a number of fees and charges, effective April 1, 2020. The following is a list of suspended fees and charges:

  • Bus passes and cash fares. Public transit is free between April 1 and April 30, 2020.
  • Payment Transfer fees
  • Reprint of Tax and Water Bill or Account Statement
  • Returned Cheque Charge
  • Business Licensing - Late Renewal Fee
  • Penalties and interest will not be applied on the March 15 and May 15 property tax billings for the period of April 1 to September 30, 2020
  • Penalties and interest will not be applied on 2020 water and wastewater utility bills, for the period of April 1 to September 30, 2020.

The Personal Authorized Payment Plans will continue with the present scheduled payment periods. If you do not want to pay per these scheduled payment periods, you will need to opt out of the program and return to regular installment program. Residents who wish to opt out are asked to call the town at 705-429-3844 x.2234 or email [email protected].

Trailers and motorhomes will be permitted on driveways and front yards at this time to enable people to self-isolate.
Federal Government Looking to Provide Wage Subsidy

The federal government will cover 75% of salaries for workers of qualifying small businesses affected by COVID-19, an increase from the 10% announced previously. The subsidy, which will be backdated to March 15, gives companies who have asked employees to stop or reduce working help in continuing to pay staff.

  • Businesses impacted by COVID-19 which have experiences decreased revenues of at least 30%
  • Number of employees will not determine your eligibility
  • Subsidy applies to not-for-profit organizations and charities
  • Subsidy applies for companies big or small
  • Government will subsidize 75% of your salary on the first $58,700 earned, which means up to $847/week.

The online portal will be up as soon as April 6,2020.

Note: that businesses are being trusted to do the right thing and if they have the means to pay the remaining 25% that is not covered by the subsidy, they are asked to do so. This is not a system to take advantage of or game - there will be serious consequences for those who take advantage of this system
Canada Emergency Business Loans

The government has launched the Canada Emergency Business Account, which will involve banks soon providing government-guaranteed loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses. Those loans will be interest-free for the first year and up to $10,000 could be waived for repayment.

The government will also make another $12.5 billion in loans available through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada to help small- and medium-sized businesses with operational cashflow requirements. Learn more here.
Price Gouging Can Cost Businesses Up To $500,000

Effective immediately as of March 28, 2020, the government has issued an emergency order that retail businesses and individuals in Ontario cannot charge unfair prices for necessary goods.

Individual offenders can face a ticket of $750, or, if summoned to court and convicted, could face a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and one year in jail. If convicted, a company director or officer could face a fine of up to $500,000 and up to a year in jail, and a corporation could face a fine of up to $10 million.
Province Defers Insurance Payment Premiums for Six Months

The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), will see premium payments deferred for six months for all businesses in the province.
Ontario's Action Plan and Economic Fiscal Update Released

The government's action plan is a first step in its response to COVID-19 and includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs. It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.

To access the Action Plan and Economic Fiscal Update in full, click here.
Province Providing Electricity Relief for Small Business and Farms

For a 45-day period, the government is working to suspend time-of-use electricity rates, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This reduced price will be available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. By switching to a fixed off-peak rate, time-of-use customers will see rate reductions of over 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates.

To deliver savings as quickly and conveniently as possible, this discount will be applied automatically to electricity bills without the need for customers to fill out an application form.
Province Opens Business Information Hotline

The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province's recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.

A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario's website .
Business Training
Creative Solutions for Challenging Times
In this video, Brian Hunt explores what The Collingwood Brewery is doing during these tough times. We’d love to hear more about the services your business is offering during this period of self-isolation and social distancing. 
It's Time To Update Your Google Listing
Google My Business provides you with the ability to list your business location on Google Maps and local search results for free. You can display important information about your business, including the opening/closing times, contact phone number or a link to your website.
*NEW* March 31 - Digital Service Squad Live
April Dates: 7, 14, 21, 28
May Dates: 5, 12, 19, 26
Your Digital Service Squad is here to help. Join Ben Frisch every Tuesday at 10am for a Facebook live video. He'll be focusing on digital marketing, tips, advice, and support to help navigate this dificult time for businesses. You can connect, ask questions and suggest new topics. Upcoming topics Include: Getting started with E-commerce, Selling on social media, how to use tools like zoom, and slack to adapt and continue operating your business.

*NEW* March 31 - Resource Management: Navigating the Impact on Canadian Businesses
As the world continues to respond and follow the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, one of the most common questions we’re receiving is, “What is the government providing to support Canadian businesses affected by COVID-19?” The government’s responsive actions evolve each day and we are watching closely for business funding stimulus in response to COVID-19.

*NEW* April 2 - Starter Company Plus - Application and Business Planning Info Session #3
BEING HELD VIRTUALLY This application and business planning information session will provide insight and support for the application process for the Starter Company Plus program (a program designed to help with business start-up and growth). We recommend that you attend one of these sessions. However, attendance is not a requirement to make an application. 

*NEW* April 2 - eCommerce 101: What, Why, and How
Join us online for an E-commerce webinar, to help business owners with the basic concepts of setting up an online shop. We will go over the steps required before launching a store to assist with the basic foundations and necessary steps you need to start selling online.

*NEW* April 3 - The Importance of Mental Health and Creating Connections
During current unprecedented times, isolation may have different meanings for everyone. You may be helping the greater good to social distance, however, isolating yourself from positive messaging and and uplifting knowledge to help better your journey to success isn’t the answer. NOW is the perfect time to come together to RISE, CONNECT, and EXPLORE what your journey to success can look like! The conversations don’t stop now – they’re just beginning.

*NEW* April 3 - Shopify Presents: Offline to Online
In partnership with Digital Main Street, Shopify is pleased to bring you an educational session covering how to get started with an online business. The session will start at 11am EST, and we have up to two hours for business coaching and advice. Bring any business problems or questions you want to discuss and we would be happy to help you navigate a path forward!

*NEW* April 6 - Customer Engagement During COVID-19: How To Stay Top of Mind
More than ever, your small business needs to be engaging with customers virtually. In this workshop, you will get practical tips and tricks to use social media, email marketing, and Google My Business platforms to create meaningful engagement with your customers and community. This in-depth and informative presentation will be given by our Digital Service Squad Members, and is a unique opportunity to learn from them and participate in AMA (ask me anything) question and answer sessions.

*NEW* April 7 - Website Building For Beginners: Boot Camp
Building a website for your business can be a very complicated and frustrating experience if you’ve never attempted it before. There are lots of pitfalls and roadblocks you can avoid by attending this boot camp! Many first time builders have to bear the expense of completely rebuilding their website a second time, after they learn the hard way. In this boot camp, you’ll learn the easy way to do it right the first time and save money!

*NEW* April 7 - Facebook and Instagram Advertising On A Small Budget
Whether you have $0, $50, or $100 a month to spend on Facebook and Instagram, you can still reach your target customers and clients. Discover some creative ways to do so in this beginner-level webinar.

*NEW* April 8 - Local SEO and Google My Business Workshop
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) does not need to be an overwhelming topic. There are so many little things that you can do today, for free, to improve your Google search ranking. In this workshop we will focus on these small action items that will get you the biggest results. We will talk about SEO from a local perspective and share ways to optimize your website and Google My Business listing so that more people can find you online.

*NEW* April 8 - Web Presence 101: Ensuring Your Foundation Is Set
Your customers are on the web. Having a website and online presence strategy allows you to market your small business online. Your website is the backbone of your business, supporting all of your digital marketing efforts. In this workshop we’ll discuss the importance of a website for your business success and what you need to know about getting started with a professional website for your business.

*NEW* April 16 - Facebook and Instagram for Business Workshop
In this workshop we look at two of the most popular social media platforms and provide key strategies for marketing your business on Facebook and Instagram. Starting from identifying your audience profiles, setting up and maximizing your page, to developing content and strategies for engaging and growing your audience. Plus we will take an in-depth look at boosting your posts for even more reach. this workshop is presented by Ben Frisch, your Digital Service Squad Representative.

*NEW* April 22 - Small Business Websites 101
You don't need a big budget to get noticed on the web - you just need creativity! Savvy businesses are using bootstrap digital marketing techniques to amplify their message online. In this hands-on workshop, you'll learn the tricks and tools needed to market your business effectively on a shoestring budget.

*NEW* April 23 - SEO Fundamentals
You have a website, but how do customers find it? You need to drive traffic to your website by making sure your business shows up on Google when customers search. This beginner workshop will teach you how to connect your business to customer searches on Google and how to optimize your website and digital presence for Google, without costing you money.

*NEW* May 12 - Key Skills for Effective Boards of Directors
At their best, Boards of Directors help leadership to tackle tomorrow’s challenges, and act as a material positive contributor to organizational success. So what do you do when poor governance practices, lack of commitment, personal agendas, or unawareness of proper processes prevent their primary purpose and become a drag on management’s time?
Stay Informed
If you have found this helpful, please share with your business community to subscribe.
Staying informed is a positive step to keeping our industry strong. Please share these communications with your staff and peers. We encourage you to recommend to your fellow stakeholders to subscribe to the Town of Wasaga Beach's Business newsletter to ensure they receive these updates. We will keep you informed as new and timely information becomes available.

Other Useful Links
**For a full list of available resources, please visit the Town of Wasaga Beach COVID-19 page . Here you will find links to data, resources, courses, business tools, and more.
Economic Development Office

The role of economic development recognizes the importance of all sectors of the local economy and makes efforts to ensure a supportive business environment while promoting the Town of Wasaga Beach as a premier tourist destination.

Note that we have migrated our contact list to Constant Contact so that we may better serve you.
*Disclaimer: The Town of Wasaga Beach is unable to provide any warranty regarding the accuracy or completeness of third-party submissions. Distribution of these items does not imply an endorsement of the views, information or services mentioned.