The Listowel BIA
COVID-19 Updates and the Listowel BIA

Please see updates since our last newsletter. There are a lot of updates since last week so this is a longer newsletter. In addition to government updates there is information on health, safety and wellness, the Teddy Bear Play Day, the next call with Mayor Todd and more. Past newsletters for COVID-19 can be found on our website at We continue to be available to you at or 519-444-8233. If you have any questions, concerns or are experiencing challenges during this time, please reach out to us.
Provincial Government Updates

  • Yesterday, the Premier announced the opening of more businesses including retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers, provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve. The announcements for reopening include the following:
  • Effective on Saturday, May 16, 2020:
  • Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
  • Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
  • Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
  • Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.
  • The first stage of Ontario’s Framework for Reopening our Province will begin on Tuesday May 19 and will include the businesses below. For a full list of businesses, please see Detailed List of Stage 1 Openings.
  • Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store and booking appointments
  • Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
  • Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
  • Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
  • Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
  • Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children's Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person.
  • The government and health and safety associations have released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. The Ministry of Health has also released a Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces.
  • The Ontario government has launched a website, the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory, to provide businesses with a list of Ontario companies and business associations that are ready to supply PPE to businesses.
  • For questions about what businesses will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when certain public health restrictions, including adjustments to social gatherings can be gradually loosened or if they need to be tightened
  • On May 13, the Ontario government announced that the Declaration of Emergency will be extended until June 2, 2020. This additional time will ensure that the province has the necessary tools and health care capacity to contain COVID-19 while gradually reopening businesses, services, and amenities safely.
  • The COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020 was passed in the House. This Act will help people conduct business while practicing physical distancing by:
  • Enabling corporations to call and hold meetings virtually, as applicable, and extending the time period in which annual meetings must be held in specific circumstances;
  • Allowing designations of a beneficiary to be provided electronically for Retirement Savings Plans, Retirement Income Funds, Locked-in Retirement Accounts, Life Income Funds and Tax-Free Savings Accounts;
  • Allowing electronic filing of business registration documents, and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of business registration documents and e-signatures;
  • Allowing for regulations to set out the parameters for remotely commissioning or notarizing a document;
  • Providing authority to address in-person attendance rules for school board trustees' meetings in regulation. This would provide the flexibility in certain emergency situations to allow trustees to meet virtually during school closures;
  • Extending, on a one-time basis for 2020, the legislated four-year period during which a Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) election is mandated to be held to give more time to support remote voting.
  • On Friday, the Ontario government announced that, together with the federal government, they are investing $2.25 million in provincially licensed meat processing plants to better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy products for consumers during COVID-19. Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program will provide funding to implement COVID-19 health and safety measures in provincially licensed meat plants, including purchasing additional personal protective equipment, redesigning workstations, supporting employees who require mandatory isolation, and work-site mobility and transportation. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) began accepting applications on May 12, 2020 and will expedite the approval process to get the necessary support to the agri-food sector faster. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available. More information about this program can be found HERE.
  • A reminder that many retail businesses began to open for curb side pick up as of May 11th. As announced last week, garden centres and nurseries re-opened May 8 and hardware stores and safety supply stores opened May 9.

Federal Government Updates

  • Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s announcement focused on new measures to support Canada’s fish harvesters, who are economically impacted by the pandemic but cannot access existing federal measures. More information can be found in today’s news release.
  • On May 13, the Prime Minister announced funding to help support small and medium-sized businesses that do not qualify for, or have been declined for, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief funding. The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) will be delivered by Canada’s six regional development agencies. In southern Ontario, $252.4 million is available, which is comprised of $213 million for small and medium-sized businesses facing financial pressure; and $39.4 million to provide rural businesses with access to capital and business support. See below for additional details.
  • On Friday, May 8, the Prime Minister announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended past the current end date of June 6, 2020. A new end date for the CEWS has not yet been announced, but we will provide more information as soon as it becomes available.
  • The application portal for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program has not yet opened. Please visit the Canada Housing & Mortgage Corporation site for more information.
  • Statistics Canada reported that the unemployment rate in Canada increased to 13.0%, which is a 5.2% increase in the national unemployment rate in a single month.
  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the new Industry Strategy Council. This council will serve as an advisory board to assess COVID-19’s impact on industries and inform government’s understanding of how the pandemic is impacting specific sectors.
  • The Prime Minister announced that the federal government has confirmed, or is in the process of confirming, with the provinces and territories plans to cost share wage top-ups for their essential workers. The Government of Canada will provide up to $3 billion in support to increase the wages of low-income essential workers. Each province or territory will determine which workers would be eligible for support, and how much support they will receive.
  • The federal government announced the establishment of a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during COVID-19 are not being met through conventional financing methods, in order to keep their operations going. LEEFF will be delivered by the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Department of Finance. The LEEFF program will be open to large for-profit businesses – with the exception of those in the financial sector – as well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher. To qualify for LEEFF support, eligible businesses must be seeking financing of about $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings.
  • The Prime Minister announced the expansion of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to mid-sized companies with larger financial needs. This support includes loans up to $60 million per company and guarantees of up to $80 million. Through the BCAP, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with private sector lenders to support access to capital for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.
North Perth Teddy Bear Play Day Goes Virtual!

North Perth has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s 18 th Annual Teddy Bear Play Day event. This event is a popular Community Event so they are planning a “Virtual Teddy Bear Event” starting June 1 st ! North Perth is seeking local businesses, community groups and volunteers to take a picture of a Teddy Bear with your logo, business card, staff, or volunteers supporting “North Perth’s 2020 Virtual Teddy Bear Play Event” for their “Event Page” on Facebook. More details on how you can supprot this event are on the poster. Thanks for your Support to North Perth. 
Business and Agriculture Community Teleconferences

Mayor Todd Kasenberg, CAO Kriss Snell and Community Development Coordinator Kim Kowch are holding Business and Agriculture Community Teleconferences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Business owners and those in the Agriculture sector are encouraged to participate using the call # and participant code below.

Business Community Teleconference - Wednesday, May 20th at 8:45 a.m.
Agriculture Community Teleconference - Wednesday, May 20th at 10:00 a.m.

Call 519-418-6338 OR (toll-free) 1-855-727-6338, and when asked for a meeting code, enter 4593285.
Retail Council Of Canada Assistance

To assist retailers in their reopening planning, Retail Council of Canada, in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group and retailers from across Canada, are leveraging global best practices for a diverse range of retail formats with the fundamental aim of ensuring a safe environment for employees and customers. Go HERE to access their recovery playbook and resources.
COVID-19 Public Health and Wellness Resources

Huron Perth Public Heath - Visited their website HERE to see resources available during this time.

Ontario Ministry of Health - Visit there website HERE. S ector specific guidance documents are available HERE.

Public Health Agency of Canada website has resources and information available to you and can be found HERE.

Here4HealthCare - This is a new service to reach front line healthcare workers and provide them with the support they may need. Services include access to psychiatry, crisis services and counselling/support options. There is also a web page with online resources and tools, as well as a web enabled referral form for health care workers to connect directly which can be found HERE.

COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund - United Way Centraide Canada (UWCC) is working in partnership with local United Ways and Centraides (UWCs) to support services related to the COVID-19 pandemic for vulnerable and isolated seniors in all parts of Canada including rural, urban, northern, and remote communities. Funding through Employment & Social Development Canada (ESDC)’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) will increase the capacity to meet the urgent needs arising across the country. The NHSP will provide funds through United Ways’ Covid-19 Senior’s Response Fund that will help improve the well-being of seniors and foster their social inclusion. Applications and eligibility information was available starting last week and be accessed HERE.

211 Ontario' COVID-19 Pandemic Response - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and new community needs, 211 Ontario will be creating an inventory of essential services that are being safely offered and/or put in place as a result of the current crisis to support 211 navigation. The list will focus on the inclusion of basic needs, priorities and COVID19 related community supports. If you or your agency are providing a new or adapted service, or if you need to update/add information on your organization please provide 211 Ontario with updates on the services HERE.

Wilfred Laurier Webinar on Understanding and Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Workers During and After the COVID-19 Crisis. This is being presented by Dr. Simon Coulombe from Wilfred Laurier University on Tuesday, May 19 from 2 to 3 pm. Here is the synopsis: The COVID-19 crisis is unique and unprecedented. Over the course of only a few weeks, Canadians were asked to profoundly modify their ways of working and living for an unlimited amount of time for the benefits of the health of our society as a whole. This has enormous impacts for the professional projects, daily activities and financial situation of entrepreneurs and employees. How do the crisis and its social and financial consequences impact the mental health and psychological wellbeing of workers? To address that question, Dr. Coulombe will present results from an ongoing study (co-led with his graduate student, Tyler Pacheco) assessing the mental health and wellbeing of more than 1000 workers from across the country through the different stages of the pandemic. Dr. Coulombe will then present evidence-based self-care and management practices that employees, managers and organizations can implement in order to promote the mental health of workers during and after the crisis. To register, go HERE
RRRF and Navigating Government Support Programs

Applications are now open for the new Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). The RRRF provides financial contributions (interest-free loans) of up to $40,000 to help support fixed operating costs and working capital needs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RRRF fund is intended to support businesses who have attempted to access other federal relief supports and were ineligible, rejected, or require funding for expenses that have not been supported, with priority given to applicants who were ineligible or rejected from other federal relief supports.

Details of the program are as follows:
  • Maximum assistance under RRRF offered through the Community Futures program is $40,000
  • 0% interest rate and no principal payments until December 31, 2022.
  • Principal repayments can be voluntarily made at any time.
  • 25% (not to exceed $10,000) of any loan can be forgiven provided the recipient has paid 75% of the original loan amount prior to December 31, 2022.
  • If the recipient is unable to repay the loan by December 31, 2022, the loan will be converted to a three-year term loan with interest rates up to 5%, effective January 1, 2023. The full balance must be repaid no later than December 31, 2025.
  • Established prior to March 1, 2020
  • Impacted adversely due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Viable and not experiencing liquidity or other financial difficulties prior to March 1, 2020
  • Have attempted to access other federal relief supports and were ineligible, rejected, or require funding for expenses in excess of support already received with priority given to applicants who were ineligible or rejected from other federal and relief supports
  • Have not or will not apply or accept other Government of Canada equivalent support
For more information about the program, please see the  program guidelines  and the  frequently asked questions .

Community Futures Development Corporations across southern Ontario are here to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 that have been unable to access other federal support. The intake process is now open on the Perth Community Futures Development Corporation website for the RRRF. To apply, go HERE and follow the directions for the application.
In addition, Perth Community Futures Development Corporation (PCFDC) is available to assist with providing support and information on all government funding available as well as going through cash flow, etc. You can reach Alex at PCFDC at:

Alex Toll
Lender, Business Analyst
Perth Community Futures Development Corporation
The Stratford Perth Centre for Business

The Stratford Perth Centre for Business has launched “The Digital Accelerator” which will deliver 30 grants totaling $45,000 to local entrepreneurs within Stratford and Perth County. The new program will help small businesses create a digital revenue stream that will allow them to navigate the new reality of doing business. The media release with full details can be found HERE  

Open For Business Signs


Roger from PennySaver Signs has developed these amazing signs for our businesses. He has donated them to any business in North Perth who would like to display them. If you would like a sign, please contact me at

Check out the latest Perth County Economic Development & Tourism Newsletter!

Check out the latest Perth County Economic Development & Tourism Newsletter Pivot Edition! The newsletter is focused on COVID-19 business support, good news stories and best practices and can be found HERE.

Emergency Pet Food Bank

The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and Huron Perth is providing assistance to pet owners during COVID-19. If you know of someone who needs assistance, they can contact the Humane Society directly for help.
You can reach Lisa Schaefer, Coordinator, by email at or by phone at 519-444-8233.
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