Wasaga Beach Economic Development Newsletter - December 1st, 2020
Information, News & Resources
Economic Development Office
What Is In this Issue?
  • Support Local this Holiday Season
  • Town of Wasaga Beach Website and Business Directory
  • Economic Development Strategy Survey
  • Are You Decorating for the Holidays in Wasaga Beach?
  • Business & Economic News
  • Business Training
  • Links and Resources
Federal COVID-19 information line (1-833-784-4397)
Public Health Ontario (1-866-797-0000)
COVID-19 continues to be a very real challenge in our region and across the province. As such, it is imperative that you follow the advice of public health officials.

Wear your mask when out in public. Wash your hands regularly. Stick to your household as much as possible.

You can learn more on the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit's COVID-10 webpage. Additional resources can be found on the Town's COVID-19 page.
Support Local this Holiday Season
Since the start of the pandemic, many local shops, services and restaurants have struggled. One of the ways that the town has provided support throughout this crisis is through Support Local messaging. As we head into the Holiday season we want reinforce this message with our "Think. Local. First." campaign

Small and mid-sized businesses are the backbone of our community. When we shop local we help support local jobs, community initiatives and more walkable and unique neighbourhoods. So please, when doing your Christmas and Holiday shopping this season, consider supporting your small and mid-sized businesses before you look elsewhere.

Rolling Out Our New Website and Business Directory
The Town of Wasaga Beach is pleased to announce the launch of its new Town Website.

With the new website comes a full directory that provides new features including multiple ways for people to find you (by Company Name, by Keyword, or by Category). As well, You the operator are able to sign into the Operator Portal and customize your listing! This makes it simple to change hours of operation, or indicate that you are offering take-out and delivery options. As well, you can now add images, menus, logos, links. We invite and encourage you to Register or Claim your existing listing.

Email [email protected] to learn how.
Online Survey Supports Town's Economic Development Strategy
The Town of Wasaga Beach is undertaking an Economic Development Strategy with the goal to further strengthen and diversify the local economy. The Strategy will help guide the economic development activities for the Town of Wasaga Beach over the long term.

At this time, we are seeking your input to help us further understand the Wasaga Beach economy, as well as define potential opportunities for growth.

Your views and opinions are important to the Town and will provide us with valuable insight into the Wasaga Beach economy and opportunities for future economic growth.

Are You Decorating for the Holidays in Wasaga Beach?
Are you decorating for the holidays? Let us know to be featured on our self-guided tour! The top three best decorated businesses and homes will win gift cards to local restaurants/or stores. To let us know you would like to be included in the self-guided tour and competition contact Events at:

705-429-3321, ext. 2202

Visit our website for more information.

Business & Economic News
Ontario Launches Workplace Education & Enforcement Campaigns

The Ontario government is launching a series of education and enforcement campaigns to ensure businesses across the province are taking the necessary steps to keep employees, consumers and the public safe. These campaigns will support the current efforts of police, municipal by-law officers, and public health inspectors to educate businesses and enforce the COVID-19 health and safety requirements. Officers will be asking employers to produce their workplace safety plans.

Ontario Supporting Small Businesses with Financial Advice & Training

The Ontario government is investing over $2.2 million through the Ontario Together Fund to provide small businesses with free, tailored financial advice and online training to help them make informed financial decisions and navigate the unprecedented economic circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

RTO 7 Offering PPE Funding

RTO 7 will reimburse a maximum of $1,000 towards the purchase of PPE (defined as PPE, costs incurred to adhere to social distancing, touchless payments, new technology, increased cleaning, sanitization, etc.), retroactive to April 1, 2020. Maximum 150 participants; on a “First Come, First Served” basis until funds are allocated.

Eligible businesses include:

  • Tourism Operators defined as an Operator that has direct access to tourists and relies directly on those tourists for a significant portion of their revenue (i.e. for an estimated 10% of their revenue) currently servicing the tourism consumer within Bruce/Grey/Simcoe OR have served the tourism consumer during 2020 OR be planning to serve the tourism consumer within 45 days of the application date (e.g. a seasonal business, festival or event)

Province Caps Third Party Delivery Fees to Support Local Restaurants

The Ontario government is helping local restaurants by introducing new legislation that would protect them from high delivery fees. The Supporting Local Restaurants Act, 2020, would cap fees charged by food delivery companies in areas where indoor dining is prohibited to help more small and independent restaurants stay in business.

Currently, fees placed on restaurants by food delivery companies can reach as high as 30% in Ontario. After working with the sector, Minister Sarkaria said restaurants should expect a cap of 15% for delivery fees, similar to what has been put in place in New York City, with an overall cap of 20% inclusive of all fees. This approach aims to ensure that delivery drivers' pay would be protected and delivery apps would not reduce service areas or restaurant selection.

Safe Travels Stamp Administered By TIAO

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) has been chosen by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to administer the Safe Travels Stamp in Canada. The Safe Travels Stamp is an international symbol designed to allow travelers to recognize governments and companies around the world, which have adopted health and hygiene, standardized protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

FREE TIAO Membership

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) has launched a 2020 free membership initiative to individuals and businesses in the tourism industry. With this TIAO will continue to advocate on your behalf, and provide an even more inclusive message as they represent your voice to the provincial government.

If you haven't taken advantage of this offer, reach out to TIAO directly at [email protected]. They will set up your membership and provide you additional information, including the option to choose between:

  • FREE Membership within TIAO for a period of one year from date of signing.
  • Or to become a Green shoots sponsor - this is for those new members that can afford to pay their membership. TIAO will recognize the value of this membership through sponsorship (Green shoots sponsor) and use this value of this membership to continue the research and vital actions to rebuild and represent the industry’s voice to government in Ontario.

Ontario Parks: New Product to Support Ontario’s Tourism Sector
Ontario Parks has designed the Commercial Day-use Vehicle Permit 2021 with accommodators in mind. This new product will provide a “simple, effective and affordable option for tourism operators to add value to their guests’ experience by packaging and promoting day-use visits to local provincial parks as part of their promotional offers”. The pass provides unlimited day-use access to all provincial parks where payment is normally required. The permit is now available for purchase online at the Ontario Parks store or at your local provincial park for $225 +HST. This price is the cost of approximately 12 visits to a provincial park and the permit will be valid for the entire calendar year for unlimited use. This means the pass is valid from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021. For more information and to purchase a pass, visit the Ontario Parks Store.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

The Government is taking targeted action to support Canadians and Canadian businesses, non-profits and charities that continue to face uncertainty and economic challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of today, qualifying organizations can apply directly for the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This means qualifying organizations can apply for the subsidy without the need to claim the assistance through their landlords.

Applications Now Open for the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

Funding Available Through the Community Futures Development Corporation

Applications are now open for additional financial support through the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). The RRRF, administered locally by Collingwood’s Centre For Business, 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 Centre For Business is here to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 that have been unable to access other federal support.

Funding Available Through FedDev Ontario
Businesses that need a loan of $40,000 or more and meet the eligibility criteria, can apply to FedDev Ontario for direct funding.

In addition, Not-For-Profit organizations that do not have a revenue stream, should check their eligibility for a non-repayable loan by contacting FedDev Ontario directly.

Relief for Businesses

For a list of relief resources for businesses check out our Wasaga Open for Business Portal.
Business Training
*NEW* December 2 - Branding Best Practices
South Georgian Bay Digital Service Squad - "Branding is more than just a logo. Your brand is a symbol of your company’s identity, it creates a first impression of your company and expresses your value all in one. Your branding should say a lot about you: Who you are, what you do, and why you do it. The trick is, how do you create a strong brand that says all that, connects with your target audience, and creates a lasting impression? In this webinar we will answer those questions and more, giving you a toolkit of branding best practices that create a strong foundation for success."

*NEW* December 9 - Buzzworthy Content Creation for Social Media
South Georgian Bay Digital Service Squad - "What does it take to create posts that attract attention, inspire sharing, and get people talking? Creating buzzworthy content requires some outside of the box thinking and creativity but there are lots of ways to hone in on that great idea that could go viral. In this webinar we will look at a variety of ways to get you in that headspace to be bold with your content creation for maximum impact."

*NEW* December 9 - Scaling Your Tech & Consulting Business Through the 2nd Wave
Sandbox Centre - "During this unprecedented time, it becomes extremely important to assess your business preparedness to resist external threats and find solutions to the most pressing growth challenges facing leaders today."

*NEW* December 10 - Scaling Up | Growing Your Business Through the Crisis
Sandbox Centre - "Despite the challenging time, for fast growing companies, it always stays important to answer the question 'How do we scale up the business and survive the process?'"

*NEW* December 16 - Social Media Legwork
South Georgian Bay Digital Service Squad - "Content creation is only half the battle when it comes to effective social media marketing. Now it’s time for the heavy lifting. In this second webinar on social media and a follow up to Buzzworthy Content Creation, we look at what to do once your content has been created. Where to post it, how and when to post it are all questions we will answer plus ways to extend your reach and foster engagement to get the most out of every post."

*NEW* December 21 - Introduction to Canva: Graphic Design on a Budget
South Georgian Bay Digital Service Squad - "Canva is an online image editing software that enables you to create marketing imagery, business card layouts, logos and any other graphic design you may need to market your brand. Think of it as a limited but very intuitive version of photoshop, with an easy to use drag and drop system. Join us as we show you the basics of the free version, as well as monthly subscription options containing more advanced templates, stock images and team collaboration options."

*NEW* December 28 - Product Photography: Tips for E-commerce
South Georgian Bay Digital Service Squad - "Your marketing is a direct reflection of your product - if your product imagery is... questionable, that's what potential buyers see when they view your products online! Join us as we teach you how to take great photos of your products using just your phone, with tips about how to light the subject, what settings you need to use, how to crop out backgrounds, and file sizes for your website."

Digital Marketing ROI

In case you missed it...

Be sure to check out this webinar from South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Center on Digital Marketing and how to get a return on your investment.
This webinar empowered attendees with effective strategies for building campaigns that will bring results.
Check it out!
Links and Resources
*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.