February 8, 2021

Dear Downtown Yonge BIA members,
The staff and board of the Downtown Yonge BIA are engaged and actively working to support the membership during this time, working closely with the City of Toronto, relevant agencies and other BIAs throughout the city to ensure the health and safety of all our community stakeholders.

We believe our primary role during this second lockdown is to ensure the Downtown Yonge community can access accurate, up-to-the-minute information from the appropriate, expert sources. As stewards of the Downtown Yonge neighbourhood, we are focused on making sure our members and stakeholders can navigate the current situation as quickly and effectively as possible.
Below is a round-up of critical links and resources:
New Updates
Ontario extending Stay-at-Home orders for most of the province, with Toronto continuing until February 22, 2021
In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the government is moving to a regional approach and maintaining the shutdown in the majority of the public health regions in Ontario, including the Stay-at-Home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures. When it is safe to do so, the province will gradually transition each region from the shutdown measures to a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (the "Framework").

To support the province's economic recovery, the government has updated the Framework to allow for a safer approach to retail. Limited in-person shopping in Grey-Lockdown zones will be permitted with public health and safety measures, such as limiting capacity to 25 per cent in most retail settings. In addition, public health and safety measures in retail settings will be strengthened for other levels of the Framework. Individuals will also be required to wear a face covering and maintain physical distance when indoors in a business, with limited exceptions. 

For Toronto, Peel and York regions, it is proposed that the Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply until Monday, February 22, 2021. Final decisions will be subject to review of the trends in public health indicators at that time.

In addition, the provincial emergency declared under s 7.0.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA) will be allowed to terminate at the end of February 9, 2021. While the provincewide Stay-at-Home order will cease to apply in some regions as of February 10, 2021, everyone is strongly advised to continue to stay at home, avoid social gatherings, minimize travel between areas with different rules, and limit close contacts to their household. Employers in all industries should continue to make every effort to allow employees to work from home.

Other Updates
Ontario Small Business Support Grant portal now open
The Ontario Small Business Support Grant is intended to help small businesses (including sole proprietorships) in Ontario that are required to close or significantly restrict services under Ontario’s provincewide shutdown effective December 26, 2020.

Eligible businesses can receive between $10,000 and $20,000. Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with funding up to a maximum of $20,000 to help with revenue losses expected as a result of the provincewide shutdown.

Businesses will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for them. For example, some businesses will use the support to pay employee wages, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.

Eligible businesses may include those with less than 100 employees that were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the provincewide shutdown that came into effect at 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020 and have experienced a minimum of a 20 per cent revenue decline when comparing April 2020 to April 2019 monthly revenues.

Note, the application portal will provide alternative revenue decline comparator months for small businesses not in operation in April 2019 or April 2020.

Province increases support to help small businesses pay energy bills
The Ontario Government is providing additional support for small businesses who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. As of January, the credit amounts available through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) have been increased to a maximum of $1,500—and more businesses will be eligible to access funding. Contact Toronto Hydro or your local utility to find out how to apply.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy portal is now live
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

City of Toronto helps small businesses by re-opening CurbTO registration for temporary pick-up zones
The City of Toronto will re-open registration for CurbTO temporary parking pick-up zones to help support main street businesses while Toronto is in the Grey – Lockdown category of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.

Blue signs are put in place to identify the temporary parking locations and City staff are working with Toronto Police Service Parking Enforcement to plan enforcement and help ensure that the designated parking locations are used appropriately.

Downtown Toronto Drop-In Resource- Updated Changes due to COVID-19- December 1, 2020
To keep up with constant changes in the social services sector, we have created a simplified version of the Drop-In Resource that lists the changes in drop-ins around Downtown Yonge during this pandemic. This update includes warming centers, public washrooms and more. We will be updating this list regularly as changes arise. Please click here for the list.
Other Links
Downtown Yonge Resources
Contact details for Yonge Street Neighbourhood Community Police Officers
The contact details for the Yonge Street Neighbourhood Community Officers have changed.

Bring Back Main Street
DYBIA is one of the nationwide members of the Main Street Action Network in the "Bring Back Main Street" campaign that was announced today by the Canadian Urban Institute. The research and advocacy campaign will look at support for businesses as we recover and emerge from the COVID crisis.

How to Report a Crime Infographic
A reminder that community safety is a shared responsibility for all. Without your reporting, the Toronto Police Service do not know what is going on in the community. If you see something, report it. To see the different ways to report a crime, click here for our How to Report a Crime infographic.
Crime Prevention Tips for Businesses
Toronto Police Service 52 Division has offered some tips for businesses that are having to close their physical stores due to COVID-19.

  1. Ensure locks, alarms and CCTV are operational 
  2. Track inventory and update insurance coverage 
  3. When checking your business, do so during the day. 
  4. Display empty cash drawer in window view 
  5. Leave lights on inside and out 
  6. Tell your business neighbours your plan 
  7. Post emergency contact keyholder information inside the store 
  8. Remove high-value items from window view 
  9. Back up all business documentation 
  10. Report suspicious activity by calling non-emergency line (416) 808-2222 

Downtown Yonge BIA Updates
A reminder to Downtown Yonge BIA members that the Community Engagement Team and the Clean Streets Team are off the street until further notice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For any issues or concerns in the public realm, or if you see someone who you believe needs assistance, call 311.

In case of an emergency, call 911.

For the most up-to-date information on the Downtown Yonge BIA, please follow us on social media @DowntownYonge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We encourage members to reach out if they have any questions or concerns.
Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area
T: 416-597-0255