Volume 2 | March 24, 2020
Economic Development Office
COVID-19 News & Resources
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
Government of Canada
Local Business Surveys
Simcoe County Business Impact Survey
Thank you for those who had participated in last week's survey from the Tourist Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).

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.

Your input is valuable and will help guide us during this challenging time. In a few months we may repeat this survey to gain an understanding of the changing conditions and business needs.

Please note, that if you receive this survey from another economic development organization, we ask that you only complete the survey once. This survey is being shared across the entire Simcoe County region.

If you have any questions about the survey, please feel free to email [email protected].
Important Notices
Government of Canada's coronavirus information line (1-833-784-4397)
Public Health Ontario (1-866-797-0000)
Businesses - The Government of Ontario Needs Your Help

The Government of Ontario has released a new website to help businesses work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. Any business that could produce - or reconfigure to produce - essential equipment, from ventilators and masks to swabs and eye-protection, is encouraged to visit the Ontario Together web page.
Manufacturers - The Government of Canada Needs Your Help

If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed.

If you can say yes to the following, we want to hear from you.

  • You manufacture in Canada and/or have ready access to necessary inputs through your supply chain.
  • You have equipment or facilities that can be rapidly re-tooled to meet medical needs, including for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies.
  • You have skilled workers who are able to respond and who could be available for work in the current circumstances.

The  Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19  directly supports businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19.

The National Research Council's  Industrial Research Assistance Program  will build on its existing relationships with thousands of Canada's most innovative small and medium-sized businesses to pose challenges to the marketplace for innovative solutions to fight COVID-19. The most promising solutions will be selected for procurement, working with  Innovative Solutions Canada .

We are stronger when we work together. Thank you for your commitment to the health of Canada and Canadians. Please send a short summary of your offer to   [email protected] .
Business News
Federal Announcements
Provincial Announcements
Ontario Suspends Deadline Limitation Periods Until Further Notice

Provincial Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act suspends limitation periods and procedural time periods from any provincial legislation (i.e., statute, rule, regulation or by-law).

Impending time periods issued under the Planning Act, Building Code Act, et.al. are suspended retroactive to March 16, 2020.
Support for Businesses

Economic Statement

The Government of Ontario plans to announce business supports in the upcoming spring economic update on March 25, 2020.

Emergency Care Benefit

The government is introducing an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks to provide income support to workers including the self-employed who are: 

  • Quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • Taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19 but do not quality for EI sickness benefits.
  • Parents with children who require supervision due to school closures and are unable to earn employment income, regardless of if they qualify for EI or not.

Application for the Benefit starts in April. You can apply from one of the three channels below: 

Canadians will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. More details will be announced by the government on how to attest.

For more information, Click Here .

Tax Filing: Deadline Extensions and Deferrals

  • Individuals have until June 1, 2020, to submit their income tax return.
  • For trusts (having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019), tax filing is deferred until May 1, 2020.
  • Individuals and businesses will be able to defer their income tax payment (for taxes owe between March 18, 2020 and September 2020) until after August 31, 2020. 

On March 20, 2020 the Canadian Revenue Agency has updated messaging on the payment deadlines for  individuals  and  b usinesses , and has extended the deadline for  charities . The Agency has also published two pages with updates on its programs and services: Call centres and Charities .


You may be entitled to business interruption insurance payments. Call your provider to confirm your entitlement.

Wage Subsidies

Temporary wage subsidy for employers  – The Government announced a temporary wage subsidy for employers for a period of three months
New pages - The Agency has published two pages with updates on its programs and services:

Other Canada Revenue Agency Measures

  • Introducing an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through CRA to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment. More details will be announced by the government.
  • Boosting Canada Child Benefit payments by 300$ per child
  • CRA will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act as a temporary administrative measure.
  • Audits: No more post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks.
  • Collections: More leniency when speaking to your collections officer. 
  • The Liaison Officer Service will be available over the phone (details to be announced). Liaison officers can help small business owners understand their tax requirements. Request a Liaison Officer here.

Direct Labour Subsidies

The federal government will provide eligible small businesses with a 10% wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. 

Employers benefiting from this measure would include corporations eligible for the small business deduction as well as not-for-profit organisations and charities. You will be able to reduce your remittances of income tax withheld on your employees’ remuneration, and you will be able to keep a portion of your employees’ income tax instead of giving it all to CRA. More information to come on how to apply.

Business Credit Availability Program

On March 13, 2020, the Government announced the establishment of a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty. The BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions.

Through this program, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide more than $10 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support at market rates to businesses with viable business models whose access to financing would otherwise be restricted. By working in close cooperation with financial institutions, this program will fill gaps in market access and leverage additional lending by private sector institutions.

Businesses seeking support through BCAP should contact the financial institutions with whom they have a pre-existing relationship, so that the financial institutions may assess the client’s financial request. If the needs of the client exceed the level of support the financial institution is able to provide, the financial institution will work alongside BDC or EDC to access additional resources the Government has made available under BCAP.

For more information visit  BDC  and  EDC. Your bank/credit union might also have solutions more targeted to your needs. 
Support For Employees

Temporary Lay-Offs

If you need to lay off employees temporarily, there is no requirement to give or pay notice since the employee is not being terminated.

In Ontario, employers have the option to temporarily lay off employees for up to 13 weeks. After 13 weeks, the lay off becomes permanent and severance pay rules will apply.

Ontario has extended job-protection for employees unable to work because:

  • The employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19.
  • The employee is acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
  • The employee is in isolation or quarantine.
  • The employee is acting in accordance with public health information or direction.
  • The employer directs the employee not to work.
  • The employee needs to provide care to a person for a reason related to COVID-19 such as a school or day-care closure.

The protections are retroactive to January 25, 2020.

Ontario employers are also restricted from asking for doctor’s notes for COVID-19 related leaves, including quarantine, self-isolation or childcare responsibilities due to COVID-19 related school and daycare closures.

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits

  • The one-week waiting period is waived for 6 months for workers in imposed quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate. Application may still take several weeks.
  • There is no need for a medical certificate to apply.

Note: This may take up to a month for your employee to receive their first EI payment due to the backlog. Ensure that your do not use the ROE code K for other as it will pull it out of automatic processing.

For more information, Click Here .
Bank of Canada Asks Retailers to Continue Accepting Cash

During this time of heightened public health measures intended to limit the transmission of COVID-19, some consumers and businesses are choosing not to use cash to limit potential exposure. Refusing cash could put an undue burden on people who depend on cash as a means of payment. The Bank strongly advocates that retailers continue to accept cash to ensure Canadians can have access to the goods and services they need.

The risks posed from handling Canadian bank notes are no greater than those posed by touching other common surfaces such as doorknobs, kitchen counters and handrails. Canadians handling cash should follow the  public health guidelines on COVID-19  and wash their hands as they would do for other activities.

The Bank is working with financial institutions to ensure that there is no disruption to the cash supply during this exceptional time so Canadians can continue to have access to cash when they need it.
Banks Provide Financial Relief for Canadians
Banks have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis. They would provide:

  • Up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages
  • Opportunity for relief on other credit products 

For all the details, read the federal government’s   full program .  
Ontario Declares State of Emergency

The Government declared a State of Emergency on March 17. As a result, the following businesses are required to close effective immediately.

  • All facilities providing indoor recreational programs (includes gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios)
  • 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
Business Training
How to Use Zoom Meetings
If you’re looking for a new way to connect and host meetings online during these challenging times, Zoom can help. We all need to make adjustments and find new ways to co-work and collaborate with our teams. This free video conferencing app allows you to bring your team together virtually. Brian Hunt walks you through the steps required to download Zoom, get it up and running and set up your first calls.
Connecting with Customers Online
In these challenging times, you’re probably looking for ways to easily connect with your customers online. Whether you’re looking to let them know the status of your business or wanting to share the takeout special you’re still able to offer, Brian Hunt gives us some tips about how to easily post online videos via your mobile phone. Now is a great time to keep those lines of communications open and let consumers know what you’re dealing with.
For more video tutorials visit RTO7 Connection on YouTube
​March 24 - Cash Flow Management Strategies for Small Business 
​One of the biggest challenges business owners will face in this difficult time is Cash Flow Management. Learn proven cash management strategies ​and techniques ​including: 
• How to understand the sales cycle
• The main causes of cash flow problems
• Cash flow management tips that you can apply to your business
• Strategies to keep cash flowing in your business
• The importance of developing a cash flow forecast and,
• Simple suggestions to ease cash crunches and improve your daily cash flow

​*NEW* March 24 - Employment Law Considerations & COVID-19 
Sandbox  and  Barrie Chamber of Commerce , in sponsorship with  Barriston Law , invite you to join Barriston lawyers and Janice Leroux of  HR Performance & Results Inc.  on Tuesday March 24th for a FREE PART TWO webinar discussion surrounding employment law issues relative to COVID-19. Namely, the Ford job protection legislation, EI claims, and stimulus packages being released by the Federal Government. 

​*NEW* March 25 - How To Cope With the Impacts of COVID-19 On Your Business 
The spread of COVID-19 poses important challenges to Canadian businesses. With the situation constantly evolving, you need to be prepared for any disruptions. Join BDC experts as they share short-term economic perspectives and advice on how to manage through the crisis

March 25 - Social Media for Small Business Workshop
There's no denying that social media has had a dramatic impact on the way we experience the world around us. We, as business owners cannot afford to ignore the significant marketing opportunity it has presented.Learn the basics of how important social media is, what platforms to use, how to get started- and leverage your social media presence into real engagement (and sales!) for your business.  

*NEW* March 26 - Virtual Learning Series Part 1: Social Media
To support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Small Business Centre and our Digital Main Street Digital Service Squad present a three-part webinar learning series designed to empower businesses to use digital tools to their advantage during this time.

*NEW* March 26 - Minister of Finance Economic Update
On Wednesday, March 25, 2020 Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance will release an economic and fiscal update based on the government's best understanding of the current situation. This update will include a realistic one-year outlook based on current economic projections. It is intended to provide certainty to hospitals, schools, municipalities, and other partners for the year to come. Their approach will include increased resources for our healthcare system, direct support for people, and action to protect jobs and our economy.

*NEW* March 27 - COVID-19: Understanding Government Supports for Canadian Businesses
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a rapidly evolving global challenge. In addition to the health risks posed to Canadians by COVID-19, businesses operations and supply chains are particularly vulnerable as the disease spreads across borders. In response to COVID-19, federal, provincial and municipal government departments and agencies have launched a series funding programs, supports, resources and other announcements meant to assist Canadian businesses and their employees during this difficult time.

*NEW* March 30 - Business Photography: Create Better Images for Social Media
During this online workshop, we will give tips and tricks for taking amazing photos with the camera you already have. We will also share some free tools and tutorials on how to edit those photos to have the best impact on social media. Plus we will also share some strategies for posting , from what to where, and how to use hashtags and other tricks to get the most engagement. This workshop is in collaboration with professional photographers Sophia Lemon and Candra Schank and Ben Frisch, your Digital Service Squad Representative. 
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 see the "Corona Virus Crisis Management Resources" document our the Town's 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.