Support for Local Businesses

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The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake recognizes the challenges local businesses are facing as a result of COVID-19. The Town remains committed to working with different agencies and levels of government, to advocate for support for businesses to help overcome these challenges and recover from this pandemic.

Ways the Town has supported businesses so far:

Business Owners and Operators: Please see the list of programs below, along with some helpful links in the column to the right for available support.

  • Canada Recovery Benefit - Income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. If eligible, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy - 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.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - 75% of employee wages
  • Canada Emergency Business Account - Interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits impacted by COVID-19 (increased from $40,000). Applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion. All applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.
  • Ontario Small Business Support Grant - Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant provides businesses with funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown.
  • COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) - CEAP is a one time, on-bill credit for eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers - delivered directly by Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro and Enbridge Gas, further to rules laid out by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) - to help customers catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. A maximum credit of $750 is available. See application for eligibility and credit details.
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake recognizes the challenges local businesses are facing as a result of COVID-19. The Town remains committed to working with different agencies and levels of government, to advocate for support for businesses to help overcome these challenges and recover from this pandemic.

Ways the Town has supported businesses so far:

Business Owners and Operators: Please see the list of programs below, along with some helpful links in the column to the right for available support.

  • Canada Recovery Benefit - Income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. If eligible, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy - 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.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - 75% of employee wages
  • Canada Emergency Business Account - Interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits impacted by COVID-19 (increased from $40,000). Applicants who have received the $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for the $20,000 expansion. All applicants have until March 31, 2021, to apply for $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.
  • Ontario Small Business Support Grant - Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant provides businesses with funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown.
  • COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) - CEAP is a one time, on-bill credit for eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers - delivered directly by Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro and Enbridge Gas, further to rules laid out by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) - to help customers catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. A maximum credit of $750 is available. See application for eligibility and credit details.
  • 20 Ways to Support Local Businesses

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    03 Jun 2020
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    1. Write a positive online review

    This is a good time to finally get around to reviewing your favourite local business on Facebook, Google, Trip Advisor, etc. Good reviews can give businesses a big credibility boost and are an easy, free way to show your favourite small businesses that you support them.

    2. Pre-pay for future appointments

    If you have the means to do so, offer to pre-pay for future appointments with your regular service providers. While social distancing prevents you from going to get your hair coloured, attending music lessons, and so on, pre-paying for your next appointment can be a big help to small businesses during this time.

    3. Skip the refund and take a rain cheque!

    If you paid in advance for an event, a class, or a service, consider taking credit for the future instead of asking for a refund. These businesses will appreciate not needing to issue so many refunds right now.

    4. Show gratitude

    Keep morale up by thanking grocery, pharmacy or healthcare workers and truck drivers (to name a few) to let them know that you appreciate their hard work. Thank a local business or a front line worker to show your gratitude.

    5. Purchase a gift card to use later

    When business in Niagara-on-the-Lake is operating normally again, you’ll be back to visit your favourite restaurants, shops, and other local businesses. Purchasing gift cards online or by phone for future use is a great way to help out now. Contact a local business and inquire about the options they have available.

    6. Subscribe to a local business' e-newsletter

    Receiving e-newsletters from local businesses is a great way to stay up-to-date on their offers, products, knowledge, and more.

    7. Shop locally online

    Local shops and vendors may have closed their (physical) doors, but many still run online shops. Look for them on social media or check the business's website for links to their online marketplace.

    8. Order local food for delivery or takeout

    Many restaurants are now offering takeout even as they close their dining rooms. Support these local eateries by getting your food or drinks to-go and enjoying it at home.

    9. Reach out to a small business owner

    Take a moment to reach out to a small business owner and check in to see what you can do to support them – let’s take care of each other.

    10. Post your favourite local product

    Take a photo of your favourite product to purchase locally and post it to your social media accounts.

    11. Participate in a virtual class

    People who work in training or professional development are finding creative ways to move their instruction online. Attend an online fitness class, paint night, or concert with a local business.

    12. Outfit your new workspace

    Working from home? Have supplies delivered to your doorstep – support a local business while making your new workspace more functional.

    13. Shop over the phone

    Many businesses are accepting orders and payment over the telephone, so pick up the phone and make an inquiry to your favourite local retailer, restaurant, and service providers! Some are even offering delivery or front door pick up.

    14. Tag a friend in a post from your favourite local business

    This will help local businesses to reach future customers and gain more exposure.

    15. Plan a future outing

    Create a list of places and businesses you'd like to visit in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Share your list online and make plans to go with friends when it is safe to do so!

    16. Don't cancel

    If you have the means to do so, keep paying your memberships and subscriptions even if they’ve been temporarily suspended. Our local businesses need us more than ever!

    17. Commit to future work

    While you may not be able to start that home renovation project right now, your contractor will appreciate you committing to future projects. Lake of Bays is home to many quality builders and experienced crews.

    18. Share a post from your favourite local business

    Help your favourite businesses reach a broader audience by liking and sharing their information on social media.

    19. Add photos to a Google business listing

    According to Google, businesses with photos receive 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don't have photos. Share your experiences by adding your favourite photos of local businesses and products to help drive traffic to their websites.

    20. Donate to local non-profits

    Donate online or by telephone - they need us now more than ever.