COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge to our businesses here in Almaguin.  We recognize that as a small business owner in rural Ontario, its nearly impossible to prepare for something like this. The Almaguin Community Economic Development (ACED) is working to find ways to alleviate this pressure from businesses by researching ways to help business owners and operators manage and mitigate these challenges.

We have created a list of Best Practices for your business so you, your staff, and your customers can remain safe and healthy, as well as compiled a list of resources for small business owners in Ontario.

Some municipalities across Almaguin have made the decision to defer tax payments and others have the ability to handle situations on a case-by-case basis if certain businesses or individuals are struggling financially due to COVID-19. Please contact your municipality directly for more information.

If at any time you would like to reach out to a member of our Economic Development Team, our contact information will be listed at the bottom of this page.

Last updated on March 21, 2022

Ontario to Require Proof of Vaccination Update

Effective March 1, 2022 Ontario no longer requires businesses and organizations to check for proof of vaccination. However, individual businesses and organizations may choose to require proof of vaccination upon entry.

Individuals also may be required to show proof of vaccination when travelling within and outside of Canada. Check applicable requirements at destination.

Mask Mandate Update

As of March 21, 2022, you must wear a mask in the following indoor spaces:

  • public transit, including indoor areas and vehicles. This does not include businesses or organizations that provide sightseeing or touring services.
  • health care settings including:
    • hospitals
    • psychiatric facilities
    • doctors’ offices
    • immunization clinics
    • laboratories
    • specimen collection centres
  • home and community care provider locations only if you are an employee or contractor
  • long-term care and retirement homes
  • shelters and other congregate care settings that provide care and services to medically and socially vulnerable individuals

Stay up to date with the most recent press releases from the Provincial and Federal Government:

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Brant health-care investments, lifting of mask mandates – March 9, 2022

Streamed live on March 9, 2022

Previous Updates:

For previous video updates, please visit the Premier of Ontario’s YouTube Channel.

Premier of Ontario’s YouTube Channel

Financial Support for Businesses:

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. For updates on Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response plan in regards to individuals and businesses. For more information visit the Government of Canada’s Support to Businesses webpage. 

The Ontario government has programs and available supports as your business recovers from COVID-19. For more information click the button below. 

Help for businesses in Ontario

Grant Programs

Blue Sky Net

Blue Sky Net coverage Map 

Business Technology Improvement Fund

Blue Sky Net, through BTIF, is committed to helping small-to-medium-sized businesses in the Blue Sky Net region within Northeastern Ontario who are looking to enhance their capacity for business technology and their ability for technology adoption.

The BTIF grant helps to alleviate the costs of implementing innovative technology solutions for your business that will help take you to the next level.

Visit Their Website 

Infrastructure Canada – Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program (GICB)

The Government of Canada announced up to $1.5 billion in federal funding over five years to establish the GICB program. The GICB program support retrofits, repairs or upgrades of existing publicly-accessible community buildings and the construction of new publicly-accessible community buildings that serve underserved and high-needs communities across Canada. Community buildings are non-commercial community-oriented structures and spaces that provide open, available, and accessible community services to the public. Applicants with small and medium retrofit projects to existing community buildings ranging in total eligible cost from $100,000 to $3 million will be accepted on a continuous basis and funded on a rolling intake basis.

Learn More Here

Loan Programs

Farm Credit Canada (FCC)

To ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors can remain focused on business-critical functions rather than worrying about how to access funds to keep operating through this challenging period, effective immediately, FCC has put in place:

  • a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or
  • a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months
  • access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements or universal movable hypothec (Québec only)

If you’d like more information on these options or on how FCC can help improve your financial position, please contact your local office or the Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 for further details.

Program Details

Visit the FCC Website

Benefit Programs

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (TWS)

is a 3-month measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions they need to remit to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This only applies to the federal, provincial, or territorial income tax portion of the remittance.

Learn More

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The CEWS has provided businesses with financial assistance to cover the salaries and wages of employees since March 15, 2020. In addition to a June 2021 extension, changes have been made to the program’s qualifying period, subsidy rates, and top-up percentages.

Learn More

The Government of Ontario is

providing additional support to help improve cash flows for Ontario businesses by providing a six-month interest- and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. This will:

  • support businesses in the immediate term while capacity restrictions are in place
  • provide the flexibility Ontario businesses will need for long-term planning

The six-month period will begin on January 1, 2022 and end on July 1, 2022.

This measure will provide up to $7.5 billion in relief to help approximately 80,000 Ontario businesses. Businesses will have the option to delay their payments for the following provincially administered taxes:

  • Employer Health Tax
  • Beer, Wine & Spirits Taxes
  • Tobacco Tax
  • Insurance Premium Tax
  • Fuel Tax
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement
  • Gas Tax
  • Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts & Benefit Plans
  • Mining Tax
  • Race Tracks Tax

For 21 days, starting at 12:01 am on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, electricity prices will be set 24 hours a day at the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate. The off-peak rate will apply automatically to residential, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility and will benefit customers on both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans. This will provide immediate savings for families, small businesses and farms as all Ontarians work together to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

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