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 October 14, 2020.

Stage 3 Reopening
Guide to Reopening

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

Trudeau announces new business rent relief amid swelling COVID-19 caseload

Posted October 9th, 2020

Government of Canada Announcement

  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy – commercial rent and mortgage payments – provides support to businesses directly, not landlords. For businesses that have seen a decrease in income can support up to 65% of eligible expenses, and up to 90% for businesses forced to close 
  • Canada Recovery Benefit – replacing CERB 
  • Extending Wage Subsidy at a rate of up to 65% of eligible wages to Dec
  • Expanding Canada Emergency Business Account for businesses with an additional $10,000 forgivable loan

Previous Updates:

Confirmed 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. 

CERB- Extra 8 weeks available – CERB extended from 16 weeks to 24 weeks for workers who:

  • stopped working due to COVID-19 or
  • are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or
  • have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.

Visit The Government of Canada’s Website 

Apply Here

The 10% 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.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is a separate program that provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers. If eligible, you may be able to receive both the TWS and the CEWS.

Visit The Government of Canada’s Website

These new measures aim to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on business activity and complement services offered by other financial institutions, with whom BDC will continue working. For BDC, eligible businesses needed to be financially viable entities prior to the impact of the coronavirus.

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible repayment terms such as principal postponements for qualifying businesses;
  • Flexible repayment terms, such as postponement of principal payments for up to 6 months, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less;
  • Reduced rates on new eligible loans;
  • Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support, to be announced in the coming days.

Visit BDC Website

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. Visit the FCC Website

For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID-19’s impact, the Government is implementing the EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours as a result of developments beyond the control of their employees, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76, easing eligibility requirements, an streamlining the application process.

For more information please visit The Government of Canada Website 

Click here to apply

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website for more information

Maximum of $50,000 accommodating interest schedule. Call for more information: 1-888-476-8822 / 705-476-8822 or Visit Their Website

The CEBA offers interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. The program will now be available to businesses with sole proprietors, those that rely on contractors, and family-owned businesses that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll.

Visit the website

Canada Emergency Rent Assistance Program – Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID‑19. Visit Their Website

Canada Emergency Student Benefit – The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19. 

Visit their Website

FedNor is delivering $24 million of this RRRF investment through its Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program. Eligible applicants include businesses such as incorporated companies, corporations or co-operatives, or Indigenous organizations such as Indigenous/First Nation/Métis Settlement-owned businesses, as well as various not-for-profit entities. The RRRF will support a variety of costs or activities to help SMEs and not-for-profit organizations stay solvent over a period of six months.

Visit Their Website

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 

COVID Technology Adoption Fund (CTAF)- Blue Sky Net asked us to share their new COVID Technology Adoption Fund (CTAF). CTAF will provide eligible businesses, start-ups, municipalities, and Indigenous communities across Northern Ontario with access to capital grant funding to acquire digital technology and e-business and marketing solutions to ensure they can survive and adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

CTAF will provide: Capital grant funding for eligible applicants of up to $10,000 with a minimum contribution of 25% from the applicant towards the project and Guidance and assistance for applicants

Visit their website


Managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network in support of other chambers and partners to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19.

Visit their website

If awarded, a relief grant can be used for any of the following activities:

  • Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields, and latex gloves.
  • Renovating physical space to adhere to local, Provincial or Federal reopening guidelines.
  • Developing or improving e-commerce capabilities for your business.

Successful applicants will receive a relief grant of up to $5,000. We intend to support local businesses of all kinds from across the country (from retailers to barbershops to farmers).

Attention All Northern Ontario Business Owners,

NOHFC has announced a new funding opportunity for businesses affected by COVID-19. Please go to the below link for program details:

The program will be open for applications beginning October 1st, 2020 and funding is limited, processed on a first-come basis. We expect this program to be in high demand, and if you are interested in the program make sure to spend the next few days prior to the launch gather receipts, quotes, and files in order to submit the application in a timely manner.


Eligible projects will support the adaptation of business operations and practices to meet public health guidelines for operations under re-opening stages, and to support employee and consumer safety.

Eligible project costs include but are not limited to:

  • Capital construction
  • Leasehold improvements
  • New or used equipment
  • Restructuring of business operations
  • Marketing for new business initiatives
  • Personal Protective Equipment and customer/employee safety installations
  • Other costs deemed necessary to complete the project at the discretion of the NOHFC


  • Funding will be in the form of a conditional contribution and will normally not exceed $25,000.
  • NOHFC will cover 100% of eligible project costs.
  • Applicants must demonstrate that the amount requested from NOHFC is incremental and does not duplicate other supports received.

Visit their Website Here

Best Practices and Resources:

  • We recommend reviewing your business insurance policies to look for any support opportunities that they can offer as well as ensure that there are no exclusions that may affect any coverages that you may have.
  • Review year-over-year sales or services totals and be prepared to forecast any sales losses and impacts to your revenues. It will be important to have an evidence-based summary to provide should there be any support or relief programs made available by provincial or federal governments in the coming months.
  • Communicate with your staff on a regular basis. Actively encourage sick employees to stay home and create a comfortable environment for your employees to talk to you if they are feeling concerned with their health or safety. Let your staff know their job is not at risk, and if layoffs are required, direct them to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada webpage for Unemployment details. Visit The Goverment of Canada’s Webpage
  • If you are able to remain open to the public, consider offering special services to those in our community who are most vulnerable to the virus. Some great ideas include:
    • opening an hour earlier or designating the first hour to vulnerable people in your community. This would allow them to shop when the shelves are stocked, the store is at its cleanest, and will help reduce crowds of people.
    • Offering a phone-in service, where people call ahead with their shopping list. Have an employee find everything they need in the store and have it ready to pick-up at a predetermined time, so as to limit the number of people a vulnerable person may have to encounter.
  • If you operate an essential service (such as a grocery store) consider enforcing limits on items such as canned or frozen goods, toilet paper, disinfectants like wipes and hand sanitizers, and baby products to ensure there is enough for everyone in the community.
  • If you an alternative to purchasing cleaning supplies you can use one of these 7 Homemade Disinfectant Spray Recipes

Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.  Visit The Government of Ontario’s Website

The Canadian Federation of Businesses has updated their webpage for frequently asked questions and other resource links for small businesses.  Topics include employee management, employer obligations, general information. Visit their Website

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has updated their webpage for preparedness resources for your business. Visit their webpage

Develop a continuity plan for how to get your business back on its feet. Consider these options:

    1. Having a more active presence on social media. If you require support with ramping up your social media presence, our Communications and Marketing Officer is available by phone or email to assist you. Contact Ciara Stead at 705-783-8862 /
    2. Run a sale or promotion
    3. Develop a customer loyalty program or contest
    4. Host Host a grand-reopening event

Keep updated on what is going on in Canada and Ontario by visiting the and websites, updated twice daily.

Government of Ontario’s Webpage

Government of Canada’s Webpage

Additional Resources:

Hydro One Pandemic Relief Fund for Customers: Visit their Webpage

Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as:

  • pay disruption due to COVID-19;
  • childcare disruption due to school closures; or
  • those facing illness from COVID-19.
  • This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

Read More Here

Check directly with the following service providers to find out what actions they are taking towards providing relief or assistance.

  • Mortgage Providers
  • Insurance Providers (life, home, auto, travel, etc.)
  • Municipal Offices (property tax deadline extensions)
  • Utility companies (hydro, gas/propane, etc.)

Request ACED Support

    David GrayDirector of Economic Development
    Phone: (705)571-1564
    Ciara SteadCommunications & Marketing Officer
    Phone: (705)783-8862
    Courtney MetcalfEconomic Development Officer
    Phone: (705)349-2710