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 September 15, 2021

Ontario to Require Proof of Vaccination in Select Settings

As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes:

These mandatory requirements would not apply to outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is lower, including patios, with the exception of outdoor nightclub spaces given the risk associated with the setting. In addition, these requirements will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies and the like. Aligned with public health measures currently in place, indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place.

These mandatory requirements would not apply to outdoor settings where the risk of transmission is lower, including patios, with the exception of outdoor nightclub spaces given the risk associated with the setting. In addition, these requirements will not apply to settings where people receive medical care, food from grocery stores, medical supplies and the like. Aligned with public health measures currently in place, indoor masking policies will continue to remain in place.

Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations

Roadmap to Reopen

Ontario moved to Stage 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen on July 16th, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. based on the province-wide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators.

In response to evolving data around the Delta variant and based on the recent experiences of other jurisdictions, the government, in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, is pausing the exit from the Roadmap to Reopen. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts will continue to monitor the data to determine when it is safe to exit the Roadmap and lift the majority of public health and workplace safety measures currently in place.

Reopening Ontario
Public Health Measures and Advice

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

Streamed live on September 1, 2021

Previous Updates:

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

Premier of Ontario’s YouTube Channel

If your businesses or organization is looking to take part in promoting covid-19 safe events and activities please check out Staycation in Almaguin! We are working hard to create something for all Almaguin residents to enjoy, stay tuned for updates by checking out our page below.

Staycation in Almaguin Webpage

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 

Ontario Business Supports Grant

The grant is to help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the new Provincewide Shutdown.

The government’s new Ontario Small Business Support Grant will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help eligible small business owners during this challenging period.

Closed March 31, 2021. However anyone who called in with technical difficulties and received a ticket number will still be able to submit their application. Anyone who was approved for funding will have their eligible amount automatically doubled. PPE, Energy and Gas rebates will still be available.

Click here to apply

View The Guidelines

Healthy Communities Fund

The Healthy Communities Initiative will provide funding to a broad range of organizations, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities and non- profits, for projects, programming and services that help communities: • create safe and vibrant public spaces, • improve mobility options and • provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health.

Round two has now opened:

2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program (Provincial) 

Supports innovative programming and marketing for festivals and events.

You must submit your application by April 20, 2021 by 5 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time).

Learn More Here

Ontario Arts Council COVID-19 Grant (Provincial)

Artist-Presenter Collaboration Projects.

Learn More Here

Support for Workers in Live Arts and Music Sectors Fund (Fed)

The Support for Workers in Live Arts and Music Sectors Fund is designed to: support the arts and cultural sectors in immediately contracting and employing artists and cultural workers, as part of the federal government’s overall efforts to help Canadians and Canadian businesses weather the effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic provide arts and cultural experiences to Canadians, both live and digital, while restrictions on gatherings and travel continue across the countryThere is no deadline to apply for the Fund. Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis for projects to be carried out between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. Funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, until all funds are disbursed. Eligible organizations are encouraged to apply before October 15, 2021, to ensure that the Department has sufficient time to assess their application and the applicant has enough time to carry out its project before March 31, 2022.

Learn More Here

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

BDC Support (CEBA & BCAP Programs)

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.

Visit BDC Website

EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Applications Extended until December 2021

  • Up to $6.25 million to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Repay over 5 years and benefit from 6 months principal payment postponement.
  • EDC will guarantee 80% of your new operating line of credit or new term loan.

Visit EDC’s website to find out if you are eligible

Learn More

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Has been extended until October 31, 2021

  • Access an interest-free loan of up to $20,000 in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. This program is meant to help you pay non-deferrable operating expenses and quickly return to providing services to your community and create employment – extended until March 31, 2021
  • By repaying $40,000 from your total $60,000 loan on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 33 percent (up to $20,000).
  • If the loan cannot be repaid by December 31, 2022, it can be converted into a 3-year term loan with an interest rate of 5%.
  • Principal payments can be made at your pace, without fees or penalties, by December 31, 2022.

Learn More

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

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

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

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program

Through HASCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million.Hard-hit businesses, like a chain of hotels or restaurants with multiple locations under one related entity, could be eligible for up to $6.25 million.HASCAP will help businesses with their day-to-day operating costs during the COVID-19 crisis and enable them to invest in their longer-term prosperity. Applications open until June 30th 2021

Learn More

Benefit Programs

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks for those who are not employed or self-employed due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods.

Learn More

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

Request ACED Support