South Georgian Bay COVID-19 Resources
South Georgian Bay Tourism remains open in the midst of Covid-19, and our staff and board members are vigilantly monitoring the evolving situation. Though our staff are taking precautions by working from home, we are here to assist the public by phone, messaging or email if you have any questions.
LAST UPDATED: July 3 (9:00 AM)
- South Georgian Bay Tourism Directory:
- Collingwood Commons: Local restaurants + retailers
- Explore Blue
- Experience Simcoe
- Ontario.Live : Launching soon, businesses can now register
- Grey County’s Community + Business Resiliency Map
For support and programs, please click the links below:
- Return to business checklist
- Workplace Safety Template: Government of Ontario
- Government of Ontario: Business Guidelines During Covid-19
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program
- HR Support for Small Businesses- Your FAQ’s Answered
- HR Guide for Managing your Employees
- Stop the Spread: Business Information Line Now Open at 1-888-444-3659
- COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS
- Georgian College: Free & Discounted Courses
- Are you a local business in South Georgian Bay? Download a copy of our “Shop Safely” signs here.
COVID-19 Business Reopening Guidebook. – Download the Business Reopening Guidebook
The province has launched a toll-free line (1-888-444-3659) to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
RTO7 is ready to go with its newest program, the Operations Implementation Program (OIP). This program was created as part of RTO7’s 2020/21 COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan to assist and support the tourism operators in BruceGreySimcoe during recovery from the effects of COVID-19 on their business.
How does OIP work? RTO7 will match an operator’s investment in operational expenses with $1,000 (includes HST) for a social media campaign to promote the tourism business. Eligible operational expenses include mortgage payments, rent, insurance, inventory purchases, etc. Proof of payment must be submitted with your final report and note that RTO7 covers the additional agency fees.
The setting up of the social media campaign will be actioned now to ensure your tourism business is ready to be advertised at the appropriate time.
For detailed information on the program, visit the Operations Implementation Program page on RTO7.ca.
Spreading the word about a accessibility funding opportunity (up to $100,000) for businesses, municipalities, indigenous organizations & not-for-profits. Provides funding for projects that make Canadian communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities. EAF aims to create more opportunities for persons with disabilities to take part in community activities, programs and services, or to access employment. Priority given to projects that improve the accessibility and safety of persons with disabilities in facilities where they work or could work & construction projects for ramps, accessible doors and accessible washrooms.
For more info: Apply for funding: small projects component – Application Deadline July 13th 2020
Also, the EAF Youth Innovation Component provides an opportunity for youth to have a direct impact in the lives of persons with disabilities. They do this by addressing accessibility barriers in public spaces or workplaces within their community. Through this work, youth:
- create greater awareness about accessibility needs
- encourage organizations to apply for EAF funding to address existing accessibility barriers
- build a more inclusive and accessible Canada
For more info: Apply for funding: youth innovation component – Application Deadline October 30th 2020
- Conference Board of Canada’s Resource Page
- Forbes: Free Software that Businesses & Individuals Can Use During Covid-19
- Government of Canada Travel Advisories
- Public Health Ontario
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- World Health Organization
- Community-based measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada financial resources for small business
FAQ – BUSINESSES
By: RTO7 (Published: May 21, 2020 @ 9:30 AM)
Who can reopen in Stage 2?
The partial list of businesses allowed to open (provided they can safely do it) are listed here.
What are the safety guidelines the Province developed?
All businesses should follow the safety guidelines established for their specific sector. Refer to safety organizations on the Province of Ontario website.
Are surgical & N95 Masks recommended for businesses to protect form COVID‑19?
No. Grey Bruce Public Health is recommending the use of cloth masks or face coverings for employees and the public during Stage 1. Some businesses in Stages 2 and 3 will be required to use healthcare-compliant PPE. These businesses will be contacted directly by Grey Bruce Public Health.
Do I have to screen employees and customers?
It is recommended you screen workers regularly for symptoms. Grey Bruce Public Health recommends passive screening for customers. Post signage at entries asking people not to enter if they have any symptoms.
What if I can’t follow the safety guidelines in my location?
If you are not confident you can follow safety guidelines while re-opening your business, it is best you maintain status quo. Remain closed or continue with online sales and curbside pick up.
Should I continue with the alternative arrangements we have been using to do business?
Yes. It is possible we will shift back and forth with restrictions throughout the course of the pandemic and recovery phases could last months.
More information about cloth masks and face coverings
Grey Bruce Health Unit is recommending cloth masks and face coverings rather than medical masks for staff working in local businesses. Businesses should only open if they can do so safely.
Grey County economic development and tourism recovery staff can assist you to find cloth masks. For support, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 519‑372‑0219 ext.1270. A County staff member will assist you within one business day.
Are there financial supports available to help my business during re-opening?
Yes. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has been extended to August 29. The Regional Relief & Recovery Fund is now available to businesses in rural Ontario who are unserved or underserved by current programs. Please contact your local Community Futures Development Corporation to apply.
Who is my Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) Contact in Grey?
For loans up to $40,000, your local CFDC can direct you to the CFDC application form, provide business coaching and other wrap-around support.
- Meaford and Town of the Blue Mountains: Gillian Fairley email@example.com 705-445-8410
- Owen Sound, Georgian Bluffs and west Meaford (Old Sydenham): Barb Fisher 519-386-9933 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chatsworth, Grey Highlands, Hanover, West Grey and Southgate: Rose Austin or Jamie Doherty 519-799-5750 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have a resource page for business?
Yes. For a list of government support programs for business, please visit our Business Resource page. This is our hub for all business information relating to the pandemic. This page includes our Resiliency Map, which will show cloth mask retailers and PPE suppliers.
FINANCIAL RESOURCES VIDEO SERIES
Community: Webinars, Conference Calls, Surveys + More
- July 9: Legal Advice Webinar on What Businesses Can Do to Survive the Crisis
- Boost Your Business with Web Copy That Works
- Facebook and Instagram for Business
- Local SEO & Google My Business
- Shopify your business
- Ask an Expert Series
- Collingwood Downtown – Business updates
- Town of Collingwood Updates
- Town of the Blue Mountains – Updates
- Explore Blue
- Town of Wasaga Beach – Updates
- Clearview – Updates
- Meaford – Updates
- South Georgian Bay Virtual Events
- Collingwood Commons: Online marketplace for Collingwood retailers & restaurants
The Province of Ontario has set up a website that is updated twice daily with information on COVID-19 in the province.
How to Help Prevent the Spread
There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:
- wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- sneeze and cough into your sleeve
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- avoid contact with people who are sick
- stay home if you are sick
In addition, here are recommendations for communicating about the virus:
- Disclose information honestly when questioned by visitors and customers
- Share the above list with family, friends, your staff and visitors
- Refer visitors to the Province of Ontario website for updates from the Ministry of Health
- At this stage there are many unknowns about the virus and as such we recommend that your promotions, advertising and communications DO NOT promote that it is a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) safe region to travel to or that it is safer in BruceGreySimcoe than somewhere else. Continue promoting all the positive attributes about your attractions, accommodation or activity.
IMPORTANT LINKS & PRIOR RTO7 COMMUNICATIONS
- List of Essential Workplaces
- Ontario Enacts Declaration of Emergency to Protect the Public
- Enhanced Measures to Protect Ontarians
- Important Update – Clarification on Return from Travel
- Social Distancing – provides information on Social Distancing measures
- Mass Gatherings – provides information Risk-informed decision-making for mass gatherings during COVID-19
- Restaurants Canada – provides an informational series on Actionable Resources and Posters for the Workplace.
How To Help Support Local Businesses