Town Response to COVID-19

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Help for Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting companies locally and globally. The East Gwillimbury Economic Development Department is here to support our business community and want to ensure that you have the supports you need. Please e-mail the team if you require any assistance navigating the information and resources below. 

East Gwillimbury Emergency Response Benefit for Business 

The Town of East Gwillimbury has partnered with South Lake Community Futures Development Corporation (SLCFDC) to deliver the East Gwillimbury Emergency Response Benefit for Business. The program is intended to address negative financial impacts of COVID-19 on East Gwillimbury businesses and to support their ability to survive and thrive beyond the current crisis. Application intake is now open until May 22, 2020. 

Grants will be provided in the amounts of up to $5,000 for businesses employing 1 to 4 people and up to $10,000 for businesses employing 5 or more people. Priority will be given to eligible businesses experiencing the most significant negative financial impacts.

For more information on eligibility and the application process: 
East Gwillimbury Emergency Response Benefit for Business

Business Recovery Information Centre 

Business Assessment Tool

In partnership with the Northern Six (N6) municipalities and York Region Economic Strategy Office, we have worked together to launch a Business Recovery Information Centre to help business owners navigate through COVID-19.

To request information and assistance from an Economic Development Officer, please use the 
Business Assessment Toollinks to external site.

Below are information and resources for companies to help deal with the challenges during and after the pandemic:

Business Support Updates 

  • The East Gwillimbury Economic Development team will continue to support businesses during this difficult time. To ensure the health and safety of our clients and staff, all business support activities will be conducted via telephone (905) 478-4282 and e-mail.
  • East Gwillimbury Emergency Response Benefit:links to external site Council has established a $250,000 Emergency Response Benefit to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will grant eligible businesses, experiencing significant negative financial impacts up to $10,000 each to help them stay open now, and as they recover. The application intake will be from Monday, May 11 to Friday, May 22, 2020. Information and application forms will be available through South Lake Futures.links to external site

  • Due dates for municipal property taxes and utility billslinks to external site remain as normal timelines indicate on the bills. Residents are encouraged to pay if able, however, interest and penalty are being waived until July 31, 2020 for those who require additional time. If there is a concern regarding the ability to pay a bill, please send an e-mail to the Finance Department. 

  • The Town of East Gwillimbury’s Community Support Hotline is now open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (905) 478-3820 to provide hands-on assistance to residents and small business owners in identifying and applying for COVID-19 related Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Support Programs.

  • The East Gwillimbury Chamber of Commercelinks to external site continues to support local businesses throughout these unprecedented times. Please e-maillinks to external site the Chamber of Commerce directly with any questions you may have as the EGCOC office will be working remotely. Please visit the event calendarlinks to external site for upcoming events and seminars that are available via webinar. 
  • South Lake Futureslinks to external site remains committed to serving clients during this challenging time. Offices will be staffed but closed to the public until further notice. They will continue to be available through e-maillinks to external site and telephone 1 (866) 605-1244. Ongoing updates will be posted to their website and social media. 
  • The Government of Ontariolinks to external site is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 2, 2020. Starting May 11, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., places of businesses may open for retail sales to the public under exceptional circumstances. All businesses may continue to deliver work and services online, by telephone, or by mail/delivery. Teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses. Please visit essential workplaceslinks to external site for a complete list of essential workplaces in response to COVID-19.
  • Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen:links to external site the Government of Ontario announced retailers, seasonal businesses, and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government's reopening framework.The Government also announced additional seasonal services and activities will be permitted to open as early as Saturday May 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., in time for the Victoria Day long weekend, as key public health indicators continue to show progress.
  • A Framework for Reopening our Province: lays out the government’s approach to the next chapter in the ongoing fight to defeat COVID‑19. It outlines the principles the government will use to reopening businesses, services, and public spaces in gradual stages. It also explains the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will use to help advise the government on when it is safe to begin loosening public health restrictions. And it highlights the government’s commitment to continue providing guidance and advice as workplaces prepare to reopen, including businesses deemed essential that voluntarily chose to temporarily shut down.
  • 211 Ontario Information Hotlinelinks to external site is your primary source for information on government and community-based social services.  Find local services and supports in areas such as Foodbanks, Food Delivery, Helplines, Housing Support, Mental Health Support, Ready to Eat/Take Away Meals, and more. This hotline is free and confidential and available by TTY: 1 (888) 340-1001, e-maillinks to external site, live chat 24 hours a day and 7 days a week in over 100 languages. 
  • Programs aimed at supporting our local business community: 
     FanSaves - Online Gift Certificate Program links to external site                  Distantly - Crowdfunding Tool to Help Businesseslinks to external site

Regional Support 

York Linklinks to external site: In-person business advisory services are currently transitioning to phone consultations currently. For information please email: to external site

York Small Business Enterprise Centre (YSBEC)links to external site:  YSBEC continues to be available by telephone 1 (877) 464-9675 ext. 71572 or e-mail to external site 

YSBEC Events Calendarlinks to external site

E-Commerce in Canada - What Influences Online Shoppers and How to Reach Them 

Wednesday, May 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
FREE to Registerlinks to external site

Panel Discussion on Best Practices for Re-Opening Business

Friday, May 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  
FREE to Registerlinks to external site

Government of Canada

During this extraordinary time, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help Canadian businesses as COVID-19 is affecting them, their employees, and their families. Help includes benefits, tax credits, and new funding.


  1. Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):links to external site temporary income support that provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. *April 15, 2020: Expanded Eligibility
  2. Temporary 10% Wage Subsidylinks to external site three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 
  3. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): links to external sitecovers 75% of an employee's wages - up to $847 per week - for employers of all sizes across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March and 30% in April and May.
  4. Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA):links to external siteinterest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. *April 16, 2020: Expanded Eligibility 
  5. Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA):links to external sitefor small businesses that will seek to provide loans and/or forgivable loans to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. *TBA
  6. Support Rural Businesses and Communities:links to external site $287 million to support rural businesses and communities by providing them with much-needed access to capital through the Community Futures Network. *TBA

For more information, please visit: Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Planlinks to external site

Support for Businesses 

Support for Self-Employed & Individuals

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):links to external site taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. The CERB is available to workers who meet all the following conditions:
    • Live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
    • Stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits
    • Have not voluntarily quit their job
    • Had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application

    April 15, 2020 – Expanded Eligibility:

    • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
    • Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
    • Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.

Avoiding Layoffs & Rehiring Employees

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS):links to external site generally covers 75% of an employee's wages – up to $847 per week - for employers of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May. The program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
  • Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy:links to external site a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deduction required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
  • Extending the Work-Sharing Program: links to external siteextending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19. This measure will provide income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

Access to Credit

  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP):links to external site provides additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).
    • Loan Guarantee for Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies.
    • Co-Lending Program for Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises Through the Business Credit Availability Program, Business Development Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues. Financed amount: 80 % provided by BDC + 20 % provided by your financial institution. This support is available until or before September 30, 2020.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA):links to external site will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced. To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA):links to external site will lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three-monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June. The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent. Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.
  • Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP):links to external site assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). IRAP provides advice, connections, and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market.
  • Young Entrepreneurs:links to external site support for Futurpreneur Canada to continue supporting young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19. The funding will allow Futurpreneur Canada to provide payment relief for its clients for up to 12 months.
  • Small & Medium-Sized Businesses Unable to Access Other Support Measures:links to external site financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports, through Canada's Regional Development Agencies.

FedDev Ontario

  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF):links to external site the RRRF supports businesses that have been unable to obtain funding through other federal COVID-19 response measures. The $1 billion in funding will provide support to affected businesses and communities by mitigating the financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations to allow them to continue their operations, including paying their employees, and support projects by businesses organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery. 
  • In southern Ontario, $252.4 million is available as follows:
    • $213 million for SMEs facing financial pressure; and
    • $39.4 million to provide rural businesses with access to capital and business support, delivered by southern Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations.

Call to action for innovators, manufacturers, and service providers to help Canada meet the need for medical supplies. 

Government of Ontario

  • The Government of Ontariolinks to external site launched the COVID-19: Tackling the Barrierslinks to external site website to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the global pandemic. Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to the website. The province is prepared to allow temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations in order to remove any barriers that are hindering business and negatively impacting Ontario's supply chain.
  • The Government of Ontariolinks to external site has extended all emergency orders that have been put in place-to-date under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until May 6, 2020. This extension includes the closure of outdoor amenities in parks and recreational areas, non-essential workplaceslinks to external site, public places, bars and restaurants, along with restrictions on social gatherings and limiting staff from working in more than one retirement home or long-term care home. 
  • 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 Linelinks to external site at 1 (888)-444-3659. Help is available from Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. 
  • 211 Ontario Information Hotlinelinks to external site is your primary source for information on government and community-based social services.  Find local services and supports in areas such as Foodbanks, Food Delivery, Helplines, Housing Support, Mental Health Support, Ready to Eat/Take Away Meals, and more. This hotline is free and confidential and available by TTY: 1 (888) 340-1001, e-maillinks to external site, live chat 24 hours a day and 7 days a week in over 100 languages. 

Support for Sectors 

Agriculture, Agri-Food, Aquaculture, and Fisheries

  • Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP):links to external site provides support of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, to employers or those working with them to ensure requirements are fully met. The funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory isolation. 
  • Farm Credit Canada:links to external site providing an additional $5 billion in lending to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cash flow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially sound during this difficult time. 
  • Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund:links to external site providing $62.5 million of new assistance to the fish and seafood processing sector through the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund. This will help businesses: access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs, add storage capacity for unsold product, comply with new health and safety measures for workers, support new manufacturing/automated technologies to improve productivity and quality of finished seafood products, and adapt products to respond to the changing requirements and new market demand. 
  • Canada and Ontario Take Additional Steps to Protect Agri-Food Workers During COVID-19links to external site: the Federal and Provincial Governments are investing $2.25 million in provincially licensed meat processing plants to better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy products for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the first stream of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program will provide funding to implement COVID-19 health and safety measures in provincially licensed meat plants, including purchasing additional personal protective equipment, redesigning workstations, supporting employees who require mandatory isolation, and work-site mobility and transportation.
  • ​​Agri-Food Open for E-Business - Targeted Intakelinks to external site: the Agri-Food Open for E-Business targeted intake will help businesses/organizations quickly expand their marketing channels and respond to new market challenges, increase online sales in the sector and provide consumers with access to more local food. This targeted application intake features two funding streams: 1) Bring Your Business Online: Provides a grant of up to $5,000 to eligible organizations/businesses to help establish an online presence and 2) Develop Online Business Opportunities: Provides cost-share funding for up to 90 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $75,000 to develop e-business opportunities on a larger scale.
  • For the Herd:links to external site the Ontario Equestrian has launched For The Herd, an emergency fundraising initiative to support lesson horses and riding school facilities in Ontario. The goal is to distribute a pandemic relief package for each riding facility in need. Relief will be used to ensure the basic needs, welfare and health of school horses during the pandemic. The need is great, and as a community we will come together and protect these horses.

  • Emergency Processing Fund: $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund to help food producers access more personal protective equipment (PPE), adapt to health protocols, automate or modernize their facilities, processes, and operations, and respond to emerging pressures from COVID-19 so they can better supply Canadians with food during this period.

  • AgriRecovery: an initiative of up to $125 million in funding to help producers face with additional costs incurred by COVID-19 such as set-asides for cattle and hog management to manage livestock backed-up on farms, due to the temporary closure of food processing plants. This new federal funding will help beef and pork producers and processors adapt to a changing market, and help farmers and ranchers keep their animals longer before marketing.
  • Surplus Food Purchase Program: $50 million fund designed to help redistribute existing and unsold inventories, which could include products such as potatoes and poultry, to local organizations who are serving vulnerable Canadians
  • AgriStabilitylinks to external site & AgriInsurance:links to external site: the Federal and Provincial Governments are working together to increase interim payments from 50 per cent to 75 per cent through AgriStability. These funds will support producers who are facing a significant revenue declines. 

Other Links

Culture, Heritage, and Sports Sectors

  • Emergency Support Fund:links to external site $500 million Emergency Support Fund as a temporary relief measure to help alleviate the financial pressures of cultural, heritage, and sport organizations facing significant losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


  • Central Counties Tourism:links to external site is responsible for the strategic development and marketing of the regions of Headwaters, York and Durham as a visitor destination.  Our mandate is to support our stakeholders in every way possible during this challenging time.
  • Deferring Payments on Commercial Leases & Licenses of Occupation: the Government of Canada will work with tourism operators in national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas to defer payments on commercial leases and licences of occupation without interest until September 1, 2020.

Not-for-Profit and Charitable

  • Emergency Community Support Fund:links to external site $350 million to support vulnerable Canadians through charities and non-profit organizations that deliver essential services to those in need. The investment will flow through national organizations that have the ability to get funds quickly to local organizations that serve vulnerable populations.


Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) 

Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) 

Other Information

Routes Connecting Communities 

Are you looking for someone to shop/deliver on your behalf, please connect with Routes Connecting Communities Inc.links to external site. at (905) 722-4616 or Also, if you are willing to provide driving/delivery services for those in need, connect with us too. We match the need to the volunteers. 

External Resources to Support the Workplace