Please check back for the latest on COVID-19 supports and information for businesses:
*See the Riverside BIA COVID-19 Directory
*Feel free to use this Riverside BIA letter encouraging Commercial Property Onwers/Managers and Tenants to work together on rent abatement
*Check out Innovative Offerings from Riverside BIA Member Businesses (see below for more measures)
* Read all Riverside BIA’s COVID-19 E-news here
FREE RESOURCES FOR RIVERSIDE BIA MEMBERS
- SHOPHERE: ShopHERE has been launched to help Toronto businesses and artists build and promote their own Shopify online store for free. digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere
- 1:1 ASSISTANCE TO APPLY FOR GOVT SUPPORT: BusinessTO Support Centre has one-to-one virtual assistance, free webinars to Ask An Accountant during COVID and more. TBOT Portal has one-on-one virtual assistance, webinars on getting ready to re-open.
- FACE SHIELDS & EAR SAVERS: local Riverside resident and maker Travis St. Denis has offered to provide face shields & ear savers for local businesses and organizations. If you would like these free PPE items please complete this order form: https://forms.gle/MmweQKiDFkEGFTAw5
- PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICES: East end photographer Lana Malykh has offered free photography services to any Riverside business. Whether it’s neighbourhood street photography, lifestyle images, food photography or product photography, she is available to work with businesses remotely to provide photography support for all their immediate needs.
- WEBSITE AUDIT: In response to COVID-19, K-media is offering Riverside BIA members a Free Website Audit along with tailor-made tips to improve your Google Search ranking. K-media is happy to answer any questions you have regarding website design and how to revamp for e-commerce. Simply email a link with your domain to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- DIGITAL SERVICES: Book your FREE Digital Main Street 1:1 services. Book them now and check out the other online resources we have put together for you.
- ONLINE FOOD ORDERING PLUGIN: RestroPress is a Online Food Ordering system for WordPress for PickUp and Delivery orders.
GOVERNMENT INFORMATION & SUPPORTS
*Provincial State of Emergency closures remain in effect and may be further extended. “Teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.” – call toll-free line with questions 1-888-444-3659
*Canada Business App – download the app and click on the ‘COVID-19 button’ and its direct resources to apply for relief measures, including: CERB, Canada Emergency Business Account, BDC support, Wage subsidies, & more
*Province announced (April 9) Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee which will be consulting with a wide variety of people to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the provincial economy and develop an action plan to move forward, including business associations, chambers of commerce, municipal leaders, corporate leaders, small business owners, and entrepreneurs
*Canada Summer Jobs Program (CSJ): Federal government announced changes to the CSJ (apply only to those who submitted applications by the Feb 2020 deadline) including an increase in the wage subsidy so that private and public employers can receive up to 100% of minimum hourly wage covered, allowance for employers to hire on a part-time basis, and extending the end date to February 28, 2021 Read the full announcement
*Province Releases Updated List of Essential Workplaces (April 3, 2020)– Workers worried their workplaces are unsafe can phone 1-877-202-0008 to speak with an agent.
*ACGO announced (March 26) licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario may sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 pm. Other temporary measures were announced here.
*Ontario’s Action Plan 2020: Responding to COVID-19 includes measures to support businesses (see news release): hydro rate relief for 45-day period, deferral of WSIB payments for up to six months, exemption for most businesses from the Employer Health Tax (EHT), five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes, postponement of the property tax reassessment that was scheduled in 2020 for the 2021 tax year.
*Province’s COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool
*Toronto Public Health: Factsheet: Guidance for Workplaces/Businesses
*City of Toronto: Economic Support and Recovery Task Force-measures to help businesses “Work is underway, led by the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force, to begin the rebuilding efforts after the City transitions into the recovery phase, with a focus on growth and building resiliency. To achieve this, the City is conducting research to understand the economic impacts already experienced in the city and determine how to best support our many vital business sectors.”
*Affected City Services – what’s closed and opened
*Federal Government: Resources for Canadian Businesses
*Resources from the Business Development Bank of Canada
Some of the measures local businesses are implementing in this current environment:
- Share your needs with your BIA and Government ( contact Riverside BIA, Councillor, MPP, MP) – join joint advocacy efforts like Save Hospitality, Save Small Business, Keep The Lights On
- Provide supplies to support frontline workers (fill out the Province of Ontario’s form and/or the City of Toronto’s form, and/or the Million Mask effort)
- Crowd-sourcing funds (e.g. distantly.ca)
- E-Gift cards (e.g. The Neighbourgood, LocalBEE)
- Offering discount/incentives with gift card purchase ($20 gift card value for $15 spend, gift cards offered at a discount such as 20% off, etc.)
- Work with Digital Main Street (free services for Riverside BIA members –contact us for details)
- Offering free local delivery/ partner with local delivery services
- Creating online shopping options (e.g. Shopify is offering 90 day free trial)
- Accepting orders/conducting appointments over the phone
- Packing up online/phone orders and bringing them out to customer’s cars
- Increasing your take-out/delivery options
- If you are an essential workplace, adjusting your business’s opening hours to better allocate resources toward delivery options
- Waiving fees for appointment rescheduling
- Encouraging customers to pay by card (instead of cash)
- Live streamed/ virtual events, classes, appointments and activities – re: Instagram or Zoom
- Virtual Tip Jars re: Go Fund Me
- Patreon memberships
- Crime prevention measures to help prevent theft and vandalism to their business
- Supporting frontline workers by making masks, hand sanitizer and other PPE
WAYS TO HELP IN THE RIVERSIDE COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19
- Fontbonne Ministries Mustard Seed (791 Queen Street East) is running a meal takeaway program for those in need on Fri, Sat and adding Sundays. They are looking for food business partners. Contact for details: AnnMarie at email@example.com
- Here is a large spreadsheet of community resources, from food and housing supports to volunteer opportunities