COVID – 19 Information for Businesses in Cambridge

The INVEST Cambridge office, like the rest of the City of Cambridge, is closed until April 5 to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. During this time, the INVEST Cambridge team will be available to help with all of your business questions by phone or email. As well, we will be updating this page with business related supports, programs and resources to assist local businesses get timely information during this difficult time.

Our staff can be reached by email at invest@cambridge.ca or by phone at 519-740-4685.

For general City-related updates, please visit www.cambridge.ca/covid19.

Economic Response Plan

On March 25, Cambridge City Council approved the Economic Response Plan which includes a series of measures to support local residents, businesses, and workers during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the news release Cambridge City Council approves Economic Response Plan, dated March 25, 2020. 

Small Business Centre Closure

The Cambridge Small Business Centre is cancelling all workshops, events and in-person consultations at this time. To continue helping businesses across the community and to support you through this uncertainty, we have gathered and prepared several resources that you can navigate through.

One-on-One Consultations can still be scheduled by PHONE ONLY.  Please connect with us for consultations at the above contact information and we will be happy to book you an appointment.

Province of Ontario List of Essential Workplaces

The Ontario government has released a definition and list of essential workplaces that are permitted to remain open after March 24, 2020.

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.

Restaurants

Restaurants are considered an essential business and many in Cambridge remain available for take out/delivery orders. Consider supporting our local business economy and visiting one of our local establishments or try a new restaurant! 

We have created a map of local, independent restaurants for you to discover.  Please call ahead first to ensure they are still providing services to the community; all contact information is included on this map.

FAQs Regarding Municipal Services Available During the COVID-19 Office Closure

 Can I still apply for a building permit?

Yes.  Municipal staff are still processing building permit applications.  Please apply using our online building permit portal.  Please direct any questions relating to the building permit process to staff at building@cambridge.ca.

 Can I still apply for a business licence?

Yes.  Municipal staff are still processing business licence applications at this time.  Further information regarding licencing requirements may be found on our website.  Please note that during the current office closure, all required materials must be scanned and emailed to our Business Licence Compliance Officer at ChafeK@cambridge.ca.  To speak with a staff member, please call (519) 740-4680, ext 4581.  Please note: processing times may be longer than usual during these unique circumstances, and we appreciate your patience.

 Can I still register my business?

Yes.  Business name registration is completed through the Province of Ontario and applications must be submitted online.  For assistance with this, or to get advice on opening a small business, please contact our Economic Development team at invest@cambridge.ca.

 Is the Small Business Centre open?
While our physical office is not currently open to the public, our staff are available for business consultations via telephone.  Please contact our staff at (519) 740-4685, ext 4352 to make an appointment.
 Are development applications still being accepted?
To submit a planning application during this time, please bring the completed application, required supporting studies, and a cheque to the City’s drop box located at the southwest corner of the City Hall building at 50 Dickson Street on Tuesdays only.  If you have a planning inquiry, please send it via email to planning@cambridge.ca.
 Are there any monetary supports available for my business?
Please review the below Business Support Links to see a variety of supportive programs being offered to businesses at this time.  Our staff will continue to update this list as new programs are introduced by government and private partners.
 My question hasn't been addressed here.  Who can I contact?
Our Economic Development team is available via email to answer any questions you may have during this time.  Please contact invest@cambridge.ca with any business related inquiries.

Business Support Links  

We know these challenging times are causing concern and anxiety for many people, especially small business owners. We hope to continue to support you during this difficult period. Please see below resources and information.

 Government of Canada

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Repsonse Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses (updated March 25, 2020) - this plan includes:

  • temporary wage subsidies of up to 75% (announced March 27, 2020)
  • the new Canada Emergency Business Account will increase access to emergency loans (for qualifying businesses) of up to $40,000 that are interest free for the first year, with up to $10,000 of loan forgiveness if certain conditions are met (announced March 27, 2020)
  • deferral of sales tax remittance and customs duty payments (announced March 27, 2020)
  • new co-lending program for small and medium enterprises through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) (announced March 27, 2020)

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian Businesses

Work-Sharing Program - Temporary special measures for the downturn in business due to COVID-19 and for the forestry, steel and aluminum sector

Government of Ontario

Ontario's Action Plan:  Responding to COVID-19

  • The province is providing a five month interest and penalty-free period to make payments for the majority of provincially administerest taxes and deferring the June quarterly remittance of education property taxes to school boards. 

  • Employers will be allowed to defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) remittances for up to six months.

Electricity Relief to Families, Small Businesses and Farms (released March 24, 2020)

List of Essential Businesses (released March 23, 2020).  If you need assistance determining whether or not you have an essential business, please contact the provincial hotline at 1 888-444-3659.

Region of Waterloo
Business and Economic Support Team of Waterloo Region (BESTWR)
 Business Development Bank of Canada

Support for Entrepreneurs Impacted by Coronavirus

Business Continuity Plan and Templates for Entrepreneurs 

Webinar:  How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business

 Farm Credit Canada
 Credit Program for Farmers and the Agri-food Sector (released March 23, 2020)
 Export Development Canada
 EDC Stands Ready to Support Canadian Exporters Impacted by COVID-19 
 Employment Insurance and Labour and Occupational Health and Safety
 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada 
 Ontario Ministry of Health

Stats and Self Assessment Tool

Guidelines for Food Premises COVID-19 (released March 20, 2020)

Guidelines for Personal Service Settings Covid-19 (released March 20, 2020)

 Waterloo Regional Police
 Security Self Audit
 Canadian Chamber of Commerce 

Pandemic Preparedness for Business

Payroll and COVID-19 - a Q & A

 Ontario Chamber of Commerce

COVID -19 Preparedness for Business

2020 Economic and Fiscal Update

 World Health Organization COVID-19
 Business and Employees

Other Non-Government Resources for Information Purposes 

Please note these are not government programs, these links are for information to help businesses only. The use of these programs are up to the discretion of the individual and we make no recommendations. 

Facebook Small Business Grants
Facebook has put aside $100 million dollars in grants and ad credits to help small businesses in the 30 countries they operate in. (released March 20, 2020)
Google for Small Business
Use best practices through Google's resources to keep customers informed about your business during COVID19 (released March 24,2020).
Shopify
One platform with all the ecommerce and point of sale features you need to start, run, and grow your business. Free 90 trial available (released March 24,2020).
 NGen - Next Generation Manufacturing Canada
Supercluster funding for businesses building essential equipment, products and therapeutics COVID-19 Project Information Guide

Can YOU help?

Both the Provincial and Federal governments are looking to connect with businesses that may be able to provide the government with products (eg. face masks, gloves, ventilators, etc) and services to support Canada's response to COVID-19.

Federal submission site

Provincial submission site

COVID – 19 Information for Individuals in Cambridge

All levels of government have announced supports for workers and residents during this challenging time.  Our staff have compiled various programs being offered below, to help our residents find the assistance they need, all in one place.

For general City-related updates, please visit www.cambridge.ca/covid19.

Support Programs for Individuals 

 Infographic listing government resources

 

 Municipal Programs
  • Waive penalties, interest, late payment charges and other fees related to property taxes and water billing until June 1.
  • Suspend any water meter disconnections.
  • Suspend the transfer of overdue water accounts to the property tax account to assist landlords
  • Eased enforcement of parking, including, on and off street parking time limits, paid parking and core area parking lots.
  • Waive interest on any general invoices from the City until June 1.
  • Deferring payments for annual business license renewals until June 1.
  • Suspend the non-sufficient fund administration fee for returned payments until June 1.
  • Suspend collection of rent from vendors of the Cambridge Farmers’ Market and examine other leased properties owned by the City.
 Regional Programs
  • Changes to the regional waste management program begin March 30, 2020.  Changes include postponement of yard waste pick up, bag limits have increased from 4 to 6 and cancellation of large item pick up for the near future.
  • Supports for vulnerable populations are proposed and include:  Isolation and drop in spaces for homeless populations, food hamper programs and access to public washrooms around city cores.
 Provincial Programs
 Federal Programs
  • A comprehensive list of all benefits is available through the federal economic response plan.  For more information, please visit their website (updated regularly)
  • To apply for Employment Insurance benefits (either regular benefits or sickness benefits) you must visit their website.  For assistance through the application process, contact them by telephone at 1 (800) 206-7218.  Please note, they are currently experiencing higher than normal call volume
  • Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be available beginning in April 2020.  CERB is a $2,000 per month (for four months) taxable benefit to assist individuals who do not have access to paid leave or other incomes support.  For more information on this benefit once it is available, contact them by telephone at 1 (800) 622-6232.  Please note, they are currently experiencing higher than normal call volume
  • No application is necessary for the pause of student loan repayments.  Further information regarding this program may be found on the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - Benefits and services page (updated regularly)
  • Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payments will be increased by $300 per child beginning in May, 2020.  No application is necessary for current recipients
  • One time special payments to eligible recipients of the Goods and Services Tax credit (GST). No application is necessary for current recipients
  • The deadline for filing income tax returns has been extended to June 1, 2020.  However, those anticipating to recieve GST or CCB benefits are encouraged to file early to ensure additional benefits are recieved in a timely fashion.

** Please note:  these programs are constantly evolving, and staff will attempt to update this page as changes occur.  The best source of information for all available government supports is each level of government's COVID-19 response plan.  Please report any broken links to invest@cambridge.ca