COVID–19 Information for Businesses in Cambridge

The INVEST Cambridge team remains available to assist with all of your business questions while our office remains closed until mid-June, 2020 to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. We will update this page with business related supports, programs and resources to  ensure local businesses receive timely information during the pandemic. Our staff can be reached by email at or by phone at 519-740-4685.

For general City-related updates, please visit


Patio and Outdoor Dining Permits

As of Friday, June 12 under Stage 2 of the Province’s reopening plan, outdoor dining services in the Region of Waterloo are permitted to open. We have implemented a streamlined process and are waiving permit fees to make it faster and easier for restaurant owners to expand or create new patios and outdoor dining areas. To apply, visit and download and application form. 

Interested in seeing what patios are now open?  Check out our restaurants/patio map!

INVEST Cambridge launches business Outreach Survey to support local businesses 

The goal of the program is to understand the effectiveness of Federal and Provincial assistance programs and identify any gaps while understanding any unique issues that Cambridge businesses are facing. 

The survey can be found at and is available until June 26, 2020. 

Cambridge Farmers' Market to reopen

The Cambridge Farmers' Market reopens on Saturday, June 27, 2020! For information regarding businesses and local restaurants that are offering physically distancing friendly services, please visit our #OrderFromHome page

On This Page

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.  At the Council meeting of May 19, 2020, Cambridge City Council approved extending short-term economic relief measures to support residents and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Cambridge is now accepting applications for the property tax deferral program.  This program will extend the 2020 final property tax due dates by 60 days for residents and businesses who qualify.  It is intended to give residents and businesses extra time to pay their final tax bills, if needed. More information regarding the tax deferral program may be found on the City of Cambridge website or you can apply for a tax deferral online.

Small Business Centre

The Cambridge Small Business Centre physical location remains closed. However, all workshops, events and in-person consultations have been converted to an online format at this time. One-on-One Consultations can still be scheduled by phone or email. Please connect with us for consultations at the above contact information and we will be happy to book you an appointment. For a list of seminars an events you can visit the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre.

Province of Ontario List of Essential Workplaces (Updated May 1, 2020)

On Friday, April 3, 2020 the Ontario government amended the definition of and list of essential workplaces that are permitted to remain open.  Businesses that are not identified on this list MUST close their physical locations by 11:59 pm on Saturday, April 4, 2020.  All physical locations for non-essential businesses must remain closed until the province rescinds these restrictions (see the "Re-opening Ontario" section below for a schedule as the easing of restrictions is announced).

Re-opening Ontario (Updated May 28, 2020)

Beginning on Monday, May 4, 2020, the province began to ease restrictions on retail establishments.  Further announcements were made on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 and Thursday, May 15, 2020 to phase in additional establishments, allowing them to reopen to the public (please see the schedule below). These announcements are the first step in the province's framework for reopening Ontario.

If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, please contact the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

Monday, May 4, 2020
  • Lawn care and landscaping;
  • Additional essential construction projects that include:
    • shipping and logistics;
    • broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
    • any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
    • municipal projects;
    • colleges and universities;
    • child care centres;
    • schools; and
    • site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes;
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
  • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
  • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.
Friday, May 8, 2020
Garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies. 
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases.
Monday, May 11, 2020
Retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health's Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements.
 Saturday, May 16, 2020
  • Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
  • Marinas, boat clubs and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
  • Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
  • Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for or ride their animal.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Stage 1 of the "Framework for re-opening our Province" begins

  • Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments beforehand or on the spot.
  • Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field and horse racing.
  • Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
  • Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning and maintenance.
  • Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
 Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Healthcare providers outlined below are permitted to reopen once their respective regulatory bodies release guidelines to ensure high-quality and safe clinical care:

  • Dentists
  • Massage Therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Chiropractors
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychologists
  • Dietitians
  • Denturists
  • Midwives

Friday, June 12, 2020

Stage 2 of the "Framework for re-opening our Province" begins for Waterloo Region

Ontario will be taking a regional approach to move into Stage 2. As directed by the province, each region will be permitted to enter Stage 2 when safe to do so as public health criteria outlined in the framework are met. Waterloo Region has been identified to begin to implement Stage 2 of the framework.

While Stage 2 businesses and workplaces can open as soon as June 12, dates and approaches may vary based on each community's local needs and the ability of each business or service to meet workplace safety guidelines and public health advice. Please be patient while our businesses navigate the regulations and slowly reopen to the public. See below for a list of establishments that will be able to open under stage 2:

Important Resources for Businesses as they Reopen

Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace
The province has developed numerous resources and information to provide sector specific guidance for keeping employees and workplaces healthy and safe.  
 Building considerations and water flushing
The City of Cambridge Public Works department would like to advise businesses that might be re-opening after an extended closure to flush their water lines before re-opening.  Resources on how to prepare your building for re-occupancy and important steps for reopening your building water supply are available.
 Personal protective equipment

If your business requires personal protective equipment (PPE), the Province of Ontario has developed a directory of Workplace PPE Suppliers.  If your business is a manufacturer or supplier of PPE, you may apply to have your business listed in this directory.

Listing of local businesses supplying PPE: 

 Disinfection Services
 Face Shields
Floor Markings 
Hand Sanitizer 
  • Knapp Fasteners - (519) 653-4558, 520 Boxwood Drive
  • Magnotta Winery - (519) 624-9322, 1300 Bishop Street North
  • Septodont - (519) 623-4800, 25 Wolseley Court
  • Superior Solutions - (519) 740-8855, 1185 Franklin Boulevard
Masks, Gloves and Gowns
 Tabletop Shields

To have your business added to this listing, please contact our staff at

** For a comprehensive listing of industries and their status for reopening, please visit the provincial essential businesses website or review O. Reg. 82/20: Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses in full.

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

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  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

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? (Updated April 6, 2020)

For submitting a planning application during this time, please only submit a PDF of the completed application form which has been signed by all property owners as an e-mail attachment to  Planning staff will respond with information for how to submit the complete planning application documents and required fee payment after that.

Planning applications that have been previously delivered to the City’s drop box will be accessed by Planning staff. Complete planning application which are submitted will be processed.

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 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 (updated May 25, 2020)

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses (updated April 13, 2020) - this plan includes:

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - temporary wage subsidies of up to 75% for businesses that have experienced a downturn in revenues. Eligible employers may calculate the estimated benefit using the federal government's online calculator.
  • 10% Wage Subsidy - in addition to CEWS, eligible businesses may reduce their current payroll remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that are sent to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy for a period of three months. 
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) 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). On May 19, 2020, the CEBA program was expanded and program criteria amended to allow greater accessibility to sole proprietors and small businesses (amended May, 19, 2020).
  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will provide additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).  This program has been expanded to include mid market businesses with larger financial needs (amended May 11, 2020)
  • Deferral of sales tax remittance and customs duty payments (announced March 27, 2020)
  • Canada Summer Jobs Program - Proposed changes include: extension to employment end dates, increased wage subsidy, allowing employers to hire on a part time basis and adaptation of project and job activities to support essential services (announced April 8, 2020)
  • Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (OCECRA) is a partnership between the provincial government, federal government and property owners to support our entrepreneurs through the reduction of rent by 75% for eligible small businesses that have been severely affected by COVID-19. Applications for the program are now open and available at Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.  
  • Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) will provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going. The additional liquidity provided through LEEFF will allow Canada’s largest businesses and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and position them for a rapid economic recovery. (announced May 11, 2020)
  • The Government of Canada has launched a new hotline service to provide small businesses with financial planning and advice on COVID-19 recovery. The Business Resilience Service will be available over the next four weeks and is run by advisors who can provide tailored financial advice to entrepreneurs, with the goal of helping them weather and recover from COVID-19. (announced May 25, 2020)

** Please note - this is a list of the programs staff receive the most inquiries regarding.  For a comprehensive list of all available programs and supports, please visit the federal economic response plan website.

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 administered 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 (updated April 3, 2020) - If you need assistance determining whether or not you have an essential business, please contact the provincial hotline at 1 888-444-3659.

Reopening Ontario after COVID-19 - Reopening the province will be gradual and occur in stages, allowing health officials to assess conditions prior to progressing to the next stage (released April 27, 2020).

COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers - The province has launched a portal to allow businesses to request temporary changes in rules and regulations in an effort to remove barriers that are hindering business and negatively impacting Ontario's supply chain. 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 (announced April 28, 2020)

Workplace Health and Safety Resources - Ontario is releasing safety guidelines to protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy. Sector guidelines contain recommendations and tips for employers on how to keep workers safe on the job.

** Please note - this is a list of the programs staff receive the most inquiries regarding.  For a comprehensive list of all available programs and supports, please visit the provincial economic response plan website.

Region of Waterloo
The Region of Waterloo, all seven area municipalities, Waterloo EDC (Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation) the Greater K-W Chamber of Commerce, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Communitech, and local partners have created the Business and Economic Support Team of Waterloo Region (BESTWR) to help all types of local businesses cope with challenges caused by COVID-19.
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 

Canadian Business Resilience Network

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

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund - Canada United is a movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund (CUSBRF) was established to help small businesses offset the cost of expenses to open safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online. Grants of up to $5,000 available for eligible businesses on a first come, first served basis.  Applications are open for all provinces and territories as of February 16th, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST.

World Health Organization COVID-19
Business and Employees
FedDev Ontario

COVID-19 Collaboration Platform

April Focus on Economic Development Newsletter and Resources

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund - Priority may be given to SMEs in the manufacturing, technology, tourism and other sectors key to the region, that are major employers in small communities or that support the government’s commitment to underrepresented groups.

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

The Governments of Canada and Ontario are supporting the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors to capture online e-business opportunities that will help create new, expanded or enhanced markets and open new retail channels to help generate new revenue streams for future growth.

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.
  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 more information regarding these grants, please visit the OMAFRA website.

 Digital Main Street Program

The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is helping small businesses reach more customers through the Digital Main Street platform. It is a $57-million program which will help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students.

Through the $57-million contribution to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:

  • ShopHERE powered by Google will leverage Ontario's strengths by hiring highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves. The core goal will be to help small businesses compete and grow, in a world that is increasingly online, and help them recover as quickly as possible following COVID-19.
  • Digital Main Street Grant will help main street small businesses be digitally more effective. Through a $2,500 grant administered by the Ontario BIA Association, small businesses will be able to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. Municipalities, Chambers of Commerce, and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) can apply for a Digital Service Squad grant, which will allow them to establish teams to provide personalized, one-on-one support.
  • Future-Proofing Main Street will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that helps existing main-street firms adapt to changes in their sector and thrive in the new economy. By leveraging teams of digital marketing professionals and talented students, these firms will be able to create new online business models, develop and implement digital and e-commerce marketing strategies, and maximize digital tools, platforms and content.

For more information regarding these grants, please visit Digital Main Street.

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
Google for Small Business
Use best practices through Google's resources to keep customers informed about your business during COVID19 (released March 24,2020).
One platform with all the ecommerce and point of sale features you need to start, run, and grow your business. Free 90 day 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
 Waterloo Economic Development Corporation
Waterloo EDC has developed a comprehensive resource page to assist businesses in navigating available government support programs.  A webinar has been developed to answer frequently asked questions about workforce and labour programs.  This webinar is also available on their resource page, under the 'Workforce and Labour' tab, or on their blog.
 Covid 19 Information Centre
 Restaurants Canada
Updates and resources for food service operators

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

Business to Business Support 

Find a list of companies below that have identified as having excess or are in need of addtional capacity during COVID-19. 

To be added to this list, please email with the company name, capacity and services available (floor space, equipment etc). and contact information. 

Economic Development will maintain the list and we ask that businesses connect with each other using the contact details below. 

Local businesses with excess capacity 

Versocet - Returns management and fulfillment services. 

1721 Bishop Street North, Unit 5-8


Capacity: 8,200 square feet 

Available space for temporary storage and inventory. 

Services provided: labour for assembly, pick/packing/shiping, technical support.

Secure facilty with alarms and cameras 

Local businesses that require capacity 

COVID-19 Business Support Call Out

The City of Cambridge is compiling a list of Cambridge companies who supply personal protective equipment (PPE) to help businesses keep their employees and customers safe during COVID-19. Please email with company name, website, contact information and what PPE you supply to be added to the list. 

A local advanced manufacturing firm is looking for support from a local business who has between 3,500 and 10,000 square feet of clean space, ISO 8 or better for custom contract work in the medical industry during #COVID19.  Please email with subject line #cleanspace if you can help. 

A provincial client is looking for local warehouse and/or industrial space to be repurposed as a creative production facility, and leased for the medium to long term.  Space must be a minimum of 10,000 square feet (larger preferred), with a clear ceiling height of 24' or above, 600 amp 3-phase power supply is preferred, and ample parking is required (50-75 spaces).  Please email with subject line #productionspace for a complete list of requirements and further information.

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

Support Programs for Individuals  

Municipal Programs (Updated May 20, 2020)
  • As part of the City’s Economic Response Plan, penalties, interest, late payment charges and other fees related to property taxes and water billing have been waived until July 1. Property taxes continue to be due as scheduled but residents unable to pay in full will not be subject to interest charges or collection activity for April, May and June.  
  • Suspend any water meter disconnections.
  • Suspension of collection activities for water utility accounts in arrears until August 31, 2020.
  • 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.
  • Development of an application-based property tax deferral program to extend the 2020 final property tax due dates by 60 days for residents and businesses who qualify.  This program is intended to give residents and businesses extra time to pay their final tax bills, if needed. More information regarding the tax deferral program may be found on the City of Cambridge website or you can apply for a tax deferral online.
  • Waiving of any penalties, interest and collection activities on City property leases through to August 31, 2020.
  • Waiving temporary sign permit fees until December 31, 2020 to aid businesses in their promotion efforts during the recovery phase.
  • An updated Economic Response plan is anticipated to be presented to Council within the next few weeks.
Regional Programs
  • For information relating to COVID-19 cases within Waterloo Region, please visit the regional public health site.
  • Changes to the regional waste management program begin March 30, 2020.  Changes include increasing bag limits from 4 to 6. Yard waste pick up is scheduled to resume April 13, 2020, large item pick up will resume on May 25, 2020.  Please visit the waste management website for further details.
  • 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
  • General Provincial Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page (updated regularly)
  • Province of Ontario Action Plan for Reponding to COVID-19
  • Emergency Support Program information, applications should be made through the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
  • Electricity Relief Measures information
  • One time payments of $200-250 to families with children (under the age of 12), to offset extra costs due to school and daycare closures.  Applications may be made through the Family Support portal (Note: If you are a parent who is already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit, you will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application.  Support for Parents was financial support that was available to parents during education strikes. Learn more about support for parents).
  • Six month of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for student borrowers
  • Schools throughout Ontario will remain closed for the duration of the 2019/2020 school year (announced May 19, 2020)
  • SPARK Ontario offers a multitude of volunteer opportunities for those looking to give back to their communities.
  • The government is providing an Ontario Tools Grant of $2.5 million in 2020-21 and $7.5 million in 2021-22 and ongoing. This will help new eligible apprentices purchase the equipment they need to start their careers (announced May 22, 2020).
  • The government is also investing nearly $2 million to open a Virtual Action Centre in partnership with UNITE HERE Local 75. This virtual job training resource will provide up to 7,000 unemployed workers in the hospitality sector with access to a wide range of services and supports online and over the phone (announced May 22, 2020).

** Please note - this is a list of the programs staff receive the most inquiries regarding.  For a comprehensive list of all available programs and supports, please visit the provincial economic response plan website.

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)
  • The federal government has released a tool to assist individuals in determining what COVID -19 benefits they may be eligible for and includes links to all open application processes.
  • Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are currently being accepted online.  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 program, please visit the CERB FAQ site.  Please note, this program was updated on April 15, 2020 to provide additional supports individuals who may not have initially qualified for the benefit.
  • 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.
  • Wellness Together Canada is an online portal that provides Canadians with free resources, tools, and professional support services to help with wellness and resilience, as well as mental health and substance use. 

Students and Youth

  • Changes have been made to the Canada Summer Jobs Program to offer increased opportunities for youth (ages 15 through 30). Positions will be available through the Job Bank Website and app.
  • No application is necessary for the pause of student loan repayments.  Further information regarding this program may be found on the National Student Loans Service Centre website.
  • Proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit between May and August of 2020. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities.  The application process for CESB opens on May 15, 2020. (announced April 22, 2020)
  • Canada Student Service Grant, which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall. (announced April 22, 2020)
  • Enhancements are proposed to student grants, loan programs, scholarships, and fellowship programs. (announced April 22, 2020)

** Please note - this is a list of the programs staff receive the most inquiries regarding.  For a comprehensive list of all available programs and supports, please visit the federal economic response plan website.

 Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo, Wellington and Dufferin
The Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin (WPB) leads local workforce development by identifying local labour market needs/trends/priorities and working with the community to develop action plans to address these issues.  In response to the COVID crisis and the large increase in people looking for work, the WPB has implemented an early launch of their new local job portal -

** 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