Waterloo Region is currently in Modified Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopening.

Updates to City Services

Re-opening and Recovery Information for Businesses in Cambridge

The INVEST Cambridge team remains available to assist with all of your business questions while our office is closed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. We will update this page with business related supports, programs and resources directed towards recovery to ensure local businesses receive 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.

On This Page

Ontario Vaccine Passport Information

The Province of Ontario has instituted a Vaccine Passport System starting September 22nd, 2021, as a result some businesses will be required to check the vaccination status of patrons. The Ontario government has outlined the following guidance and tools for businesses during this time.

Question and Answers for Businesses and Organizations -  QA Document (gov.on.ca)

It’s quite an extensive documents, which covers a number of topics.  Thank you for all your feedback and questions over the last couple of weeks and trust that it will address many of your inquires.

In addition, you may also find a full list of supports for businesses on Ontario’s COVID-19 Help for Business site - COVID-19: Help for businesses in Ontario | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario.

The site undergoes continual updates and in the coming weeks will include:

  • The launch of a new app to make it easier and more convenient for businesses and organizations to read and verify proof of vaccination (i.e., that a digital vaccine receipt is valid);
  • Providing communication supports to businesses to inform the public of the new requirement.

Businesses and organization may also submit questions and feedback to the Ministry of Health at the following link: Government of Ontario

The following are the Government Regulations for businesses regarding the Vaccine Passport System:

Regulations:

 O. Reg. 645/21: RULES FOR AREAS AT STEP 3 AND AT THE ROADMAP EXIT STEP (ontario.ca)

 Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations:

 Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act (gov.on.ca)

Regional Mask By-law

At their meeting of Monday, July 6, 2020, Regional Council adopted two bylaws that require face coverings on transit and in indoor public settings such as shopping malls and retail shops, restaurants, museums, recreational facilities, and more.  These by-laws take effect on Monday, July 13, 2020 and will be reviewed by Regional Council once the face covering requirements for businesses and organizations in the regulations of the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, S.O. 2020, c. 17, are revoked.

Face coverings will be required in the following locations, with some exceptions:

  • Buses, bus shelters, ION trains and ION platforms
  • Stores and shopping malls
  • Indoor areas of restaurants and bars, with the exception of patrons consuming food/drink
  • Professional services such as counselling, personal care, funeral homes, repair and rental services
  • Lobby areas of commercial buildings
  • Hotels and motels, with the exception of rented rooms
  • Laundromats
  • Indoor areas of fitness centres, gyms and recreational and sports facilities
  • Indoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas
  • Arcades and other indoor amusement facilities
  • Museums, galleries, historic sites, etc.
  • Places of worship
  • Municipal buildings

Economic Response Plan

In 2020, 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.  More information on the Economic Response Plan initiatives and activities are detailed in staff report 20-146(CRE) approved by Council on June 16, 2020. 

In 2021, Council received an updated staff report detailing the numerous initiatives and ongoing activities that have been implemented to support local businesses and economic recovery since the COVID-19 pandemic started.  Information regarding the updated Economic Response Plan may be found on the corporate website.

Patio and Outdoor Dining Permits

In response to the challenges faced by restaurant and bar owners due to COVID-19, the City of Cambridge is providing a streamlined process to accelerate approvals for new or expanded temporary outdoor private and sidewalk patios.

The streamlined Temporary Patio Program is in effect till December 31, 2021

Restaurants and bar owners need to apply for a patio permit allowing them to do business on a temporary outdoor private patio or on a City sidewalk. To apply, visit www.cambridge.ca/BusinessLicence and download the application form or apply online.

Small Business Centre 

The Cambridge Small Business Centre has changed all of its seminars and consultations to online or by phone. Please connect with us for consultations at invest@cambridge.ca or by phone at 519-740-4685

Re-opening Ontario

Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will move the province into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.  Waterloo Region entered Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopening on July 12, 2021, and entered Step 3 on July 16, 2021 at 12:01am.

Starting January 5, 2022 for at least 21 days (until January 27), the province will be taking temporary a step back to a modified Step 2 in response to the Omicron variant currently impacting Ontario.

 Details regarding the temporary return to a modified Step 2

As of January 5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. the following measures will be in place for at least 21 days (until January 27) subject to trends in public health and our health system.

Social gatherings are permitted under the following conditions:

  • indoor gatherings limited to five people or fewer
  • outdoor gatherings limited to 10 people or fewer

Organized public events are permitted under the following conditions:

  • indoor events limited to five people or fewer
  • outdoor events have no limits on number of attendees, but face coverings and/or masks must be worn when distancing (two metres or more) cannot be maintained

Weddings, funerals, religious services, rites and ceremonies are permitted under the following conditions:

  • indoor services are limited to 50 per cent the capacity of the room
  • outdoor services are limited to the number of people who can maintain two metres distance
  • drive-in (motor vehicle) services permitted
  • social gatherings associated with these services must adhere to the social gathering limits

Retirement homes

Retirement homes are exempt from organized public event and social gathering restrictions if the home is in compliance with the policies or guidance, if any, issued by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.

Work from home

Businesses and organizations must make sure that all work is conducted remotely, unless the nature of the work requires workers to be on-site at the workplace.

Retail

All retail must operate under the following conditions:

  • 50 per cent capacity
  • music played is not above a decibel level where normal conversation is possible
  • active screening at photography studios and services
  • safety measures for vehicle test drives sales, such as a maximum of 10 minutes for a test drive, a maximum of two people in a vehicle, including one sales representative, windows must be rolled down, active screening, masking, etc.
  • safety measures for shopping malls, including capacity limits, no loitering, distancing in line ups, food courts closed and active screening.

Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments, including those with dance floors (such as nightclubs) and strip clubs must operate under the following conditions:

  • indoor service closed
  • take out, drive through and delivery allowed
  • outdoor areas open with restrictions including, but not limited to:
    • no more than 10 people per table
    • patrons must remain seated
    • no dancing or singing
    • active screening
    • limited hours for the sale, service and consumption of liquor

Meeting and event spaces, including conference centres and convention centres must operate under the following conditions:

  • indoor areas closed with exceptions, such as child care, court and government services, social services, health services, collective bargaining and mental health/addiction services up to 10 people, in-person exams for limited fields/occupations up to 50 people
  • outdoor areas open with restrictions including, but not limited to:
    • no more than 10 people per table
    • patrons must remain seated
    • no dancing or singing
    • active screening
    • limited hours for the sale, service and consumption of liquor

Indoor areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including gyms, sporting events and personal training must operate under the following conditions:

  • indoor closed with limited exceptions and conditions (such as athletes training for Olympics and Paralympics, select professional and elite amateur sport leagues who will operate via an approved framework from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and persons with disabilities for physical therapy)
  • outdoor open with spectators limited to 50 per cent capacity and other restrictions
  • proof of vaccination required for facilities with a usual capacity of 20,000 or more people

Recreational amenities must operate under the following conditions:

  • indoor recreational amenities closed
  • outdoor recreational amenities open

Concert venues, theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries, zoos, science centres , landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions, amusement parks, waterparks, tour and guide services including boat tours, fairs, rural exhibitions and festivals must operate under the following conditions:

  • outdoor open with restrictions (such as masking on rides)
  • spectators at seated events at 50 per cent capacity
  • outdoor tours and boat tours at 50 per cent capacity
  • drive-in and drive through events permitted with restrictions, such as distancing between cars, only permitted to leave a vehicle in limited circumstances, etc.
  • indoor areas of concert venues, theatres and cinemas closed except for rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted performance, artistic event or performance, with restrictions

Commercial film and television production

  • studio audiences not permitted
    • Restrictions, including performers must be distanced unless necessary

Casinos and racing venues

Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments will be closed.

Horse and car racing tracks and similar venues must operate under the following conditions:

  • indoor areas closed
  • outdoor areas open with restrictions, including mandatory reservations, spectators limited to 50 per cent of usual seating capacity and others
  • proof of vaccination required for facilities with a usual capacity of 20,000 or more people.

Personal care services

Saunas, steam rooms and oxygen bars will be closed.

Personal care services such as barbers, hair salons, tattoo parlours must operate under the following conditions:

  • 50 per cent capacity
  • no services where face coverings need to be removed
  • by appointment only
  • active screening
  • music played is not above a decibel level where normal conversation is possible

Hotels, motels and similar establishments must operate under the following conditions:

  • open except for any area required to be closed, such as indoor gyms, pools, steam rooms/saunas
  • restaurants within the hotel or motel may offer takeout or delivery only

Short-term rentals must operate under the following conditions:

  • only open to those in need of housing (does not apply to hotels, motels, lodges, resorts and other shared rental accommodation, including student residences.)
  • ice fishing huts permitted with restrictions

Liquor sales and service are permitted under the following conditions:

  • sale of alcohol must end at 10 p.m. and no consumption of alcohol on-premise in businesses or settings after 11 p.m., with the exception of delivery and takeout services, grocery and convenience stores and other liquor retail stores

Real estate agencies must operate under the following conditions:

  • property viewings by appointment only
  • no open houses

Businesses that provide in-person teaching or instruction (such as cooking classes, music classes) must operate under the following conditions:

  • indoor areas closed, except for organizations that provide health and safety training (with conditions)
  • outdoor areas open with restrictions in place, such as physical distancing

Driving instruction must be conducted under the following conditions:

  • limited to in-person instruction for drivers of commercial motor vehicles only.

Libraries and community centres must operate under the following conditions:

  • open with 50 per cent capacity, with limited exceptions, such as child care, social services

Bathhouses and sex clubs will be closed.

This list is not exhaustive. The government will continue to work with sectors on reopening plans, to ensure that they have full awareness of when they can begin to safely reopen and how. Please refer to O. Reg. 263/20 Rules for Areas in Step 2 for the complete list of measures and conditions that apply to certain businesses, organizations, places and individuals.

If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, please visit the provincial zones and restrictions webpage or contact (855) 216-3090.

 Historical reopening information
 
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

Step 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.
  • Allowing certain health and medical services to resume, such as in-person counselling and scheduled surgeries based on the ability to meet pre-specified conditions as outlined in A Measured Approach to Planning for Surgeries and Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as resuming professional services such as shifting Children's Treatment Centres from virtual to in-person.
 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:

Friday, July 17, 2020

Stage 3 of the "Framework for re-opening our Province" begins for Waterloo Region

On Monday, July 13, 2020, the Ontario government announced that nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the province's reopening framework in 24 health regions throughout Ontario,  beginning on Friday, July 17.  

As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following:

  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
  • Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.

Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses. A two metre distance must still be maintained at such events.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID‑19:

  • Amusement parks and water parks;
  • Buffet-style food services;
  • Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements;
  • Overnight stays at camps for children;
  • Private karaoke rooms;
  • Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports;
  • Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars;
  • Table games at casinos and gaming establishments;
  • Strip clubs (as of September 26, 2020).

For more information on the restrictions that will remain in place during Stage 3, as well as the public health guidance necessary to keep the people of Ontario safe, visit Ontario.ca/reopen.

Saturday, September 19, 2020 - Private Gathering Limit Rollback

Unmonitored and private social gatherings include functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas.

The new limit on the number of people allowed to attend an unmonitored private social gathering across the province is:

  • 10 people at an indoor event or gathering (previous limit of 50); or
  • 25 people at an outdoor event or gathering (previous limit of 100).

Indoor and outdoor events and gatherings cannot be merged together. Gatherings of 35 (25 outdoors and 10 indoors) are not permitted.

Saturday, September 26, 2020 - New restrictions for Restaurants, Bars, Night Clubs and Adult Entertainment Establishments

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, September 26:

  • restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments (including nightclubs) must:
    • stop selling alcohol at 11 p.m.
    • prohibit the consumption of alcohol between 12:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. by anyone, including employees
    • close by 12:00 a.m.
    • remain closed until 5:00 a.m., except for takeout or delivery
  • all strip clubs must remain closed
  • businesses and organizations must comply with any advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening for COVID-19
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 - Introduction of new COVID-19 Response Framework
The framework takes a gradual approach that includes introducing preventative measures earlier to help avoid broader closures and allow for additional public health and workplace safety measures to be introduced or removed incrementally. It categorizes public health unit regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown being a measure of last and urgent resort. Each level outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations. These include targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions and other settings.
Monday, December 21, 2020 - Ontario Announces Provincewide Shutdown
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown. Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. The Provincewide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - Ontario Declares Second State of Emergency/Stay at Home Order

The provincial government has enacted a State of Emergency - Effective January 13, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people's mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

The government will enact the following additional public health measures:

  • Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions. This is consistent with the rules during the lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 and will allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely.
  • Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can't physically distance more than two metres.  
  • All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
  • Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.

For more information on this order and how it may affect you or your business, please visit the provincial website at: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/

 Monday, February 16, 2021 - Waterloo Region returns to the strengthened COVID-19 Framework

Based on a general improvement in trends of key indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, improving hospital capacity, and available public health capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management, Waterloo Region will be moving back to the Framework on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. and will no longer be subject to the Stay-at-Home order.

After returning to the Framework, public health regions will stay in their level for at least two weeks at which time, the government will assess the impact of public health and workplace safety measures to determine if the region should stay where they are or be moved to a different level. Public health regions will move up through the levels, if necessary, based on the set indicators and thresholds outlined in the Framework.

For more information about what this means for our community, please visit the provincial COVID measures and advice webpage

Thursday, April 1, 2021 - The province of Ontario uses the Emergency Brake system to stop the spread of Covid

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a provincewide emergency brake as a result of an alarming surge  in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province. The provincewide emergency brake will be effective Saturday, April 3, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. and the government intends to keep this in place for at least four weeks.

For more information about what this means for our community, please visit the provincial COVID measures and advice webpage.

Thursday, April 8, 2021 - Ontario Declares a Third State of Emergency/Stay at Home Order

Effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.

A full list of businesses that are permitted to operate during this stay at home period may be found on the provincial website at:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/enhancing-public-health-and-workplace-safety-measures-provincewide-shutdown

Thursday, May 20, 2021 - Ontario Releases Three-Step Roadmap to Safely Reopen the Province

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. In response to recent improvements to these indicators, Ontario will allow more outdoor recreational amenities to reopen, with restrictions in place, effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

To read the full release and the list of what is permitted to open may be found on the provincial website at: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000161/ontario-releases-three-step-roadmap-to-safely-reopen-the-province

 Thursday, May 20, 2021 - Ontario Releases Three-Step Roadmap to Safely Reopen the Province

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. In response to recent improvements to these indicators, Ontario will allow more outdoor recreational amenities to reopen, with restrictions in place, effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

To read the full release and the list of what is permitted to open may be found on the provincial website at: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000161/ontario-releases-three-step-roadmap-to-safely-reopen-the-province

 Monday June 7, 2021 - Ontario to Move to Step One of Roadmap to Reopen on June 11

Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will move the province into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021.

All public health and workplace safety measures currently in place will remain in effect until the province moves to Step One on June 11, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. During this time, the government will continue to work with stakeholders on their reopening plans, including targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions and other settings to ensure that they have full awareness of when they can begin to safely reopen and how.

Please view the regulation for full details.

 Thursday, July 8, 2021 - Region of Waterloo to Move to Step Two of Roadmap to Reopen on July 12

For more information on what Step 2 looks like for Cambridge, please see the service update news release.

As some restrictions still remain in place, this may present hardships for our community.

Residents are reminded to be mindful of feelings of isolation. If you or someone you know needs help, remember that local mental health support is available.

Friday, July 9, 2021 - Ontario (including Waterloo Region) Moving to Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen on July 16

With key public health and health care indicators continuing to improve and the provincewide vaccination rate surpassing the targets outlined in the province’s Roadmap to Reopen, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health the Ontario government is moving the province into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021.

  • Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions;
  • Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;
  • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing;
  • Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect;
  • Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space. Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less;
  • Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less);
  • Essential and non-essential retail with with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
  • Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;
  • Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors;
  • Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at:
    • up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)
    • up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less).
  • Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; and
  • Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).
  Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - Ontario Announces Proof of Vaccination Requirements

To further protect Ontarians as the province continues to confront the Delta-driven fourth wave of the COVID-19, the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, will require people to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and settings starting September 22, 2021.

As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes:

  • Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
  • Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
  • Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
  • Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
  • Sporting events;
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
  • Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
  • Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
  • Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).

To read the full release, please visit the provincial website at: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000779/ontario-to-require-proof-of-vaccination-in-select-settings

City of Cambridge staff will be reviewing the details of the passport system in terms of public facilities, particularly  recreation facilities, and working on an implementation plan in consultation with the area municipalities and Public Health. An update will be provided when more information is finalized.

 Friday, September 24, 2021 - Ontario easing capacity limits where proof of vaccination is required

Effective September 25, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits will be increased in many of the indoor settings where proof of vaccination is required. Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres; sporting events; concerts, theatres and cinemas; racing venues (e.g., horse racing); and commercial and film television productions with studio audiences will be increased to up to 50 per cent capacity or 10,000 people (whichever is less) for indoor events.

For certain outdoor event venues where patrons stand, capacity limits will increase to up to 75 per cent capacity or 15,000 people (whichever is less). For certain outdoor event venues where patrons are seated, capacity limits will be increased to up to 75 per cent capacity or 30,000 people (whichever is less). This is in recognition of the fact that the risk of transmission is lower because of reduced mobility around the venue. In addition, proof of vaccination will now be required in outdoor settings where the normal maximum capacity is 20,000 people or more to help keep these venues safe for patrons.

Capacity Limits are begin increased for:

  • Indoor settings that are subject to proof of vaccination requirements, including sporting facilities, meeting and event spaces, racing venues, concerts, theatres, cinemas and film and television studio audiences; and
  • Large outdoor events and settings

The new capacity limits are:

  • For indoor venues, up to 50% capacity or 10,000 people, whichever is less,
  • For outdoor non-seated/ standing venues, up to 75% capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less,
  • For outdoor seated venues, up to 75% capacity or 30,000 people, whichever is less,
  • Proof of vaccination requirements will be applied to certain outdoor areas that have a usual capacity of 20,000 or more persons,
  • All other heatlh and safety measures for these settings (e.g. masking) remain the same.
 Friday, October 8, 2021 - Ontario Cautiously Lifting Capacity Limits in Select Settings

With public health and health care indicators remaining stable or improving, the government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is cautiously lifting capacity limits in select indoor and outdoor settings where proof of vaccination is required, as well as certain outdoor settings that have a capacity below 20,000. This gradual and incremental approach will continue to help protect people and ensure the province continues to cautiously lift public health measures safely.

In keeping with the government’s cautious approach, effective Saturday, October 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., capacity limits will be lifted to allow 100 per cent capacity in the following settings:

  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas;
  • Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training);
  • Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing);
  • Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues; and
  • Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.
Friday, October 22, 2021 - Ontario Releases Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has released A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Termwhich outlines the province’s gradual approach to lifting remaining public health and workplace safety measures by March 2022. The plan will be guided by the ongoing assessment of key public health and health care indicators and supported by local or regional tailored responses to COVID-19.

In response to continued improvements to key indicators, including ongoing stability in the province’s hospitals, effective October 25, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario will lift capacity limits in the vast majority of settings where proof of vaccination are required, such as restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments; indoor areas of sports and recreational facilities such as gyms and where personal physical fitness trainers provide instruction; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and indoor meeting and event spaces. Limits will also be lifted in certain outdoor settings.

At this time, the government will also allow other settings to lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements if they choose to require proof of vaccination, including:

  • Personal care services (e.g., barber shops, salons, body art);
  • Indoor areas of museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
  • Indoor areas of amusement parks;
  • Indoor areas of fairs, rural exhibitions, festivals;
  • Indoor tour and guide services;
  • Boat tours;
  • Indoor areas of marinas and boating clubs;
  • Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;
  • Open house events provided by real estate agencies; and
  • Indoor areas of photography studios and services.

For more information regarding "A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term", please review O.Reg 727/21.

Recent Provincial Announcements

 Friday, December 10, 2021 - Ontario Taking Action to Protect Against Omicron Variant
 Ontario’s weekly cases incidence rate is below the national average, and recent investments combined with high vaccination rates have meant hospital and intensive care unit capacity remains stable. In line with Ontario’s cautious approach throughout the pandemic and in light of evolving global evidence around the Omicron variant, the province is adjusting its COVID-19 response that will strengthen the province’s proof of vaccination requirements and enhance public health measures. This includes the following measures:
  • Delaying the lifting of proof of vaccination requirements beyond January 17, 2022, aligned with the reopening plan that stipulated that doing so was contingent on the absence of concerning trends.
  • Effective January 4, 2022, requiring the use of the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code and the Verify Ontario app in settings where proof of vaccination is required. The QR code can be used digitally or by printing a paper copy. Individuals can download their enhanced certificate with QR code by visiting https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/.
  • Strengthening the verification process for medical exemptions and clinical trial exemptions by requiring a certificate with a QR code. Organizations and businesses that are under the provincial proof-of-vaccination system will be advised to no longer accept physician notes as of January 10, 2022.
  • Effective December 20, 2021, requiring proof of vaccination for youth aged 12 to 17 years participating in organized sports at recreational facilities.
  • On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontarians are strongly advised to limit their social gatherings and the number of gatherings they attend over the holiday season. Additional precautions should be taken if all individuals are not fully vaccinated or where vaccination status is unknown. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.

The full suite of measures is outlined in the backgrounder.

 Friday, December 17, 2021 - Ontario Further Strengthening Response to Omicron

To further strengthen its response to Omicron and reduce opportunities for close contact as the province gets as many vaccines into arms as possible, Ontario is introducing a 50 per cent capacity limit in the following indoor public settings:

  • Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments and strip clubs;
  • Personal care services;
  • Personal physical fitness trainers;
  • Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies);
  • Shopping malls;
  • Non-spectator areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g. gyms);
  • Indoor recreational amenities;
  • Indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;
  • Tour and guide services; and
  • Photography studios and services; and
  • Marinas and boating clubs.

These limits do not apply to any portion of a business or place that is being used for a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite, or ceremony. Businesses or facilities will also need to post a sign stating the capacity limits that are permitted in the establishment.

To further reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, additional protective measures are also being applied:

  • The number of patrons permitted to sit at a table will be limited to 10 people and patrons will be required to remain seated in restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments, meeting and event spaces and strip clubs.
  • Bars and restaurants, meeting and event spaces and strip clubs will be required to close by 11 p.m. Take out and delivery will be permitted beyond 11 p.m.
  • Dancing will not be allowed except for workers or performers.
  • Food and/or drink services will be prohibited at sporting events; concert venues, theatres and cinemas; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues.
  • The sale of alcohol will be restricted after 10 p.m. and consumption of alcohol in businesses or settings after 11 p.m.

In addition, to mitigate COVID-19 transmission that can occur at informal social gatherings, the province is also reducing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

These restrictions will come into effect on 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, December 19, 2021.

 Wednesday, December 22, 2021 - Ontario Launches New Supports for Businesses

Through the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program, eligible businesses will receive rebate payments equivalent to 50 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to the current capacity limits. This will provide support to businesses that are expected to be most impacted financially by the requirement to reduce capacity to 50 per cent. Examples of businesses that will be eligible for the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program include restaurants, smaller retail stores and gyms. A full list of eligible business types will be made available through a program guide in mid-January 2022.

Online applications for this program will open in mid-January 2022, with payments to eligible businesses provided retroactive to December 19, 2021. Businesses will be required to submit property tax and energy bills as part of the application process.

The province is also providing additional support to help improve cash flows for Ontario businesses by providing a six-month interest- and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes, supporting businesses in the immediate term while capacity restrictions are in place while providing the flexibility Ontario businesses will need for long-term planning. The six-month period will begin January 1, 2022 and end July 1, 2022.

Visit Ontario’s website for more information on available supports.

Sunday, January 3, 2022 - Ontario Temporarily Moving to Modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen
 In response, the province will return to the modified version of Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen effective Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. for at least 21 days (until January 26, 2022), subject to trends in public health and health system indicators.

These measures include:

  • Reducing social gathering limits to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.
  • Limiting capacity at organized public events to five people indoors.
  • Requiring businesses and organizations to ensure employees work remotely unless the nature of their work requires them to be on-site.
  • Limiting capacity at indoor weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites and ceremonies to 50 per cent capacity of the particular room. Outdoor services are limited to the number of people that can maintain 2 metres of physical distance. Social gatherings associated with these services must adhere to the social gathering limits.
  • Retail settings, including shopping malls, permitted at 50 per cent capacity. For shopping malls physical distancing will be required in line-ups, loitering will not be permitted and food courts will be required to close.
  • Personal care services permitted at 50 per cent capacity and other restrictions. Saunas, steam rooms, and oxygen bars closed.
  • Closing indoor meeting and event spaces with limited exceptions but permitting outdoor spaces to remain open with restrictions.
  • Public libraries limited to 50 per cent capacity.
  • Closing indoor dining at restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments. Outdoor dining with restrictions, takeout, drive through and delivery is permitted.
  • Restricting the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. and the consumption of alcohol on-premise in businesses or settings after 11 p.m. with delivery and takeout, grocery/convenience stores and other liquor stores exempted.
  • Closing indoor concert venues, theatres, cinemas, rehearsals and recorded performances permitted with restrictions.
  • Closing museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions, amusement parks and waterparks, tour and guide services and fairs, rural exhibitions, and festivals. Outdoor establishments permitted to open with restrictions and with spectator occupancy, where applicable, limited to 50 per cent capacity.
  • Closing indoor horse racing tracks, car racing tracks and other similar venues. Outdoor establishments permitted to open with restrictions and with spectator occupancy limited to 50 per cent capacity. Boat tours permitted at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Closing indoor sport and recreational fitness facilities including gyms, except for athletes training for the Olympics and Paralympics and select professional and elite amateur sport leagues. Outdoor facilities are permitted to operate but with the number of spectators not to exceed 50 per cent occupancy and other requirements.
  • All publicly funded and private schools will move to remote learning starting January 5 until at least January 17, subject to public health trends and operational considerations.
  • School buildings would be permitted to open for child care operations, including emergency child care, to provide in-person instruction for students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated remotely and for staff who are unable to deliver quality instruction from home.
  • During this period of remote learning, free emergency child care will be provided for school-aged children of health care and other eligible frontline workers.

Please view the regulation for the full list of mandatory public health and workplace safety measures.

 Friday, January 7, 2022 - Ontario Providing Support for Small Business, Workers and Families

As part of a comprehensive plan to support workers and businesses, the government is announcing an Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. It will provide eligible small businesses with a grant payment of $10,000.

Eligible small businesses include:

  • Restaurants and bars;
  • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms);
  • Performing arts and cinemas;
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
  • Meeting or event spaces;
  • Tour and guide services;
  • Conference centres and convention centres;
  • Driving instruction for individuals; and
  • Before- and after- school programs.

Eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and that are subject to closure under modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and will not need to apply to the new program. Newly established and newly eligible small businesses will need to apply once the application portal opens in the coming weeks. Small businesses that qualify can expect to receive their payment in February.

Further, online applications for the previously-announced Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program will open on January 18. This program will provide eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with rebate payments for up to 100 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health measures in response to the Omicron variant.

Eligible businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs. Those required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs. A complete list of eligible businesses will be provided prior to the launch of the application portal.

Friday, January 20, 2022 - Ontario Outlines Steps to Cautiously and Gradually Ease Public Health Measures

Effective January 31, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. Ontario will begin the process of gradually easing restrictions, while maintaining protective measures, including but not limited to:

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • Increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 per cent in indoor public settings, including but not limited to:
    • Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities;
    • Retailers (including grocery stores and pharmacies)
    • Shopping malls;
    • Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms;
    • Cinemas;
    • Meeting and event spaces;
    • Recreational amenities and amusement parks, including water parks;
    • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos and similar attractions; and
    • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
    • Religious services, rites, or ceremonies.
  • Allowing spectator areas of facilities such as sporting events, concert venues and theatres to operate at 50 per cent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.

Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings. Additionally, this plan outlines further easing of public health measures on the proposed dates below (subject to change). It is important to note that to manage COVID-19 over the long-term, local and regional responses by public health units may be deployed based on local context and conditions.

 Proposed - February 21, 2022

Effective February 21, 2022, Ontario will lift public health measures, including:

  • Increasing social gathering limits to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
  • Removing capacity limits in indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required, including but not limited to restaurants, indoor sports and recreational facilities, cinemas, as well as other settings that choose to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements.
  • Permitting spectator capacity at sporting events, concert venues, and theatres at 50 per cent capacity.
  • Limiting capacity in most remaining indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is not required to the number of people that can maintain two metres of physical distance.
  • Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies limited to the number that can maintain two metres of physical distance, with no limit if proof of vaccination is required.
  • Increasing indoor capacity limits to 25 per cent in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including nightclubs, wedding receptions in meeting or event spaces where there is dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs.

Enhanced proof of vaccination, and other requirements would continue to apply in existing settings. 

 Proposed - March 14, 2022

Effective March 14, 2022, Ontario will take additional steps to ease public health measures, including:

  • Lifting capacity limits in all indoor public settings. Proof of vaccination will be maintained in existing settings in addition to other regular measures.
  • Lifting remaining capacity limits on religious services, rites, or ceremonies.
  • Increase social gathering limits to 50 people indoors with no limits for outdoor gatherings.

Important Resources for Businesses as they Re-open

Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace

The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce has set up a platform to assist local small businesses with ordering your free workplace self screening kits & masks. You can visit Chamber Check & follow the steps outlined. The workplace self screening kits & masks are free and available to small businesses (> 150 employees) in the Region of Waterloo.

The province has developed numerous resources and information to provide sector specific guidance for keeping employees and workplaces healthy and safe.

The province has also developed a guide for employers looking to develop workplace safety plans. Whether you are currently operating or planning for your workers to return to work, the guide will help you develop a plan to work safely. It will help prepare you to put controls into place to make the workplace safer for everyone. 

You can also view a restaurant specific guide on Updates and resources for food service operators.

 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 invest@cambridge.ca.

 Ontario Made Program

Ontario Made is a celebration of Ontario Manufacturing led by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.  Manufacturers are encouraged to add their Ontario Made products to the searchable website and receive a digital Ontario Made logo to promote the very best that the province has to offer.

Please visit the Ontario Made website for further details on how to participate and support Ontario manufacturers.

** 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.

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 financial resources and information.

Financial Resources for Businesses

Government of Canada

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses - this plan includes:

  • Rent and Property Expenses Support - Depending on the period a business is applying for, they may be eligible to claim commercial rent or property expenses through one of the following:
    • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
    • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
    • Hardest-Hit Businesses Recovery Program
  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) - The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) provides businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19, access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.
  • Jobs and Growth Fund - The Jobs and Growth Fund is a $700-million program that supports regional job creation and positions local economies for long-term growth. This includes up to $70 million dedicated to businesses created after January 2020.

    The Fund will help businesses and organizations that:

    • support the transition to a green economy
    • foster an inclusive recovery
    • enhance Canada's competitiveness through digital adoption to improve productivity and manufacturing processes
    • strengthen capacity in sectors critical to Canada's recovery and growth
  • Wages and Hiring Support - Businesses may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their employee wages. This subsidy will enable businesses to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease back into normal operations.  Four streams are available: 
    • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
    • Hardest-Hit Businesses Recovery Program
    • Canada Recovery Hiring Program
    • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • Work Sharing - The governments has extended the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19.
  • 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).  Applications for LEEFF may be made through the Canada Investment Development Corporation.

** 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

Government of Ontario

Ontario's Action Plan:  Responding to COVID-19

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.

Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program (applications open January 18, 2022): Eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity will receive rebate payments for a portion of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these measures. Eligible businesses required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs, while businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs.

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.

Waterloo Region entered a modified Stage 2 of the provincial framework on January 5, 2022 and in recognition of the hardships this places on certain industries, eligible businesses will be able to apply to the province for rebates on 

  • municipal and education property taxes
  • energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil)
  • More information on rebates for businesses located in communities falling into restricted access categories of the provincial framework may be found on the Ontario business support webpage.

** 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.

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.
  • 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.

FedDev Ontario

COVID-19 Collaboration Platform

FedDev 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.

Business Development Bank of Canada

Financial 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

Business Support Information

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.

COVID-19 Safe Ambassador Program - The COVID-19 Safe Ambassador program is a free service from the Greater Kitchener Waterloo and Cambridge Chambers of Commerce and the Region of Waterloo to help businesses operate safely.

In collaboration with NSF International, a global public health and safety organization, they are providing free education and one-on-one guidance to help small & medium sized businesses in Waterloo Region  to minimize COVID-19 risks.

When you participate in this program, an NSF-trained ambassador will visit your business for approximately 30-45 minutes. During their visit, the ambassador will ask a few questions, and  provide educational information and one-on-one consultations to help you better understand the COVID-19 risks and requirements based on the most recent provincial operating requirements. Ambassadors are employed by NSF International and are simply ready to help!  Visit the Region of Waterloo's COVID-19 Safe Ambassador Program website for further information on this beneficial program.

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)

Canadian Chamber of Commerce 

Canadian Business Resilience Network

Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Canada United Small Business Relief Fund - Created by RBC, 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 costs of expenses to open safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online. 
Cambridge Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Business Ready - This project was founded through the teamwork of the BESTWR. As the Ontario government has begun easing up on some restrictions and businesses are starting to re-open, this new training platform, Chamber Business Ready, has been pre-loaded with training to keep you up to date on the Region’s guidelines.

You can expect to find the latest training content such as hand hygiene for office and frontline workers, how to protect yourself from viruses, mental health resources, and tips for working from home. New content will continually be added and updated as guidelines change.

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 - https://www.findyourjob.ca/.
Waterloo Economic Development Corporation (Waterloo EDC)
Waterloo EDC has developed a Recovery and reopening webinar series, reviewing topics such as:  General Overview, Manufacturing Sector, Small to Medium Sized Businesses, Loan Programs, and Workforce and Labour Considerations.
Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD)

The MLTSD has developed a number of workplace resources for businesses to help them operate safely:

COVID-19 Workplace Resources

Signage for Businesses

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

** 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.

#DineFromHome

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

Patios across Waterloo Region are now open! Visit the map to discover a new restaurant, or or see if your favourites are offering patio service!  Let's work together to support our local restaurants!

Please contact us at invest@cambridge.ca if you experience issues with our map.

Take Out Tips:  Staying safe while you #DineAtHome

Experts agree that takeout/delivery items from restaurants are generally considered to be a safe food option. However, following these precautions can help ensure a healthy dining experience:

  • Double Check. Before ordering any services, residents should double-check with the business that Public Health requirements are in place in terms of safety protocols and social distancing measures. 
  • Remove the packaging: Use your own dishes and cutlery to eat from, disposing of all paper and food containers.
  • Wash your hands:  After handling food packaging, be sure to wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds prior to eating.
  • Practice physical distancing:  For takeout experiences, ensure you maintain physical distancing by waiting for an order in your car or using the drive thru.  For delivery, designate a space outside your front door for the driver to leave the order.  Pay electronically where possible, and use your own pen if signature is required, or tap is not an option.
  • Avoid peak hours:  By ordering earlier or later than usual, your food may be ready more quickly and it could be easier to observe physical distancing recommendations.
  • If you are sick, stay home:  We all need to do our part to keep our communities healthy. Dine From Home map

Disclaimer:  Please note this is not an exhaustive list of services currently provided within Cambridge, Ontario.  It is intended for information purposes only, and does not endorse any of the listed businesses.