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 or by phone at 519-740-4685.

For general City-related updates, please visit

On This Page

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  These by-laws take effect on Monday, July 13, 2020 and will be repealed on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 unless further extended by Regional Council.

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

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. 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. 

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!

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 or by phone at 519-740-4685

Re-opening Ontario (Updated May 14, 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

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

 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

Important Resources for Businesses as they Re-open

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.

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

 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

Government of Canada (updated May 11, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Pandemic Preparedness for Business

Payroll and COVID-19 - a Q & A

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 -
 Waterloo Economic Development Corporation (Waterloo EDC)
Recovery and reopening webinar series

For general City-related updates, please visit

** 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


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 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.


Business Call Out 

A local advanced manufacturing firm is looking for 10,000 to 30,000 sqft. of industrial space for sale.  Must have 16” ceilings and 1 loading dock at minimum. Email subject line  #industrialspace for more information or to submit a property.