COVID-19: Resources for Businesses in The Village

In these unprecedented times we know it can be challenging to find resources for businesses including small and medium-sized enterprises. We have compiled a list of highlighted government assistance programs with links to the application portals to make it easy for all members in the International Village BIA to access the financial supports available to them. Easily access and find relevant information on government assistance programs and grants below.

Property Tax & Energy Bill Rebates

Business can receive up to $850/month for fixed costs (municipal/education property taxes & energy costs).

To receive the grant, small business requirements are as follows:

  • Businesses that are, or were, required to close or significantly restrict services as a result of being under control or lockdown restrictions in the COVID-19 response framework.
  • Were required to close or significantly restrict services as a result of being under “modified Stage 2” restrictions in the previous framework
  • Businesses will not be eligible if they are within the areas subject to public health restrictions, but were not required to close or significantly restrict services or owned by the federal, provincial, or a municipal government, or by a person holding federal or provincial office.

Applications for the Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grant closed on July 30, 2021.

Funding For PPE Costs Rebates

Helping small businesses with unexpected costs of PPE. Eligible small business will get a one-time grant of up to $1,000.

To be eligible, your business must have 2-9 employees and be in one of the following sectors:

  • retail trade;
  • accommodation and food services;
  • repair and maintenance;
  • personal and laundry services;
  • gyms and yoga studios
  • arts, entertainment, and recreation.


Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant

Ontario is providing one‐time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to support eligible small tourism and travel businesses struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This grant will support eligible small tourism and travel businesses that did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG), such as travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts.

To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 100 employees and demonstrate they have experienced a minimum 20 percent revenue decline between 2019 and 2020.

Applications for the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant closed on July 9, 2021. MORE INFORMATION

Hamilton eatCommerce

Innovation Factory, Digital Main Street, and Pavement have come together to help 100 restaurants sell their products online.

Through the Hamilton eatCommerce Pilot, restaurant owners will receive $250 in digital services and a choice between 3 digital packages (Web Starter, Social Ad Campaign, or A-La-Carte).

Grants are limited to 100 restaurants and provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Apply as soon as possible if you would like to participate as this program is extremely limited.


Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until October 23, 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

Next Deadline
November 4, 2021: Last day to apply for claim period 8

Next Period Opens
November 1, 2021: First day you can apply for claim period 14


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations.

Next Deadline
November 4, 2021: Last day to apply for claim period 15

Next Period Opens
November 1, 2021: First day you can apply for claim period 21


Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)

As a Canadian employer who continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible to apply for one of the two subsidies to cover part of your employee wages.

The CRHP and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) support wages you pay through different phases of your economic recovery. Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either CRHP or CEWS, whichever is higher.

Next Deadline
December 30, 2021: Last day to apply for claim period 17

Next Period Opens
November 1, 2021: First day you can apply for claim period 21


Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Depending on when you start applying for the CRB, you can either receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) or $600 ($540 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

If your situation continues, you will need to apply again. You may apply for up to a total of 27 eligibility periods (54 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and October 23, 2021.


Digital Main Street Program

Providing main street businesses with a digital assessment, online training modules available as a resource, and municipalities with grants to implement a Digital Service Squad.

Free Social Media Content Strategy
Bring clarity to your social content strategy, hone in your voice and message, create social content pillars that you can create content around for years to come. The Digital Main Street Service Squad can help with their FREE, in-depth social media content strategy planning session. Book your free session now.

Free 16-Point Social Media Audit
Are your social media profiles set up properly? Are you utilizing all the options available? Are you posting regularly? Find the answers to these questions and more with the Digital Main Street Service Squad’s FREE 16-point audit for your Facebook and Instagram profiles. Learn more by emailing


Mental Health & Wellness Support

Find information about programs that may be right for you based on your mental health, wellness, and addiction needs, and the type of support that you prefer.


Hamilton COVID Concierge for Business

The Hamilton COVID Concierge for Business is a one-stop online resource centre and phone line dedicated to supporting Hamilton businesses with their COVID-19 business questions and concerns. Local businesses can access the new COVID Concierge for Business phone line at 905-521-3989 or by visiting


WorkWise Hamilton

WorkWise Hamilton is a new campaign launched by the Hamilton COVID Concierge Team and Hamilton Public Health Services. Here you can find sector-specific guidelines to reopening, workplace safety resources for businesses, a Workplace Safety Checklist, and more.

WorkWise Hamilton’s goal is to provide workplaces with resources to help navigate the Province’s new regulations and continue to learn about effective ways to prevent COVID-19 spread in the workplace.


Free Rapid Testing Kits

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is pleased to provide free rapid testing kits to businesses (including non-Chamber members) with fewer than 150 employees.

The goal of the program is to identify asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace that might otherwise be missed, helping to curb the spread in the workplace, at home and around the community in Hamilton.

The Hamilton Rapid Testing centre is located at 44 Frid Street and operates from Tuesday to Thursday, 10 am to 3 pm.


Pride Community Pages

Pride Hamilton and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce have launched the Pride Community Pages. The Pride Community Pages aims to be a directory of Hamilton businesses that are owned by, friendly to, or providing safe space to the Two Spirit and LGBTQIA+ community. Register your business today.


Digital Resource Hub

The Hamilton Chamber and the Hamilton Business Centre have put together a Digital Resource Hub for small businesses. Whether you’re looking to create a logo for your business, learn how to effectively use social media, build a website, or find that perfect photo, this is your hub of over 150 of the best FREE digital resources from around the web.


Restaurant & Bar Support Fund

The Restaurant & Bar Support Fund is a registered not-for-profit established by concerned individuals who do not want to see the predicted numbers of closures and bankruptcies in Ontario’s food and beverage sector.

Qualified applicants will receive a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to assist them in the reopening of their business. Priority is being given to applicants who demonstrate a commitment to their staff and neighbourhood.


View inside Cafe Oranje

List of Resources for Small Businesses

We have compiled a list of resources for businesses in the International Village BIA. Scroll down to find and access resources to help you through the COVID-19 pandemic: 

Financial Support and Grants

Government Assistance Programs

Province of Ontario Business Support Webinar

Government of Canada

Canada Anti-Fraud Centre

Province of Ontario 

International Village BIA 

Workplace Safety Plan 

City of Hamilton

City of Hamilton – Current COVID-19 Restrictions

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

Hamilton COVID Concierge For Business 

Hamilton Business Centre 

Hometown Hub 

Shop Eat Play


Bounce Back Hamilton

Google My Business New Features

Hamilton Restaurant Takeout/Delivery

Hamilton eatCommerce


Government Assistance Programs for Small Businesses

We have highlighted a select number of government assistance programs above. For a full list of assistance programs for small businesses, visit the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s Business Continuity and Recovery Information Site

Person working on sewing machine at Tundra Leather

Keeping Your Business Safe During COVID-19

Hamilton Police Service is committed to providing essential services throughout the City. We recognize that many businesses have temporarily closed due to COVID-19. As always, we continue proactive patrols and respond to calls for service to ensure the safety and security of our community. If you observe suspicious activity or individuals, near or close to a business, please call police immediately. Reporting crime and providing relevant information allows our investigators to identify suspects and solve crime.

Please refer to the following safety tips on keeping your business safe:

  • Ensure locks, alarms and CCTV are operational
  • Leave lights on inside and out
  • Remove high-value items from window view
  • Back up all business documentation
  • Display empty cash drawer in window view
  • Track inventory and update insurance coverage
  • Post emergency contact information inside the store
  • When checking your business, do so during the day
  • Tell your business neighbours your plan
  • Report suspicious activity to police at 905-546-4925

Download the Hamilton Police Service Crime Prevention Tips and Crime Prevention Business Poster.

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