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.

Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Provides a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help small businesses required to close or restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown with a one-time grant.

To receive the grant, a small business must:

  • Be required to close or restrict services subject to the new Provincewide Shutdown
  • Have fewer than 100 employees
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20% revenue decline comparing April 2020 to April 2019 revenues
  • Businesses that are not eligible include those that were already required to close prior to the introduction of modified Stage 2 measures, and essential businesses permitted to operate with capacity restrictions.
  • Program Ended: April 7, 2021

Learn More

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.


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.


Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000. To receive the grant, a small business must:

  • Be registered with the CRA with an effective date of registration on or prior to March 1, 2020.
  • Has an active business chequing/operating account.
  • If borrower currently does not have a business chequing/operating account, they must create one at their primary financial institution before applying for CEBA.
  • Intends to continue to operate its business or to resume operations.

To apply for CEBA, businesses should contact their financial institution. Applicants now have until June 30, 2021 to apply for a $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion at their financial institution.


Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Provides easy-to-access rent and mortgage subsidy of up to 65% directly to tenants. Qualifying organizations that have been significantly restricted by a mandatory public health order can receive an additional 25% of rent support.

To be eligible to receive the rent subsidy, you must meet all four of the following criteria:

  • You had a CRA business number on September 27, 2020 OR;
  • You had a payroll account on March 15, 2020, or another person or partnership made payroll remittances on your behalf OR;
  • You purchased the business assets of another person or partnership who meets condition b above, and have made an election under the special asset acquisition rules OR;
  • You meet other prescribed conditions that might be introduced
  • Are an eligible business, charity, or non-profit (eligible entity)
  • Experienced a drop in revenue
  • Have eligible expenses


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations.


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).

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 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.


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


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.


Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)

Apply for the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP).

  • Summer 2021 applications are open: Businesses can now apply online to receive wage subsidies for eligible student placements between the months of May-August, 2021. You can receive up to $7,000 for each net new placement.

The subsidies will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.


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 Business Centre 

Hometown Hub 

Shop Eat Play


Bounce Back Hamilton

Google My Business New Features

Hamilton Restaurant Takeout/Delivery

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

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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