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COVID-19: Resources for Businesses in The Village

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 and other resources to make it easy for all members in the International Village BIA to access supports available to them:

Digital Main Street Grant

Digital Main Street is a program focused on assisting small businesses with their move to online marketing, sales, and back-office operations.

The program provides a one-time $2,500 grant to brick-and-mortar small businesses to support their digital transformation through the purchase and adoption of digital tools and technologies.

To qualify, each business must undertake a digital assessment, pass the pre-qualification quiz, complete online training, and submit a Digital Transformation Plan.


Digital Main Street Content Strategy and Social Media Audit

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


Canada Digital Adoption Program

As part of the Canada Digital Adoption Program, the Government of Canada has partnered with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to deliver the Grow Your Business Online grant supported by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Through this program, small business owners can receive a micro-grant worth up to $2,400 to help get their business online, give their e-commerce presence a boost, or digitalize business operations. Grant recipients must commit to maintaining their digital adoption strategy for at least six months.

In addition, e-commerce advisors will be available to work with grant recipients to help identify their digital needs, provide links to digital resources, help with completing applications, and answer questions on the Grow Your Business Online program.


2022 Digital Resource Hub

Looking for FREE tools and resources to better help market and operate your small business? Want to learn a new skill so your small business can grow and thrive online? As a small business, expensive software and online subscriptions are often not within the budget.

The Hamilton Business Centre has put together a collection of the 200+ best FREE and freemium tools and resources so you don’t have to spend hours online searching. Each tool and resource listed is either free to use or has a free plan to help you get started.

Visit the 2022 HBC Digital Resource Hub today and start exploring everything that’s available.


Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)

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.


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.


RAISE Service and Grant Program

The Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturism, joined by DMS, TABIA and OBIAA, announced the RAISE program.

Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (RAISE) is a service and grant program developed and administered by the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA), the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), and in partnership with the Parkdale Centre for Innovation (PCI), to support Indigenous, Black and other racialized entrepreneurs in Ontario to start and scale their business.

Funded by the Government of Ontario, the RAISE Grant program provides access to business development training, culturally responsive support services, and grant funding.

The objectives of the RAISE Grant program are to:

  • Increase economic inclusion by supporting Indigenous, Black and other racialized small business owners with one-to-one culturally responsive services
  • Transfer knowledge through relevant online training and business plan mentorship
  • Provide funding to facilitate innovation and growth within the Indigenous, Black and racialized small business community ($10,000 Grant)
  • Determine Main Street Readiness through the applicant assessment phase


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 Friday, 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.


Rainbow Registered Accreditation Program

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC) are partnering together to offer Hamilton businesses the Rainbow Registered Accreditation.

Rainbow Registered is a nationally recognized safe space accreditation program developed by the CGLCC, Tourism HR Canada, and funded by the Federal government. It recognizes Canadian businesses and organizations that are LGBT+ inclusive, and in turn helps customers, clients, partners and prospective employees to identify LGBT+ friendly businesses and organizations.

Canadian businesses and organizations of all sizes and from any industry can apply.


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 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

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 the police immediately.

Reporting crime and providing relevant information allows our investigators to identify suspects and solve crimes.

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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