Supporting Local Business’ Safe Reopening – Whitby Moves to Stage 3

Posted on Friday July 24, 2020

Celebrating our local community champions

On, Monday, July 20, the Ontario government announced that municipalities within the Durham Region Public Health Unit – including the Town of Whitby – can move into Stage 3 to re-open our local economy. The change is effective as of Friday, July 24, at 12:01 a.m.

Stage 3 sees the further reopening of nearly all businesses in Ontario, including those located in Whitby. Residents are reminded that safe physical distancing is still required when interacting with those living outside of their household or social circle. The use of non-medical masks or face coverings is also required within most indoor spaces accessible to the public, as directed by the Region of Durham.

“Throughout this pandemic, many local businesses have pivoted to support our local economy, essential workers and broader community,” said Mayor Don Mitchell. “As we enter Stage 3, I’d like to thank the Whitby business community, as well as our partners at the Region of Durham, Whitby Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Whitby Business Improvement Area (BIA), for everything they have done to care for our Town.”

Examples of Whitby businesses caring for our community include:

  • not-for-profits like Girls Inc. and the AIDS Committee of Durham who moved their program delivery online to support Whitby’s most vulnerable;
  • Durham Distillery and Brock Street Brewery who pivoted their businesses to make hand sanitizer; and,
  • Panago Pizza, Frantastic Café and 12welve who delivered free meals to first responders and other healthcare workers.

“There are so many examples of local businesses, residents and community groups, like the Whitby Caremongers, who have gone above and beyond to support and care for our community during this time,” added Sarah Klein, Director of Strategic Initiatives. “These – our local champions – deserve to be celebrated, and we invite residents to do just that through our new Whitby Community Champions program.”

Starting today, July 24, residents can go to connectwhitby.ca/champions to recognize a local business, community organization or individual who has gone above and beyond to support our Town during the pandemic. Stories submitted will be shared and profiled on the Town’s new Connect Whitby digital engagement site and social media channels.  

In addition to celebrating our local champions, here’s a reminder of the resources available to help local businesses continue to safely reopen as Whitby moves to Stage 3:

Whitby Business Reopening Kit

The Town has made available a kit to support local independent businesses in their safe reopening. The kit includes a business hours window decal, floor decals and posters to support physical distancing. The kit also includes ProtectENOL sanitizer made by Brock Street Brewery. Local independent businesses can email ecdev@whitby.ca to request a kit.

Safety Guidelines for Reopening

The Town’s consolidated webpage – whitby.ca/businessresources – serves as a one-stop shop for local businesses to learn more about how to safely reopen.

In addition, there are a number of guides to help businesses safely reopen, including the Ontario government’s general workplace guide. The downloadable toolkit will help employers and workers better understand how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Businesses can develop their own COVID-19 workplace safety plan.

Businesses experiencing significant challenges reopening with restrictions in Stage 3 can access provincial assistance by completing the form here.

What’s Open Whitby

To date more than 230 local businesses have added their information to the Town’s What’s Open Whitby online mapping portal. Through whitby.ca/whatsopen, a user can quickly search for a local business by category or address to find a variety of options available to them.

Not on the map? Add your business by completing a quick survey. Questions about the portal can be directed to ecdev@whitby.ca.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information on Stage 3 and resources available to help reopen safely, visit whitby.ca/businessresources or email ecdev@whitby.ca.

“The best way to support our business community is to shop local while remaining vigilant – keep a safe distance, follow Public Health direction on masks and practice good hygiene,” added Mayor Don Mitchell.