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Reopening Your Business
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. 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. If your business is experiencing significant challenges opening with restrictions in Stage 3, there is provincial assistance available to work with you. You can access this assistance by sending in a completed form available here. While the Town is currently reviewing what this next stage means for the municipality, here are some tips and resources to help local businesses begin to reopen safely.
Business Reopening Kits
As a way of supporting the local business community, the Town of Whitby has developed Business Reopening Kits which include:
- 1L bottle of hand sanitizer provided by Brock Street Brewery (ProtectENOL)
- 2 floor decals
- 2 physical distancing posters
- Mandatory masks poster
- Hours of operations poster.
Request a kit today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mandatory Non-Medical Masks and Face Coverings
The Region of Durham announced the mandatory use of non-medical masks and face coverings within most public and enclosed indoor spaces, effective July 10.
Extending or Establishing an Outdoor Patio
Businesses interested in extending or establishing an outdoor patio on private or public property are encouraged to review the Town's Internal Approval Process. This four step process will provide applicants information on gathering submission details and requirements and internal review and approval.
Outdoor Patios Approval Process - Public Property
Outdoors Patios Approval Process - Private Property
COVID Business Support
The Town is committed to supporting local businesses through COVID-19. Our goal is to ensure that businesses have the information and support they need to return to operation as quickly as possible, when it is safe to do so.
Economic Recovery Plan
Implementation of this plan is underway. Implementation will continue for the remainder of 2020 and 2021.
Five priority areas that will influence our economic recovery efforts:
- Retain existing businesses by providing resources and support programs
- Revitalize Whitby’s downtowns by managing main street impact
- Foster and sustain growth in the innovation economy
- Engage with post-secondary institutions and other service providers to improve workforce employability
- Improve customer service processes and business experiences
Economic Recovery Survey
In order to better understand the needs of our business community, please complete this short 6 question, Economic Development Recovery Plan Survey. The information provided will help inform and support the Town’s Economic Development Recovery Plan. Any questions related to the survey can be directed to email@example.com.
The Town is supporting Whitby businesses financially during COVID-19 by providing:
- Tax relief supports, including payment deferrals
- A 50% fee reduction fee for mobile sign permits issued until September 30
- No late payment fees for business licence renewals (up to and including June 30)
- Extensions of advertising and sponsorship contracts at Whitby facilities during closures
- Temporary cancellation of payment for leases within Town facilities that are closed
The Town is supporting Whitby businesses operationally during COVID-19 by providing:
- Temporary elimination of payment for parking at all metered on-street locations and municipal parking lots (time limits for parking still apply)
- An increase of curbside garbage bag allowance to six bags
- Flexibility for business to receive deliveries anytime day, anytime through the temporary dismissal of the noise bylaw enforcement provisions related to loading and deliveries for commercial businesses
- Temporary rest stop at Iroquois Park Sports Centre to support truck drivers and keep the supply chain moving
- Suspending all advertising and sponsorship invoicing for while Town facilities are closed
In addition, the Town is continuing:
- To advocate for all our local businesses with both the provincial and federal governments
- To monitor and share important government updates that impact local businesses
Durham Economic Task Force
The Town of Whitby is playing an important role on the new Durham Economic Task Force. This Task Force was created immediately following the declaration by the World Health Organization that the COVID-19 outbreak is a pandemic.
In addition to the Town, the Task Force includes the Durham Region Economic Development Team, Economic Development team members from all municipalities across the Region of Durham, Chambers of Commerce, local Boards of Trade, Business Advisory Centre Durham and BIAs.
The Task Force has been developing a variety of programming ideas and plans to help support business recovery post COVID-19. This includes:
- a #SupportLocal campaign, to drive customers virtually to small businesses that are still operational and offering no-contact delivery/pickup
- webinars and training seminars for small businesses
- a ‘Downtowns of Durham’ website and promotional campaign, to comprehensively drive customers to Durham’s downtown businesses not only virtually, but transitioning it to be a key tool for recovery
- advocacy of local business interests at the provincial and federal level
- a new Local Food Portal to promote local food producers
Eat, Shop and Support Local Businesses
Eat local and support restaurants – see the Downtown Whitby BIA’s list of businesses offering takeout or delivery: whitbybia.org/eat-dine
What's Open Whitby Map
Shopping local in Whitby just got easier with the launch of the new online mapping portal “What’s Open Whitby”.
The portal was developed by the Town in partnership with the Whitby Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Whitby Business Improvement Area (BIA). It’s goal: to help support local businesses of all kinds by encouraging residents to shop and spend their dollars where they live.
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. From restaurants to retail shops to gardening centres, the portal showcases the many businesses that are open in Whitby right now, whether it’s for curbside pick-up, contactless delivery or in-store service.
Get on the Map
Local businesses can add their name and information to the map by completing a quick survey. Questions about the portal can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
View Map Now
Local Contacts and Partners
There are a number of resources available to help local businesses during COVID-19.
National Resources, Support and Toolkits
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business: Applications Begin August 31
The Government of Ontario is making $8 million available to support small business and registered charities who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.
To apply for CEAP funding, customers should contact their energy provider. Electricity and natural gas utilities and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs) will begin accepting applications for CEAP-SB on August 31, 2020, delivering the program in accordance with rules laid out by the OEB. CEAP-SB funding is limited, with utilities and USMPs expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. Please note, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.
For more information, including eligibility requirements and on-bill credit amounts, visit oeb.ca/ceap.
- Business Resilience Service - Small business owners with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).
- Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program
- Business Development Bank of Canada
- Employment Insurance, Work Sharing, and other Employee services - Employment and Social Development Canada
- Essential Business Inquiries - The Province of Ontario has issued a list of essential workplaces in response to COVID-19. If you have questions about what will be open or impacts to your business or employment, call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1.888.444.3659.
- Export Development Canada
Visit: whitby.ca/coronavirus or the Contact Us page to access Town-wide contact info
Follow: @WhitbyEcDev on Twitter for up-to-date information