AuthorTeagan Pecoskie-Schweir

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Ontario Continues to Support Restaurants During COVID-19 Pandemic

ETOBICOKE — The Ontario government is encouraging everyone to support local restaurants and the food services industry during COVID-19. Last week, the province introduced additional targeted public health measures in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts to help slow the spread of the virus. Over the next 28 days, indoor food and drink service at restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments in these regions will be prohibited, but they may continue to offer takeout, delivery and outdoor dining.

Today, Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliot, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, were at Mamma Martino’s Restaurant in Etobicoke to highlight government support for the industry.

“Families and entrepreneurs across Ontario have poured their hearts into local restaurants and diners. They’ve been there for us, from donating to charities to sponsoring little league sports,” said Premier Ford. “To support them during these tough times, our government is making millions available to provide relief for fixed costs. I’m also calling on everyone in Ontario to rally around our small businesses by ordering takeout or delivery. Together, we can make a huge difference.”

To provide relief for local restaurants and other businesses impacted by the new public health measures, Ontario announced $300 million to help offset fixed costs, including property taxes, hydro and natural gas bills.

The government is also supporting small business through its Main Street Recovery Plan by:

  • Committing to permanently allow licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order before the existing regulation expires;
  • Permanently allowing 24/7 deliveries to restaurants;
  • Supporting the distribution of local food and food products by increasing the range of products sold at the Ontario Food Terminal;
  • Ending outdated and duplicative rules so businesses can focus on their work;
  • Modernizing regulations to allow businesses to innovate and meet the challenges of today;
  • Providing mental health supports to business owners and employees who are struggling;
  • Providing $57 million with federal partners through the Digital Main Street program and creating new Digital Main Street squads to help small businesses grow online; and
  • Launching a new portal to assist small businesses to quickly find the supports and information they need.

Click here to read the full press release

 

Ontario Implementing Additional Public Health Measures in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region

TORONTO — In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, and local medical officers of health and other health experts, the Ontario government is introducing additional targeted public health measures in the Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto public health unit regions. These modified Stage 2 restrictions will be for a minimum of 28 days and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Details were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, Director of the Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation and the Dalla Lana Chair of Public Health Policy at the University of Toronto.

“The health experts presented the most recent health data which identified some alarming public health trends that require immediate attention and early action to keep people safe,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we are making the difficult, but necessary decision to accept the health advice, and impose further restrictions in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region. By taking action ahead of the long weekend, we will help contain the spread in these hotspots, protect the surrounding communities, shield our seniors and most vulnerable, and contain the second wave surge. At the same time, we are providing support to our small businesses in these hotspots.”

“We are seeing the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 rising, hospitalization rates are growing, and community outbreaks are entering our nursing homes and vulnerable congregate settings,” said Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams. “We need to act quickly, and we need everyone to follow the public health guidelines if we are going to stop the spread and contain the second wave.”

Effective Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., these targeted measures are being implemented in Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto as a result of their higher than average rates of transmission. Measures under a modified Stage 2 include:

  • Reducing limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained. The two limits may not be combined for an indoor-outdoor event;
  • Prohibiting indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls;
  • Closing of:
    • Indoor gyms and fitness centres (i.e., exercise classes and weight and exercise rooms);
    • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments;
    • Indoor cinemas;
    • Performing arts centres and venues;
    • Spectator areas in racing venues;
    • Interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks, etc.;
  • Prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service (e.g. makeup application, beard trimming);
  • Reducing the capacity limits for:
    • Tour and guide services to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors
    • Real estate open houses to 10 people indoors, where physical distancing can be maintained.
    • In-person teaching and instruction (e.g. cooking class) to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, with exemptions for schools, child care centres, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, private career colleges, the Ontario Police College, etc.
    • Meeting and event spaces to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, and
  • Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages).

Click here to read the full press release.

 

Downtown Brampton BIA is Hiring! Digital Service Squad – Team Members

The Ontario Digital Main Street Initiative expands the previously existing Digital Main Street program developed in partnership by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA). Thanks to a renewed investment in the Ontario Digital Main Street program from both the federal and provincial governments, even more of the province’s main street small businesses will be able to take full advantage of digital technologies and e-commerce platforms to increase their revenues and create jobs.

The four main components of the Ontario Digital Main Street program include:

  1. Digital Transformation Program: Upon completion of their digital assessment and online training, businesses may apply for a $2,500 grant to offset costs as outlined in their Digital Transformation Plan and budget. These funds are available to help businesses strategically adopt technology and meet their digital goals.
  2. Digital Service Squad Program: Digital Service Squads are digital technology specialists in an area or region of Ontario who deliver one-on-one assistance to main street small businesses. These Digital Service Squads can be set up by BIAs, municipalities, Chambers of Commerce or Small Business Enterprise Centres that may apply for funding based on the number of businesses within their designated commercial downtown area.
  3. Access to Support: Ongoing support including access to basic digital services, a list of vendors that can identify technologies and tools businesses need to be digitally ready, and other resources such as assessments, articles, best practices, etc.
  4. Digital Training (online and in-person): Webinars and workshops focusing on specific digital technologies and strategies, including e-commerce, social media, and website development.

Ontario Digital Main Street is currently seeking outgoing, enthusiastic, qualified candidates for the position of Digital Service Squad – Team Member. This is a unique opportunity to support the growth of one of the province’s most innovative economic development programs. The Digital Main Street program is the first of its kind globally and has experienced excellent traction since its launch in June 2016.

Click here to read the full job description