Resources, programs, tool kits and sector-specific information to assist your business to recover.
As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes:
- Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
- Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
- Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
- Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
- Sporting events;
- Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
- Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
- Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
- Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).
The Ontario Ministry of Health is developing, and will provide, additional tools to businesses and organizations in the coming weeks, including:
- Launching a new app to make it easier and more convenient for businesses and organizations to read and verify proof of vaccination (i.e., that a digital vaccine receipt is valid); and
- Providing communication supports to businesses to inform the public of the new requirement.
A full list of supports available for businesses from the Province can be found on Ontario’s COVID-19: Help for businesses website found here.
- Read the news release at the Province of Ontario website.
- Read the document - Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act
- Province of Ontario Q&A for businesses on Vaccine Certificates.
- Submit questions for future editions of the Q&A.
- Ontario Human Rights Commission Policy Statement on COVID-19 Vaccines Mandates
Watch a replay of the Durham Economic Task Force Townhall for Business: Focus on Vaccines.
Event details: Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Pepi McTavish, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Durham Region Health Department and Lisa Fortuna, Director, Health Protection from Durham Region Public Health Department provide information about COVID-19 vaccine requirements and workplace vaccine policies and potential impacts on workplaces and the local business community.
The event will also featured the following topics and speakers:
- Update on vaccine requirements for businesses from Tim Lewis, Assistant Deputy Minister, Vaccine Strategy and Performance, Province of Ontario.
- A discussion on workplace vaccine policies with law firm Mason Bennett Johncox.
- Managing employee and customer safety from Andrew Peden, Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS).
- Business recovery resources from the Durham Economic Task Force (DETF).
- A half hour question and answer period.
From the Region of Durham
- Durham Region Community Reopening Toolkit
- Durham Region Reopening Checklist for Businesses and Workplaces
- Business Continuity Planning & Pandemic Responses - Durham.ca
From Chambers of Commerce
- Tools for Small Business - Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit for Ontario Businesses - Ontario Chamber of Commerce
- BDO Guide to Adapting to COVID-19
- BDC has a guides for Business continuity plan and templates for entrepreneurs as well as 8 steps for planning your emergency and disaster plan
Business Advisory Centre Durham (BACD) is Durham Region's Small Business Advisory Centre. BACD is a not-for-profit organization. Currently, BACD's Business Advisory and Support Services are currently free of charge. They are also supporting many of the Digital Main Street programs.
Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade in Durham
- Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade
- Brock Board of Trade
- Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development
- Oshawa Chamber of Commerce
- Scugog Chamber of Commerce
- Uxbridge Chamber of Commerce
- Whitby Chamber of Commerce
- Newcastle Chamber of Commerce
Support for Entrepreneurs - National
BDC is the Business Development Bank of Canada, and the financial institution devoted to Canadian entrepreneurs. View BDC's information to help your business take action during the COVID-19 crisis
CFIB is The Canadian Federation of Independent Business. CFIB is the country’s champion of small business. With over 110,000 members, CFIB is Canada’s largest non-profit organization devoted to creating and supporting an environment where your business can succeed. View CFIB's COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre
EDC is Export Development Canada. EDC offers supports and capital access. View their solutions designed to help businesses access cash flow, manage risk and build resilience.
CBRN is the Canadian Business Resilience Network. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the CBRN to bring together its vast network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, and over 100 of Canada’s leading business and industry associations. View the CBRN resources which include topics such as tax relief, access to capital, and HR strategies.
Employment and Social Development Canada: Details on employment insurance (EI), the temporary foreign worker program, and other Federal employment programs.
- Employment Insurance Application
- Using the EI Online reporting tool
- Employment Ontario website - find a job
- Federal travel advice and advisories
Province of Ontario
Province of Ontario COVID-19 Support for Workers
- Information on how to stay safe
- Resources for health care professionals
- Sector-specific guidance
- Mental Health and addictions support
- Job and volunteer opportunities
Durham College/Employment Ontario Community Employment Services - open virtually
Durham Workforce Authority Jobs First Durham
Durham Recruiting Job Board
April 24: Durham Economic Task Force letter to ask for support for small business
April 20: News Release Durham’s business community unites during COVID-19
Canadian Federation of Agriculture- COVID-19 Resources
Employee Support - Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council
Government Support/Financial Assistance - Farm Credit Canada
Government Support/Financial Assistance – Canadian Agricultural Partnership Funding
Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) –COVID-19 Resources
Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) - A Guide for Direct Sales to Consumers during COVID-19 and Beyond
Feeding Your Future – Connecting Ontario’s Agri-food Workforce
Agriculture and Food Jobs in Ontario
Durham Farm Fresh – COVID-19 Response
Health Information - World Organization on Animal Health
Ministry of Health – A Guide to Starting a Home-based Food Business
Durham Region and its local municipalities welcome the film industry as production activity resumes in accordance with applicable Health and Safety guidance.
Health and Safety Protocols
Before you apply for a Film Location Permit, please review the Section 21 Health and Safety Guidelines published on Thursday June 25th 2020 and updated most recently on November 24th. Film and television productions are required to ensure workplaces are safe; that cast, crew and communities are protected; and that physical distancing is maintained as much as possible.
The updated Workplace Safety Measures document can be found here.
*Please see page 28 for details about re: the film and television industry.
The guidelines were created by the Section 21 Film and Television Health and Safety Advisory Committee, an advisory body to the Ministry of Labour, Training & Skills Development (MLTSD), pursuant to Section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
Recovery of the film and television industry requires the following:
- Skilled Labour: to support the current workforce and provide learning for newcomers to the industry, a wide selection of online Professional Development & Learning Resources are offered by a number of industry organizations and government agencies.
- Locations: there is a growing interest in the region's unique sites, and we are expanding our list of film-friendly locations. To market your location for filming on the Durham Region and Ontario Creates digital libraries please contact the film office.
- Products and Services: in addition to the current production guide to filming in Durham, there will be a need for services to accommodate new Health and Safety guidelines. If interested in promoting your company to the film industry, please contact the film office.
Durham Region International Film Festival (DRIFF) 2021 is in the planning stages.
Council of Canadian Innovators - Dedicated COVID-19 Slack Channel for Canadian Tech Workers
MaRS Startup Toolkit – COVID-19 collection brings together tools and tactics that startups can use to respond to COVID-19 business impacts.
FedDev Ontario - Innovation Canada offers simplified and customized access to all federal government innovation support programs.
Spark Centre - Regional Innovation Centre
1855 - Technology Accelerator
Ontario Together: help fight coronavirus - The Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada are looking for help from businesses to make or supply healthcare products and innovative solutions. Learn how your organization can help.
Province of Ontario – Sector specific guidelines and posters
Ontario Manufacturing health and safety during COVID-19 - Find resources, best practices and information to help keep your workers safe and healthy and your business in operation, during COVID-19.
Government of Canada - The Canadian COVID-19 Capabilities Directory shows what Canada has to offer in the fight against COVID-19 to potential buyers around the world.
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – COVID-19 resources
As part of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, Digital Main Street has launched three programs to support businesses across Ontario: DMS shopHERE, DMS Ontario Grants and DMS Future Proof. These programs are available to Durham Region businesses that meet program requirements.
Businesses that are not main street, and don't qualify for Digital Main Street programs, could qualify for Business Advisory Centre of Durham’s Digital Durham Starter Company program.
CANATRACE: a fast, secure, and no-cost digital solution that allows businesses to capture pertinent customer data needed for contact tracing, all while alleviating the workload of staff and keeping patrons-- and their contact information--safe.
Province of Ontario – Sector specific guidelines and posters
Canada Takeout - Restaurants are encouraged to join the #TakeOutDay movement and remind Canadians to order takeout from their local restaurants.
Durham Region Reopening Guidance - COVID-19 Checklist for Food Premises
Durham Region Reopening Guidance - Guidelines for Restaurants and Bars
Open for Business - The Durham Economic Task Force has partnered with Ritual to offer an accessible, online method of contactless food ordering. Ritual ONE is an easy way for businesses to accept digital orders from their website and social media accounts. QR code menus and ordering are also available. Learn more.
Retail Council of Canada - Planning Checklist for Retailers: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Retail Council of Canada – Road to Retail Recovery Playbook
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services - Guidance on Health and Safety for Retail Sector during COVID-19
Durham Region Health Department - Retail Establishments During COVID-19
Durham Region Health Department - Retail Curbside Pickup or Delivery of Goods Durham COVID-19
Health and Wellness Relief Canada - Information and avocacy for those in the health and wellness industry (representing coaches, personal trainers, group instructors, yoga instructors, pilates instructors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and sports and recreation centers and staff.) Learn more.
Tourism Relief Fund - Learn more
Destination Canada - COVID-19 updates
Destination Canada - COVID-19 research
Canada’s Regional Development Agencies - COVID-19 info sheet
Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) - Information for CSTA members during COVID-19
Department of Canadian Heritage – COVID-19: support for culture, heritage and sport sectors
Destination Ontario – Research reports COVID-19
Tourism Industry Association of Ontario - COVID-19 resources, updates and news
Festivals and Events Ontario - details on Force Majeure Insurance claims
Festivals and Events Ontario - Call for virtual content
Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association – COVID-19 resources
Central Counties Tourism – COVID-19 industry resources and opportunities
Central Counties Tourism PPE Reimbursement Program - Private and not-for-profit businesses in the hospitality and recreation sector are eligible for matched funding of 50% up to a maximum of $1,000 per applicant ($2,000 total expense). Eligible expenses include plexiglass, sanitizing stations, masks, stickers, etc., that you needed to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 by keeping your staff and guests safe. Learn more or apply.
Central Counties Tourism Business Support Program - Private and not-for-profit businesses in the hospitality and recreation sector are eligible for up to a 50% reimbursement on eligible paid expenses. Eligible costs include the implementation of health and safety protocols, alterations to accommodate social distancing, the purchase of PPE and cleaning supplies for workers, marketing, and the acquisition and implementation of digital tools and operating transformations. Learn more or apply.
Durham Region Area
Please note that some information noted in these resources are not applicable during the Provincewide Shutdown.
Ongoing COVID-19 Workplace Safety:
Read the latest from the Durham Region Health Department
Mental Health Resources from Durham Region
Mental Health Resources from the Province of Ontario
You can find information about programs that may be right for you based on your mental health and addictions needs, and the type of support that you prefer. You can:
- find public mental health or addiction programs
- connect with peers for support
- access self-led telephone or online therapy for stress, anxiety and depression
- find services for children and youth
- talk to or text a professional counsellor if you are a post-secondary student
- find culturally appropriate support for Indigenous people
- get support if you are a health care worker
Mental Health Webinars Available-On-Demand
- Mental Health Commission of Canada: Stress, the Brain and Mental Health Hygiene
- Conference Board of Canada: COVID-10 Job Loss
- Conference Board of Canada: Fear and COVID-19
- Conference Board of Canada: Dealing with Isolation and COVID-19
- Conference Board of Canada: COVID-19 - Self-compassion, empathy, love and fun
- Conference Board of Canada: Mental Health and COVID-19
- Conference Board of Canada: Coping in the age of social distancing
Mental Health Blog Articles
Ontario Shores: COVID-19: Supporting Mental Health of Employees is Good Business
- Ontario Shores: COVID-19: Frustration, Guilt and Working from Home in a Pandemic
- Ontario Shores: COVID-19: Tips to Prevent Burnout of Essential Workers
For upcoming scheduled webinars, visit the Invest Durham calendar
The below are available to watch on-demand.
Business Resilience Webinars On-Demand
- EDC Webinar: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Managing the impact on global supply chains
- Free BDC Webinar: How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business
- Conference Board of Canada: Effective Crisis Communication: Moving Crisis to Opportunity
- Conference Board of Canada: You’re It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When It Matters Most
- Conference Board of Canada: Creating a Respectful Virtual Workplace
- Conference Board of Canada: Increasing Resilience Through Times of Change
- Events Industry Council: COVID-19: Discussion of critical insurance and legal considerations for event professionals
- Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade - Employers Options and Obligation in Responding to COVID-19 and accompanying slide deck from Christine Ashton, a lawyer and partner with Wilson Vukelich LLP
- Durham Farm Fresh Webinar: Health and Safety for farms open during COVID-19
Marketing, Digitization, and Ecommerce Webinars On-Demand
For upcoming scheduled webinars on these topics, visit the Digital Main Street Eventbrite page and the Ontario Digital Main Street Initiative Eventbrite page
- Free BDC Webinar Collection: Marketing and digitizing your content
- Events Industry Council: COVID-19: Moving online: How to transition your live event to an engaging virtual experience
- Durham Farm Fresh Webinar: E-commerce, bringing your business online
- Geekspeak Webinar On-Demand: Start Selling Online: Shifting from Brick &
Mortar to eCommerce
Below, are links to webinars created by a Shopify employee on how businesses can quickly create an online stores: