Business Support

Resources, programs, tool kits and sector-specific information to assist your business to recover.

Business Supports

Durham Region Community Reopening Toolkit

Durham Region Reopening Checklist for Businesses and Workplaces

Business Continuity Planning & Pandemic Responses -

Tools for Small Business - Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit for Ontario Businesses - Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Start-up Business Tools and Resources, eg: Cash Flow, Supply Chain - MaRS 

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) Business Advisory and Support Services are currently free of charge 

Special support for entrepreneurs from BDC

Export Development Canada supports and capital access  

Canadian Federation of Independent Business - COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.

Free Virtual Tax Clinics for Canadians

Details on employment insurance, the temporary foreign worker program, and other Federal employment programs: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada

Durham College/Employment Ontario Community Employment Services - open virtually

Travel Advisory - Government of Canada

Sector Specific

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


Agriculture and Agri-food Safety During COVID-19

Ministry of Health – A Guide to Starting a Home-based Food Business

Mental Health for Farmers – First Aid Kit

Durham Region and its local municipalities welcome the film industry back again as production activity resumes in accordance with applicable Health and Safety guidance.

Before you apply for a Film Location Permit, please review the guidelines issued by the Section 21 Film & Television Health and Safety Advisory Committee of the Ontario Ministry of Labour and Skills Development.  Issued June 25th, 2020, this guideline is a one stop shop for keeping your industry and all who work with you, safe and healthy as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. More resources are available from our local health authority, the Durham Region Health Department.

Recovery of the film and television industry requires the following:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


DRIFF in a JIFF continues the DRIFF experience through free monthly programming and virtual screenings every 4th Thursday of the month.

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.

Area Organizations

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

Wellness Industry

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.


Destination Canada - COVID-19 updates 

Destination Canada - COVID-19 research

Tourism Industry Association of Canada - Current situation review and email sign up for updates regarding COVID-19

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.



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:

Mental Health Webinars Available-On-Demand

Mental Health Blog Articles

For upcoming scheduled webinars, visit the Invest Durham calendar

The below are available to watch on-demand.

Business Resilience Webinars On-Demand

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

Below, are links to webinars created by a Shopify employee on how businesses can quickly create an online stores: