Resources for local businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Resources for local businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This page provides information about resources for Huron County businesses affected by COVID-19. The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will update this page as new information becomes available.

For business support and resources, email or call (519) 440-1267 .

For detailed and up-to-date information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Huron-Perth Public Health website.

Impacts of COVID-19 2.0 on Huron County Businesses

We are seeking input from local businesses to continue monitoring the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Your input helps us to track the impact locally and advocate on your behalf to the Provincial and Federal Government.

Local Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Suppliers

Huron County Economic Development has compiled a list of local personal protective equipment suppliers. If you know any additional suppliers, please let us know.

Government & Financial Support For Individuals & Businesses

Canada Emergency Response Benefit - Government of Canada

Will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.

  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • Workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
  • Seasonal workers and those who have recently run out of Employment Insurance.
  • Individuals who make less than $1,000 per month due to reduced work hours related to COVID-19.
  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal, to be announced shortly. Applicants should apply based on their birth month. Those born in January/February/March should apply April 6th. If you were born in April/May/June you should apply April 7th. Those with July/August/September birthdates should apply April 8th. Finally, those born in October/November/December should apply April 9th.

More information is available on the Government of Canada’s webpage.

NRC IRAP Innovation Assistance Program - Government of Canada

Small and medium-sized Canadian businesses unable to secure funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Business Credit Availability Program can apply for financial assistance. Applications open April 22nd, 2020.

Click here for more information.

EI Sickness Benefits - Government of Canada

The one-week waiting period will be waived for new claimants. Those who are eligible can apply online.

If your employees are directly affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and they are no longer working, you must issue a Record of Employment (ROE).

When the employee is sick or quarantined, use code D (Illness or Injury) as the reason for separation (block 16). Do not add comments.

When the employee is no longer working due to a shortage of work because the business has closed or decreased operations due to coronavirus (COVID-19), use code A (Shortage of Work). Do not add comments.

When the employee refuses to come to work but is not sick or quarantined, use code E (Quit) or code N (Leave of Absence), as appropriate. Avoid adding comments unless absolutely necessary.


Ontario Works - Government of Ontario

Ontario works helps people who are in financial need. It offers financial assistance, including income support to help with costs of basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter. Health benefits for clients and their families, and employment assistance to help clients find, prepare for and keep a job. To qualify you must:

  • live in Ontario
  • be in financial need (your household doesn’t have sufficient financial resources to meet basic living expenses)
  • be willing to make reasonable efforts to find, prepare for and keep a job (unless you have specific circumstances that temporarily prevent you from doing so, such as an illness or caregiving responsibilities)

You can start the application process online, using the Online Application for Social Assistance. By phone or in person, call or visit your local Ontario Works office

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA) - Government of Ontario/Canada

The Ontario government is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA)

Details to follow soon

Ontario Electricity Support Program - Ontario Energy Board

The OESP is an Ontario Energy Board (OEB) program that lowers electricity bills for lower-income households. The OESP provides a monthly credit to eligible customers based on household income and household size. The OESP credits are applied directly to eligible customers’ bills.

  • Available to lower-income customers
  • Must have accounts with electricity distributors or unit sub-meter providers.

Apply online or visit their F.A.Q for more information.

Energy Relief Support - Government of Ontario

The province is setting electricity rates to the “off-peak” price for 24 hours a day for 45 days to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage. This program was extended on May 6 for an additional 24 days. 

Click here for more information.

Employer Health Tax (EHT) Exemption

Increasing government funding of EHT to $1 million in order to tax relief to businesses around the province so that they can focus on supporting the well-being of their employees and their continued operations. 

Click here for more information

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program - Ontario Energy Board

Low-income customers can get up to $500 in emergency assistance for their electricity bills ($600 if your home is heated electrically) and $500 for their natural gas bills. In order to qualify, your household income has to fall below a certain limit. The amount of income it takes to qualify depends on two factors:

  • How many people live in the house
  • Your combined household income

The assistance is only available if you are behind on your bill – or in arrears – and may face having your service disconnected.  Visit for more information

GST/HST Payments Deferral - Government of Canada

Allows businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This measure is the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. It will help businesses so they can continue to pay their employees and their bills, and help ease cash-flow challenges across the country.

Visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website for more information.

75% Wage Subsidy - Government of Canada

Introduced to support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs. A subsidy of up to 75% for qualifying businesses, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Program extended until at least the end of August 2020. For information on how to apply, visit the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy webpage.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) - Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC)

Providing more than $10 billion of additional financial support largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses through the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP).

  • The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is offering new and existing clients’ working capital loans of up to $2 million, with 12 months principal postponement, provided they qualify. Loans are presently offered at a 3.03% interest rates. Visit for more information.
There was a recent expansion of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) for mid-sized businesses that need more capital, including a new Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). Read more here.

Income Tax Deferral - Government of Canada

Businesses have until August 31, 2020 to pay any income tax payments that become owing between March 18, 2020 – September 2020.

Visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website for more information.

Canada Business App - Government of Canada

Download to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.

Visit the Canada Business App website here

Bank of Canada

Took a series of actions to enhance the resilience of the Canadian financial system and help ensure that financial institutions can continue to extend credit to households and businesses, including cutting the interest rate to 0.75%.

Visit the Bank of Canada’s website for more information

Community Futures Huron

Is offering principle deferments of 2 months to their existing clients and are currently still hearing survival loan applications from the small business community.

Visit Community Futures Huron for more information

Canada Emergency Business Account - Government of Canada

The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.

To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019.

This program will roll out in mid-April, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

WSIB Financial Relief Package - WSIB Ontario

The financial relief package allows businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020.

  • All businesses are automatically eligible – there is no need to apply.

Visit for more information


Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19- Government of Ontario
  • The Province is setting electricity prices for residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days.
  • For this period, the Province will not apply any penalty or interest on any late-filed returns or incomplete or late tax payments under select provincially administered taxes, such as the Employer Health Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gas Tax.

Visit Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 website for more information.


Labour Guidelines for Reopening

Ontario has unveiled a sector-specific list of guidelines that businesses should follow in order to be ready when they are given the green light to re-open. These guidelines are in place to protect workers, customers and the general public from the spread of COVID-19. The full list of guidelines can be found here.

Submit a Request to Province of Ontario

Ontario is moving quickly to support the frontlines and businesses during the COVID-19. To help remove obstacles and streamline Ontario’s ability to respond to the outbreak and navigate through it, several temporary rules and regulations have been put in place. To support your ongoing work during COVID-19, you can request a temporary regulation or policy to change here.

Emergency Aid for Agri-Food Sector

The Prime Minster acknowledged the hardships food producers and farmers are dealing with during COVID-19. The government is investing $252 million to help the agri-food industry.

Read more here.

Doing Business Remotely

Huron County Economic Development has created resources to help conduct your business remotely. 

Emergency Aid for Agri-Food Sector

Various groups have collected information and resources that can help businesses prepare to reopen as safely as possible.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) launched on May 13, 2020. It is being delivered by Regional Development Agencies (RDA) across the country to help organizations continue their operations and position themselves for a successful recovery. 
Funding amounts vary by RDA, and fall under two categories.
  • $675 million to support regional economies, businesses, organizations, and communities in regions all across Canada;
  • $287 million to support the national network of Community Futures Development Corporations, which will specifically target small businesses and rural communities across the country.
More information on the fund can be found here.
For information on how to apply to our local Community Futures Huron, please click here.
Businesses Allowed to Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines

The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects. To list can be found here.

Stage 1 of Re-Opening Begins
On Thursday, May 14, the Ontario Government announced the Stage 1 reopening for some businesses.
Saturday, May 16 as soon as 12:01 am:
  • Golf courses will be able to open, with clubhouses open only for washrooms and restaurants open only for take-out.
  • Marinas, boat clubs, and public boat launches may open for recreational use.
  • Private parks and campgrounds may open to enable preparation for the season and to allow access for trailers and recreational vehicles whose owners have a full season contract.
  • Businesses that board animals, such as stables, may allow boarders to visit, care for, or ride their animals.
Tuesday, May 19 as soon as 12:01 am: 
  • Retail services that are not in shopping malls and have separate street-front entrances with measures in place that can enable physical distancing, such as limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and booking appointments.
  • Seasonal businesses and recreational activities for individual or single competitors, including training and sport competitions conducted by a recognized national or provincial sport organization. This includes indoor and outdoor non-team sport competitions that can be played while maintaining physical distancing and without spectators, such as tennis, track and field, and horse racing.
  • Animal services, specifically pet care services, such as grooming and training, and regular veterinary appointments.
  • Indoor and outdoor household services that can follow public health guidelines, such as housekeepers, cooks, cleaning, and maintenance.
  • Lifting essential workplace limits on construction.
Read the detailed list here.

For printable PDF versions of the above resources, please click any of the below icons:


How Can We Help?

Huron County is always excited to support new and innovative ideas and businesses.
We’re here to help!

Find Us

54 West Street,
Goderich, ON N7A 2K3


+1 (519) 524-8394 ext.6