Ontario Reopening Framework Released

On April 30, the Ontario government released workplace safety guidelines to help businesses adapt to the new environment as part of its plans to re-open businesses. It is part of a three-phased A Framework for Reopening Our Province that outlines the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures. 


Posted in Business

Rent Relief for Small Businesses

On April 24, the Federal Government announced details of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program for small businesses in partnership with the provinces.

 Who Qualifies: 

  • Businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations.
  • Businesses who have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations. 

The Prime Minister also stated that support for larger businesses will be announced in the coming days.

How it Works: 

  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.  
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.


  • It is expected that CECRA will be operational by mid-May, with commercial property owners lowering the rents of their small business tenant’s payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.
  • Further details on CECRA will be shared in the near future once final terms and conditions are available.

Read more.

Posted in Business

NEW DETAILS: Wage Subsidy Application & Calculator 

The Federal Government announced that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will open to applications on Monday, April 27 through the Canada Revenue Agency website. When you apply for the CEWA, you will be asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll.

To get ready, you can determine these amounts and preview your subsidy claim now, based on the information you enter. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Calculator is a tool to help you estimate the amount of your wage subsidy. Before you calculate your subsidy, make sure you are eligible to apply.

Help to Navigate Government Funding Options:

If you’re a Bronte business struggling to navigate the numerous funding programs and initiatives launched by all levels of government in response to COVID-19, Cheryl Etherington, local chartered accountant and Bronte BIA Board Chair, has offered her services for free. Contact Cheryl at, 905-847-6853 (office), 416-948-3298 (cell).

Posted in Business Donation App Launches in Oakville April 27 – Registered?, an online donation platform for small business, is being launched on Monday, April 27 by the Town of Oakville’s Economic Task Force. You want to register your business before the launch date to make sure you’re set up and ready to receive support from your patrons.

How to Create a Business Page:

Check out local businesses already registered, including Taste of Columbia.

Help spread the word!

Promote your Distantly business page through your website, e-news, and social channels on Monday to join the conversation and help spread the word! launched in the City of Toronto earlier this month, and businesses finding the most success through the platform leveraged the City announcement to engage directly with their customer base.

 Don’t forget to tag @bronteevents on Instagram so we can share your post.

Posted in News

New Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance

On April 16, the Federal Government announced a new program: the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses. The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program will require a partnership between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships. Read more. More details are expected in the coming days.

Posted in Business

How One Business Owner is Coping

Brothers Ryan and Russell Mascarenhas had just opened their new barber shop Goldwyn & Sons on March 2 before they were forced to close due to COVID-19. “To help prevent the spread of the virus, we decided to temporarily shut down the shop before we were mandated to,” says Ryan, the business manager/owner.

 In the weeks since, he says he’s learned to “be in the here and now” and accept the current reality. As a result, he’s been able to spend time with his wife, keep in touch with family here and abroad, engage in hobbies like drawing, reading, exercising and learning new languages and, most importantly to him, spend more time in prayer. 

What else the brothers have done:

  • Reviewed their business plan to ensure the business is aligned with their vision
  • Reduced utilities expenses and deferred payments on as many monthly expenses as possible
  • Revised their marketing plans allocating a larger portion of working capital to digital campaigns to ensure they can hit the ground running when they re-open
  • Followed government funding announcements, but are still figuring out how or if they qualify for the Canada Emergency Response BenefitCanada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the newly announced Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (April 16)
  • Talked to their bank about the Canada Emergency Business Account $40,000 small business loan with 1-year interest free (expansions announced on April 16) 
  • Also took Russell, who is the barber/owner, off the payroll. “The loss of income is starting to get us antsy about any upcoming bills.”
  • Delayed hiring other staff

 “When all this is said and done, and when my brother and I succeed in this business, we can tell our future kids: ‘Did you know, we started our business on the advent of a pandemic!?,” Ryan says. “This is a historic moment. Though it is a difficult time for everyone, I believe it will make us stronger and more appreciative of our loved ones, our neighbours, our health care workers, our government workers, and all the more thankful for the great country we live in.”

 How are you and your business coping? Have insights, advice or support for your fellow business owner? Let us know: or 905-825-3258

Posted in Business

Curbside Care of Furry Friends an Essential Service

Urgent veterinary services are an essential service during COVID-19 business closures. Dr. Tina McGrath, owner and veterinarian at the Bronte Village Animal Hospital, and her staff of five are still providing full-time care.

“It’s important for owners to know there is veterinary care if their pet is unwell,” she says.

Pets are not a source of COVID-19, however, she recommends owners who are unwell or COVID-19-positive isolate themselves from their pets and remove close contact just to be safe.

What Dr. Tina and her staff have done/are doing:

  • Implemented a strict disinfection process to mitigate risk of exposure
  • Changed operating hours to 9am-5pm daily; closed on Saturdays
  • Providing essential services only with just pets allowed in the clinic; the client stays in the car
  • Taking bookings by phone and email only; no drop-ins
  • Questioning all clients about recent travel 
  • Providing stress relief for staff through days off

“The staff have been amazing during a stressful time where they are in continued contact with the public,” Dr. Tina says. “We also appreciate how understanding our clients have been.”

How are you and your business coping? Have insights, advice or support for your fellow business owner? Let us know: or 905-825-3258

Posted in News

Oakville’s Canada Day Celebration Cancelled

Oakville’s Canada Day celebration scheduled to be held on July 1 in Bronte has been cancelled by the Town of Oakville due to COVID-19 emergency measures.

The event will be planned for 2021.

Read more.

Posted in Canada Day

Covid-19 Updates from the Bronte Village BIA

Government of Ontario Releases List of Essential Businesses and Workplaces

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Ontario is ordering the closure of non-essential workplaces to close down or work remotely effective today (Tuesday, March 24) at 11:59pm.
This closure will be effective for 14 days with the possibility of extension as the situation evolves.
The term ‘business’ is used to include any for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing goods and services.

Read the full list here


Digital Main Street Offers Free Support

All businesses in Oakville’s BIAs have access to free support from Nadia and Michelle – two of the local Digital Main Street squad. It doesn’t matter if you received funding from the program or not.

This hyper-local, hands-on, one-on-one program is available today to help you enhance your online presence or create one.

Contact Nadia or Michelle today. They’re eager to help your business.


Resources for Your Business

Local, regional and national resources are coming together to support your business. Know that the Town of Oakville’s Economic Development department continues to be operational and the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, three local BIAs, the Ontario BIA Association and others are working together to share resources and best practices.

Invest Oakville

Oakville Chamber


Safety Checklist for your Business

For businesses whose operations are closed during this time, Ottawa Police have created a safety checklist to ensure your shop or restaurant remains secure. Police recommend the following guidelines:

· Keep the lights on

· Remove ALL cash and receipts

· Do not leave any valuables clearly visible or accessible

· All safes and tills should be emptied and moved off-site for safe storage

· Keep all cash drawers open to show that nothing is in the drawers

· All ATM’s should be emptied and moved off-site for safe storage

· All alcohol products removed from bar and put in secured storage areas (no alcohol left visible from outside)

· Consider posting “NO CASH or Valuables on Premises” signage

· Deactivate all scheduled FOB door openings (ie. Cleaners, deliveries, etc)

· Disconnect all kitchen gas lines from their gas source

· Make regular site visits to monitor your shop/business and to manage inventory and storage conditions (consider scattering the times this is done to not establish a pattern)

Posted in Business