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

How One Bronte Business Owner is Managing During Covid-19

Today, Rose Luxton is taking a break from promoting her home decor inventory on Instagram – a continuing source of online orders for her – to update her QuickBooks accounting skills in case she needs to take over the bookkeeping of her Bronte business Lakeside Livin’.

Rose’s three-year-old storefront is located on Bronte at Lakeshore. As owner of the building and proprietor of the business, she’s taking advantage of the COVID-19 closure to prepare for a brighter future.

“If my business doesn’t survive,” says Rose, “I want to know I left blood, sweat and tears behind; that I did everything I could.”

What Rose is Doing/Has Done:

·    Updating her website (tweaks she was going to do later this year)

·    Taking free virtual workshops through the Digital Main Street program

·    Rotating the products displayed in her storefront windows – “Lots of people are walking by,” she says.

·    Updating the paper message posted on her door inviting customers to call about products

·    Following financial support various governments have offered; she hasn’t applied for any yet

·    Posting positive messages or pictures about Bronte on her Instagram and Facebook pages

·    Cancelled future inventory (Easter-themed products) she knew she couldn’t sell or carry for a year

·    Applied for a Facebook Small Business grant

·    Laid off her part-time staff; she’s the remaining staff although she’s not paying herself

·    Called her regular customers to check in on how they’re doing

·    Staying busy and staying positive

“I imagine when this is over, people will be clamouring to shop, eat out and re-connect,” she says, “I want to be ready.”

Watch the 2018 Hidden Gems video of Rose in action.

How are you and your business coping? Have insights, advice or support to share with your fellow business owners? Let us know: or 905-825-3258

Posted in Business


Hello fellow business owner,

To say these are trying times is an understatement. As a small business owner and your Chair, I understand your fear and uncertainty. I wish there were simple and easy answers, but this is uncharted territory. But, know we’re all in this together.

While we await clarity from governments on financial assistance, I hope you’re looking for creative ways to maintain your business within government directives. Ideas from fellow small businesses include: selling gift cards online now to maintain cash flow, providing curb-side pick-up of goods, taking advantage of fees waived by delivery services to offer home delivery, offering walk-up food takeout, offering services virtually, staying connected with customers via e-newsletters or telephone calls, and of course, partnering with financial services providers to re-evaluate your finances. 

As we know more, we’ll share the information. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.

Cheryl Etherington, Chair

Bronte BIA Board of Directors

Posted in Business

Town Announces New Pilot Commercial Parking Program coming to Bronte Village in June

This June, the Town of Oakville will launch a two-year pilot commercial parking program in Bronte Village to address business and community concerns about the availability of parking in the area.
During the pilot program, paid parking will be available alongside Bronte BIA commercial storefronts on main and secondary streets, as well as at town-owned spaces at Bronte Village Mall front row facing Lakeshore. Parking will be controlled with meters, monthly permits and the Honk mobile payment app.
Posted in Business, News

Bronte Village – Wedding Information

BEAUTIFUL BRONTE……Simply spectacular for your special day!

A Wedding can be one of the most memorable and cherished milestones in your life. There is simply so much excitement and joy that is shared between you and your partner on this one special day. Whether you’re planning to have a small wedding or one on a bigger scale, a wedding day in gorgeous southwest Oakville is something to really consider.

Posted in Wedding