The Bruce County Economic Task Force met their mandate to come up with a plan to support businesses and guide Bruce County to a thriving economy once again. The task force is currently not meeting on a regular basis and may be engaged in the future.
Resources and Supports
FUNDING CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
COVID-19: Help for Businesses in Ontario
The government of Ontario has provided the following supports to assist small businesses affected by pandemic restrictions:
Spruce the Bruce Grants for Business
The Spruce the Bruce program helps to build healthy and vibrant communities by offering resources to maintain and grow commercial areas and public experiences. Applications for 2022 Spruce the Bruce grants are now open.
RESOURCES FOR BUSINESS
Catapult Grey Bruce
Catapult Grey Bruce empowers entrepreneurs and business owners through programming that strengthens their knowledge, skills, and networks to take their businesses to the next level. Programing offers entrepreneurs mentorship opportunities as well as connections with a variety of experts.
Digital Main Street
As part of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, Digital Main Street has announced three new programs to support businesses across Ontario.
- ShopHERE powered by Google will assist businesses to hire highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity.
- Digital Main Street Grant of $2,500 will help main street small businesses be digitally more effective. The grant will be administered by the Ontario BIA Association and will help businesses adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing.
- Future-Proofing Main Street will provide specialized, in-depth transformation services.
SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYEES OR SELF-EMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS
Highly Affected Sector Availability Program (HASCAP)
Low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1,000,000 for businesses in high affected sectors. Apply through your financial institutions. www.bdc.ca/HASCAP
Canada Ontario Job Grant (COJG)
Offset the cost of training and upskilling current and new employees through the Canada Ontario Job Grant (COJG).
Wage Earner Protection Program
Payment of eligible wages to workers whose employer has gone bankrupt or become subject to receivership.
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Rent and mortgage support for quality organizations affected by COVID-19.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
Interest-free loans for small businesses and not-for-profits.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
Qualifying businesses can receive up to 75% in a wage subsidy, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The subsidy will provide up to $847 per week per employee.
Business Credit Availability Fund (BCAP)
Credit to help cover operating costs due to COVID-19.
Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP)
The National Ecosystem Fund and the Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub has issued a call for concepts.
Canada’s Economic Response Plan
Learn more about federal recovery resources for small businesses:
Ontario Federation of Agriculture – Information and Resources
Canadian Federation of Agriculture - Information and Resources
Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council - Employee Support
Government Support/Financial Assistance - Farm Credit Canada
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Information for Industry
Mental Health and Wellness - OFA Resources
Tourism Sector Information
Tourism Industry Association of Ontario - COVID-19 Updates
Regional Development Agencies – Programs
Tourism Industry of Canada – Impact on Tourism review
Destination Canada - COVID-19 Support and updates
Hospitality Sector Information
Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association – Dine Safe Resources
Restaurants Canada – Navigating COVID-19
Manufacturing Sector Information
Construction Sector Information
Chamber of Commerce
Past Business Sustainability Fund Opportunities
Bruce County Sustainability Loans
Low-interest (2.5%) working capital loans of up to $20,000 for Bruce County businesses are available to help local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. With no principal or interest payments for six months and flexible repayment terms over five years. Loans are closed.
Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab: Spark Program
Small tourism businesses in Bruce County were encouraged to submit an application with ideas on how they could "re-imagine" or "re-tool" their tourism operations, offerings and/or products to respond, pivot, and adapt to the short- and medium-term tourism landscape and opportunities.
Winners of the 2021 Spark Program were announced winners in December 2021. Program will reopen in Fall 2022.
Business Pivot and Adaptation Grant
Bruce County entrepreneurs can access a grant of up to $5,000 to expand, enhance or adapt their existing business due to the effects of COVID-19. Applications are now closed.
Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Bruce County Business Surveys
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a challenge and an unpredictable path forward among businesses across the County. To gain a better understanding of how the pandemic has impacted local business and the economy, the Economic Development team launched the “Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Bruce County Survey”. The results of that survey served as a basis for actions spearheaded by the Bruce County Economic Task Force and endorsed by Bruce County Council that supported the stabilization of the economy ahead of working to rebuild post-pandemic.
The Economic Development team remains vigilant in supporting businesses by understanding the challenges they are facing and helping them maintain their operations through the continuation of Business to Bruce programs and supports. Staff are working with various stakeholders to help determine what is needed specifically to work alongside our municipal partners to help build confidence and work to recover the economy.
On October 1, 2020, the “Economic Impact of COVID-19 in Bruce County Fall Survey” was launched to businesses across the County. The goal of the survey was to collect information on the current economic condition and to have a solid understanding of the current needs to best determine how businesses in Bruce County can be continued to be supported. A summary of the results is shown in the report below.
Select the link to open or print a PDF copy of the fall survey results.
Select the link to open or print a PDF copy of the spring survey results.