Business Recovery and Economic Task Force
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
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 available, first-come-first-serve.
To apply to the Business Sustainability Loan, you'll need a financial statement, a list of business assets, and a personal guarantee.
A total of $750,000—funded by Bruce County—is administered by the Bruce Community Futures Development Corporation (BCFDC) and the Saugeen Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) apply with the group that covers your area (see map for reference).
Media Release: Bruce County provides $750,000 in Emergency Business Loans
Spruce the Bruce Grants for Business
To support Bruce County businesses in making COVID-19 related modifications, the 2021 Spruce the Bruce grants were amended. Matching funding requirements were removed the total available funding for the program was increased to $250,000. Applications for Spruce the Bruce grants are open.
Ontario Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grants
For businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures. This provincial application-based grant provides a rebate to eligible businesses in respect of property taxes and energy bills. More information.
Learn more about provincial recovery resources for small businesses: covid-19.ontario.ca/small-business-recovery-resources
ALLOCATED FUNDING AND APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED
COVID-19 Tourism Response Fund
The COVID-19 Tourism Response Fund — generously provided by FedDev — provided $245,000 to Bruce County tourism-related businesses.
Up to $10,000 in grants were available for tourism-related businesses through the COVID-19 Tourism Response Fund. Eligible expenses/projects included:
- Modified health and safety protocols
- Expanded social distancing practices
- Upgraded PPE, sanitizing equipment, or cleaning supplies
- Enhanced digital tools and operating transformations
Funding for the COVID-19 Tourism Response Fund has been allocated. Applications are now closed.
Business Safety Supplies Grant
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 2020 Spark Program were announced winners in December 2020.
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.
RESOURCES FOR BUSINESS
Catapult Grey Bruce
Connect with a mentor: catapultgreybruce.com/programs
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. Opens on February 15, 2021.
Canada Recover Benefit (CRB)
Income support for employed or self-employed individuals who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
Income support for employed or self-employed individuals who are sick or in need to self-isolate due to COVID-19.
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
Income support to employed or self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for a dependent.
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 United Small Business Relief Fund
A $5,000 grant to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), renovate, develop a website or enhance e-commerce capability.
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. Benefit extended until June 2021.
Business Credit Availability Fund (BCAP)
Credit to help cover operating costs due to COVID-19.
Regional Relief and Recovery Funds (RRRF)
Help for businesses unable to access other support measures. Apply through your Regional Development Agency or Community Futures Development Corporation.
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
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, in March, 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.