Week of June 15th

    Hi everyone!   Beautiful sunny weather this week and lots of excitement surrounding last weeks announcement that patio service is now permitted and the news that many personal service businesses are finally able to open their doors after being forced to shut down in March. It is nice to see more people out and about Downtown, albeit with masks and from a distance, but it’s a start!   Here are the news items for this week:  

Changes to CEBA

As of Friday, June 19, 2020, the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will be accessible to more small business owners. Owner-operated small businesses that had previously been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll, will become eligible this week. Eligible businesses will qualify for financing of up to $40,000, with 25 per cent of this being forgivable based on the current terms of CEBA loans. Contact your primary financial institution to apply.  You can read more about the program here.  

Face Covering’s

Customers are quickly adapting to the mandatory face covering rules and the OBIA is actively encouraging members of the public to please bring their mask every time they go out shopping.  Of course there will always be someone who didn’t realize that a mask is required and if this happens to you, we suggest that you direct the customer to one of our members who is selling re-usable face masks:   Orangeville Tailoring Wicked Shortbread Moguls In Mocean GoYoga Orangeville Orangeville Wellness Clinic Blumen on Broadway   (Is your name missing from the list? Please let me know and I will add you!).   Another suggestion would be to partner with one of our members who is making masks and have their masks on hand for purchase at your location.    Or, you may wish to have a box of disposable masks available.  Customers can purchase one from you for a fee of $2 or whatever amount you think is reasonable.   Please note that some people are exempt from the order, including: Children under the age of two years, children under the age of five years (either chronologically or developmentally) who refuse to wear a face covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver, people whose ability to breathe in any way is inhibited by the face covering, people that have any other medical reason they cannot wear a face covering safely, such as, but not limited to, respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information.  If someone tells you they are exempt, you can take them at their word, no documentation is needed. Please go here if you have any additional questions related to face coverings.  

Farmers’ Market

The Market was open for on-site shopping for the first time last week and it was a success!   Vendors and customers respected physical distancing markers, the flow of pedestrian and vehicle traffic was well co-ordinated, and it was a very happy atmosphere. We would encourage you to invite your customers to come down to the market, either by word of mouth or sharing the Market’s social media posts on Facebook and Instagram.  We want everyone to know that it is a safe and enjoyable experience, and as attendance continues to increase, we know that this will bring more traffic to our Downtown businesses.  For the time being, the market is located in the parking lot directly across from Town Hall and the hours are 9am-12pm.  

Good News Story

Each week I hope to send you a positive update from one of our members.  If you have something uplifting to share, please get in touch!   Congratulations to Flaunt Salon, celebrating their 10th Anniversary this month and check out their beautifully renovated space! Phase 2 of the province’s re-opening plan meant that some or all services were permitted to resume at hair salons, spa’s, medi-spa’s, and tattoo parlour’s.   This was extremely welcome news for many of our members who have been closed for months, however, it wasn’t just a matter of opening their doors and inviting people in.  I want to take a moment to acknowledge all the careful planning and training that Flaunt Salon, and every single one of our businesses, has undertaken in order to comply with the rules and keep us all safe.   From installing plexiglass barriers, utilizing signage and social media to communicate the new rules with clients, purchasing masks and hand sanitizer, restricting the number of patrons allowed inside,  and taking a slow and careful approach to opening, it has been amazing to see how each business is adapting to the new health and safety protocols.    Rest assured that your efforts will not be in vain, and this goes for every restaurant, retail shop, and service provider.  It is highly likely that we will need to continue with these safety measures for quite some time. You have all done an incredible job and I feel confident that Downtown shoppers will feel safe coming out to visit us, and this is thanks to all of your remarkable efforts.   Well done everyone!