Ontario Small Business Relief Grant Applications NOW OPEN, Sign-up for our How to Be a Tourist Promotion, Ontario Expanding Access to Free Rapid Tests and more


How To Be A Tourist

Small Business Grant

Free Rapid Tests

Free Training for Food & Beverage Careers

Upcoming Webinars

How to Be a Tourist in Your Own Town: March Break Edition

For the month of March, we are launching an exciting new promotion: How to Be a Tourist in Your Own Town and we want to feature YOUR business on our website and in our social media posts.

Throughout this campaign, we will encourage residents to embrace the idea of a staycation.   This includes highlighting everything Orangeville has to offer from ice fishing at Island Lake to live theatre, amazing places to stay, walking tours, and of course, dining and shopping local! 

To be featured in this FREE promotion, simply tell us about a product or service that you would like to highlight during March Break (promotion should run between the dates of March 11th & 20th).  Please email Julia ambassador@downtownorangeville.ca  with the following details:

  • What is the name of your promotion? Your promotion could be a class, workshop, sale, service, or menu item that will be available during March Break (March 11th –20th).  See list of examples below!
  • Please describe your promotion including all necessary details (i.e. How long does the promotion run? 1 day, 1 week, 1 morning? Specific dates please! Does the customer need to register in advance? If so, what date? What is the cost? What products are included/excluded?)
  • Include a photograph (optional but encouraged!).

Tips & suggestions for your March Break promotion!

  • March Break Menu Special: Winter Feast prefix mini menu, family options, special menu item, feature cocktail, etc.
  • End of Winter Sale: 10% off winter stock, buy 2 get 1 free, etc.
  • March Break Classes: March Break camps, week-long art class, drop-in yoga class, mini group ukulele lessons, etc.
  • Pre-Spring Services: Winter body wrap, free consultation, free gift with treatment, etc.
  • Spring Preview: Feature new spring inventory, offer gift with purchase, door prize, etc.
  • Artist in Residence :Feature a visual artist working on site, an author doing a live reading, a musician performing live music, etc.
  • Any other great idea that’s exciting, will get people talking, and will drive customers through your door!

Applications NOW OPEN for the Ontario Small Business Relief Grant (OSBRG)

**Please note that the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade emailed eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant in 2021, and were subject to closure again on January 5, 2022, as they have been pre-screened and do not need to apply for the OSBRG. But they may be asked to confirm their continued eligibility.

The application portal will be open from February 9 to March 11 for applications from:
• Newly established businesses
• Businesses that may not have previously applied to the Ontario Small Business Support Grant in 2021
• Businesses that were previously deemed ineligible but are now eligible.

In order to be eligible, applicants will need to confirm that they:
• Had fewer than 100 employees as of December 31, 2021
• Were an active business as of January 14, 2022
• Were required to close indoor operations on January 5, 2022.

Eligible small businesses include:
• Restaurants and bars
• Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms)
• Racing venues, casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
• Performing arts venues and cinemas
• Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions
• Meeting or event spaces
• Tour and guide services
• Conference centres and convention centres
• Driving instruction for individuals
• Before- and after-school programs.

The OSBRG User Application Guide provides additional information about applying for the grant.

For more information on available business supports, please visit:  Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs | Ontario.ca

Call centres are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding government and statutory holidays.  Toll-free: 1-855-216-3090 / TTY: 416-325-3408 / Toll-free TTY: 1-800-268-7095

Ontario Expanding Access to Free Rapid Tests

The Ontario government is expanding access to free rapid testing kits to the general public for at-home use. Ontario will be distributing 5 million rapid tests each week for eight weeks through pharmacy and grocery locations across the province, as well as 500,000 each week through community partners in vulnerable communities.

Starting February 9, over 2,300 participating grocery and pharmacy locations will provide free rapid tests while supplies last, with a limit of one box of five tests per household per visit. A list of participating retailers as well as information on how retail locations are distributing rapid test kits can be found at Ontario.ca/rapidtest.

Ontario Offering Free Training for Food & Beverage Careers

The Ontario government is investing almost $1 million to prepare over 600 people across the province for rewarding careers in food and beverage processing. This funding to Food and Beverage Ontario provides jobseekers with training, mentorship, and job placements with local employers in baking, food science, and food production and processing.

Quick Facts:

  • Applications are now open to jobseekers and employers
  • Students or jobseekers who wish to participate in the program can register through FBO CareersNOW! Jobseeker.
  • Employers who wish to participate, by posting job openings, mentoring trainees, or participating in job fairs, can apply through CareersNOW! Employer.
  • The program is already live and will run until March 31, 2022.

You can read the full news release here.

Upcoming Webinar: Legal Issues for Small Business

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Don’t miss this informative webinar from one of your fellow BIA members!

At some point every business owner will encounter key legal considerations. In this webinar, Carters Professional Corporation will focus on some of the most common legal issues surrounding the operation of a small business.

Topics will include:

  • Hiring Employees – how to write a proper employment contract
  • Licensing – what businesses require a license in Dufferin County
  • Business Structure – when to use each (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation)
  • Intellectual Property – patent, trademark, copyright. What they mean and how to use them.

Presented by Carters Professional Corporation. Registration closes at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 15 for this session.

Register here!

Browse the full calendar of upcoming events presented by the Small Business Enterprise Centre here!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding any of the programs, promotions and services mentioned in this newsletter.