Applications open for City of Toronto’s Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program
Applications for the City of Toronto’s new Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program are open. A key part of the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative, the program offers matching funding of 50 per cent to commercial business operators and owners of vacant storefronts (or, in certain limited circumstances, at risk of becoming vacant) to undertake interior improvements. Applications will be accepted until February 28, 2022 or when funds are expended, whichever comes first, and are considered on a first received, first reviewed basis. Apply today.
Federal government moves to implement targeted COVID-19 support
The Government of Canada introduced legislation last week to deliver targeted support to businesses still facing significant pandemic-related challenges. Support would be available through three streams: Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program and Local Lockdown Program (further details on the latter two programs to be announced).
Hospitality workforce development program expands with more free courses
The Hospitality EDGE workforce development program is offering additional learning opportunities as part of its suite of free online courses for hospitality workers and those interested in joining the hospitality industry. The program offers courses that target critically-needed skill sets for today’s workforce. The new courses from George Brown College include Introduction to Hospitality SectorBusiness of Hospitality; and Sustainable Tourism. Hospitality EDGE is delivered by Destination Toronto in partnership with the City of Toronto, Tourism Mississauga and the City of Brampton. Learn more, sign up or share the full program information and course links with your employees.
Taking remote work to the next level: Webinar for employers
Learn how to make the most of the flexibility and sustainability of remote work at the next Smart Commute Return to Office webinar. The third webinar in this free series will address: how to measure how remote work operations are working for your employees; and how to improve remote work operations to allow for more flexibility, physical activity and communication while maintaining productivity. This webinar runs December 8 from 1 to 2 p.m. Register to participate.
Business Community News 
Tourism and hospitality initiative to rebuild the sector invites collaboration
The Tourism and Hospitality Emergency Recovery initiative, led by the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC), is working with partners across Canada to develop real solutions to rebuild the sector and attract new workers. Find out more about the initiative’s Destination Recovery Playbook and get involved.
De-escalation training available for street-front retailers
The City of Toronto continues to offer de-escalation training sessions for street-front retailers. The sessions are geared to managers or employees who interact with the general public regularly and would like to learn strategies and skills for communicating with individuals who may be street involved or displaying agitated behaviours. Training is facilitated by the Downtown Yonge BIA and a mental health educator. Learn more and register for free.
Innovation design challenge addresses employment barriers for persons with disabilities
Participate in the MaRS and CIBC Inclusive Design Challenge: Support at Work, and help shape the future of employment for persons with disabilities. The innovation competition aims to address the most pressing employment barriers faced by persons with disabilities. The winner of will receive a $50,000 grand prize; two runners-up will receive $20,000. The competition takes place December 1 at noon. Learn more and register.
York Entrepreneurship Development Institute incubator program accepting applications
The York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) is accepting applications for its spring 2022 incubator program. The free 16-week program is sector agnostic and open to ventures at any stage of development. Accepted participants receive workshop-based training in entrepreneurship, lectures by YEDI instructors, and on-going mentorship by key industry leaders. Apply today.
COVID-19 and workplace safety: Advice for food processors
 Workplace Safety & Prevention Services is offering professional advice and consulting to food processors on COVID-19 and workplace safety. Your workplace may be eligible for two days of services tailored to your needs (worth $2,000 and paid for by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership). Available until February 28, 2022. Get more details about this offer.
Webinars and Online EventsA full list of webinars and learning opportunities is available online.Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program: Information Session
December 6, 9 to 10 a.m. – Register (Free)Strategic Energy Management for SMEs – Partners in Project Green
December 8, 1 to 2 p.m. – Register (Free)eCommerce 101: What, Why, How
December 14, 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Register (Free)Service Canada Programs and Services for Employers
December 16, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Register (Free)General Small Business Tax Literacy Seminar
December 17, 9:30 a.m. to noon – Register (Free)Business Learning Hub Courses
Register (Pay what you can)Small Business Centres Ontario
On-going Online Events and e-Learning – Register (Free to $35)
City of Toronto Programs and ResourcesBusiness licensing and permit application portalBusinessTO Support Centre:
Provides one-on-one virtual support to help businessesDigital Main Street:
Provides support for businesses interested in adopting technologies COVID-19: Guidelines for Businesses & Community OrganizationsMandatory mask-wearing guidelinesPrintable posters Reopen Safely with Rapid Testing Kits
The City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto Region Board of Trade to provide free COVID-19 rapid screening kitsPreventing COVID-19 in the Workplace
Requirements of employers to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplaceRapid Screening Kits for Businesses ShopHERE powered by Google:
Get help to set up and launch an online store quickly, easily and at no cost Free webinars
Financial Support and ResourcesFederal and provincial government financial supports: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Support for Indigenous BusinessesBusiness Credit Availability Program Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) 
Ontario Small Business Support Grant
For one-on-one help with applications for any of these programs contact the BusinessTO Support Centre.