BusinessTO Newsletter May 12, 2020
Toronto skyline at sunset
BusinessTO News is a weekly newsletter that focuses on available resources and supports to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Toronto businesses. Learn about the current health situation, service changes and economic support at
City Announcements and Programs

ShopHERE program gets local businesses and artists selling online fast

ShopHERE, free, quick and easy initiative is helping Toronto’s independent businesses and artists build and promote their very own Shopify online stores in a matter of days. The City program brings together over 100 volunteer web developers, business students and corporate partners to provide one-on-one support with set-up, optimizing and marketing their online stores. Sign up:
Guidelines for retailers re-opening for curbside pickup

The City announced guidelines to support retailers as they re-open for curbside pickup and delivery. This follows the Ontario government’s plan to reopen retail stores with a street entrance. All retailers should follow available safety guidelines in order to protect staff and consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Support your community by donating to COVID-19 relief efforts

The City is working hard to continue its delivery of vital, community-focused services to those most impacted by COVID-19. Businesses interested in enhancing these efforts can make donations of food, technology services and financial gifts to COVID-19: DonateTOProcter & Gamble, in partnership with GlobalMedic, recently contributed personal care and cleaning products valued at $330,000 to vulnerable residents via the rapid rehousing project and community partners. 
BusinessTO Support Centre helps businesses access government assistance programs 

The BusinessTO Support Centre is available to help businesses respond to COVID-19 with a focus on completing applications for government assistance programs and providing business advice. Get started by scheduling a one-on-one meeting or register for an introductory webinar
Local businesses surveyed on COVID-19 impact

The City of Toronto surveyed over 20,000 businesses and Business Improvement Associations in an effort to hear directly from local businesses about how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them. The results of the survey help understand the implications of COVID-19 on local businesses and what information and support businesses need at this time. Find a range of business and sector supports offered by the City at
Federal and Provincial Programs 

Federal and provincial financial support for businessesOntario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance ProgramCanada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) programCanada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) programSupport for Indigenous BusinessesBusiness Credit Availability Program For one-on-one assistance with applications for any of these programs visit the BusinessTO Support Centre.
 Government funding to support mental health care tools and servicesThe Canadian government recently announced $240.5 million to develop, expand, and launch virtual care and mental health tools to support Canadians during COVID-19. The investment will support Wellness Together Canada, an online portal that provides free services dedicated to mental wellness and substance use support.The Ontario government’s commitment to mental health during COVID-19 will see emergency funding help mental health agencies hire and train more staff, purchase the necessary equipment and technology they need to help patients and support the creation and enhancement of virtual and online supports for mental health services
Business Community News 

Founder of infectious disease-tracking tech company cautiously optimistic about flattening COVID-19 curveToronto startup BlueDot developed software that uses human and artificial intelligence to track infectious diseases. Physician and company CEO Dr. Kamran Khan shares his thoughts on COVID-19’s Canadian trajectory. He believes partnerships across sectors and the sharing of information are essential in bringing the pandemic to an end.
Digital Main Street helps businesses adapt & improve online services
Faced with news of the shutdown of non-essential services due to COVID-19, two Toronto business owners began offering free delivery of grocery products to their local community. In response to its success, they decided to expand the service into a delivery company featuring products from additional boutique shops in their neighbourhood. Digital Main Street helped this idea come to fruition by guiding them through the process of building a new e-commerce website with Shopify and Allons-Y Delivery was up and running within a week. Businesses looking to expand their online presence can sign up to get assistance at no-cost.
Tech companies vital to COVID-19 economic recovery

A new report by the Innovation Economy Council examines how Canada’s tech startups can drive the recovery from COVID-19. The report’s findings show that all sectors of Canada’s economy depend heavily on a vast supply chain of technology companies to meet needs in areas such as e-commerce, cybersecurity, data privacy, artificial intelligence, clean technology and advanced manufacturing.
Online directory offers a way to support main street businesses

Digital Main Street curated a list of platforms, marketplaces and services that are helping to support small businesses during these challenging times. The COVID-19 Support Directory gives people a way to support their favourite neighbourhood stores.
Stay informed with online webinars, blogs & events

Ask an Accountant – Applying for Government COVID-19 Support Programs webinar(Free)
Wednesday, May 13, 3:30 p.m. – Register I Wednesday, May 20, 3:30 p.m. – Register

Scarborough Business Association Cyber Breakfast – Why Local Hospitals Are Vital to Economic Recovery (Free)
Wednesday, May 13, 9:30 a.m. – Register 

Business AdviceTO Event Series (Free)
Weekly online events for tech, retail, and female lead businesses that provide an opportunity to share, learn and grow with other entrepreneurs and leaders mitigating through COVID-19.Business AdviceTO with Partners SheEO World | Wednesdays, 9 a.m – Register Business AdviceTO with Partners TechTO | Wednesdays, 12 p.m – Register 
Elevate Live Event Series (Free)
This 13-week series features thought leaders and entrepreneurs sharing current insights into the most pressing issues facing the tech industry.
Wednesdays, 12 p.m. – Register

MaRS COVID-19 Collection
Browse a collection of tools and tactics startups can use to respond to the business impacts of COVID-19. Learn More.
Produced by City of Toronto