Our team at the Markham Small Business Centre (MSBC) can help you make the right decisions as you start up your business venture, help develop your management capabilities as it grows or help you pivot as we adapt to the COVID-19 crisis
Le services de la centre d'encadrement des petites entrepreneurs do Markham (MSBC) est disponible en francais à la demand pour les programmes financé de l'Ontario. Cliquez ci-dessous pour en savoir plus.
Get the latest information, updates and resources available to small businesses right to your inbox.
The City of Markham is committed to the health and safety of the Markham community, its small businesses and our employees. We are working closely with our Public Health colleagues at the regional, provincial and national levels concerning the evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
Update regarding our small business advisory services:
The situation continues to evolve quickly and while we anticipate these measures will remain in place until further notice, we continue to monitor and will provide updates as quickly as possible.
Thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of each other and the Markham community.
For up-to-date information about COVID-19, please visit york.ca/covid19
The City of Markham has many services to offer small businesses in our community. These include:
Our consultants can help you with:
This counseling is offered at no cost, and is confidential. Depending on what stage you are at with your business/idea, we may recommend one of our group consultations or a one-on-one consultation.
To find out more, please contact the Markham Small Business Centre:
Our Resource Centre offers literature on:
Related government programs and services are also available
· Workshops and seminars are also excellent for networking with other small business owners
You may use our Reference Library. We have trade directories and guide books. We also have business magazines and other publications. Internet Access is also available.
The Markham Small Business Recovery and Digital Resilience Program is a training, education and business advisory program designed to help Markham-based, brick-and-mortar, small businesses shift their business practices and build resilience towards sustainable recovery. With emphasis on digital strategies and enhanced virtual/online presence. In addition, for selected participants, there is an opportunity to be selected for a grant of up to $5,000.00 to assist with implementation related expenses.
Expressions of interest are now being accepted and the deadline for submitting a completed Business Recovery/Pivot Plan and Cash Flow Projections is Monday December 7, 2020.
shopHERE provides independent small businesses and artists in Markham with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of having an online presence to sell goods and services.
To address this need, Digital Main Street is collaborating with Google, Shopify, Mastercard and Microsoft to build and optimize stores for small independent businesses and artists in just a matter of days.
The City of Markham is collaborating with Ritual and DoorDash to provide locally owned and operated small businesses with an easy way to conduct online sales through their own websites and social media, and to enable contactless ordering at brick-and-mortar stores.
Markham businesses can sign up for the Open for Business program and use Ritual ONE – the commission-free digital ordering platform – to receive:
Waived set-up fees (normally $99/location)
Waived processing fees for 2020 (normally 2.8% + $0.15/transaction)
Waived subscription fees for 2020 (normally $49/month/location)
Use of DoorDash Drive for flat fee delivery of Ritual ONE orders
Businesses that use DoorDash Drive to make at least one Ritual ONE delivery by December 31, 2020 will have their Ritual ONE subscription fees waived through 2021.
While Ritual is most strongly associated with food services, Open for Business is available to provide any locally owned and operated business in Markham with commission-free pick-up and delivery during these challenging and unprecedented times.
Markham Small Business Centre hosts educational seminars on various business topics throughout the year. Certain subjects we repeat regularly and others are special interest topics, please see our schedule below:
Free Small Business Skills Training Topics with General Assembly — MSBC’s digital training partner, General Assembly, is offering “Free Fridays” workshops until the end of the year. Topics include Intro to Digital Marketing, Google Analytics, social media strategy, customer mapping, Instagram, coding, design, SEO and more View their upcoming calendar here.
RBC Emerging Artists Academy — What’s Next? Arts in the Time of COVID — Thursday, November 26, Noon
MSBC & Launch YU — Best Practices in Sales — Thursday, November 26, 6PM — 8PM
Markham Public Library — Getting Started in Online Retail with eBay Canada — Friday, November 27, 7PM — 8PM
York Region and ventureLAB — Made in York Region: Navigating the New Reality — Tuesday, December 1 to Wednesday December 3, 1PM — 3PM each day
MSBC & Launch YU — Pitching & Storytelling — Thursday, December 3, 6PM — 8PM
Get help with COVID-19 costs
Starting November 16, 2020, businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures (modified Stage 2 restrictions or, going forward, in areas categorized as control or lockdown) can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs.
Markham Approves Tax and Fee Relief for Residents and Businesses
Benefits for Businesses:
FAQs about various government-announced programs:
Canadian Federation of Independent Business Help Centre (up-to-date FAQs about new and existing programs announced by government, including timelines, amounts, factors to consider and other details)
(Note: please carefully consider taking advantage of business loan/credit solutions to ensure it makes sense for your business; for some, the cash flow is critical, for others, taking on additional debt may be challenging – let us know if you’d like to discuss firstname.lastname@example.org)
Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan (find details about Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) $40,000 interest-free loan program; extension of the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks; Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) $2,000 per month for up to 4 months; Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) up to 75% for up to 3 months; the Temporary Wage Subsidy (10% up to $1,375 per employee/$25k per organization); access to additional credit; interest free extension of income tax filing and payment deadlines; and financial market support)
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) — details about Canada's $25 billion program that provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). Get answers to questions like: How can I apply? What are the eligibility requirements? Are any Borrowers excluded? Are there any restrictions on how I can use CEBA funds?
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) — Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.
This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.
If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.
Additional info about the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) — the CECRA will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June. In this way, CECRA will provide relief for small businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in gross rent that have either been forced to close due to the pandemic or have had their revenues severely impacted by at least 70 per cent. CMHC will administer the program on behalf the Government of Canada and provincial and territorial partners. May 14: Added answers to questions that have been received concerning eligibility, role of property owner/landlord, mortgage requirements, and process. It is anticipated that the application process will open in the second half of May.
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and they have been unable to access other Government of Canada measures.
CRA: Helping Canadians with the economic impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Canada Emergency Response Benefit — CERB — $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income; extension of tax-filing and payment deadlines; Emergency Care benefit $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks; Emergency Support Benefit, Goods and Services Tax Credit payment; Canada Child Benefit payments; Registered Retirement Income Funds; Temporary wage subsidy for employers)
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) — As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020. This wage subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position you to resume normal operations following the crisis.
Details on How to Apply: Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS); what to prepare before you apply, who is an eligible employer, determine your eligible employees, calcualate your subsidy amount, and more.
Temporary Wage Subsidy (for employers who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) listed above, find details to check eligibility for this alternate program). 10% of the remuneration you pay from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.
Canadian small or medium sized enterprises pursuing technology driven innovation who are not eligible for funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) are eligible and can apply for financial assistance under IRAP IAP which provides a wage subsidy for up to 12 weeks to employers. Salaries are the only eligible cost. No other costs will be covered under the IAP.
The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund will be managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network in support of other chambers and partners to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19.
Successful applicants will receive a relief grant of up to $5,000. We intend to support local businesses of all kinds from across the country (from retailers to barbershops to farmers). Applications are open to small businesses across sectors and industries in every part of the country that have between $150,000 and $3 million in annual sales; have up to 75 employees; are registered in Canada; and would use the grant to cover the costs of personal protective equipment, make physical modifications to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements, and enhance their digital or e-commerce capabilities.
WSIB Financial Relief: allows businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. Businesses who report and pay monthly, quarterly or annually based on their insurable earnings are eligible for this deferral.
Time-of-Use Rates Suspended for 45 Days — The Government of Ontario is providing temporary 45-day emergency relief to support Ontarians impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak. As of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, households, farms and small businesses who pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged off-peak rates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Business Development Bank of Canada (access additional credit/financing resources, including postponement of payments for up to 6 months)
News: Wed Mar 18, 2020 — Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Action (support will include up to a 6 month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products – links to each bank are posted in the above – contact your bank for options)
For Exporters – access additional credit/financing resources
Business Supports: Reopening during COVID-19
Ontario Information about Essential Workplaces:
The government and health and safety associations have released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing. As new sectors of the economy begin to reopen, additional resources will be made available to help protect the safety of workers and the general public.
The Ontario government is issuing posters to promote a variety of useful safety tips. The posters offer helpful advice on physical distancing and sanitation. They are downloadable from the Ontario.ca website so employers can print and post them in their workplaces.
Effective Monday, October 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., York Region joined Ottawa, Peel and Toronto public health regions in a modified Stage 2. Measures under this modified Stage 2 include reduced gathering/capacity limits, closures of gyms, indoor cinemas, indoor food and drink service and others that are provided directly in the news release.
Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. Help is available from Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.
Government Procurement Opportunities for COVID-19 related supplies and services:
If you are a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19, Canada wants to hear from you (visit the website for a detailed list of products and services being procured).
The Government of Ontario is looking for help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the response to COVID-19.
Government of Canada, National Research Council seeking innovative solutions: (1) COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program: respond to challenge statements issued by Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada, being faced by health providers to deal with COVID-19; (2) Pandemic Response Challenge Program: join dedicated teams to address challenges in the areas of greatest research and development need in the fight against COVID-19, funding is available.
Impact survey of COVID-19 on businesses in Canada:
The purpose of this survey is to measure the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Canada. Information collected is intended to help governments, chambers of commerce and business associations across Canada devise strategies and mechanisms to foster the survival and continuity of businesses in Canada. Your information may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.
In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery. This site and a supporting campaign will continue to grow in the weeks and months ahead as we work together to support and protect our businesses, our communities and our economy.
MaRS Discovery District collection of tools and tactics startups can use to prepare, plan and respond to COVID-19 (business implications to consider, general resources, global supply chain management, managing cash flow, people practices, remote work planning
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Pandemic Preparedness Guide
Mental health resources from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (talking to your children and supporting loved ones; strategies for coping with stress and anxiety, questionnaires to assess your stress levels; dealing with self-isolation; reducing stigma and prejudice for those affected)
Events calendar with links to select program ‘how to’ expert webinars.
News: November 23, 2020 - The National Ecosystem Fund will provide funding to Black-led not-for-profit business organizations to strengthen their capacity to provide support, financial planning services and business training for Black entrepreneurs and business owners. Black-led not-for-profit business organizations that serve Black entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses are encouraged to apply through the National Ecosystem Fund National Ecosystem Fund web page by December 21, 2020.
The Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub will gather data on Black entrepreneurship in Canada and help identify critical gaps, barriers to success, and opportunities for growth. It will be jointly run by Black-led business organizations, in partnership with educational institutions. Black-led not-for-profit business organizations and educational institutions are encouraged to come together, develop an application, and apply through the Knowledge Hub web page by January 18, 2021.
News: November 23, 2020 - the CERS opened today to receive applications from qualifying organizations. These organizations can now apply directly for the subsidy for the period from September 27 to October 24, 2020 through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Business Account, or Represent a Client portals.
Applications for the second CERS period (October 25 to November 21, 2020) will open on November 30.
The new rent subsidy supports businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop by providing support up to a maximum of 65% of eligible expenses.
Qualifying organizations that were required to shut down or significantly limit their activities under a public health order will have access to Lockdown Support, a top-up subsidy of 25%, meaning that they could receive rent or property expenses support of up to 90%.
News: November 22, 2020 - Meeting and event spaces, and other businesses, places, facilities or establishments, including special event venues, banquet halls, hotel conference rooms and convention centres which rent or otherwise make available any meeting and/or event space to:
Shopping malls to:
Retail stores to:
News: November 19, 2020 - The Ontario government is launching a series of education and enforcement campaigns to ensure businesses across the province are taking the necessary steps to keep employees, consumers and the public safe. These campaigns will support the current efforts of police, municipal by-law officers, and public health inspectors to educate businesses and enforce the COVID-19 health and safety requirements. Officers will be asking employers to produce their workplace safety plans.
If a person or business is not found compliant with orders under the Reopening Ontario Act, they could be ticketed with a fine of $750 under the Reopening Ontario Act. Where prosecuted without issuing a ticket and on conviction, individuals could be fined up to $100,000, and directors and officers of a corporation could be fined up to $500,000. Any individual convicted of an offence under the Reopening Ontario Act could also receive a term of imprisonment of up to one year. The maximum fine for a corporation convicted of an offence under the Reopening Ontario Act is $10,000,000.
Businesses requiring a workplace safety plan include:
News: November 19, 2020 - The Ontario government is investing over $2.2 million through the Ontario Together Fund to provide small businesses with free, tailored financial advice and online training to help them make informed financial decisions and navigate the unprecedented economic circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario is providing $2,040,000 to support Ontario's 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBEC) led by the Business Advisory Centre Durham to create a new Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network. This network will enhance the capacity of all SBECs across the province to expand their services, supporting businesses across the province.
News: November 13, 2020 - The framework changes are in response to the current data and trends, and will lower the threshold for each of the five levels for: weekly incidence rates, positivity rate, effective reproductive number (Rt), outbreak trends and the level of community transmission. Based on these new thresholds, York Region Public Health would be moved to the Red-Control level in the framework. Please visit Ontario.ca/COVID19 for the full list of public health region classifications that will come into effect as of Monday, November 16, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.
Assignments to the current levels would last for a minimum of 28 days or two-incubation periods, at which time the status of these public health unit regions will be reassessed on a weekly basis. However, movement to a more restrictive zone will be considered sooner if there are rapidly worsening trends.
News: November 10, 2020 - The Ontario government is proposing to give municipalities the flexibility to target property tax relief to small businesses. The province is also considering matching these reductions, which would provide small businesses with as much as $385 million in municipal and provincial property tax relief. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.
News: November 6, 2020 - The Government of Canada is providing over $155 million to extend the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program's (NRC IRAP) Innovation Assistance Program (IRAP IAP). IRAP IAP is an emergency wage subsidy provided to eligible firms on a priority basis. Funding will help support existing IAP recipients that are high-potential, small and pre-revenue firms that do not qualify for the government's wage subsidy measure.
News: November 3, 2020 - With international travel restricted due to COVID-19, the CanExport SMEs program is pivoting to now help small businesses:
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for CanExport SMEs program funding.
News: November 3, 2020 - In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, the Ontario government has developed the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. It ensures that public health measures are targeted, incremental and responsive to help limit the spread of COVID-19, while keeping schools and businesses open, maintaining health system capacity and protecting vulnerable people, including those in long-term care.
The framework takes a gradual approach that includes introducing preventative measures earlier to help avoid broader closures and allow for additional public health and workplace safety measures to be introduced or removed incrementally. It categorizes public health unit regions into five levels: Green-Prevent, Yellow-Protect, Orange-Restrict, Red-Control, and Lockdown being a measure of last and urgent resort. Each level outlines the types of public health and workplace safety measures for businesses and organizations. These include targeted measures for specific sectors, institutions and other settings.
On November 16, businesses in modified Stage 2 regions or, going forward, in areas categorized as control or lockdown, can apply for rebates to help with fixed costs, such as property tax and energy bills. Find out if your business is eligible.
Rebates will cover the period of time that businesses are required to temporarily close or significantly restrict services as a result of being located in areas subject to the targeted modified Stage 2 public health restrictions or, going forward, in areas categorized as Control or Lockdown. The property tax rebates will be net of any federal support in respect of property taxes provided through the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), so that the rebate will cover costs beyond those covered by CERS.
News: October 29, 2020 - The Ontario Made program is helping the province's manufacturing base regain and recover revenues lost due to COVID-19. Manufacturers and producers are encouraged to register and promote their products on the SupportOntarioMade.ca website and use the Ontario Made logo. Regional webinars where manufacturers can learn more about the program will be hosted by CME to increase the volume and variety of registered Ontario Made products for consumers.
Consumers can easily find these made-in-Ontario goods in the new online, searchable directory at SupportOntarioMade.ca. This includes products that are made in local communities, participating retailers and company profiles.
News: October 26, 2020 - As early as October 26, 2020, the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will be available to businesses that have been operating out of a non-business banking account.
To be eligible, businesses must have been operating as a business as of March 1, 2020, must successfully open a business account at a Canadian financial institution that is participating in CEBA, and meet the other existing CEBA eligibility criteria. The deadline to apply for CEBA is December 31, 2020.
To assess their eligibility for CEBA, applicants can use the pre-screening tool on the CEBA website. To apply for CEBA, businesses should contact their financial institution and provide the appropriate information and documentation. Applicants may contact the CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201 to receive a status update on a completed application between Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST
News: October 20, 2020 - Starting on October 26, small businesses can apply online through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for the next wave of Canada United Small Business Relief Fund grants. The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, which is managed by the OCC, is supporting Canadian businesses across different sectors and industries with grants of up to $5,000.
Applications are open to small businesses across sectors and industries in every part of the country that have between $150,000 and $3 million in annual sales; have up to 75 employees; are registered in Canada; and would use the grant to cover the costs of personal protective equipment, make physical modifications to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements, and enhance their digital or e-commerce capabilities.
Canada United is a national fundraising campaign created by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in collaboration with private sector partners and provincial and territorial chambers of commerce, including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC). The campaign has been rallying support from Canadians for local small businesses in every corner of the country.
News: October 16, 2020 - Effective Monday, October 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., York Region will join Ottawa, Peel and Toronto public health regions in a modified Stage 2. Measures under this modified Stage 2 include:
Schools, child care centres, and places of worship will remain open in these communities and must continue to follow the public health measures in place. Before-school and after-school programs will also continue to be exempt from these new restrictions and will remain open..
News: October 13, 2020 - To provide relief for local restaurants and other businesses impacted by the new public health measures, Ontario announced $300 million to help offset fixed costs, including property taxes, hydro and natural gas bills. The government is also supporting small business through its Main Street Recovery Plan by:
News: October 9, 2020 - The Government of Canada plans to introduce legislation to provide support that would help these businesses safely get through the second wave of the virus and the winter, cover costs so they can continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery, including:
News: October 7, 2020 - Announcement of Ontario's Main Street Recovery Plan and to introduce the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020, proposed legislation that would support small businesses and modernize rules to allow them to innovate and meet the challenges of today. The plan includes:
News: October 2, 2020 - The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, which helps support those who may not be eligible for other programs. Since the Fund was launched in May, over 12,000 businesses have been assisted through the RRRF, helping them keep their employees, cover costs, and protect almost 95,000 jobs across Canada. The RRRF has been a vital tool, supplementing the existing suite of federal relief measures to address the immediate needs of Canadians during the pandemic. Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) will deliver the RRRF in their regions.
News: October 1, 2020 - Minimum wage rates in Ontario increased on October 1, 2020. Under the Making Ontario Open for Business Act this increase is tied to the Ontario Consumer Price Index for 2020. The increase to the general minimum wage is 25 cents, which brings the new rate to $14.25 an hour.
News: July 20, 2020 - The Ontario government is allowing seven more regions, including Markham, York Region, to enter Stage 3 on Friday, increasing the number of businesses and public spaces that will reopen across the province. York Region will be allowed to move into Stage 3 on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.
Mayor Frank Scarpitti reminds us (July 20) that Stage 3 means we can support more local businesses but we should not let our guard down.
News: July 13, 2020 - Nearly All Businesses and Public Spaces to Reopen in Stage 3. As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following:
Important: York Region will remain in Stage 2, until further notice.
News: July 9, 2020 — Effective Friday, July 17, 2020 as of 12:01 a.m., business owners and operators in York Region must have a policy in place to prohibit people from entering if they are not wearing a face mask or covering. Customers, employees and visitors who enter enclosed public spaces must wear a face mask or covering.
News: June 30, 2020 — The province's campaign asks for mayors, local leaders and groups to support our small businesses by committing on social media to "Shop Local, Shop Safe, Shop with Confidence," while highlighting the best practices put in place by businesses to help keep shoppers safe while ensuring that the reopening of Ontario continues to be a success. For example, the principles of the People Outside Safely Together (POST) Promise encourage small businesses to strictly follow health guidelines and reopen with appropriate measures in place, so consumers can shop safely and with confidence, including:
News reminder: June 29, 2020 — Markham Patio Extension Program officially launches July 2. Bars, restaurants and retail businesses who have successfully applied to the Temporary Use Zoning Bylaw to Permit Extended Outdoor Patios and Outdoor Display and Sales Areas are expected to begin offering outdoor services to provide safe spaces for residents to dine and to #ShopLocal. Read the Announcement
News: June 15, 2020 — The Government of Canada announced that as of Friday, June 19, 2020, applications will be accepted so that more small businesses can access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). This means that owner-operated small businesses that had 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.
To qualify under the expanded eligibility rules, CEBA applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 will need:
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. Businesses can contact their primary financial institution for more information or to apply directly for CEBA. More information on the expanded CEBA can be found on the program’s website.
News: June 8 & 15, 2020 — More people will be able to get back to work as additional businesses and services in certain regions across Ontario (including York Region/Markham) can begin reopening and are allowed to move into Stage 2 on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.
Businesses and services permitted to reopen with proper health and safety measures in place in regions entering Stage 2 include:
News: June 11, 2020 — The Ontario government, in partnership with the Government of Canada, is helping small businesses reach more customers through the Digital Main Street platform. It is a $57-million program which will help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students.
Through the $57-million contribution to the Digital Main Street platform, businesses will be able to take advantage of three new programs to support their digital transformation:
News: June 10, 2020 — The Government of Canada has partnered with the People Outside Safely Together (POST) Promise program, an initiative launched by Canadian private sector organizations. The “POST Promise” is a voluntary commitment that business owners and managers can make by following five key public health actions that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
By displaying the “POST Promise” logo, participating businesses can reassure customers that they are doing their part to help protect Canadians’ health and safety.
News: May 28, 2020 — Markham jumps into ShopHERE program in support of small businesses
Statement from Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti: The City of Markham is the first municipality to join a Canada-wide initiative. The ShopHERE Program, initiated by Digital Main Street (a program of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas) and the City of Toronto, is being expanded across the country.
ShopHERE will provide independent businesses and artists the opportunity to develop an online store, which will be built and launched with no fees charged to the business, with support from marketing and business students. The program will provide independent businesses and artists with:
Digital Main Street and Google are extending the program to Canadian municipalities with a goal of building 50,000 online stores by the end of 2020.
News: May 25, 2020 — Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Consultation Opened on May 25, 2020 and will close to input on June 5, 2020. The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan to support Canadians and protect jobs during the global COVID-19 outbreak. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which was announced on April 1, 2020, helps employers protect jobs, rehire employees, and provide workers with a decent income. The subsidy covers 75 per cent of an employee’s wages (up to $847 per week) for employers who have been hard-hit by COVID-19.
This consultation will help inform potential changes to the CEWS to help maximize employment and best meet the needs of businesses and workers during these challenging times. The consultation seeks input on the eight questions intended to inform advice to the government on potential changes to the program (e.g., challenges, accessibility, seasonal businesses, interaction with CERB, etc.).
News: May 25, 2020 — Minister Ng announces hotline to provide small businesses in need with financial planning advice amid COVID-19. The Government of Canada will support the launch of a four-week hotline service called the Business Resilience Service. This service will help entrepreneurs and small business owners in need of financial planning advice, particularly those who may not have access to an accountant. The service will also be open to not-for-profit organizations and charities.
The hotline is a national, bilingual service operated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. As of today, small business owners with pressing financial needs can call 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).
Business advisors—125 members of Chartered Professional Accountants Canada (CPA Canada)—will be available to provide customized financial guidance to the smallest business owners in the most urgent need and help them make the best decisions for their business as they navigate this crisis. Advisors can answer questions about tax regulations and the implications of COVID-19, inform business owners about government support programs that best fit their unique circumstances, and provide strategic financial planning for their road to recovery.
News: May 19 and 20, 2020 — CMHC announces that the CECRA application portal opens on May 25, 2020 for eligible property owners. To help you prepare, sample versions of the application documents are now available on their website. You can review them in order to have the required information on-hand when the application portal opens.
News: May 19, 2020 — Government of Canada announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:
News: May 16, 2020 — the Government of Canada will provide $15 million in additional funding to support women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). This money will go directly to select organizations that are currently WES Ecosystem Fund recipients and will help women entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.
News: May 15, 2020 — Finance Minister Bill Morneau today announced that the Government of Canada will extend the CEWS by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020. Extending the program will give workers greater confidence that they will continue to get the support they need during these difficult times. These regulations extend eligibility for the CEWS to the following groups:
News: May 14, 2020 — CMHC has updated the CECRA for small businesses web page to include new details on the program. Added answers to questions that have been received concerning eligibility, role of property owner/landlord, mortgage requirements, and process. Visit the updated program page to get the latest details. It is anticipated that the application process will open in the second half of May.
News: May 14, 2020 — In order to help businesses open safely, the Government of Ontario has developed an online resource called the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory to help Ontario businesses identify suppliers for personal protective equipment (PPE) that will support employees’ safe return to work.
News: May 14, 2020 — Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen
News: May 13, 2020 — Government of Canada - The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides $213 million in support to southern Ontario SMEs that do not qualify for, or have been declined for, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures. The RRRF provides financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
News: May 6 & 11, 2020 — Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction During COVID-19. The Ontario government is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores.
News: May 1, 2020 — Certain Businesses Allowed to Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines — Steady Decrease in COVID-19 Cases Required Before Beginning Next Stage of Reopening. By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.:
News: April 30, 2020 — The Ontario government is ensuring employers have the safety guidelines they need to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy. The 61 sector-specific guidelines are available from Ontario’s health and safety associations.
News: April 29, 2020 – In a Canadian first, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the City of Markham – Canada’s high-tech capital – are using the artificial intelligence-driven virtual agent “IBM Watson Assistant for Citizens” to offer 24-hour customer service for residents looking for COVID-19 information. The solution will use AI and machine learning to enable the City of Markham to deliver reliable, consistent and accurate information conveniently to residents via online text chat and voice calls – anywhere, anytime.
News: April 28, 2020 — The Ontario government is launching the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the global pandemic. Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to the website. The province is prepared to allow temporary changes to provincial rules and regulations in order to remove any barriers that are hindering business and negatively impacting Ontario's supply chain.
News: April 24, 2020 - Prime Minister announces partnerships with provinces and territories to deliver the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA / OCECRA) for small businesses
OCECRA program details about how the program works, timelines, eligibility requirements, exclusions.
News: April, 24, 2020 - The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products.
This targeted application intake features two funding streams:
News: Apr 16, 2020 — The Government of Canada is:
News: Apr 14, 2020 — Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to Continue the Fight Against COVID-19 — the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until May 12 (including the closure of all non-essential workplaces).
Many local organizations have small business programs for Markham residents.
Get a free, 30 minutes accounting consultation from a professional. This is only for business-related topics. You must book in advance.
For detailed information and an appointment, send an email to email@example.com or call 905-477-7000 x6722.
Mentoring Firm: BDO Canada LLP, Chartered Accountants and Advisors
saveONenergy programs can help your small business lower its electricity costs. Learn more about saveONenergy programs for business.
Attend 2 free Markham Board of Trade (MBT) events by:
Contact us for a referral: firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-477-7000 x6722
Seneca College has two small business programs:
Enhance your management skills! This new management development program helps today’s leaders and managers. It covers a wide range of topics. It focuses on the skills used by managers in everyday decision-making and problem solving. Learn more about the Leadership Development Series.
Learn how to start your own business! This course will teach you how to develop a business plan, follow business law, and deliver good customer service. Choose electives that include:
You can take this course entirely online.
Learn more about the Entrepreneurship Certificate Program.
10 great ways to market your business, including: networking, maintaining a database, newsletters, brochures, flyers, presentations, etc.
Business insurance is a key part of business planning, you need to know how much you need; coverage for life events, property, workers, and liability; where to buy; choosing an advisor; and considering group insurance.
A business plan is not just for obtaining financing, there are other benefits to planning. Be prepared to discuss the industry, your services/products, management, marketing, equipment, operations, financial projections and risks.
To help you decide whether or not entrepreneurship is your next career move, it’s important to challenge some common myths.
Sanning Cheng of BDO Dunwoody LLP, Chartered Accountants and Advisors
Learn when to hire employees; how to find and pick the best candidate; how much to pay employees; and other tips for employers.
What is good debt vs. bad debt. How to effectively borrow money and leverage debt. Using debt as an effective financial tool.
It is never too early to think about retirement and succession plans. Think about passing the business on to the next generation, or selling the business as exit strategies.
Plan for retirement as a business owner or self-employed individual. Learn about RRSPs, reducing tax rate, individual pension plans, insured retirement plan, and savings.
Support Markham Business
The Markham Board of Trade has set up this website to make it easy for you to find what's open and where you can buy locally. If you are a business and are open, promote your business hours, promos & more on their new website! Search for restaurants, retail and other service providers that are open.
How we can all rally to help Markham's small businesses
Don't have time to attend all the great business webinars being hosted right now? Here are some of the top quick tips we've been hearing about, and what they mean for us and our local Markham small businesses:
What can we do?
What it means for small businesses
Buy a gift card / gift certificate from a local Markham business for yourself or a loved one
The immediate cash flow can be extremely helpful so make sure you have a way to issue and track redemptions
Order by phone or online for delivery / take-out /curb side pick-up
Consider offering curb side pick-up and online pre-payment to limit physical contact; in fact, certain essential businesses can now only sell by an alternative method such as curb side pick-up or delivery - www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces#section-3
Leave positive reviews. Comment and share your support for local Markham businesses on their social media channels
Thank your clients and work on building / strengthening a loyal customer base. Actively engage in genuine conversations on social media. Let clients know what to expect during this disruption and that you are actively taking pre-bookings, or offering virtual solutions.
Attend a virtual/online session
Research virtual meeting tools and adapt your service delivery to an online / virtual platform
Don't cancel - ask to reschedule
Make sure to communicate alternatives to refunds, like offering credit / gift certificates for future redemption. For non-profit, charitable organizations: offer another alternative option of getting a donation receipt for the value of their reservation / ticket instead of a refund
Book / reserve now for future service - this is a great way to show your support, even if you don't have the spending money right now
Even though you don't get immediate cash flow from this, keep track of these commitments and communicate these to your landlord and bank as supporting info of future demand for your services
Landlords - talk to your business tenants and give them the option to have you opt-in to mortgage deferral and tax deferral programs so you can pass on the savings to reduce their regular monthly rent payments for a temporary period. Also consider the newly announced OCECRA
Talk to your landlord about your financial situation and try to work out an arrangement that works for both parties. Available deferral programs could reduce your regular monthly rent payments significantly for a temporary period
Markham’s Starter Company Plus program seeks to help entrepreneurs start, expand or grow a small business in their communities by providing training, education and advisory services and an opportunity to be selected for grant funding of up to $5,000.00 including access to mentorship from local business leaders.
In order to best support COVID-19 business recovery in Markham, the Markham Starter Company Plus Program for the 2020-2021 program year is being temporarily re-purposed to support brick-and-mortar small businesses in Markham that were significantly impacted by the mandatory closures and emergency orders. The focus will be on shifting to build resilience towards sustainable recovery. Details of this new program, including eligibility, can be found on our website under the section “Markham Small Business Recovery and Digital Resilience Program”
Intake under the Starter Company Plus program is expected to resume during Q1 2021. Please send us an email to be added to a list for notification when intake re-opens: email@example.com
Every year, the Markham Small Business Centre is proud to help develop, and celebrate, the entrepreneurial achievements of Markham's Youth. A number of funding programs are available for Markham's High School, College and University students.
Our sponsors make it possible for us to help small businesses in Markham. Learn more about these important organizations below.