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 MSBC office within the IBM Innovation Space – Markham Convergence Centre will remain closed to the general public and guests until further notice.
To ensure continued access to our small business advisory services, MSBC will remain accessible by phone, email and web meetings for scheduled appointments
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.
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.
York Link Overview from York Region about the primary Federal and Provincial COVID-19 Business Funding Supports for Businesses
Canadian Federation of Independent Business 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)
Federal Programs Government of Canada’s web portal for business financial support, loans and access to credit including CEBA, CERS, CEWS, BCAP, RRRF and more.
Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program Eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity will receive rebate payments for a portion of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these measures.
COVID-19 wage and hiring support for businesses As an employer in Canada who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of the wages you pay employees. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations.
10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers (TWS) is a 3-month measure that allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions they need to remit to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This only applies to the federal, provincial, or territorial income tax portion of the remittance.
COVID-19 and workplace health and safety Ontario Government resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace — Find sector-specific guidelines and posters to help protect workers, customers and the general public from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario.
Stop the Spread Business Information Line 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.
Opportunities for COVID-19-related Supplies and Services
Ontario Together: Help fight COVID-19 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.
Impact Survey of COVID-19
on Businesses in Canada
Canadian Survey on Business Conditions The purpose of this survey is to measure the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Canada. As the pandemic continues to disrupt our economy, it is essential to have data to fully understand the extent of this impact. By participating in this survey, you offer an invaluable perspective to governments, chambers of commerce and business associations by providing current information to help them devise strategies for the survival and continuity of businesses across Canada. Your information may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.
Helpful Resources and Tips
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Hub of tools and information for businesses with resources ranging from how to navigate through the pandemic to business continuity planning.
MaRS Startup Toolkit — COVID-19 Collection 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
Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic 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).
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.
This Holiday Season, the team at Destination Markham would like to feature your restaurant or retail store on their brand new website, and throughout the Local Love holiday campaign. Please fill out the form to have your business included on the Visit Markham website, launched on December 10, 2020.
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.
The City of Markham is proud to announce an exciting partnership with SkipTheDishes to help local restaurants weather the second wave of COVID-19 during the holiday season. From December 2, 2020 to January 2, 2021, restaurants that join SkipTheDishes will pay 0% commission for the first 30 days.
In addition, as a way to stimulate consumer demand and generate more orders for local Markham restaurants, SkipTheDishes is offering Markham diners free delivery on every order over $20 that is placed through the app during this one-month promotional period.
Existing restaurant partners will benefit from this holiday promotion. For existing restaurant partners, pre-holiday promotion delivery fees will come back into effect for Markham customers on January 3, 2021.
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.
With COVID-19 remaining a threat to both the economy and public health, the Open for Business program will help the community support local, while keeping everyone safe as the holiday season approaches.
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.
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
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, Public Health restrictions may only allow sales by an alternative method such as curb side pick-up or delivery
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.
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: Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Contact us at email@example.com if you'd like to discuss how these strategies could be leveraged for your business.
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.
Intake is CLOSED for this program. At this time it is unknown when future funding may be available.
Markham’s Starter Company Plus program seeks to help entrepreneurs start, expand or grow a small business in Markham 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.
If you are:
A for-profit business located in the municipal boundaries of Markham
Not employed full time elsewhere
Not in a full-time education program and/or not planning to return to school full-time in the next 3 years
Not currently receiving funding from another Provincial entrepreneurship or business program
Not a previous recipient of the Starter Company (Plus) grant nor Small Business Recovery and Digital Resilience Program grant
Not a commission-based business nor franchise business
A Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Ontario.
And are willing to:
Create and follow a business plan/growth plan/pivot plan and a 2-year financial forecast/budget
Agree to participate in training and monthly mentoring meetings over a 3-month period
Agree to provide business reports to the Markham Small Business Centre for verification over a 3-month period.
Your business may be a fit with the Starter Company Plus program. Complete the Expression of Interest survey here.
The program is delivered in two phases:
1. Open to all applicants: Training, Education and assistance with preparation of an updated Business Plan/growth plan/pivot plan and Budget 2. For selected applicants chosen to proceed to Phase 2: Receive grant funding and begin 3-month mentoring period
Intake for the Markham Small Business Recovery and Digital Resilience Program closed on December 7, 2020.
The Markham Small Business Recovery and Digital Resilience Program was 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 was an opportunity to be selected for a grant of up to $5,000.00 to assist with implementation related expenses.
The Starter Company Plus Program (which was temporarily put on hold to make the Small Business Recovery and Digital Resilience Program possible) has re-opened for intake. Guidelines and eligibility information are posted in the separate section labelled “Starter Company Plus Program”.
Markham Public Library offers a number of helpful resources for businesses, particularly for those that are in the early stages of ideation, or looking for resources to enable them to grow faster, and build resilience. This page highlights numerous upcoming events, helpful blogs for business owners, along with resources that Markham Public Library subscribes to.
Statistics and Demographics The City of Markham is fast growing and thriving. We have a growing business base, highly educated talent pool and a culturally diverse population. Learn more about our City through these statistics:
Markham Online Business Directory This is Markham's official online directory service. With over 11,000 listings, this is the region's largest directory of organizations, businesses, schools, tourist attractions, churches, agencies, and government offices.
Government Grants, Loans and Financing Find government grants, loans, and other ways to finance your business. Be sure to select the purpose of financing (to start up, hire employees, develop a new product, etc.), and select "Ontario" as your location.
This page contains information on e-commerce and on reporting requirements for doing business on the Internet.
COSTI’s Youth Mentoring Program This program is designed to connect youth (mentees) aged 15-24 with community volunteers (mentors) who offer support and encourage youth to develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.
COSTI’s netWORKS Program netWORKS provides an opportunity for youth to meet new career role models through mentor-led and group networking events and expand professional networks as well as to understand the breadth of careers available as they navigate their next steps, academically and professionally.
York University’s T.A.S.T.E. (Take a Student to Engage) Mentoring Program The objective of this bite-sized mentoring is to provide York Students and new graduates with an opportunity to virtually connect with professionals in their field of interest. This program pairs York students and new graduates with a mentor (Alumni or Professional) for one-time informational interview.
Speed Mentoring Program by ACCES Employment This program enables participants to network with professionals in their field, receive advice about their job search, meet employer contacts and obtain job opportunity referrals.
YES Mentorship Program Connects YES clients to Industry Leaders (expert mentors) in order to build capacity, employability, networks and foster entrepreneurship in young people through establishing supportive, caring and trusting relationships with mentors
HRPA Mentorship Program Program encourages career growth and development by providing students as well as HR Professionals– with the opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching from other Human Resources Professionals.
AMCTO Mentorship Program A free professional development program open to all current Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO) members in good standing
Canadian Construction Association Mentorship Program Program helps entrepreneurs and innovators to launch, modify or expand their products or services for industry adoption. Should an individual successfully become a CONtact mentee, they will be connected with an appropriate mentor or mentors, enabling them to expand their network and connect with leading industry professionals with the goal of helping refine their product or service offering for industry adoption.
York Region Food and Beverage Accelerator A five-month accelerator helping scale high growth food and beverage ventures through customized workshops, expert mentorship and peer-to-peer circles (In partnership with The Regional Municipality of York Region and the Canadian Agricultural Partnership)
CFA Society Toronto Annual Mentorship Program Successfully matched over 600 Mentor and Protégé pairings since 2007. The program offers an opportunity for participants to develop stronger leadership skills and provide unique networking opportunities.
CPAC Enhanced Mentorship Program Aims to assist young professionals in gaining knowledge of the Canadian workplace, learning job search and related soft skills, and finding professional employments through the guidance and advice of established professionals (mentors)