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Welcome to Essa Township

Township of Essa Administration Centre

5786 County Road 21 | Utopia, ON L0M 1T0

Phone: 705-424-9917 Fax: 705-424-2367

Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Township of Essa > COVID-19 Business Support

Information and Support for Businesses

​Support for S​​mal​​​l Businesses

March 5, 2021 - Message from Mayor Macdonald and Council - Our businesses are able to open​ Monday March 8th. Please support your local businesses. They provide a great service to our residents. They need your support to stay​ alive following the last three lockdowns.Businesses and Customers we all need to do our part to keep everyone safe and to be able to stay open. Wishing all businesses a safe and prosperous opening. Take care, stay healthy and safe.

Kind Regards, Sandie Macdonald, To​wnship of Essa Mayor (on behalf of Essa Council​)

​​February 27, 2021 - In an effort to level the playing field for ALL businesses during COVID restrictions, Mayor Macdonald ​sent a letter on behalf of Council and local businesses in Essa to Jim Wilson, MPP Simcoe-Grey, and Dr. Gardner, CMO Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, advocating for small businesses to remain open du​ring the Grey Zone of the Province's COVID-19 Framework.  While Council agreed that the Pandemic is a serious health crisis, Council stated that this third lockdown will jeopardize the ability of small businesses to survive.  She urged the Province and local health unit to re-visit the COVID-19 Framework to make necessary changes to allow small businesses to open safely​.​

​Esse​​ntial Services

The Province of Ontario ​has released a list of businesses classified as essential that are able to remain open during the COVID-19 Pandemic and updates the list as needed.

To view the Essential Services List please click 

​Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

The Canada Revenue Agency will be introducing additional reporting requirements for T4 slips, Statement of Remuneration paid for rge 2020 tax year.  The new reporting requirements will apply to all employers, and will help the CRA validate payments under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB).

​Hydro One - ​Business Financial Assistance 

Hydro One continues to support their customers and have introduced a number of initiatives to provide financial relief, flexibility and immediate support.  For more information on how to apply for Hydro One financial assistance initiatives please review the document below.

2021-02-02 HYDRO ONE Business Assistance

Liquor Licen​​se Amendments During COVID

​The Government of Ontario has amended a number of regulations that affect the liquor industry.  These reforms are intended to support businesses as they work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and offer consumers greater choice and convenience, now and into the future.  The new reforms come into effect on January 1, 2021​.  For more information please click here​. ​

Nottawas​​​aga Futures Press Release - Relief Funds

​​On November 23, 2020 t​he Government of Canada provided additional relief funds to Nottawasaga Futures.  These additional funds are to assist businesses in South Simcoe navigate the Pandemic.  

​2020-11-23 Press Release - Additional Relief Funds

Nottawasaga Futures is offering a Quickbooks Training Grant to assist employers to generate T4's with the additional reporting requirements announced by CRA.  The grant is available to South Simcoe business owners and is able to provide up to 3 hours of one on one consulting with an accounting expert.

NEW! The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides liquidity support to businesses and not-for-profit organizations affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, which are unable to access other federal relief measures or require additional support. The Fund, valued at more than $2 billion nationally, is delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies. In southern Ontario, $436.4 million is being delivered by FedDev Ontario and the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs).​  To apply follow the link https://www.nottawasaga.com/newfile/index.​html

Ca​nada's Economic Response Plan

The Government of Canada has developed an Economic Response Plan to support businesses facing hardships during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Federal Support for Or​​​ganizations and Businesses

  • Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) - This prog​​ram will lower rent by 75 percent for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.  The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.  

  • Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy -A new transfer to cost-share a temporary top-up to the salaries of low-income workers (those who earn less than $2,500 per month on a full-time basis), that the provinces and territories have deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19.​​

Ontario's Framework for Reopening the​ Province

Ontario has launched a new framework ​for the re-opening of our province.  The government will take a careful, stage-by-stage approach to loosening emergency measures and reopening Ontario’s economy. Public health and workplace safety will remain the top priority, while balancing the needs of people and businesses. Public health officials will carefully monitor each stage for two-to-four weeks, as they assess the evolution of the COVID‑19 outbreak to determine if it is necessary to change course to maintain public health. The government will also continue to issue guidelines for workplace safety.​ 

​Provincial S​u​​pport for Businesses and Organizations

The Ontario Government has taken substantial ste​ps to support Ontario businesses.  Ontario has implemented programs to assist businesses economically during COVID-19. 

In January 2021, applications will o​​pen for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the new Province ​wide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020.  For more information pease click here​.

NEW!! The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario has released guidelines/questions for signage for businesses and Organizations to post on entrances. ​

2021-02-11 COVID Signage questions 

Simcoe M​uskoka District Health Unit released an open letter to businesses written by Dr. Charles Gardner regarding businesses/organizations permitted to be open while in the Red Zone.  Dr. Gardner sets out instructions for businesses and organizations within the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to follow to maintain a safe environment for the public and employees.

2020-16-12 SMDHU Red Zone Framework

​​Simcoe County Support for Businesses and Organizations

On January 7, 2021 the County of Simcoe released its COVID-19 Response Fund to assist small to medium tourism business in their fight to stop the spread of COVID.  The fund is a non-repayable relief fund ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to support small and medium tourism businesses.  For more information please see the document below.

2021-01-07 County of Simcoe Tourism Business Assistance Fund

Relief within Reach

Jill Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North, created a helpful website with available supports for businesses and entrepreneurs across Simcoe North.  Check it out here​.


In a move to further support local small and medium-sized business, the County of Simcoe has joined ShopHERE powered by Google, a collaboration between Digital Main Street, Google, Shopify, Mastercard ​and Microsoft, to build and optimize online stores in a matter of days.

​The ShopHERE program compliments the County’s investment in Digital Service Squads which provides up to 10 hours of free one-on-one coaching to businesses from a team of highly trained professionals. The investment in Digital Service Squads​ was based on staff recommendations from the analysis of the County’s Business Impact Surveys completed by local businesses in relation to urgent COVID-19 needs. The ShopHERE program is now available to small businesses across the County of Simcoe. Interested parties can apply for the program by visiting www.digitalmainstre​et.ca/shophere for an opportunity to have their online store built at no-cost. 

For more information about Digital Service Squads please visit https://edo.si​mcoe.ca/Pages/COVID-19-Government-Supports.aspx

2020-06-18 News Release Simcoe County Business Support