Without a doubt, this is a very challenging time for our Downtown businesses and the community. Our staff is working hard to support you during this time of uneasiness and social distancing. Please continue to check back on this page for more information as it becomes available.
Government of Ontario
"The government is announcing the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help small business owners during this challenging period.
Small businesses required to close or restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for this one-time grant. Each small business will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business."
Find more information and eligibility, please visit: https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/59788/post-4
City of Kitchener
Business Development Bank (BDB) of Canada
Government of Canada
Employment & Social Development - employment, insurance, work-sharing and labour programs
Waterloo Region Small Business Centre
WRSBC is hosting a number of other webinars and free training sessions at the link attached here.
Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a series of webinars as a chance to learn from industry experts on important topics. From technology and marketing, to professional and teamp development sessions. Click here for upcoming webinars.
LIVE: Ask the Expert - Accessing Government COVID-19 Support Programs for Business
The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce today’s launch of “Live: Ask the Expert - Accessing Government COVID Support Programs for Business.”
Held online every Tuesday and Thursday from 2-3 p.m., Ask the Expert provides business operators the opportunity to receive FREE general advice and guidance on federal and provincial support programs from a variety of professionals surrounding issues you may be trying to steer your way through. Including:
- Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
- Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
- Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
- Ontario Small Business Support Grant
- Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grant
- COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business
- Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support
Click below for more information, to ask questions in advance and to reserve your free seat: https://chambercheck.ca/
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
International Economic Development Council
Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
Ontario Ministry of Health
Region of Waterloo Public Health
January 13, 2021 - Enhanced Public Health and Workplace Measures [https://conta.cc/3nHjPv1]
Public Health Ontario
Help for my Restaurant
Safety & Security
Waterloo Region Police Service
Statement from WRPS - April, 2020:
The Waterloo Regional Police Service continues to provide essential service in the Kitchener Downtown. Increased presence by our Community Engagement Officers, Central CORE Team, Community Resource Officers and Zone Officers is ongoing and we are responding to concerns throughout the downtown. I would encourage business to include messages about closures to be temporary and check your business regularly. It is important to report any activity, property damage or other issues promptly so we can respond.
Please reach out to us via Slack, email or by phone if you have any questions or comments.
Statement from WRPS - March, 2020:
"The Waterloo Regional Police Service continues to offer essential service to the community.
We understand business owners may be feeling anxious at this time of uncertainty. We want to reassure you that it is business as usual for us and officers will remain on patrol throughout Waterloo Region responding to calls for service.
This is a time when our community needs to come together, to help each other, and to watch out for one another. We remind business owners and residents of this community to report any suspicious activity or individuals to police."
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, watch out for associated scams. Fraudsters want to profit from consumers' fears, uncertainties and misinformation. Fraudsters are exploiting the crisis to facilitate fraud and cyber crime. Here are ways to protect your business.
Keeping Downtown Clean
January 2021: Clean Team 1, 2 and the Downtwon Discovery Team will remain on hold until further notice.
July 2020: Clean Team 1 and 2, in addition to the Downtown Discovery Team have returned to service with modified hours. The Downtown Organic Waste Diversion Pilot will remain on hold until further notice.
March 2020: Due to Public Health concerns, Clean Team 1, 2 and the Downtown Organic Waste Diversion Pilot Program have been placed on a temporary hold. If you have any questions please reach out.
Social Distancing Stickers
As businesses receive the go-ahead to reopen, it is important that they are prepared to service patrons and continue to encourage social distancing.
Our team has developed some fun social distancing stickers to be place on sidewalks throughout the core, and inside businesses.
If you would like some stickers to place throughout your business, please reach out to Curtis Grimba ([email protected]).
Many businesses have found it increasingly difficult to source sanitizer for their staff during these difficult times.
The BIA has purchased a limited supply of sanitizer to gift main street focused businesses. If your retail, food, or health & wellness business is in need of sanitizer, please reach out to Stefanie Golling ([email protected]).
CITY OF KITCHENER
King Street Parking update October 23, 2020:
We are pleased to inform you that the City of Kitchener has completed an assessment of parking on King Street. The bollards that were in place this year have been removed wherever possible. Consideration had to be made for fire hydrants and other emergencies.
The City has advised the BIA that signs are up indicating 15 minutes and 2 hour free parking. This was in response to membership feedback/concern regarding colder weather and more curb-side pick up business. As patios are dismantled there will be potential to remove more bollards, again where possible.
Online/Social Media Opportunities
Waterloo Region Eats, powered by Sociavore
During COVID-19, food delivery has become increasingly popular, and is often a large percentage of your profits. Together in a joint initiative we are pleased to offer member businesses the opportunity to participate in a pilot project. In the document attached, you will find information about the exciting Waterloo Region Eats platform, powered by Sociavore.
The Waterloo Region Eats platform costs significantly less to participate, offers features to lower your delivery costs, acquires your guest data, and takes no commission.
HeyLocal is a Canadian marketplace that helps small and medium-sized businesses by allowing consumers to shop consciously and locally on one single online platform with the same ease and convenience as notable retail giants.
Established in May 2020 by Waterloo Region business leaders as a direct response to the challenges faced by small businesses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, HeyLocal is bringing commerce back to local cities, neighbourhoods, and people.
While You're at Home Video Series
The DTKBIA Team launched a video series highlighting businesses in our core. Click the link below to watch: https://www.youtube.com/user/DowntownKitchenerBIA
Google & Website Optimization
Our community can help support your business online by leaving reviews and providing a star rating. Keeping up with these reviews and relevant information on your accounts is important.
Follow the link attached to learn a few tips on how to keep your online presence relevant.
DTK Social Media Guide
Looking for a few more ways to engage with your audience? Click the link attached to view our social media guide.
E-commerce is an excellent way to ensure your business continues to bring in profits during COVID-19. Below are two platforms that can help with your restaurant and online storefront.
Sociavore is an online platform that allows businesses the opportunity to sell digital gift cards, accept curb-side & takeout orders, and also sell merchandise with shipping or pickup options.
Click the link attached for more information.
Shopify is offering a 90-day trial for businesses during COVID-19. Build your online platform and storefronts, provide customers with a way to support you now through gift cards, and local pickup & delivery options.
Click the link attached to learn more.
COVID-19 Impact to BIA Communities Survey
Region of Waterloo
Government of Canada
Support the local business community!
Click here for a list of open neighbouring businesses.
Looking for our Downtown shopping & dining guide? Click here.