COVID-19 Business Recovery Resources


We are in this together. The Municipality of South Huron is committed to ensuring all businesses within our community have the information they need to navigate through these challenging times. 

As of March 1, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the Huron Perth Public Health Unit region is under the Yellow - Protect level of the COVID-19 response framework.

For the status of municipal services, please visit our COVID-19 information page. 

For information related to community resources and personal supports available, please visit our COVID-19 Community Recovery Resources page.

Ways to Stay Informed

Resources and supports available to businesses are rapidly changing and new initiatives are being announced often. Although this page will be updated as information becomes available, it is suggested to consult the following federal and provincial government websites for the latest information:

  • The Government of Canada has developed a COVID-19 Economic Response Plan website which will support Canadians and businesses and provide up to date information on resources available.    
  • The Province of Ontario has created a COVID-19 Support for businesses website which provides up to date resources for business owners during this time.

General COVID-19 Resources for All Businesses

Reopening procedures for businesses

Ready to Re-Open Huron was created to help businesses and the public prepare for commerce in the "new normal". 

To learn more about the province's reopening plan, visit the Reopening Ontario website for detailed information on stages and timing for reopening of specific businesses.

Changes to Business Payment and Filing Deadlines
GST/HST Remittance, Duties and Taxes on Imports Deferral
The Government of Canada allowed businesses to defer all GST/HST payments and custom duties owed for imports until June 2020. More information can be found on the Additional Support for Canadian Businesses from the Economic Impact of COVID-19 page.
Income Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines
The Government of Canada extended the filing and payment deadlines for individuals and businesses. Information on the changes to the deadlines can be found on the Income Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines: CRA and COVID-19 page. 
Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) Payment Deferral

The WSIB financial relief package allowed businesses to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. For more information on, visit their Businesses: WSIB financial relief package page. 

Digital Transformation Resources

Digital Service Squad - Huron County: The Digital Service Squad members will provide one-on-one assistance with trained specialists who meet with small businesses, at no cost, to help them improve their online presence. The Squad members can assist with a number of activities, including:

  • Support in applying for a Digital Transformation Grant
  • A digital assessment of your business’ digital literacy
  • Access to a free online video-based digital transformation training program
  • Website – review, updating, creation, best practices
  • Social Media – support, best practices, advertising, and more
  • Technology – support and guidance for the best options of technology tools to implement for your business
  • Miscellaneous Digital Transformation Support: loyalty programs, point of sale systems, e-commerce, back-end business operations support (i.e. setting up QuickBooks, etc.)

Digital Main Street was created to provide programs and services to help businesses achieve digital transformation to grow their business. Although grant programs are closed, Digital Main Street offers many great resources for small businesses to help them adopt digital tools and e-commerce platforms including digital online training, vendor directory, case studies, and content specific tools.

Digital Main Street ShopHERE: ShopHERE provides independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away. 

Health and Safety during COVID-19

The provincial government has updated the COVID-19 worker and employee screening form and the COVID-19 customer screening form.  

The Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) has issued instructions on use of face coverings indoor commercial and public spaces, effective Friday July 17. On September 21, the HPPH released an updated instructions for Employers including information regarding Reopening Ontario Act and related Regulations.

The HPPH has prepared the following to provide assistance to businesses:

On June 16 the Ontario Government released a template for businesses to use to develop a COVID-19 workplace safety plan in order to help protect workers, clients and customers from COVID-19. This template includes identifying risks, determining what controls are needed, how to create a workplace safety plan, methods to implement the plan, and how to communicate the plan.

The Ontario Government has also created a series of technical sector guidance documents for workplaces during the COVID-19 outbreak. These documents help support employers and employees in remaining safe in the workplace. 

The Huron-Perth Public Health's COVID-19 Information: Workplaces, Employers, Employees page is dedicated to provide resources regarding workplace health and safety during COVID-19. 

Below are other resources aimed to assist in ensuring the health and safety in the workplace during COVID-19:

Huron County Economic Development has created a Local Personal Protective Equipment Supplier List for businesses to locate what they need to safely operate.  

The Ontario Government has launched a Ontario Together: help fight coronavirus page, which includes a directory of Find PPE Supplies which includes companies and suppliers who produce personal protective equipment (PPE) to help businesses protect their employees.

Rapid Response Platform was created and supported by a number of industry partners in order to automatically match supply with demand for companies requiring PPE supplies. 

List of Essential Businesses

Ontario has created a COVID-19 Response Framework, which includes regional health measures and sector-specific public health and workplace safety measures, based on public health unit boundaries. The framework includes five levels of public health measures: prevent, protect, restrict, control and lockdown. 

Local Business Resources

Resources for Local Businesses during the COVID Pandemic was created by the County of Huron which provides up to date information on supports available and local assistance for businesses.  

The County of Huron Huron County Economic Development has joined the Ontario Small Business Centres network which is a central portal where businesses can access digital tools, training, connect with mentors and industry experts, and get information on government programs to help them navigate COVID-19 and more. 

The Exeter Business Improvement Area (BIA) provides relevant resources related to local businesses. 

Training Opportunities

Industry Specific Resources

The Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and Ontario's Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace provide sector specific guidelines and resources. 


Financial Assistance Programs

For more general financial assistance programs, visit the Financial Support for Businesses section below.

Ensuring a Safe Workplace


Ensuring a Safe Workplace


The following resources have been created to provide sector specific resources and guidance during COVID-19:

Food and Retail 

Ensuring a Safe Workplace


The following resources have been created to provide sector specific resources and guidance during COVID-19:

Ensuring a Safe Workplace


Tourism & Hospitality workers that are out of work or working less due to COVID-19 can receive help through the Tourism & Hospitality Emergency Response.

Visit Tourism Hospitality Workers for information on training, employment supports, and relief programs. You can also register for the Tourism & Hospitality Workers’ Registry to receive information about job opportunities, safe return to work, and regional and virtual employment services. This new initiative is led by OTEC and funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and the Government of Ontario.

Financial Support for Businesses

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

The Government of Canada has established the Business Credit Availability Program through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to work with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation, exports and tourism. 

The program includes:

Information on the program can be found on the Government of Canada's Economic Response Plan site. 

Canada Emergency Business Account (Interest-Free Loan)

The Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans to small and not-for-profit organizations to assist with operating costs. To qualify for the loan, organizations must demonstrate they paid total payroll in 2019 between $50,000 to $1 million.

The Government of Canada announces new, targeted support to help businesses through pandemic. 

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program - Small Business (CEAP-SB) 

The Government of Ontario is providing $8 million to support small business and registered charity customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Small business and registered charity customers may be eligible for up to $850 in support of their electricity bill if they primarily use electricity for heating or up to $425 otherwise. Small businesses and registered charity customers could also be eligible for up to $425 in support of their natural gas bill.

CEAP-SB is being delivered by electricity distributors, natural gas distributors, and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs), in accordance with rules laid out by the OEB. Visit their webpage for details or to apply.

Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides 75 percent wage subsidy to eligible employers. 

Digital Main Street Grants
  • Digital Service Squad Grant Program: is focused on providing one-on-one assistance to small businesses in any region of Ontario. It will include training, advisory support, and a grant to support the Digital Service Squads across Ontario.
  • Digital Transformation Grant: Provides Digital Transformation training and guidance and provides the opportunity for main street businesses to apply for a grant of up to $2,500.
Financial Assistance Available for Ontario Farm Businesses
Hospitality Workers and Apprentice Programs

The Ontario Government announced a virtual job training program for hospitality workers and helping apprentices back into the workforce. 

Huron Recovery Grant Program 
The Huron Recovery Grant Program provided grants up to $2,500 for small businesses who may be required to continue to make significant changes while adapting to the new realities of COVID-19. Applications deadline: August 31, 2020. 
Main Street Relief Grant for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The Main Street Relief Grant for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provides up to $1,000 for PPE costs to eligible small businesses across Ontario with 2 to 9 employees.

Visit the Ontario COVID-19 Business Support Grants page for more information. 

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA)

Through a partnership with the federal government, the Ontario government provided urgent relief to small businesses and landlords impacted by COVID-19 through a new program, the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). Applications are no longer being accepted for this program. 

Ontario Small Business Support Grant

The new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the new Provincewide Shutdown.

Visit the Ontario COVID-19 Business Support Grants page for more information. 

Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grant

Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grants for 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, Lockdown or Provincewide Shutdown). This provincial application-based grant provides a rebate to eligible businesses in respect of property taxes and energy bills.

Visit the Ontario COVID-19 Business Support Grants page for more information. 

RE3 Women-Led Business Grant
Support from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, RE3 Women-Led Business Grant program provided a non-repayable performance based contributions up to $5,000 to assist Southern Ontario women-led SMEs to rebuild, reopen and revive their business. Applications are no longer being accepted for this program.  
 Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit
The Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit supports business investment, economic growth and job creation in designated regions across the province that lagged in employment growth between 2009 and 2019.
It is a 10% refundable Corporate Income Tax credit for corporations that invest more than $50,000 to construct, renovate or acquire eligible commercial and industrial buildings in these regions, including Huron County.
For more information on the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit, visit the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit page. 
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF2) provides financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support businesses that are unable to access other federal COVID relief measures.

For Huron County, visit Community Futures Huron page on Regional Relief and Recovery Fund available to help local small businesses.  

Community Future Huron is providing RRRF2 Consulting Grants, focused on business training and consulting grants up to $4,000. Deadline to apply is January 25, 2021.

For the full list of requirements, visit Regional Relief and Recovery Fund page for more information.

Temporary Business Wage Subsidy (10%)
The Temporary Business Wage Subsidy (10%) is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Tools for Navigating Funding Opportunities
  • The Government of Canada has created the Business Resilience Service to help businesses with financial planning advice. 
  • Deloitte has created a small business relief tool to help small businesses find specific funding opportunities to meet the needs of their business that has been affected by COVID-19.
Tourism Adaptation and Recovery Program

Working in partnership with Huron County, RTO4 will be implementing the Tourism Adaptation and Recovery Program to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs') and not-for-profits (NFPs') in the tourism and hospitality or arts and culture sectors by supporting one-time adaptation and re-opening costs incurred to continue operating post-Covid-19. 

  1. Physical Adaptation Stream:
    • SMEs can apply for up to $20,000 toward the implementation of protocols and/or renovations or equipment to accommodate social distancing. A minimum 20% match is required by the SME or NFP for the amount applied.
  2. Technology Investment Stream:
    • Eligible SMEs can apply for $5,000 for digitizing businesses or services such as virtual queues, online ordering, timed entry ticketing, touch-free payments.

Please review the application guides attached. Eligible businesses and organizations are encouraged to apply by February 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm.  

Financial Support for Employees

Canada Recovery Benefit

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will launch the new Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) on September 27, to extend financial support to non-EI claimants. 

Financial Support for Community and Not-for-Profit Organizations

United Way Huron-Perth has initiated the Emergency Community Support Fund for Organizations which provides funding to community service organizations providing support to vulnerable Canadians, including low-income seniors, women, children and youth, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, refugees, Indigenous peoples, members of racialized communities, and more. 

Financial Support for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations

The Government of Canada announced an Emergency Support Fund to support the culture, heritage and sport sectors through partner organizations. Information can be found on the Support for Canadian Heritage grants and contributions recipients during the COVID-19 pandemic page. 

Can your business help fight COVID-19?

The federal and provincial governments are calling on all businesses that can supply product and services to let them know to help fight COVID-19 - learn more below about the ways your business can help!


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We work hard to ensure that everyone can access the information and services they need.

For information in alternative formats or assistance accessing information, please contact the Municipal Office at 519-235-0310. 

© 2020 The Municipality of South Huron, 322 Main Street South P.O. Box 759 Exeter, ON N0M 1S6