SDCC Business Response to COVID-19

Our area business organizations which include Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce, Stratford City Centre BIAinvestStratford, Stratford Perth Centre for Business, Perth Community Futures Development Corporation, and the Stratford Tourism Alliance are taking a coordinated approach in engaging and supporting the Stratford & District business community. We are constantly monitoring developments with COVID-19 and the impact locally.

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone in our community. Please know that we are committed to continuing to support Stratford & District Businesses through it. The provincial and federal governments have made announcements pertaining to Businesses and how they will be responding to the economic effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are in communication with these levels of government to ensure we stay educated and informed. If you have questions that are not addressed by the sources below, please reach out to us and we will do our best to source the information you are looking for.

We recognize that there is a lot of information coming out, from many different sources, and it can be difficult to know where to go for up-to-date and reliable information. It is our hope that the below list will make it easier and less overwhelming for businesses to get the information they need.

Local Resources for Business

  • Free Business Advice for Small Business and Entrepreneurs: Stratford-Perth Centre for Business continues to offer complimentary one-one mentorship for entrepreneurs via telephone or online as well as ongoing training and regularly scheduled seminars with business support professionals include representatives from Human Resources, Finance, Marketing, etc. 
  • Free Digital Business Courses: Stratford-Perth Centre for Business offering free access to their Entrepreneur Academy’s business courses to help support the business community during this difficult time. Courses are currently offered for free and include Instagram for Small Business, Basic Accounting for Small Business, Squarespace, Shopify, Facebook.
  • Free Business Support: investStratford, the City of Stratford’s Economic Development Corporation is open and available to support Stratford’s small, medium and large businesses and industries during this time of unprecedented change. The team is available by phone or email to assist you with any of your questions or concerns via info@investstratford.com . Please see their website for up to date information on COVID-19 Government Business Announcements.

Additional Resources

Employers

Retail

Hospitality 

Not for Profit

Health and Safety Best Practices for Businesses and Employees

If your business has been considered essential and will remain open, it is important that you implement health and safety best practices. Please click here to see the actions that businesses are advised to take to keep themselves and their employees safe.

Additional Resources:

How Can you Help the Province?

Ontario is welcoming help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support our response to COVID-19. Visit their website for more information.

Federal Economic Relief Measures

Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB)

Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Additional Support for Canadian Businesses from the Impact of COVID-19

    • Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments
    • Deferral of Customs Duty and Sales Tax for Imports
    • Canada Emergency Business Account
    • New loan Guarantee for Small and Medium Enterprises
    • New Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises

Canada’s Economic Response Package: Support for Canadians and Businesses

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Programs

Government Updates

Perth-Wellington

Stratford

St Marys

Provincial

Federal

For many, the pressure and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a serious toll. Please see the materials below that will help business, employers, and employees manage their anxiety during this time

Free Mental Wellness Program for Local Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Mental support for Business Owners is made available through partnership between investStratford, the Perth Community Futures Development Corporation, the Stratford Perth Community Foundation, and through financial donations from Orr Insurance and Hyde Construction. Those partners have funded a project with the United Way Perth Huron to connect local entrepreneurs to the team at Family Services Perth-Huron, who will provide mental health and wellness support and counselling to businesses in Stratford, St. Marys and Perth County. Anonymous referrals to the program are made through the mentorship teams at both the Stratford-Perth Centre for Business and Perth Community Futures. www.stratfordperthbusiness.ca or info@stratfordperthbusiness.ca or call SPCB 519-305-5055 x 1006 or Family Services Perth Huron 519-273-1020 x108

Additional Resources:

United Way Perth-Huron Phoneline

Do you know someone struggling? Call 211.

Powered in partnership with United Way, 211 is a helpline available by phone, chat or online search that helps Ontario residents navigate the complex network of government, health, community, and social service programs. It is a service offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with interpretation in over 150 languages.

https://211ontario.ca/

Many local businesses, including retailers, restauranteurs and other service providers, have either been mandated to close or have made the difficult decision to temporarily close their business doors to the public to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

These are your neighbours.

This your community. 

Small businesses need your support, now, more than ever. 

So it’s time to get creative.  Let’s come together and share ways to help them. Here are a few ideas:

  • Harness the power of social media. Even though their doors may be closed, business owners are still hard at work, and most are available on social media. Reach out to them individually with a DM (direct message) and ask how you can support them.  Many of our local businesses have implemented incentives to shop online so please utilize this option as much as possible.
  • Order takeout or delivery. Call your favourite restaurant or café to see how they are still offering their products and services during the crisis.
  • Next time you’re online (like right now!), take some time and submit a positive Google review for your favourite business. Yes, the Google reviews you’ve been meaning to write ever since you had the best slice of pizza, the best manicure, the best bouquet of flowers, etc. Let’s use this downtime to help boost the ratings of the businesses in your community!
  • Attend an online fitness workout – many of our Stratford & District fitness providers are posting daily workouts on social media.
  • And once you’ve submitted those 5-star reviews, why not add a few more businesses to your social feeds? It’s time to make some more virtual connections!

List of Stratford City Centre BIA Businesses and their Modified Services

List of St Marys Business and their Modified Services

At this time, local organizations are working hard to continue to take care of those most in need at a time when support is even more in demand. To the extent that you are able please give generously directly to local not-for-profits and charities to ensure that critical support continues to be available to those most vulnerable within our community.

United Way COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund

Do YOU have an idea that we can share with the community? Have you helped to support a local business in a unique way? Have you seen or heard of a business that is offering a promotion, curbside pick-up, online sales, free shipping, etc.?

Please contact info@stratforddistrictchamber.com to let us know how we can best support Stratford & District business during this time.