Small Business Support Resources

Ensure your business is prepared to handle a potential case of business disruption to mitigate potential financial impacts to your employees and your business.

Digital Main Street

COVID-19 has changed how Canadians shop. Online shopping has nearly doubled during the pandemic. More than ever, your small business needs to be engaging with customers virtually.

Digital Main Street (DMS) is a program focused on assisting main street small businesses with their adoption of technologies. Through a partnership with FedDev Ontario and the Province of Ontario, grant opportunities are available to enable this digital transformation process.

Digital Main Street is offering qualifying small businesses a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant to offset the costs of adopting the digital tools needed to get started online. Apply SOON: Deadline is November 30.

Click here to learn more.

Insurance Bureau of Canada‘s Business Insurance Action Team

The Business Insurance Action Team (BIAT) is an industry solution that aims to help struggling small businesses in Ontario’s hospitality sector – specifically restaurants, bars, pubs and banquet halls – secure the insurance they need.

How it works: Eligible small business owners will work with their insurance representative to submit an application to BIAT. The application will then be reviewed by a risk manager to determine eligibility and provide loss prevention recommendations. BIAT is intended as a last resort for businesses that have exhausted all other commercial insurance options. A business would not be obligated to accept coverage offered through BIAT. Eligibility criteria and information about the BIAT can be found here.

Any questions or concerns about your insurance? Contact IBC’s Business Insurance Help website where they can find helpful resources and risk management information, or call the Business Insurance Helpline at 1-844-2ask-IBC. The Helpline can direct business owners to a Risk Manager, who may be able to answer questions and provide risk management advice to improve the risk profile of their business.

COVID-19 Regional Tourism Recovery Program

In response to COVID-19, the Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association (HHBRTA) has developed a time limited “COVID-19 Regional Tourism Recovery” Program to support the tourism industry’s businesses re-emergence efforts. There are four program opportunities to support the diverse businesses located in the region – Health and Safety Business Requirement Expense Program; Consumer Confidence Video Program; Visitor Experience Market Readiness Program; and Destination Visual Content Program.

The program launched Monday, November 16, 2020 and the application intake period will run for two weeks, concluding on Monday November 30, 2020. Each program will have limited budgets allocated, therefore all applications will be reviewed as a “First Come, First Served” basis. Qualified applicants will be notified by Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Organizations are able to apply for all four programs, however, if eligible, a singular operator will only receive funding for two of the four programs. Best suited programs will be determined by HHBRTA and budget availability.

Click here to learn more and to begin your application.

Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada is closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 to ensure that the restaurant & bar industry has all necessary information associated with this evolving public health situation.

Click here to visit their website with resources and up-to-date information for restaurant owners.


BarterPay helps businesses obtain the goods and services they need without using cash, instead they barter their idle inventory and/or services.

BarterPay converts the value of traded goods and services into TRADEdollars® (at retail value) which allows the business owner to extract the actual things they need from the network versus trading directly one to one.

To learn more about BarterPay, click here.

In February 2020, BarterPay became a new Affinity Benefit for members in the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Network. Learn more here. Through this partnership, members of participating local chambers of commerce and boards of trade will be given exclusive benefits such as reduced activation fees, special promotions and access to BarterPay Small Business Barter Loans at 0% interest.

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

The Business Development Bank of Canada website is a great resource hub for Canadian entrepreneurs. It includes information on working capital, payment postponements and rate reductions.

Effective immediately, new relief measures for qualified businesses below. For more details visit:

  • Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and principal postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses;
  • Postponement of payments for up to six months, free of charge, for existing BDC clients with total BDC loan commitment of $1 million or less
  • Temporary rate reductions for eligible BDC clients and on new client loans
  • Additional details regarding Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) measures, including industry specific support

Support from Big Tech

Google’s Support for Small Businesses

Google announced they will provide $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all small- and medium-sized businesses with active accounts over the past year. Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across our advertising platforms. Learn more about Google’s initiatives here.

Facebook’s Support for Small Businesses

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate. Details here.

Facebook also announced the launch of Shops, a way for businesses to set up storefronts on both Facebook and Instagram for free. The Shops are powered by Shopify, BigCommerce, and Woo. Shops is an easy way to turn your business’ social platform into an e-commerce shop. Learn more.