Here’s how Mississauga businesses can get support during COVID-19 restrictions
Since November 23, Mississauga and the rest of Peel Region are under lockdown due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
While it's not the first lockdown for the city, business owners in Mississauga are understandably under a lot of stress as they figure out how to maneuver the new rules and restrictions that are in place.
The City of Mississauga (as well as the Federal and Provincial governments) is offering multiple ways to assist business owners and help them keep their businesses running during these difficult times.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and so important to the vibrancy of neighbourhoods across our city," said Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
"Our city can't recover if our businesses can't recover. Shopping locally, liking your favourite restaurant's social media page or leaving a review of your local pet groomer - all these actions help."
Here are three main ways Mississauga businesses can get support:
1. Take advantage of government assistance programs.
Since the onset of the pandemic, all levels of government have put into place various assistance programs to get help to those who need it, including business owners struggling to make ends meet.
The Federal government introduced the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which offers rent subsidies to businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19, as well as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, which helps hard-hit businesses keep their employees on payroll. The latter subsidy has been extended to June 2021.
Canada is also providing interest-free loans to small businesses and not-profits through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), with 25% of the loan forgivable if repaid by the end of 2022.
As for the province, the Ontario government is offering property tax and energy rebates to businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial health measures. The Ontario Main Street Relief Grant additionally helps certain small businesses with the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Not sure which of these and other various programs are right for your business? Check out the City of Mississauga's Business Relief Portal, which is updated frequently with relief programs and resources. The portal includes a convenient self-selection tool to identify which programs are most compatible for supporting your business.
2. Check out the City's support programs for small businesses.
The City is committed to helping business owners navigate the COVID-19 landscape - which, for many, will require shifting to a more online operation.
Mississauga's Digital Main Street helps businesses establish or enhance their presence on social media, use online business tools, improve online marketing, and more. Mississauga ShopHERE, powered by Google, helps independent businesses and artists quickly build and optimize online stores (all for free!).
For business owners eager to learn more about adapting their businesses through the pandemic, Mississauga is also offering free business advisory services and online training webinars. The business advisory services aim to provide professional expertise regarding legal issues, accounting, business operations and marketing, while the webinars cover a range of topics including business recovery after COVID-19, learning to market your business on social media, and getting started with eCommerce.
3. Support and buy local.
Especially now during the holiday season, it's up to all of us to make an effort to support small and local businesses whenever possible. For this reason, the City launched the #MississaugaMade campaign, which includes extensive store and restaurant directories to help residents discover Mississauga businesses and make it easier to support them.
For added convenience, residents are invited to download the Ritual ONE app, which connects businesses with customers to offer a quick and easy way to place, pay for, and pick up orders. Sign up today for commission-free digital ordering, available for all #MississaugaMade restaurants at no cost until the end of the year!
For more information on everything Mississauga is doing to help businesses during COVID-19, visit the city's website.
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