More Resources: Stay connected, informed, be safe during pandemic

Although Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in the province this morning, within the Parkdale Village community businesses were taking steps to protect their staff, customers and space, followed by several of you choosing to close yesterday. Many of you will have very difficult choices to make about your businesses and staff but please know that BIA’s and business advocacy groups across the City are working hard to advocate on behalf of our community.

At this stage, grocery stores and pharmacies have not been ordered to close, and a handful of Parkdale Cafes & Restaurants have switched to Takeout Only, as dining in is not permitted.
If you are providing takeout, we encourage you to post signs on your doors asking customers to wait in line at a distance of 6 feet, even if it means they wait outside for their order – let’s work to keep Parkdale fed but safe! 

Retail Businesses exempt from City of Toronto Noise Bylaw:

“As part of the City of Toronto’s response to COVID-19 in support of businesses and the community, effective immediately and until further notice, all retail businesses are exempt from the City of Toronto Noise Bylaw to facilitate after-hour deliveries”

The City’s Noise Bylaw includes the ability to provide an exemption in response to extraordinary circumstances affecting the immediate health, safety or welfare of the community. This exemption will ensure retailers can receive deliveries 24 hours of a day, seven days a week to ensure essential goods remain in stock.

Printable Information Cards & Posters

For businesses who have closed; we would like to suggest the following quick tips: 

  • If closing for an extended time period, move visible goods to a LOCKED storage space not visible from the storefront
  • Remove all cash on hand
  • Make sure empty til is easily visible from the storefront
  • Post a notice on the front door that states “NO CASH OR GOODS ON HAND” as it applies to your shop

We know many of you face cash flow challenges, high rents, food waste, having to let go of staff and not being able to make payments on bills, among having to take care of your own health and family. At this point, we encourage you to stay connected online, reach out to your community, ask for help, be creative in problem-solving. There are dozens of Facebook groups forming with citizens banding together to help each other – if you know a business who may not have access to up to date news or community resources, call them and share what you know. This is a resilient community and together we can help each other get through this!

Please read and share the resources below to help stay informed;

Trudeau unveils $82B COVID-19 emergency response package for Canadians, businesses

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a massive $82-billion aid package to help Canadians and businesses, including income supports, wage subsidies and tax deferrals amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. The package includes $27 billion in direct support and another $55 billion to help business liquidity through tax deferrals. The emergency aid plan includes:

  • Temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering about $2 billion in extra support.
  • New Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 biweekly, up to 15 weeks, to provide income support to workers who have to stay home and don’t have access to paid sick leave. The measure could disburse up to $10 billion.
  • A six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments. 
  • Doubling the homeless care program. 
  • Extending the tax filing deadline to June 1.
  • Allowing taxpayers to defer tax payments until after Aug. 31 amounts that are due after today and before September.

Continue reading more

Canada’s six largest banks today announced plans to provide financial relief to Canadians impacted by the economic consequences of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19.

This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. Continue reading more

Economic Support & Recovery Task Force: 

The Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force was launched to help protect Toronto’s economic success in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Five Immediate Measures Can Be Undertaken:

  • Extend a grace period for tax and other City of Toronto payments for businesses (payment and payment penalties) first for 30 days starting March 16.
  • Protect City employees from layoffs this month due to the cancellation of City programs. The City is committed to paying for shifts that were planned for City-run daycares, museums, and recreation centres.
  • Establish a substantial contingency fund to support businesses and affected groups, based on consultations to determine need and scale.
  • Facilitate entry into the EI System for those impacted by the pandemic. The City will work with companies and employees to ensure they are fully aware of how to apply for their rights under employment insurance.
  • Expand the City’s small business advisory services to help businesses as they plan to recover from impacts. 

Hydro One Pandemic Relief Fund:  

Offering financial assistance as well as increased payment flexibility to customers experiencing hardship. The fund is designed to support customers impacted by these events and those that may experience further impacts. In addition to this, we’ve also extended our Winter Relief program so no customer experiencing any hardship has to worry about potential disconnection. Although this is for residents, Hydro One has informed us that each case is unique and businesses can still call to discuss impacts. Call us at 1-888-664-9376

EI Claims: 

Service Canada has set up a dedicated phone line for inquires regarding EI claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic: 1-833-381-2725.

Please call this number if:

1. You need to apply for EI sickness benefits because you are unable to work because you must self-isolate for 14 days ( the one-week wait period has been waved for those for whom this is the case);

2. You have been laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic and are looking to initiate a claim for regular EI benefits, or

3. You are an employee or and employer who is looking to apply for financial support through the EI Work-Sharing program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is TABIA doing?

“TABIA will be part of the Mayors roundtable that will be meeting this week to discuss among other things any new, needed interventions to directly help BIAs and their members recommended short term actions by the City/Other governments and desired federal and/or provincial stimulus efforts the city could advocate for on behalf of our BIAs and their members”.

What is the Province doing for workers?

“Premier Ford announced Job Protection for Workers during the pandemic;

  • The proposed legislation would, if passed, provide job protection for employees unable to work for the following reasons:
  • The employee is under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19.
  • The employee is acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
  • The employee is in isolation or quarantine.
  • The employee is acting in accordance with public health information or direction.
  • The employer directs the employee not to work.
  • The employee needs to provide care to a person for a reason related to COVID-19 such as a school or day-care closure.

More Links:

Helping vulnerable population around you – learn more
6 tips to respond to employee anxiety about COVID-19
Ways you can support artists, creative businesses and freelancers
Resources for Canadian Businesses
Ba
nking Support
Calling all Suppliers

The Parkdale Village BIA will continue to operate remotely. We are in touch with Municipal and Provincial Governments as well as TABIA (Toronto Association of BIAs) and will relay your comments and ideas for solutions to them. Please reach out at [email protected] or via social media.