COVID-19: Farm & Business Support

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last updated May 22, 2020

We've pulled together some resources to help local businesses and farms through this period. You can find these below. 

We'll continue to update and add new resources as they become available.

 

How can residents help local businesses and farms at this time?

One of the biggest supports we can offer our local farms & businesses is our business.

Order take-out, buy a gift card for future use, or shop/use their services (if open). Be sure to call or visit their Facebook page or website before you head out to see if they are accepting in-person shoppers at this time.

Also see:

 

Supports for Local Businesses

Local Resource & Support Guide

Middlesex Centre Economic Development ("Invest in Middlesex") has developed a resource guide to help businesses navigate the many supports available to them and their employees.

DOwnload: COVID-19 Business Guide

 

Regional Resources for Businesses & Farms

Community Futures Middlesex (The Business Help Centre (CFDC) of Middlesex County) is accepting applications from rural small and medium enterprises negatively impacted by COVID-19 to access up to $40K in support under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). Full details and tools to assist you with completion of your application are available for download on their website. 

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

 

The South Central Ontario Region Economic Development Corporation - SCOR - has compiled a lengthy list of resources for businesses and farms (presented in Google Docs).

SCOR: COVID-19 Resources for Businesses & Farms

 

Provincial Support for Businesses

The Province of Ontario is offering a number of supports for businesses. 

Provincial Supports for Businesses

 

Federal Support for Businesses

The Government of Canada is also offering a number of supports for businesses and industries.

Federal Supports for Businesses


Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy 

As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages through the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy.
 

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. 

 

Local Business Surveys

In an effort to monitor the progression of COVID-19 on local businesses, Middlesex County Economic Development is seeking your assistance in providing high level reporting so that they can advocate on your behalf with all levels of government. Survey links and results will be shared here as they become available.

 

Additional Initiatives

Please see documents from Invest Middlesex and SCOR for complete listings of support. The following are new and/or additional initiatives you may want to explore.

Ontario Together Fund - supporting the development of essential equipment and supplies

Supports for the Farming Community

In addition to the resources for business above, please also see:

Supports for Arts, Culture & Sports

The Federal Government is has created an Emergency Fund in support of Cultural, Heritage and Sports Organizations

Municipal Financial Relief Measures for Local Businesses

Middlesex Centre Council and staff understand that some residents and local businesses may be experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help those most in need of support, at their March 30, 2020, emergency meeting Middlesex Centre Council agreed to:

  • Waive late payment charges on unpaid water/wastewater/stormwater bills due March 31, 2020 and April 30, 2020. Bills will still be issued and any outstanding balances will remain.
  • Waive non-sufficient funds charges through to June 30, 2020. Not issue overdue account statements or transfer unpaid accounts to property taxes through to June 30, 2020.
  • Waive the $10 mail charge for dog tags though to May 31, 2020, as there is no in-office pick-up option at this time.
  • Authorize staff to enter into special payment arrangements for residents and businesses in need of financial support due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are anticipated to be short-term measures for a six-month period.

Council noted that these initial measures will be reviewed as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Changes to taxes, lifecycle costs on water and so forth will be considered in future, if required.

Staff will continue to monitor the different support programs coming from all levels of government, and will recommend adjustments and/or additional financial relief measures as the situation warrants.

Actions for Residents & Businesses in Need of Financial Relief

  • If COVID-19 has impacted the earnings in your household or your business, you will not be penalized for late payment your water/wastewater/stormwater bills for March and April. There is no action required to access this relief measure.
  • For those residents and businesses on pre-authorized payment plans, it is important to note that you can cancel your automatic withdrawals. Please complete the form found under the billing & payment page on the municipal website. Note however that you may have interest and penalties applied if you cancel your pre-authorized payments for taxes. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
  • If you require a special payment arrangement due to financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, contact the municipal office

Middlesex Centre staff are here to help you through this challenging time. Please be in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

Questions about Essential Businesses

If you have questions about the Provincial list of essential businesses and services can call the Province’s ‘Stop the Spread’ Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

**Please be sure to check with the Province of Ontario for the most up-to-date information on what can and cannot reopen at this time. Unfortunately there are many reopening plans circulating from different provinces and countries that do not apply here.**

Remember: All operations should continue to follow the health precautions from the Middlesex-London Public Health

Questions about Reopening and Workplace Safety

The Province of Ontario has created a number of resources to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in various workplaces. This includes sector-specific guidance notes and posters.  

Provincial resources to Prevent COVID-19 in the Workplace

 

The Middlesex-London Health Unit also has a number of guidance documents available for workplaces and community settings.

MLHU COVID-19 Resources & Guidance for Workplaces

 

The Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters have made available extensive resources for the manufacturing sector.

COVID-19 Health & Safety Resources: Manufacturing

 

Middlesex Centre Public Works and Engineering Department is reminding businesses that have been closed for a prolonged period of time that special steps may be needed to safely reopen buildings with respect to water.

Reopening your Business: Steps for Water Safety

Keeping Well

This is a stressful time for farmers, business owners, and employees.  There are a number of stress and mental health resources available to help: 

Mental Health Resources (211Ontario)

Mental Health Resources (ConnexOntario)

Managing Farm Stress during COVID-19 (OFA)

    Information is subject to change. Updates will be made as they become available.