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​Business Information &
Support During COVID-19 ​​

The City is doing everything possible, in cooperation wit​h the provincial and federal governments, to minimize impact and see economic recovery take place as soon as possible.​

​This page helps enable the City to better respond to the evolving challenges with partners in gov​ernment, business and non-profits. Please also refer to Support for Residents and Property Owners for helpful information.

​The City of Barrie is working with our industry partners, including Barrie Chamber of Commerce, Sandbox, Tourism Barrie, Barrie Construction Association, the Small Business Centre, the BIA, and the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, to update this page regularly with actions and resources that support businesses in responding to the economic impact of COVI​D-19:

Rapid Screening Kits are available for free to Barrie businesses from the Barrie Chamber of Commerce.

City Support

Parking Tickets Waived with Proof of Purchase from Local Restaurant

Residents who received a parking ticket from the City could have the ticket cancelled if they provided proof of purchase from a Barrie restaurant in an amount equal to o​​r greater than the set fine, within five days after receiving the ticket. 

The program was in place for anyone receiving a ticket in paid parking areas for any period that restaurants were closed for in-person dining and restricted to take-out only due to COVID-19 mandates in 2022. The program did not apply to tickets related to safety matters, or overnight on-street parking restrictions.

Business Data Survey

Beginning in 2021, the Economic and Creative Development Department embarked on the City of Barrie’s first ever Business Data Survey to create a list of all Barrie businesses.

The City continues to collect business information through the survey to inform a comprehensive list of all Barrie businesses. This data allows the City to better understand existing business and industry classifications, business sectors, business longevity, and employment trends. If you are a Barrie business and have not submitted your data, please submit your business information.

​Barrie Advance Partnership

The City of Barrie partnered with the Barrie Advance by sponsoring a special edition of the newspaper in support of local businesses, published on April 8, 2021. With the City offsetting costs, local businesses could purchase ads at a 75% cost reduction.​ Read the Barrie Advance Special Edition

Barrielicious presents: Locallicious​

From April 9 to April 25, 2021, Locallicious allowed Barrie's residents to try a diversity of delicious culinary experiences in our city. L​ocallicious was geared toward promoting the smaller independent restaurants, each with their own unique flavours and style. 

The Downtown Business Improvement Association (BIA), City of Barrie and Tourism Barrie provided support to the 2021 event through a matching grant program with the provincial government’s Reconnect Festival and Event Program. The funding allowed festival organizers to waive restaurant participation fees this year, as well as provide support for takeout and PPE supplies. 

Economic Recovery C​onsultations

The City conducted initial consultations in Spring 2020 and a second phase in November 2020. Learn more:

​Business Response Action Plan

The Invest Barrie COVID-19 Business Response Action Plan includes Five Key Measures and supporting Action Items that will help protect the local economy and assist businesses with the supports needed to navigate these trying times. 

Invest Barrie will continue to monitor COVID-19 and will make changes when necessary, ensuring businesses are receiving the most current information and up-to-date programming.

Business Recovery Action Plan

The City has prepared a Business Recovery Action Plan (available for download at to assis​t the local economy in coming back stronger and smarter after COVID-19. It will guide local investment ​​in the economic recovery after COVID-19 and identify local initiatives that will help the recovery process.

​The plan was built through consultation with local businesses, stakeholders, and the general public. Thank you to all those that contributed.

Barrie Together Recovery Kit

The Barrie Together Recovery Kit is a set of tools to support businesses with COVID-19 recovery efforts.

The City has developed shared media materials with the themes “Barrie Together” and “Shopping Local”. We encourage businesses to use these in marketing efforts, along with “Mandatory Face Covering” and “Curbside Pickup” window decals and physical distancing floor stickers supplied by Invest Barrie as part of the kit.

Visit to learn more and order a kit.

Digital Main Street's ShopHERE

The City of Barrie joined Digital Main Street's ShopHERE powered by Google program, which helps independent businesses and artists build a digital presence and minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local businesses and artists can apply for the program at to get their online store built at no-cost.

Manufacturing Forum

The City of Barrie is launching a manufacturing forum for businesses to engage with one another to ask questions and provide solutions for their businesses during the ever-evolving time of COVID-19. If interested, please contact Nora Gavarre at Nora.Gavarre@barrie.caor call at 705-739-4220 ext. 4431

Business in the Parks Pilot Program

The Business in the Parks Pilot Program provides new opportunities for businesses to maximize their capacity and introduce new avenues for revenue generation. The idea for this program came about after consultations with the business community as part of the City’s Economic Recovery Action Plan.

Through this program, businesses can book time to use the outdoor space at Meridian Place, Sunnidale Park, or the Kiwanis Pavilion at Southshore Park for their business activities, operating in a closed format (i.e. participants have to pre-register to participate in the activity).

Patios Everywhere Program

The Patios Everywhere Program is back again for 2021. This program is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is intended to support local restaurants and help increase capacity in a safe manner. The patio season will start on April 1, ending on November 30, and interested businesses are encouraged to apply. 

Funding for Georgian College’s Department of Research, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Barrie City Council approved $75,000 in new municipal funding for a one-year pilot partnership with Georgian College’s Department of Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, aimed at delivering direct programming to businesses and entrepreneurs to aid in COVID-19 recovery.

The partnership will support companies in streamlining processes with advanced technology and help them increase revenues by identifying and developing new markets and opportunities. The programs will also focus on helping businesses execute projects affordably by sourcing skilled workers through co-op placements, leading to increased employment and a stronger talent pipeline from Georgian to local industry.

The $75,000 funding is in addition to $25,000 that Georgian will be receiving from the existing Economic & Creative Development budget.

During the one-year pilot, the City will assess the impact of funding, outcomes and benefits to business, with future recommendations for a second year of funding. The programs and resources will be rolled out to businesses in 2021.

Downtown Curbside Picku​p Pilot Program​​

As part of the Downtown Curbside Pickup Pilot Programfrom December 2020 to December 2021, there were several temporary curbside pickup up spots in the downtown core, which offered free parking to consumers wanting to support local businesses.

The above list is ordered from most to least recently initiated.

Financial Assistance

All Businesses

Ontario Business Cost Rebate Program 

Local Lockdown Program

Funding for Employers - Project Learning Tree Canada (

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) -

Jobs and Growth Fund in southern Ontario - FedDev Ontario

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

Skills Development Fund (Round 2 Applications open)​

Small Businesses

COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant
(Applications are open between February 9 and March 11, 2022)

Advanced Manufacturing

Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness
(The first round of applications has closed. A second application period will be added later in 2022) 

​Food & Beverage

​Food and Beverage Ontario’s(FBO) CareersNOW!
(program runs until March 31, 2022) 


Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit

Canada workers benefit - Overview -

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)


Black Entrepreneurship Program 

Tender opportunities for Canadian Black owned or led small businesses

Indigenous Community Business Fund

Black Youth Action Plan

  • Career Launch initiative - application deadline March 23, 2022
  • Career Advance initiative - applications open March 9, 2022
  • Sector Innovation Networks - applications open March 23, 2022

Federal & Provincial Programs & Resources



Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Completed measures to respond to COVID-19

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – Overview

Federal Media Releases

December 22, 2021 - Temporarily Expanding Eligibility for the Local Lockdown Program and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit​

January 12, 2022 - Government extends loan forgiveness repayment deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account

Provincial Resources

Provincial Announcements

COVID-19 public health measures and restrictions

COVID-19: Help for businesses in Ontario

Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19

A Framework for Reopening our Province.

Ontario Media Releases

Feb. 16, 2022 - Ontario's Safe Employers Receiving up to $1.5 Billion Rebate

Feb. 16, 2022 - Ontario Expands Critical Relief For Tourism Sector

Jan. 20, 2022 - Ontario Outlines Steps to Cautiously and Gradually Ease Public Health Measures

Jan. 7, 2022 - Ontario Providing Supports for Small Businesses, Workers and Families

COVID-19 Response Framework to Help Keep the Province Safe and Open

COVID-19 worker and employee screening

Support Info
by Sector

All Businesses

Agriculture Industry

Arts, Culture, Heritage & Sports Industry

Indigenous Businesses

Small Businesses

Youth in Business


Business Resources

City of Barrie Partner's Resources & Updates
  • RVH COVID-19 Updates
  • Simcoe County Services - Updates
  • Downtown Barrie BIA Launches Lifeline E-Gift Card  Program in Support of Downtown Businesses 
  • The Small Business Centreis here to support and advise business during COVID-19. We are here to answer questions, help make sense of new information coming from different levels of government and provide advice on how to manage through these challenging times. We are committed to continue providing our regular services, including consultations, workshops, webinars and business continuity plans, with in-person services being delivered via telephone or video conference. For all businesses of any stage, please reach out to or 705-720-2445.
  • The Sandbox Centre launches Experts in Residence Program
Financial & Business Support
Preparedness Toolkits
Operating During the Pandemic
Recovery Planning


All available webinars and live streamed events to help you and your business cope with COVID-19.

Arts Community

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and museums: impact, innovations and planning for post-crisis, co-organised with the International Council of Museums (ICOM)   

Digital Marketing
  • The Small Business Centre of Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia and Digital Main Street present Let's Get Online!
  • The Ontario Digital Main Street Initiative present SEO Fundamentals
Legal & Employment
Local Partners & Other
Mental Health

Mental Health Resources


  • Province Launches Business Support Line: The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province's recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  • The Government of Canada's Coronavirus Hotline can answer questions and provide information:1-833-784-4397
  • The Emergency Watch and Response Centre (EWRC) can be called 24/7 by Canadian citizens abroad in need of emergency assistance: 1-613-996-8885
  • The Business Development Bank of Canada can answer questions for business owners: 1-877-232-2269
  • This Employment Insurance (EI) hotline can be called if you have already completed the application for EI sickness benefits, whether you are sick or quarantined, to have the one-week waiting period waived: 1-833-381-2725
  • For questions on international trade, call Export Development Canada: 1-888-220-0047
  • Ontario Public Health Authority: 1-866-797-0000
  • Canadian Mental health Association: 1-833-456-4566
  • Minister Ng and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce announce hotline to provide small businesses in need with financial planning advice amid COVID-19: 1-866-989-1080 (toll-free) seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)

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