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​Business Information &
Support During COVID-19

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

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, with updating this page regularly to be able to identify actions to support businesses, workers and residents in responding to the economic impact of COVID-19. This page will enable the City to better respond to the evolving challenges with its partners in government, business and non-profits.

Latest Federal & Provincial Press Releases

City Support

Reduction of Enforcement Services

As part of the City’s response to COVID-19, the City has reduced reducing enforcement of parking and the noise by-laws until further notice. The provisions in the noise by-law related to deliveries will not be enforced, which will allow grocery and other stores to receive deliveries of essential services and/or perishables at any time. More detail.

Free Transit: March 20–April 6

It is critical for people to have the ability to ride the bus to get basic things like groceries or to jobs that we rely on. Offering free transit creates the opportunity to have riders board from the rear door, which reduces risk to transit operators and further supports social distancing.

Riders must board and exit the bus from the rear door only and are asked to consult the Live Bus Map on MyRideBarrie.ca to track their bus before departing on their trips. Barrie Transit may be experiencing intermittent service issues on some routes. The Downtown Transit Terminal remains open and City staff continues to increase sanitizing practices in the terminal and on all Barrie Transit buses.

Water Wastewater Billing

There will be no new late fees or City-imposed non-sufficient funds (NSF) charges for water wastewater bills until June 30, 2020. Businesses and property owners can opt out or suspend pre-authorized payment plans by completing the Water Wastewater Pre-Authorized Payment Form. In addition, no water shutoffs will be carried out until June 30, 2020. 

Property Tax Billing

There will be no new late fees or City-imposed non-sufficient funds (NSF) charges for tax bills until June 30, 2020. Businesses and property owners can opt out or suspend pre-authorized payment plans by completing the Property Tax Pre-Authorized Payment Cancellation Form.

Economic Support & Recovery

Stay up to date on provincial and federal measures to provide economic relief and support:

Banking Solutions

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
  • 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.

More information is available at Canada's Six Biggest Banks Take Decisive Action To Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19

Federal Programs
Provincial Programs
Other

Funding for Businesses

Local Business Resources

The Small Business Centre, the BIA, The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre and The Barrie Chamber of Commerce can help prepare your business for a recovery strategy.

Information for Organizations & Events

Find out what your organization, workplace or event can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Event Organizers

The risk of planning events that will create mass gatherings must be assessed on a case-by-case basis by Public Health Authorities, event organizers and relevant planners. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends conducting a risk assessment when determining the public health actions related to a mass gathering during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Workplaces

Employers should also know what is expected if they have employees returning from travel. Learn more by reading the World Health Organization's Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19 fact sheet.

General Advice
  • Increase awareness about COVID-19 through communication with staff.
  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • Separate sick employees.
  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
Hygiene
  • Emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning: follow any routine infection prevention and control policies and procedures set out by their company or organization.
Flexible Work Arrangements and Sick Leave

Where feasible, adjust policies to reduce social contact, such as:

Relax sick leave policies to support employees in self-isolating when ill.

  • This includes suspending the need for medical notes and reduces the burden on an already stressed health care system.

Prepare for increases in absenteeism due to illness among employees and their families or possibly school closures.

  • Access your business continuity plan for how to maintain key business functions if faced with high absenteeism.
  • Consider the need for cross-training personnel to function in key positions.
  • Work-From-Home Wellness Plan
Business Travel
  • Advise employees about safe travel.
  • Employers should also know what is expected if they have employees returning from travel.

Closure

Workplace closures may be considered in an exceptional circumstance and should be based on a risk assessment. This may be the case if many employees must be off to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Moving your business and employees to a new space can be a challenge, so please read these helpful guides:

Mental Health Services

With coronavirus (COVID-19) now officially being called a pandemic by the World Health Organization, public fear and anxiety are on the rise. Employees may be experiencing a high degree of uncertainty, worry and stress about the health and safety of their loved ones, and how this pandemic may disrupt their work and personal lives.

While employers are preparing responses to safeguard their business operations and protect the physical health of their employees during this crisis, it's important to consider everyone's psychological health and safety, too. Read the following articles to learn how you can respond t the outbreak or please call Canadian Mental Health Association's hotline at 1-833-456-4566 should you need further assistance.

Arts Community

This is a very challenging time for the arts industry, many of whom are dealing with canceled performances, and loss of work.
City staff have begun to compile a list of helpful resources for Canadian artists and professionals to help during this time:

Programs

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

Hotlines

  • 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
  • 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


 

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