Business Support

Resources, programs, tool kits and sector-specific information to assist your business to recover.

Vaccine Certificate Information 

As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes:

  • Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
  • Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
  • Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
  • Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
  • Sporting events;
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
  • Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
  • Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
  • Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).

The Ontario Ministry of Health is developing, and will provide, additional tools to businesses and organizations in the coming weeks, including:

  • Launching a new app to make it easier and more convenient for businesses and organizations to read and verify proof of vaccination (i.e., that a digital vaccine receipt is valid); and
  • Providing communication supports to businesses to inform the public of the new requirement.

A full list of supports available for businesses from the Province can be found on Ontario’s COVID-19: Help for businesses website found here.

More information:

Business Supports

From the Region of Durham

From Chambers of Commerce


Local Support

Business Advisory Centre Durham (BACD) is Durham Region's Small Business Advisory Centre. BACD is a not-for-profit organization. Currently, BACD's Business Advisory and Support Services are currently free of charge. They are also supporting many of the Digital Main Street programs. 

Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade in Durham

Support for Entrepreneurs - National 

BDC is the Business Development Bank of Canada, and the financial institution devoted to Canadian entrepreneurs. View BDC's information to help your business take action during the COVID-19 crisis

CFIB is The Canadian Federation of Independent Business. CFIB is the country’s champion of small business. With over 110,000 members, CFIB is Canada’s largest non-profit organization devoted to creating and supporting an environment where your business can succeed. View CFIB's COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre

EDC is Export Development Canada. EDC offers supports and capital access. View their solutions designed to help businesses access cash flow, manage risk and build resilience.  

CBRN is the Canadian Business Resilience Network. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the CBRN to bring together its vast network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, and over 100 of Canada’s leading business and industry associations. View the CBRN resources which include topics such as tax relief, access to capital, and HR strategies.



Employment and Social Development Canada: Details on employment insurance (EI), the temporary foreign worker program, and other Federal employment programs.

Province of Ontario 

Province of Ontario COVID-19 Support for Workers 

Durham Region

Durham College/Employment Ontario Community Employment Services - open virtually

Durham Workforce Authority Jobs First Durham

Durham Recruiting Job Board

Sector Specific

Canadian Federation of Agriculture- COVID-19 Resources

Employee Support - Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council

Government Support/Financial Assistance - Farm Credit Canada

Government Support/Financial Assistance – Canadian Agricultural Partnership Funding

Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) –COVID-19 Resources

Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) - A Guide for Direct Sales to Consumers during COVID-19 and Beyond

Feeding Your Future – Connecting Ontario’s Agri-food Workforce

Agriculture and Food Jobs in Ontario

Durham Farm Fresh – COVID-19 Response

Health Information - World Organization on Animal Health


Agriculture and Agri-food Safety During COVID-19

Ontario Ministry of Health – A Guide to Starting a Home-based Food Business

Mental Health for Farmers – First Aid Kit

Durham Region and its local municipalities welcome the film industry as production activity resumes in accordance with applicable Health and Safety guidance.

Health and Safety Protocols

Before you apply for a Film Location Permit, please review the Section 21 Health and Safety Guidelines published on Thursday June 25th 2020 and updated most recently on November 24th. Film and television productions are required to ensure workplaces are safe; that cast, crew and communities are protected; and that physical distancing is maintained as much as possible.

The updated Workplace Safety Measures document can be found here.

*Please see page 28 for details about re: the film and television industry.

The guidelines were created by the Section 21 Film and Television Health and Safety Advisory Committee, an advisory body to the Ministry of Labour, Training & Skills Development (MLTSD), pursuant to Section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

Recovery of the film and television industry requires the following:

  1. Skilled Labour: to support the current workforce and provide learning for newcomers to the industry, a wide selection of online Professional Development & Learning Resources are offered by a number of industry organizations and government agencies.

  2. Locations: there is a growing interest in the region's unique sites, and we are expanding our list of film-friendly locations. To market your location for filming on the Durham Region and Ontario Creates digital libraries please contact the film office.

  3. Products and Services: in addition to the current production guide to filming in Durham, there will be a need for services to accommodate new Health and Safety guidelines. If interested in promoting your company to the film industry, please contact the film office.

Council of Canadian Innovators - Dedicated COVID-19 Slack Channel for Canadian Tech Workers

MaRS Startup Toolkit – COVID-19 collection brings together tools and tactics that startups can use to respond to COVID-19 business impacts.

FedDev Ontario - Innovation Canada offers simplified and customized access to all federal government innovation support programs.

Area Organizations

Spark Centre - Regional Innovation Centre

1855 - Technology Accelerator  


Ontario Together: help fight coronavirus - The Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada are looking for help from businesses to make or supply healthcare products and innovative solutions. Learn how your organization can help.

Province of Ontario – Sector specific guidelines and posters

Ontario Manufacturing health and safety during COVID-19 - Find resources, best practices and information to help keep your workers safe and healthy and your business in operation, during COVID-19.


Government of Canada - The Canadian COVID-19 Capabilities Directory shows what Canada has to offer in the fight against COVID-19 to potential buyers around the world.


Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – COVID-19 resources

As part of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, Digital Main Street has launched three programs to support businesses across Ontario: DMS shopHERE, DMS Ontario Grants and DMS Future Proof. These programs are available to Durham Region businesses that meet program requirements. 

Businesses that are not main street, and don't qualify for Digital Main Street programs, could qualify for Business Advisory Centre of Durham’s Digital Durham Starter Company program.


CANATRACE: a fast, secure, and no-cost digital solution that allows businesses to capture pertinent customer data needed for contact tracing, all while alleviating the workload of staff and keeping patrons-- and their contact information--safe.

Province of Ontario – Sector specific guidelines and posters



Canada Takeout - Restaurants are encouraged to join the #TakeOutDay movement and remind Canadians to order takeout from their local restaurants.

Ontario Ministry of Health - COVID-19 Checklist for Food Premises 

Durham Region Reopening Guidance - Guidelines for Restaurants and Bars

Open for Business - The Durham Economic Task Force has partnered with Ritual to offer an accessible, online method of contactless food ordering. Ritual ONE is an easy way for businesses to accept digital orders from their website and social media accounts. QR code menus and ordering are also available. Learn more.


Retail Council of Canada - Planning Checklist for Retailers: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Retail Council of Canada – Road to Retail Recovery Playbook

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services - Guidance on Health and Safety for Retail Sector during COVID-19

Durham Region Health Department - Retail Establishments During COVID-19

Wellness Industry

Health and Wellness Relief Canada - Information and avocacy for those in the health and wellness industry (representing coaches, personal trainers, group instructors, yoga instructors, pilates instructors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and sports and recreation centers and staff.) Learn more.


Tourism Relief Fund - Learn more

Destination Canada - COVID-19 updates 

Destination Canada - COVID-19 research

Tourism Industry Association of Canada - Current situation review and email sign up for updates regarding COVID-19

Canada’s Regional Development Agencies - COVID-19 info sheet

Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) - Information for CSTA members during COVID-19

Department of Canadian Heritage – COVID-19: support for culture, heritage and sport sectors


Tourism Industry Association of Ontario - COVID-19 resources, updates and news

Festivals and Events Ontario - details on Force Majeure Insurance claims

Festivals and Events Ontario - Call for virtual content

Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association – COVID-19 resources


Central Counties Tourism – COVID-19 industry resources and financial relief


Mental Health Resources from Durham Region

Mental Health Resources from the Province of Ontario

You can find information about programs that may be right for you based on your mental health and addictions needs, and the type of support that you prefer. You can:

Mental Health Webinars Available-On-Demand

Mental Health Blog Articles

For upcoming scheduled webinars, visit the Invest Durham calendar

The below are available to watch on-demand.

Business Resilience Webinars On-Demand

Marketing, Digitization, and Ecommerce Webinars On-Demand

For upcoming scheduled webinars on these topics, visit the Digital Main Street Eventbrite page and the Ontario Digital Main Street Initiative Eventbrite page

Below, are links to webinars created by a Shopify employee on how businesses can quickly create an online stores: