Digital Main Street is Here to Help Your Business Sustain

There has never been a more important time for small businesses to start stepping up to digital or to enhance their current offerings with digital services. Digital Main Street, a partner to TABIA (Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas) is here to help DUKE Heights BIA members in finding ways to go digital and sustain through this difficult time.

Digital Main Street is a non-profit program that provides one-on-one assistance through the Digital Service Squad program. The goal is to provide your business with free digital transformation consulting and support. This can include but is not limited to:

  • A digital assessment of your business’ digital presence
  • Access to a free online video-based digital transformation training program
  • Website – review, updating, creation, best practices
  • Social Media – support, best practices, advertising, and more
  • Technology – support and guidance for the best options of technology tools to implement for your business
  • Knowledge of low cost, easy to use software for digital marketing.
  • Miscellaneous Digital Transformation Support: loyalty programs, point of sale systems, ecommerce, back-end business operations support, etc.

Joshua Bonilla from Digital Main Street will be available to help you through the process. To make an appointment, follow the instructions here:

Marketing Assistance - 30 Minutes

He can also be reached at joshua@digitalmainstreet.ca. For more information on Digital Main Street, please visit their website at https://digitalmainstreet.ca/.

 

Prime Minister announces more support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

March 18, 2020

Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada is taking strong and quick action to protect our economy, and the health, safety, and jobs of all Canadians during the global COVID-19 outbreak.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy and help Canadians affected by the impacts of this challenging period.

These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy. Combined, this $82 billion in support represents more than 3 per cent of Canada’s GDP. This wide-ranging support will help ensure Canadians can pay for rent and groceries, and help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty.

This plan builds on coordinated action taken since the beginning of this outbreak, including the more than $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund, which provided funding to provinces and territories to strengthen critical health care systems. It represents over $500 billion in credit and liquidity support for people and businesses through cooperation between financial Crown corporations, the Bank of Canada, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), and commercial lenders to ensure businesses can continue to operate.

The actions announced today are part of Canada’s whole-of-government response to COVID-19. As a first step, this plan aims to stabilize our economy through targeted measures to address immediate challenges faced by workers and businesses alike. It will help ensure that workers have the money they need while they are sick or in isolation, or due to loss of work or a significant reduction in work income, and help support people and businesses experiencing financial hardship because of the outbreak.

Canadians should not make health decisions based on their financial needs. As the situation continues to evolve, further measures will be announced to support Canadians, stimulate the economy, and protect peoples’ jobs and livelihoods..

Support for workers

Canadians should not have to worry about paying their rent or mortgage or buying groceries because of the COVID-19 crisis. To support workers and their families, the Government of Canada is taking action to:

  • Provide additional assistance to families with children by temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments. This measure would deliver almost $2 billion in extra support.
  • Introduce an Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks to provide income support to workers who must stay home and do not have access to paid sick leave. This measure could provide up to $10 billion to Canadians, and includes:
    • Workers, including the self-employed, who are sick, quarantined, or who have been directed to self-isolate but do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
    • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent or other dependents who are sick, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
    • EI-eligible and non EI-eligible working parents who must stay home without pay because of children who are sick or who need additional care because of school closures.
  • Introduce an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
  • Provide additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes with a special top-up payment under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit. This measure would inject $5.5 billion in the economy.
  • Waive, for a minimum of six months, the mandatory one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for workers in imposed quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate, as announced on March 11.
  • Waive the requirement for a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
  • Extend the tax filing deadline for individuals to June 1, and allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in households having more money available during this period.
  • Provide eligible small businesses a 10 per cent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Employers benefiting from this measure would include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as not-for-profit organisations and charities. This will help employers keep people on their payroll and help Canadians keep their jobs.
  • Provide increased flexibility to lenders to defer mortgage payments on homeowner government-insured mortgage loans to borrowers who may be experiencing financial difficulties related to the outbreak. Insurers will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.

In addition, to provide targeted support for vulnerable groups, the Government is investing to:

  • Reduce minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020 in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.
  • Implement a six-month, interest-free, moratorium on Canada Student Loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.
  • Provide $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund, to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
  • Support women and children fleeing violence by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.
  • Provide an additional $157.5 million to address the needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness through the Reaching Home program.

Support for businesses

In the face of an uncertain economic situation and tightening credit conditions, the Government is taking action to help affected businesses. To support Canadian businesses and help them retain their workers during this difficult time, the Government is announcing measures to:

  • Allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. This measure will result in businesses having more money available during this period.
  • Increase the credit available to small, medium, and large Canadian businesses. As announced on March 13, a new Business Credit Availability Program will provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. The Government is ready to provide more capital through these financial Crown corporations.
  • Further expand Export Development Canada’s ability to provide support to domestic businesses.
  • Provide flexibility on the Canada Account limit, to allow the Government to provide additional support to Canadian businesses, when deemed to be in the national interest, to deal with exceptional circumstances.
  • Augment credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada.
  • Launch an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program to purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). As announced on March 16, this will provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders and support continued lending to Canadian businesses and consumers. CMHC stands ready to further support liquidity and the stability of the financial markets through its mortgage funding programs as necessary. The Government will enable these measures by raising CMHC’s legislative limits to guarantee securities and insure mortgages by $150 billion each.

The six largest financial institutions in Canada 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 or daycare closures, or those suffering from COVID-19. As a first step, this support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. The Government of Canada will continue to monitor evolving economic conditions and seek greater relief measures should it be necessary.

In order to move forward with implementing these new measures needed to provide timely support for Canadians and to ensure the Government has every tool at its disposal to address potential challenges that may arise, the Government intends to introduce special legislation and seek the approval of Parliament.

The Government of Canada will continue to take further action as required to prioritize the health and safety of Canadians, stabilize the economy, and mitigate the economic impact of this pandemic.

Quotes

“No Canadian should have to worry about paying their rent or buying groceries during this difficult time. That is why we are taking the strong action needed to stabilize our economy and help those impacted by the COVID-19 virus. Together, we will get through this difficult time.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“These are extraordinary times and we must take extraordinary measures. The Government of Canada will do whatever it takes to ensure that the health of Canadians is protected, families and businesses are supported and our economy remains strong, even in the face of uncertainty. I am working with the financial sector, the Bank of Canada, my provincial and territorial colleagues, and my counterparts from around the world to keep coordinating on significant actions to protect the Canadian and global economy. Canadians can rest assured that we are ready to take all necessary measures to meet the challenges ahead.”

The Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

HOW COVID-19 CAN AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS AND WHERE TO FIND HELP

The impact of the Covid-19 virus, and the needed measures taken to control the outbreak are having and will continue to have an impact on many businesses in Canada. Not only do businesses have to contend with challenges in their supply chain and business travel, they now also have to contend with the impact that social distancing will have on their business.

This impact will be felt in two main ways. The first is being a responsible employer who needs to keep the welfare of all their staff top of mind and support the option of working from home if at all possible.

Businesses particularly in manufacturing and in those providing technical services cannot produce or deliver their products and services without their employees, which makes these businesses particularly susceptible to changes in the availability of labour. Traditional service-based businesses may also be impacted due to the lack of planning and the infrastructure required for employees to work remotely.

The second main impact felt by all businesses will be the inevitable slowdown in demand for their goods and services, as consumers, both individual and businesses refrain from nonessential purchases due to climate of uncertainty.

The minister of Finance Bill Morneau, Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz, and Superintendent of Financial Institutions Jeremy Rudin have however outlined a few initiatives that are aimed at coordinated package of measures being taken by financial sector partners to support the functioning of markets and continued access to financing for Canadian businesses.

Some of the measures are aimed at ensuring that our financial institutions have ample liquidity to support lending activities to consumers and businesses. These liquidity measures will also provide financial institutions flexibility in how they deal with mortgage and loan repayments.

The most important measure for business is the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). The program aims to further support financing to the private sector to the tune of $10 billion, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), and Export Development Canada (EDC). Under the program, BDC and EDC will enhance their cooperation with private sector lenders to coordinate financing and credit insurance solutions for Canadian businesses.

The Business BDC will aim to support businesses through three main programs:

The small business loan, which can be applied to online, and is up to $100,000, will assist businesses in assisting businesses with more traditional business growth funding.

Working capital loan, which as the name implies, is aimed at providing businesses with access to additional funds to support the need for working capital. This facility is often paired with, or in support to a traditional line of credit.

Purchase order financing, which assists in managing cash flow on the back of any client Purchase Order (PO). This means that you can use any spare cashflow for other functions in this time of business stress.

The EDC will provide further support to our exporters by facilitating access to capital. They will work in collaboration with federal and traditional financial institutions to find the best solution for the needs of Canadian exporters.

It is important to keep up to date with developments, and new policy responses. Here are some links that we recommend for further information.

City of Toronto COVID-19 Economic Support and Recovery : https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/economic-support-recovery/

BDC Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus : https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19

EDC COVID-19 : https://www.edc.ca/en/campaign/coronavirus-covid-19.html

Embedding Test

New Cost-Share Funding Opportunity for Agri-Food Businesses

August 01, 2019

Agri-Food Innovation Initiative provides cost-share funding opportunities to agriculture and food-value chain partners, which encourages greater collaboration to identify opportunities and address challenges in the sector.

The “Place to Grow” program will allow organizations to apply for projects in key priority areas, including:

  • Labour supply and training challenges (new category),
  • Economic development in the agri-food and agri-products sectors,
  • Environmental stewardship to enhance water quality and soil health,
  • Protection and assurance to reinforce the foundation for public trust in the sector through improved assurance systems in food safety and plant and animal health.

The new programming will encourage interest from outside the agri-food sector to participate on broad-impact projects that will benefit from different kinds of expertise. It’s expected such projects will see new partners engaged to further drive innovation in areas such as advanced manufacturing and the greater use of data available to the sector.

All program details including the program guide are available on the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs website: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/placetogrow.html.
Eligible applicants can apply for cost-share funding beginning August 15, 2019, when the Place to Grow intake opens. This intake will remain open until Sept. 27, 2019.

2019 DUKE Heights Business Survey is Open

June 01, 2019

Each summer, our team of field researchers conduct on-site interviews with businesses located in DUKE Heights BIA to find out how the BIA can better support its members. Our members’ needs and views assist us in prioritizing how Duke Heights can better help these businesses and community in our area.

The goal of the survey is to:
• Gather the needs and perceptions of local business owners
• Identify what businesses need to thrive in our area
• Inform businesses of services and programs Duke Heights currently provides
• Aid in planning and delivering support services for businesses and enterprises located in the DUKE Heights BIA

All businesses located in DUKE Heights BIA are invited to participate in this survey. Our representatives will be visiting their premises during May 30 – July 25, 2019 to conduct this brief survey. Dedicating a few minutes of their time to complete the survey can have a direct impact in meeting the needs and services of their business and the greater business environment in which they operate.

We understand that confidentiality is important to our members. That is why the law and our own security policies strictly protect the confidentiality of participants in our surveys. The survey data will only be reported in aggregate form to show employment patterns without revealing information about individual businesses. The individual responses related to the BIA services will be used only to extend relevant services to specific organizations.

The BIA members’ participation is pivotal in the success of this survey and its intended outcome. If you have any questions about the DUKE Heights Business Survey, please e-mail DUKE Heights BIA at: info@dukeheights.ca.

Free Marketing Support from York University (FALL 2019)

Phone: (416) 736-2100

Address: York University, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies,

E-mail: eelaps@yorku.ca

Offer Details:

Is your company expanding and interested in developing new opportunities? Or facing challenges that you could use some tailored marketing advice to address?  If so, partnering with a team of senior Marketing students can provide tangible benefits to your organization. Equipped with useful skills in the areas of customer relations, products and services, pricing, promotion and delivery, our students are eager to add value to your organization by tackling your on-the-ground marketing challenges and developing a customized Marketing Plan that is ready to be implemented. The only cost to you is a little of your time.

Students have knowledge in the following areas:

  • Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning
  • Customer Satisfaction and Client Retention
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Increasing Profit/Revenue
  • Advertising & Social Marketing
  • Customer Acquisition
  • Brand Awareness
  • Business-to-Consumer and Business-To-Business
  • Digital Marketing

For more information, contact Karlene Case at eelaps@yorku.ca.

Promotional Code: N/A

Offer Exclusions:

This offer is valid for Fall 2019. Spaces fill up quickly. Contact today!

2019 DUKE Heights Business Survey is Open

June 01, 2019

Each summer, our team of field researchers conduct on-site interviews with businesses located in DUKE Heights BIA to find out how the BIA can better support you, our members. Your needs and views assist us in prioritizing how Duke Heights can better help the businesses and community in our area.

The goal of the survey is to:
• Gather the needs and perceptions of local business owners
• Identify what businesses need to thrive in our area
• Inform businesses of services and programs Duke Heights currently provides
• Aid in planning and delivering support services for businesses and enterprises located in the DUKE Heights BIA

All businesses located in DUKE Heights BIA are invited to participate in this survey. Our representatives will be visiting your premises during May 30 – July 25, 2019 to conduct this brief survey. Dedicating a few minutes of your time to complete the survey can have a direct impact in meeting the needs and services of your business and the greater business environment in which your business resides. If you are not available for an in-person interview, you may follow the link below and fill out a digital version of the survey.

DUKE Heights Business Survey

We understand that confidentiality is important to you. That is why the law and our own security policies strictly protect the confidentiality of participants in our surveys. The survey data will only be reported in aggregate form to show employment patterns without revealing information about individual businesses. The individual responses related to the BIA services will be used only to extend relevant services to specific organizations.

Your participation is pivotal in the success of this survey and its intended outcome. If you have any questions about the survey, please e-mail DUKE Heights BIA at: info@dukeheights.ca.
If you own or manage buildings, please allow our surveyor to visit business occupants.

Position: Economic Development Coordinator

Contract Term: Full-Time/Permanent position with benefits

To Apply: Please email your resume to: matias@dukeheights.ca with ‘Economic Development Coordinator’ in the subject line. We thank all applications for their interest; however, we will only be contacting those being considered for this role. Duke Heights BIA is an equal opportunity employer.

Apply by February 15th, 2019

The DUKE Heights Business Improvement Area requires an Economic Development Coordinator on a full-time basis. This is a salaried position with full benefits on a permanent basis. Salary expected to range up from $85,000.
The DHBIA is one of the biggest BIA’s in North America, has over 2500 businesses, 32,000 employees and is visited by over 34,000 people every workday. As part of an Employment Hub strategy to attract employment and create growth in the area, the DHBIA has engaged in the creation of an Economic Development strategy geared towards focusing economic growth in five key sectors. This is the first time in North America that a local economic development of this nature has been undertaken by a BIA.
The Coordinator will manage a portfolio of activities that range from the execution and supervision of economic development within the BIA, research, design strategy management and reporting to funders and other stakeholders. The key components approved by the Board of Directors of the BIA are to:
1. Aid in the development of new businesses (e.g. startup entrepreneurs)
2. Create interest in sale/lease of space locally (e.g. “headhunting” for new large businesses to move in to area)
3. Networking with other stakeholders (e.g. finding large tenants for the area)

The successful candidate will need to grow the project from the DHBIA’s existing base of work to date and manage a much more aggressive timeline. The project will require strict deliverables targets and will reporting will happen on a monthly basis to the Economic Development Committee of the BIA.

The Coordinator will play a critical role in supporting the DHBIA in planning, creating and implementing strategies that promote local economic strategies in the area. Key to the project will be the ability to develop quick ways engage with local businesses, stakeholders and prospective businesses that wish to move into the area.

The Coordinator will report to the Executive Director of the DHBIA and will primarily work at the DUKE Heights BIA office, but will frequently work around Toronto, primarily in North York, due to the nature of the position.

Responsibilities and qualifications of the position include, but are not limited to, the following:

Responsibilities:
• Coordinating ongoing meetings with Economic Development Committee
• Participating in Employment Hub Advisory group
• Coordinating activities with other DHBIA staff and collaborating to carry out common objectives on Employment Hub strategy
• Meeting with members of the DHBIA as often as possible
• Continuing to build connections between organizations and leaders in the area
• Developing timeline for project development and maintaining targets
• Building database of contacts relevant to project
• Working with stakeholders and Economic Development offices at different levels of government to create opportunities locally for BIA members
• Providing frequent updates and progress reports to the Executive Director and the Board of the DHBIA, as required

Qualifications:
• Strong communicator with high-level organizational skills
• Familiarity with Economic Development strategies the DHBIA and its region
• Comfortable managing partnerships and working with a diverse range of stakeholders
• Experience managing consultants
• Experience working with the private sector
• Experience working with the not for profit employment sector
• Experience working with real estate brokers and property managers
• Ability to succeed in a fast-paced, rapidly changing, results-driven workplace
• Self-starter able to succeed with minimal supervision
• Post-secondary education or experience in Finance, Economics, Business, Government Relations or Communications or related fields is preferred

Success without Stress

The Art of Living

Phone: (416) 434-0180

Email: debrajoy.eklove@artofliving.ca

Address: Offered at your workplace

Website: www.artofliving.org

Offer Details:

A complimentary one hour stress-management workshop at your workplace.
Program includes:
– Desktop Yoga – simple postures designed to de-stress and relieve tension
– Powerful, quick and easy-to-use practical tools to deal with or prevent stress
– Tips to make success an attitude rather than a phenomenon

Promotional Code: Just contact me!

Offer Exclusions:

• No exclusions.
• Contact us to discuss dates and locations in the Duke Heights BIA area.