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February 9, 2021

BusinessTO News is a weekly newsletter that primarily focuses on available resources and supports to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Toronto businesses. Learn about the current health situation, changes to City services, resources to support reopening and economic support at


Bigger and better CaféTO program coming to help local restaurants

Toronto City Council unanimously approved a bigger and better CaféTO program to help Toronto’s main street restaurants and bars. The first wave of registration will begin in late February and, pending public health orders, the first approved CaféTO curb lane closure locations for 2021 would be in installed as soon as May – almost two months earlier than last year. 

Applications open for Ontario's New Skills Development Fund

Applications are now open for the Ontario government's new two-year $115 million Skills Development Fund. The fund is designed to support workers and apprentices, and help reduce obstacles to hiring, training and retaining while preparing workers for the province's economic recovery. 

ShopHERE program wins award

The City of Toronto and Digital Main Street have won the Economic Developers Council of Ontario’s (EDCO) award for “Innovation in Community Resiliency (Urban)” for the ShopHERE program. The EDCO Awards of Excellence is a well-established program recognizing outstanding economic development initiatives and individuals in Ontario. Learn more about how ShopHERE is helping businesses transition to online.

A reminder for businesses from Toronto Public Health

Masks or face coverings are required for staff and customers in all indoor public spaces as per provincial and municipal law. Organizations are encouraged to create and make available a mask policy, as well as train staff accordingly. Not all people can wear a mask and may be entitled to an exemption. Organizations should train staff on who is exempted and how to help customers who are not wearing a mask for these reasons. Proof of an exemption is not required. For more information, please review the City of Toronto's guidelines on face masks and coverings

Business Community News 

Ontario Tourism Education Corporation offers new resilience training series 

The Ontario Tourism Education Corporation offers a free resiliency training series to help address worker skills gaps and build a more resilient workforce in an uncertain COVID-19 environment. Learn more about the program and how to register.

Celebrating Black Entrepreneurs

February is Black History Month and Toronto is celebrating:

Webinars and Online Events

Guidelines for Mandatory Mask Usage in Enclosed Public Places (Free)
Watch On Demand

Ontario Small Business Support Grant Webinar (Free)
Watch on Demand

Scarborough Business Association Events (Free)

  • Cyber Breakfast: Speaker Mayor John Tory | February 10, 9:15 to 10 a.m. – Register
  • After 5 Virtual Networking Magic | February 10, 6:30 to 8 p.m. – Register
  • February Festival of Food | February 12, 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. - Register

How to Successfully Apply for Government Funding (Free)
Wednesday, February 10, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Register

B Corp 101 Workshop: Learning to Measure What Matters (Free)
Tuesday, February 16, 10 a.m. to noon – Register

Ask the Expert: Marketing and Sales (Free)
Friday, February 19, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Register

Ontario Small Business Support Grant Information Webinar (Free)
Thursday, February 25, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Register

Lower Water Costs For Business – Partners in Project Green (Free)
Thursday, February 25, 1 to 2 p.m. – Register

General Small Business Tax Literacy Seminar (Free)
Friday, February 26, 9:30 a.m. to noon – Register

Ask the Expert: Legal Advice for Business (Free)
Friday, March 5, 9 a.m. to noon – Register

City of Toronto Programs and Resources

Financial Support and Resources

Federal and provincial government financial supports: 

For one-on-one help with applications for any of these programs contact the BusinessTO Support Centre.

Forward Forward
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