A real-time, crowdsourced platform that houses resources, tools and stories on how city builders and residents are responding to COVID-19.

This is a time when Canada must harness its community-driven resilience. We’re asking you to share examples of how Canadian communities are responding to the crisis with creativity and imagination. Collective problem-solving and collaboration will be instrumental in how Canada mitigates the local impacts of COVID-19 and creates on-the-ground solutions.

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Initiatives

Design for Distancing is a Baltimore Development Corporation initiative in partnership with Neighborhood Design Center, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and City of Baltimore to help businesses reopen safely.

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Three components to this initiative:

  1. What are smart ways for people to line up for carry-out, attend farmer’s markets, or wait outside of salons, laundromats, and banks? With social distancing in mind and using the best practices from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, share your innovative solutions
  2. Winning designs will be included in the Design For Distancing Guidebook, a free, shareable, online resource. Businesses, cities, and citizens around the world can all look here for inspiration on how to improve their own space.
  3. Over a dozen Baltimore City Districts will enjoy custom solutions pulled from the Guidebook. Design-build teams will be awarded a $10,000 design stipend to work with local main streets to implement plans in July. Winning designers may participate in the physical implementation, but are not required to do so

BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association Blueprint for Re-opening in-restaurant dining

Food | General: Sector resources | Local businesses

This document is a framework to provide best practices and protocols that the industry has worked together on. This information was put together with a consortium of experts in many different restaurants and
foodservice establishments in BC.

City of Montreal offers subsidy for construction projects in buildings that house social economy businesses

Local businesses | Policy leadership

This subsidy program is accessible to social economy businesses anywhere in the Montréal agglomeration that meet the conditions. Financial assistance includes:

  • A subsidy that covers 40% of the cost of eligible construction/renovation/expansion work, up to $250,000
  • An additional subsidy that covers 50% of the fees for professional services (architecture, design, engineering, project management, urban planning, archeology or consultants) up to 7.5% of the cost of eligible construction/renovation/expansion work or $50,000

Downtown Regina BIA has created colourful and communicative downloadable posters for businesses to put up

Local businesses

These posters are meant to be put up in downtown shops to communicate in a friendly way physical distancing rules, how many people allowed in a store at one time, and other changes that are in effect during COVID19 times.

Brampton asking residents for feedback on coronavirus reopening and recovery

General: Tools for engagement | Policy leadership

The “Mayor’s Reopening and Recovery Working Group,” which is conducting the community stakeholder and resident feedback initiative, was launched on April 22.  Residents looking to provide feedback on the city’s eventual reopening strategy can do so by filling out an online reopening survey on the city website at www.brampton.ca

Supporting local merchants and strengthening community resilience during COVID-19

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

The Wellington West Business Improvement Area (BIA) and Crowdfund Canada have launched LOVE.WellingtonWest.ca, a joint crowdfunding program to support more than 550 member businesses across the Ottawa neighbourhoods of Hintonburg and Wellington Village. This is the first pilot for the Community Wealth Sharing Initiative, supported by the McConnell Foundation, and is offered to Wellington West member merchants at no charge. Residents can invest in the success of local merchants. In return, merchants can choose to offer rewards like store credit, services, or product giveaways to be redeemed whenever they decide, even after the COVID crisis.

Supporting Alberta businesses and strengthening community resilience during COVID-19

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

McConnell Foundation is piloting a Community Wealth Sharing Initiative in Alberta to expand a crowdfunding site so any business in Alberta can launch a crowdfunding campaign without any fees so that businesses can keep all the money they raise, whether or not they reach their fundraising goal.

Town of Newmarket creates mentorship program to help businesses adapt during and after COVID-19

Local businesses | Policy leadership

As part of the Town’s Economic Resiliency Action Plan, today, the Town of Newmarket will launch an innovative Mentorship Access Program (MAP). This program provides small and medium-sized businesses access to a directory of volunteer mentors available to provide strategic advice and guidance on how to adapt to these unprecedented times and map out a business plan, during and post COVID-19.

NACTO develops Playbook for Fighting COVID-19 to make public space as safe as possible during the pandemic

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space

Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery includes an introduction to using streets for recovery and response (pdf) and detailed implementation information about the following street strategies:

  • Lanes for Biking & Rolling (pdf)
  • Sidewalk Extensions (pdf)
  • Transit Lanes (pdf)
  • Slow Streets (pdf)
  • Pick-Up & Delivery Zones (pdf)
  • Outdoor Dining (pdf)
  • Markets (pdf)
    Note: Individual PDFs coming soon

Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership launches an “adopt a local business” project

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

In the form of a survey, the Adopt-A-Business program, is asking companies to mobilize team members in support of businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Chamber of Commerce has implemented an “Adopt-A-Business Program”

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

How does it work? If you are:

  • a business with the means to do so currently;
  • community organization; a neighborhood org; or
  • a group of friends looking to help out your neighbours

you are encouraged to pick a restaurant or other business impacted to support via en masse takeout purchasing or online ordering, a virtual tip jar, mass support on social media or other means of your choice! A signup form is provided, suggesting that you choose 3 choices for businesses to adopt. The Chamber will use their marketing and social media to amplify efforts.

COVID-19: How are governments around the world responding to the call for stimulus?

General: Sector resources

Governments around the world are acting decisively to protect their businesses and people from the economic disruption being caused by the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Whether through tax cuts, investment incentives or changes to filing deadlines, tax systems will play a significant part in helping to alleviate the financial and economic turmoil that is now occurring.Policy changes across the globe are being proposed and implemented on a daily basis. The EY COVID-19 Stimulus Tracker provides a snapshot of the policy changes that have been announced in countries around the world in response to the ongoing crisis.

Adopt a Business Challenge to combat economic toll of COVID-19 in Kitchener-Waterloo

Local businesses

As part of its commitment to Kitchener-Waterloo, Sherpa Marketing wants to help by providing $25,000 in professional marketing services to one local company hit by the economic effects of COVID-19. Local Kitchener-Waterloo companies who want to donate their time, products or services can do so by joining the Adopt-A-Business Challenge. Sherpa will evaluate applicants and choose a company in Kitchener-Waterloo most in need. Of particular concern to Sherpa Marketing are all the small businesses that make Kitchener-Waterloo so diverse and vibrant.

The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide was created to help guide the reopening of small events and venues

Arts and Culture | General: Sector resources

The Reopening Guide addresses health and sanitary issues that event and venue professionals need to consider in order to protect both patrons and workers. Since there is still insufficient testing, no contact tracing, and no vaccine against COVID-19, this guidance is particularly detailed. The first edition is tailored to be especially useful for event professionals reopening the smallest events with the fewest resources available to mitigate their risks, since in every municipal reopening plan these will be allowed to reopen first.

Wolfville Farmers’ Market establishes online ordering and weekly delivery service

Food | Local businesses

Shop from 45+ vendors and over 350 local products, then on Wednesday or Saturday pick up orders from a local hub locations in the Valley or HRM. During the State of Emergency due to COVID-19 , there are added steps to ensure safe pick-ups and proper distancing.

The owner of a Toronto-based pizzeria is teaming up with local restaurants on a local delivery service

Food | Local businesses

The idea is a decentralized delivery system, shared and managed collectively by Toronto restaurants, with no commissions or fees. Everyone shares in the costs and the profits.

City of Ottawa releases toolkit to help businesses reopen safely

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Members of the Ottawa business community can access the toolkit online. It provides guidance on preparing your workplace, employees and operations to resume while ensuring physical distancing, and also provides links to official resources such as public health signage, sector-specific guidelines and government financial assistance programs. Information and resources will be updated regularly on the website as guidance from the Government of Ontario and Ottawa Public Health continues to evolve.

Reimagining the use of public space during pandemic in Montreal

Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership | Public health

The movement to take back Montreal’s streets for pedestrians during this time of social distancing is spreading rapidly across the city. From full-on car-free zones to family streets to superblocks, Montreal, like many cities around the world, is reimagining the use of public space during this pandemic at an unprecedented pace.

Radish is an online delivery cooperative based in Montreal that is looking to bring forth a more equitable relationship between restaurants, delivery drivers and consumers.

Food | Local businesses

Radish enables restaurants, drivers and consumers on the platform to have a say in how the platform is operated. This is made possible by the cooperative nature, which means that each member is entitled to a vote in the direction of the organization. Restaurant delivery is being performed in an ethical and socially conscious manner.

The City of Edmonton has developed simplified guidelines for temporary patios, sidewalk cafes and outdoor retail spaces for businesses, along with a simple, no-fee form to register

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Rules around temporary patios, sidewalk cafes and outdoor retail expansions are relaxed to create more space for customers in alignment with Alberta Health Services (AHS) guidelines. Until the end of 2020, businesses have the option to expand patio or retail space by following a set of guidelines and signing a declaration form.

An Edmonton musician is collecting donations for food banks and in return will create a piano/instrumental cover of a song request that will be posted online.

Arts and Culture | Fundraising and volunteering

Keys For Covid is a music project launched in May 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. This project aims to raise donations and provide relief to Canadians most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All proceeds will go towards supporting Canadian food banks (with a focus in Alberta and Ontario). Inspired by virtual music concerts like #CanadaTogether, Keys for Covid hopes to bring amateur artists & musicians together to create music, and make a positive impact.

 

A new initiative in Brampton is providing food and meals to those in need

Food | Fundraising and volunteering

S.H.I.N.E. (Support, Help in Nourishing Everyone) is a new food initiative started at the start of the COVID 19 Crisis in Brampton by a group of volunteers who wanted to help shine some light and help those struggling financially and physically during COVID 19

A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is giving out PPE to member businesses to help keep staff & customers safe

Local businesses

Grimsby’s Downtown Improvement Area (DIA) board – with support from the Town of Grimsby –is helping frontline staff. Every business in the DIA area will receive two face shields – with an option to acquire more – to help with employee and customer safety. These shields were made by a local retooled business

Toronto Business Improvement Area creates posters for businesses to indicate whether they’re open for pickup, delivery or online

Local businesses

From Toronto’s Roncesvalles BIA, these signs can be put in the window of shops to clearly show their services

Friends’ Tab is a local wealth redistribution program aimed at helping Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbours in need. 

Food | Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

If you need help, just say “put it on my Friends’ Tab” at participating locations. Each location has a sign up about what’s covered (e.g. up to $10 or $20 of your grocery bill, one coffee and one food item at a local coffee shop, essential repair expertise and materials, etc.). If you want to donate to help a neighbour you can donate by adding it on to your purchase at participating locations or donating at FOKM.ca

#YEGTechCares is a tech industry campaign asking salaried employees to give up the equivalent of one hour of their monthly salary and donate it to the Edmonton Food Bank.

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

Where possible, the companies the employees work for will match those donations.

Think Local First is an easy, fun, free way to support locally owned businesses in Greater Victoria.

Local businesses

Use the app to collect points, then redeem those points for discounts at locally-owned businesses. For instance, 50 points gets you $5 off your next purchase of $20 or more at the Dutch Bakery & Diner.

Volunteers in Toronto reach out by phone to the socially isolated

Children | Fundraising and volunteering | Seniors | Social isolation

Listening to people helps keep them #healthyathome

IT and e-commerce platform helps restaurants self-manage delivery and takeout

Food | General: Sector resources | Local businesses

By giving restaurants the tools to do it themselves, restaurants avoid the hefty commissions of current food delivery apps.

Downtown Moncton Centre-ville Inc. launches Covid-19 Re-Start Grant Program

Local businesses

This grant will support the purchase of required safety equipment which must be installed prior to re-opening. Businesses can apply to receive a maximum of $500. Under the program, only commercial property and business owners within the Business Improvement Area (BIA) will be considered.

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THE CANADIAN URBAN INSTITUTE
Connecting People, Place and Potential

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