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.

Highlighted Initiatives

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Initiatives

Edmonton-based tech company creates digital registration system for office reopening

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Re-opening

VisitorBay is a digital visitor management tool that allows for an automated sign-in process that is more secure than traditional paper methods. Before COVID-19, the company launched a digital registration system for clients that would see the end of paper sign-in sheets left out in the open for all to see. A few weeks into COVID-19, company founders Brett Carrier and Ricardo Casanova knew there was an opportunity to adapt their product to help companies.

Municipalities in Vancouver area pilot public drinking in parks

Parks and public space | Policy leadership

Port Coquitlam & North Vancouver seems to be going well, while City of Vancouver Parks Board considers it too

City of Mississauga COVID-19 Response Continues: Recovery Framework Guiding Document to Support Reopening & Recovery

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Recovery

The City worked closely with Peel Public Health to develop the framework. The recovery framework was developed based on best practices in other jurisdictions and identifies four pillars of recovery:

  • Community
  • Economic
  • Finance
  • Corporate

Mississauga’s Buy Local Campaign

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Recovery

Mississauga Made is an online initiative inspired to support and promote local businesses across the City. During these difficult times, we encourage our residents to stand together and support locally-based businesses, services
and talents in our community.

The City of Kitchener, with the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre & area municipalities,have launched a Business Recovery Outreach Program

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Policy leadership | Recovery

This free program, which was geared to supporting small business of all kinds, including restaurants, retail, personal services and hospitality businesses, provided tailored resources to local entrepreneurs and small business owners. Through the program, City of Kitchener staff conducted interviews with a cross-section of local small businesses as they began to plan for reopening and recovery. Based on their unique circumstances, each participating business owner was provided with suggestions on programs and services available to assist them in their recovery efforts. The City will publish a Business Recovery Toolkit available to all business, free of charge.

The Town of Canmore’s Economic Recovery Plan focuses on business retention and survival during and post-pandemic to help our local economy bounce back with resilience.

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Recovery

On June 2, Council approved capital funding from the Tax Stabilization Reserve for Economic Development recovery support to those businesses most impacted by the pandemic for a total of $281,000 and moved to establish a Business Recovery Taskforce that includes members of our business community, Town Council, and the Canmore Business Association (CBA) and appoints one or two members of Council to the Taskforce.

The Town of Newmarket Mentorship Access Program (MAP) provides businesses access to a directory of fellow business leaders who are open to providing mentorship on items such as business planning, marketing, employee engagement and more.

General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses | Policy leadership | Recovery

This program seeks to augment the business owners’ expertise with an objective partner in brainstorming and business planning.  Business owners wishing to connect with a mentor should do so by filling out the form at www.newmarket.ca/bac

Peterborough & the Kawartha’s Economic Recovery Plan

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Recovery

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Urban Project developed a street rebalancing guide to help communities re-open safely.

Mobility and transportation | Parks and public space | Policy leadership | Re-opening

The COVID-19 Street Rebalancing Guide is for decision-makers and practitioners alike. Drawing on case studies from around the world, it offers strategies and practical guidance on rebalancing streets through three phases of COVID-19 response—from immediate to longer-term—including pedestrian and bike lanes, curbside queuing areas, and temporary patios and parklets. This is a unique opportunity to spark projects with transformative value. Temporary measures can be deployed quickly to address long-standing gaps—demonstrating value, building support for permanent installations, and providing a foundation for more walkable, livable cities across Canada.

City of Ottawa’s Innovation Pilot Program (IPP) provides companies the opportunity to test and quickly deploy their technology innovations in real-life testing environments with the City or one of its economic development partners

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Recovery

The City of Ottawa’s Innovation Pilot Program (IPP), managed by Economic Development Services (EDS), is shifting its focus towards COVID-19 economic recovery efforts. This new focus, the Recovery Stream, provides companies the opportunity to test and quickly deploy their technology innovations in real-life testing environments with the City or one of its economic development partners. The program provides companies with valuable feedback on their innovations, prior to scaling and production.

Buy Local Ottawa: Links to support Ottawa’s small and locally owned businesses as the local economy reopens 

Food | General: Online communities and networks | General: Sector resources | Policy leadership | Re-opening

Ottawa’s small and locally owned businesses are woven into the fabric of the city. To help support as the local economy reopens, useful links and resources are assembled on this page.

  1. #MyOttawa Pass is Ottawa’s very own local savings passport, complete with an impressive collection of discounts and offers from businesses across the city.
  2. Shop Ottawa is an online directory of local businesses, products and services.
  3. Local Eats Ottawa offers a compiled list of Ottawa restaurants offering food delivery or pickup.
  4. SavourOttawa.ca is a one-stop site on how to buy locally produced food and beverages in the Ottawa region.
  5. Together-Apart.ca is a resource for the residents of this city to find local spots to order from and support.
  6. Edible Ottawa to ensure that local food communities remain strong.
  7. Love Local Delivery to order from Ottawa’s best independent, locally owned and operated food businesses! Easy Scheduled & On-Demand delivery provided by dedicated, carefully vetted and smart-serve trained drivers.
  8. And links to local BIAs that offer detailed information on local business offerings

 

The City of Ottawa, in consultation with Ottawa Public Health, has created the Business Reopening Toolkit

General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Policy leadership | Re-opening

The kit includes signage and resources, sample policies for businesses, Sector specific information (Restaurants and food services; Construction; Retail; Arts, culture, festivals and events; Manufacturing; Offices; Healthcare providers and personal services; Agriculture; Outdoor recreation; Child Care and Day Camps

The Halifax Partnership and Halifax Regional Municipality are developing Economic Response and Recovery plans – meant to be changed and updated to address the evolving needs of the business community in real-time.

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Recovery

Victoria’s Economic Recovery Strategy “Victoria 3.0” – Recovery Reinvention Resilience – 2020-2041

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Recovery

Victoria 3.0 has three main goals. The first and immediate focus is on supporting businesses to adapt to a new normal and become more resilient in light of experiences and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has shown us how precarious our small businesses and our local economy are.  The South Island Prosperity Partnership has created a Rising Economy Taskforce with 13 subcommittees that cover all aspects of our regional economy. Victoria 3.0 is meant to be complementary to and nestle within this important regional work.

#Lights-On: Recovery and Reboot in Live Entertainment brings together leaders and experts in business, economics, public policy, public health and arts organizations to begin the important work of supporting the live entertainment sector in its recovery by building issue-specific strategies and practices.

Arts and Culture | General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Policy leadership

This project includes a series of outreach activities organized by Ryerson’s School of Creative Industries, the Toronto Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Foundation, with support from the City of Toronto, Mass Culture, TO Live, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, SOCAN and the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.

The government of British Columbia is acting on a longstanding liquor policy recommendation to help bars and restaurants survive the challenges of COVID-19.

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Re-opening

Wholesale liquor pricing for bars and restaurants has long been a liquor policy recommendation as one that would go a long way to improve operations for licensed establishments.

Beer Company donates 135,000 facemasks to restaurants across Canada, plus re-opening kits that include hand sanitizer, sanitizer towers, social-distancing signage and support in going contactless with menus through QR-Code coasters, tent cards and point-of-sale integration.

Local businesses | Re-opening

Labatt is also supporting the safe re-opening of restaurants and businesses as a corporate partner to roll out the POST Promise — a private sector-led program that allows business owners to sign a declaration to uphold five key steps to help prevent the spread — and through brand initiatives, including Stella Artois’ Rally for Restaurants gift-card program.

$ 30 million circular economy investment fund from the City of Montreal & Fondaction to help boost the economy

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Recovery

To begin with, the fund will target the sectors that proved to be critical in Montreal during the pandemic, namely agri-food, residual materials management and sustainable mobility.

The City of Victoria’s move to allow businesses to build patios on street “flex spaces” may continue past the pandemic.

Main Street | Policy leadership | Public health | Street activation

Victoria’s downtown business association says it will be a key to keep the dollars tourists usually bring flowing. And that the impact will be far beyond just those with patios.

The City of Oakland ‘s Slow Streets initiative starts with places that are on the City’s High Injury Network, the 6% of streets that account for 60+% of severe/fatal crashes. Listening & adjusting are built into the process

Mobility and transportation | Policy leadership | Public health

This new iteration of Slow Streets is driven by community feedback and advocacy, especially from East Oaklanders. While the Oakland Slow Streets program overall continues to receive overwhelming support among community survey respondents, those responding to surveys are more likely to be white, have high incomes and live in North Oakland. Data from Alameda County Public Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard indicates that East Oaklanders and people of color are more likely to suffer harm from this pandemic. The City of Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) has prioritized collaborative meetings and discussions with community groups, especially those representing residents in East Oakland.

Vancity, LOCO BC, and business organizations throughout the Lower Mainland are launching a program to promote the purchase of gift cards from local businesses in partnership with Support Local BC. 

Local businesses

The site launched initially with businesses from the Greater Victoria region and has currently sold more than $22,000 in gift cards for 172 businesses. With this partnership with Vancity and LOCO BC, the platform is expanding to include businesses through Metro Vancouver and in Squamish, and is expected to connect consumers to hundreds of local businesses. To join the platforms, businesses can sign up at no cost. The sign up process takes about two minutes to fill out the form and businesses will be added to the site quickly. Gift cards are available for purchase in $10, $25, $50 and $100 denominations.

City of Montreal sets out a $22M plan with 20 impressive actions for its inclusive and green economic recovery: including nightlife, arts&culture, social economy, responsible purchasing, delivery services, street vibrancy, data, temp use of vacant space & more.

Local businesses | Policy leadership

The plan is the result of major mobilization from Montréal’s business community and has three objectives:

  • Stabilizing and supporting the economy, short term
  • Reinventing the city’s economic development
  • Mobilizing all partners for green and inclusive economic development

The full plan is available in French and a summary in English

 

The City of Edmonton is launching several environmental rebates and tools focusing on environmental upgrades over the summer to stimulate the economy.

Local businesses | Policy leadership | Recovery

This includes:

  • The Building Retrofit Accelerator rebate program facilitates renovations to improve energy efficiency in commercial and institutional buildings.
  • A solar rebate program to save up to $4,000 towards the installation of a solar electric system for their home
  • A rebate for residential and property owners interested in installing a Level 2electric vehicle charging station
  • an electric bike rebate program, which will let Edmontonians interested in buying an e-bike apply for rebates covering 30 per cent of the cost of the vehicle to a maximum of $750.

CBRN Small Business Relief Fund will help 62 small Canadian businesses recover and support their resilience, for a total of $620,000 in funds.

Local businesses | Main Street

Businesses can use the $10,000 grants to support their recovery efforts, including paying salaries, acquiring safety and personal protective equipment for staff, replenishing materials or paying for the measures required to adapt business models to the economic impacts of COVID-19. To be eligible to apply, businesses must:

  1. Be a for-profit company; and,
  2. Belong to a chamber of commerce, board of trade or association that is a member of the Canadian Business Resilience Network; and;
  3. Have between 2 and 50 employees; and,
  4. Have been in business for 2 years as of March 1, 2020; and,
  5. Have an annual revenue between $150,000 CAD and $5,000,000 CAD; and,
  6. Have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  7. Meet the other eligibility criteria set out in the program’s terms and conditions.

The City has implemented a number of initiatives to support local businesses and the community to reopen and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including $575,000 in economic stimulus grants.

Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Street activation | physical distancing

The City’s webpage includes guides to reopening, virtual town halls, links to applications for grants, etc.

Salt Lake City Civic Engagement Team has developed a guide to engagement during COVID

General: Sector resources | General: Tools for engagement | Policy leadership

This is a Guide of Best Practices for Engagement in the Time of COVID-19. Included are resources for online and traditional (but adapted) engagement. Much of this guide is adapted from hosted webinars the week of March 23-27, 2020.
This guide can also be given to consultants to help with engagement during COVID-19.

Independent movie theatre in Toronto “sells” seats to raise needed funds to survive COVID19-related closure.

Arts and Culture | Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses | Main Street

To help keep the community engaged and to ensure the Fox Theatre in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood will still be in business once the virus restrictions are lifted, a fundraising campaign was started by the theatre. For $150, plus taxes, community could purchase a plaque with their name on it to be put on seats at the historic theatre. The Fox posted information about the sale on their website and within a short amount of time all 251 seats were “sold”. The theatre later sold naming rights for other parts of the building.

City of Quebec launched a currency to encourage purchases from local merchants

Local businesses | Main Street

Quebec City residents can buy “packages” of the local currency in various denominations that can be redeemed for 20-60% more than their purchased cost. Within a few hours the entire packages on offer had been sold out raising over  $ 130,000 for local businesses.

Ma Zone Québec is a transactional platform for discovering Quebec-based local entrepreneurs and local products and services.

General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses

There is recognition that even if you want to buy local, sometimes it’s difficult to find products and services. The objective of this platform is to favor local purchases in a simple, practical and friendly way to really allow a change in consumption habits. The mission of Ma Zone Québec is also to participate in the influence of our local entrepreneurs. Ma Zone Québec is a showcase that challenges itself to make the people behind the products and services known. Craftsmen, entrepreneurs, creators, founders, they are the ones who must be highlighted and made discover their inspiring stories.

The South Island Prosperity Index provides a snapshot of the Victoria region’s monthly economic recovery during and following COVID19

General: Online communities and networks | Local businesses | Policy leadership

The 2020 Prosperity Index features comparative data on 33 indicators which provide a picture of economic health across three themes: Economic Vibrancy, Equity & Inclusion, Environmental Prosperity.

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