Supporting main streets in Quebec City through “Solidarity Dollars” to alleviate the precariousness of businesses during COVID19.

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses | Main Street

This group has created a local currency so that the contributors’ investment can be returned directly to participating businesses. This currency will be available in paper or digital form through the Wyse Wallet app. 
The project will consolidate the achievements of the commercial arteries and allow citizens to participate concretely in the recovery by investing in hyperlocal entrepreneurship. Let us be # solidairespournosartères!

The City of Melbourne & the State launch $100 million city recovery fund that would offer practical support to small and medium-sized business, and the arts and cultural communities.

Arts and Culture | Economic Recovery Plans | Local businesses | Main Street | Policy leadership | Re-opening | Street activation | physical distancing

The city recovery package focuses on outdoor trading, increased marketing, events and entertainment to attract workers and visitors back to the city. Town Hall will also waive permit fees, and the funding will pay for vacant shopfronts to be used for art installations and pop-ups.

This initiative encourages local business recovery and support. In addition, it has set aside August 28-30 for a national buy local weekend and will provide grants of up to $5K for businesses

Fundraising and volunteering | General: Sector resources | Local businesses | Shop Local
The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund was established by RBC in collaboration with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the support of other chambers and partners to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19. Local businesses can also apply for grants of up to $5K that can be used for
  • Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields, and latex gloves
  • Renovating physical space to adhere to local, Provincial or Federal reopening guidelines
  • Developing or improving e-commerce capabilities for your business


Bartenders Benevolent COVID-19 Support Fund has been established for those who have lost employment or reduced income

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

The Bartenders Benevolent Fund is actively working with community members, industy organizations and our Board of Directors to create inclusive and empowering organizational policies, funding criteria and code of conduct. Considering the current impact of the novel COVID-19 on the hospitality industry, these processes are unfolding quickly and we continue to reevaluate on an ongoing basis.

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.

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

New crowdfunding platform to save small business in Ottawa

Local businesses

A pilot project in Ottawa hopes to boost their chances with community crowdfunding, which has emerged as a vital tool for the social impact sector. Could it provide a model for Main Streets across Canada?

Vancity Community Investment Bank launches GIC to provide support to organizations impacted by COVID19

Fundraising and volunteering | Local businesses

As Canada’s first and only values-driven bank, VCIB is committed to driving positive social and environmental change within the communities in which it operates. Investments raised through VCIB’s Unity GIC will provide vital loans or financial relief to businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19 to help them stay financially resilient at a time when they need it most.

CBC launches Creative Relief Fund to provide support to Canadian creators

Arts and Culture | Children | Income support | Policy leadership

The new Fund will provide $2 million in development and production funding for a diverse range of innovative, original Canadian storytelling, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries.


COVID 19 & Main Street: Supporting Local Safely (Webinar)

General: Sector resources | Learning and education | Local businesses | Policy leadership

Webinar recording. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Main Street programs have been moving rapidly to offer support to local businesses and the community as a whole. This webinar provides updates from the National Federation of Independent Businesses on the impact to the business community and current resources and guidance, followed by a panel discussion of local program directors and the work their doing to #SupportLocalSafely.

Canadian Urban Transit Association tracking COVID-19’s impacts on public transit industry

General: Sector resources | Mobility and transportation

CUTA is providing members with context and information on COVID-19 management, along with guidance on best practices for public transit operators during a pandemic.

Neighbourhood Information Post and partner agencies create Toronto Rent Bank Program

Housing and homelessness

Provides interest-free repayable loans to low-income households facing eviction due to short-term financial difficulties. NIP acts as the Central Administrative agency and local service access centre. NIP is responsible for processing all Rent Bank loans and repayments in Toronto, and providing local residents in the Downtown area with Rent Bank intake functions and a variety of housing-related services.

Mesures de la Ville de Montréal pour soutenir les entreprises

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Dans le contexte de la COVID-19, qui a une forte incidence sur les entreprises, la Ville offre un soutien financier d’urgence et prend des mesures pour aider les entreprises, les organismes à but non lucratif et les travailleurs autonomes à faire face aux défis actuels.

TOArtist Covid Response Fund

Arts and Culture

Established by the Toronto Arts Foundation and the Toronto Arts Council, this fund provides up to $1,000 in emergency relief for artists who are self employed and not eligible for EI through any other employer or any other bridge funding. The fund is open to artists who can demonstrate lost income due to cancellation of events, programs, workshops, classes, etc.

Online Dance Collective

Arts and Culture | General: Online communities and networks

Professional teachers from different Toronto-based studios are coming together to launch the Toronto Online Dance Collective: a shared platform for live online classes so that we can socially connect and dance together while we’re physically distant.

Toronto-based rental company creates $500K COVID-19 relief fund

Housing and homelessness | Income support | Local businesses

Greenrock Real Estate Advisors’ (GREA) has developed a series of initiatives to assist its residents and community members including: $300,000 towards local charitable organizations; a rent assistance program that allows residents to use their last month’s rent deposit as a credit towards their rent payments; the deferral of rent increase notices; $200,000 of grocery gift cards for all Greenrock managed residential units; and a specialized germ protection treatment program.

Supporting small business through coronavirus: ideas from experts and leaders across NYC

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Two dozen small business owners and small business experts provide recommendations on how city and state policymakers can help them survive this crisis for small business.

Artscape collates financial resources and supports to help creatives and creative entrepreneurs in 2020 through COVID19

Arts and Culture | Employment | General: Sector resources | Income support | Local businesses

Artscape knows that COVID-19 is already having a pronounced financial impact on the creative sector. From cancelled performances and festivals to the shuttering and slowdown of storefronts, creatives of all disciplines are facing economic hardships. To help creatives navigate this unprecedented situation, we have compiled a list of financial resources and supports to help creatives and creative entrepreneurs in 2020.

Funding to support coronvirus coverage in Canada for freelancers and local newsrooms

Fundraising and volunteering | Income support

The Independent News Challenge is partnering with the Facebook Journalism Project to ensure $1 million fund reaches independent news outlets in Canada.

Coalition of small business owners calling on the Canadian government to consider a series of recommendations

Employment | Local businesses | Policy leadership is a grassroots coalition of small businesses across Canada united in their opposition to a debt-forward solution to the COVID-19 economic crisis. Suggestions include bailout plans, wage subsidies, grants, and other non-debt solutions.

City of Winnipeg sets up business task force, looking at tax deferrals during COVID-19

Income support | Local businesses | Policy leadership

City of Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman announced a Mayor’s COVID-19 Business Task Force to help city businesses weather COVID-19, including the possibility of deferring property and business taxes.

UK disability arts organization announces new commission for disabled artists

Arts and Culture | Employment | Income support

Disability Arts Online allocated £8,000 to a new commissions pot which disabled artists can apply to. Three tiers of commissions include: artist presentations, day in the life articles, and open commissions

European Commission releases ‘bottom-up’ call for startups and SMEs with innovations related to COVID-19 to apply for €164m fund

Policy leadership

The European Commission calls for startups and SMEs with technologies and innovations that could help in treating, testing, monitoring or other aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak to apply to the next round of funding from the European Innovation Council (Mar 18 deadline). With a budget of €164m, this call is “bottom up”, meaning there are no predefined thematic priorities and applicants with Coronavirus relevant innovations will be evaluated in the same way as other applicants. The Commission will look to fast track the awarding of EIC grants and blended finance (combining grant and equity investment) to Coronavirus relevant innovations, as well as to facilitate access to other funding and investment sources.

Edmonton window art map encourages neighbours to decorate windows and participate in community ‘window walks’

Arts and Culture | General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | General: Online communities and networks

Crowd-sourced #YEGWindowArt map calls on community members to join in on ‘window walks’ by decorating windows and adding them to the crowdsourced map, then enjoying a walk through the neighbourhood to see what others have put up.

Edmonton Global launches a COVID-19 business resource page

Local businesses | Policy leadership

Edmonton Global, an Economic Development Corporation in the Edmonton Metro Region, launched a COVID-19 business resource page to help businesses navigate the tools and programs announced by Canada and Alberta.

Vancouver resident creates an open plain language directory on financial resources for Canadians

Employment | General: Crowdsourced tools and resources | Income support

List of Financial Resources Available to Assist Canadians (individuals, families, and businesses) through #COVID19. Prepared by Hilary Kilgour

Toronto-based LGBTQ bookstore sets up emergency fund to help LGBTQ2S artists, performers, and tip-based workers

Arts and Culture | Income support | Local businesses

Glad Day (Toronto-based LGBTQ bookstore) sets up emergency fund to help LGBTQ2S artists, performers & tip-based workers. The fund is meant to swiftly help LGBTQ2S people who cannot pay for food, medicine, rent, and necessities because most of their income doesn’t come from an employer.

$100,000 Fund launched by Facebook and the National Arts Centre provides artist fees for online performances

Arts and Culture | General: Sector resources | Income support

The Facebook-National Arts Centre Fund for Performing Artists will provide $100,000 in artists fees to support online performances between now and March 31, 2020 to help ease financial strain for those impacted by the closure of performance venues across Canada related to COVID

Energy company buys up $10,000-worth of gift cards to keep coffee shop afloat

Food | Local businesses

Serafina Energy committed to buying up $10,000 worth of gift cards from the locally based coffee company, Lau’s Deville Coffee shop, to be spent when better times return.

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