We will no longer be supporting IE7 and below as a web browser effective June 1st 2020. Click here for more information.

Sign In
Skip Navigation LinksCOVID-19-Government-Supports Government Resources, Funding and Sector Supports

Contact Us

Can we help you?

Skip Navigation LinksEconomic Development Office > Government Resources, Funding and Sector Supports

Government Resources, Funding and Sector Supports

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Back to Resources

Find the support you need for your business​. We're here to help.


Training & Support

Federal Resources

Provincial Resources




Industry Discussion Forums ​



​To find grants and funding programs, Innovation Canada's online search tool allows companies to search for relevant funding.

Ontario's Skills Development Fund​ - CLOSED (spring 2021 intake details to be announced soon)

Applications are now open for Ontario's new two-year $115 million Skills Development Fund. The fund will support workers and apprentices and is designed to address challenges brought on by COVID-19  to help reduce obstacles to hiring, training, and retaining workers while simultaneously preparing for the province's economic recovery.

​The Skills Development Fund will accept applications from a wide range of employment and training organization in Ontario, with focus on

  • giving laid-off workers immediate access to training supports or new jobs
  • improving the quality of training
  • reaching out to traditionally underrepresented groups
  • increasing apprentice registrations and completion
  • better serving local communities
  • supporting the talent needs of small businesses

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

Support for a Canadian or provincially incorporated business, co-operative or an Indigenous-owned business located in southern Ontario with 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees. Interest-free loans of up to $60,000 (with up to $20,000 forgivable) are available and funds are administered by Simcoe County CFDCs:

​Should you be interested in a loan of ​more than $60,000 and meet the eligibility criteria outlined on FedDev Ontario’s website, you may wish to apply to FedDev Ontario.

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF)​

A business expansion funding program for large-scale project. It that incentivizes companies to invest in new facilities and equipment. It attracts projects that have a significant impact on business productivity and create new employment opportunities within the company.

To qualify for SWODF funding, Southwestern Ontario businesses must provide a minimum investment of $500,000, have at least 10 employees at the time of application, and commit to creating at least five jobs during the project. 

SWODF will fund up to 15% of project costs. Rolling application deadlines.

Canada Emergency Business Account

Interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to all businesses and not-for-profits to help cover their operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced. Owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll​ are also eligible. Note: repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of up to $20,000.

Apply at https://ceba-cuec.ca

Cana​da Recovery Benefit​​

Income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Apply at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit/crb-how-apply.html​

WILWorks - Student Wage Subsidy for Manufacturers​

* The program was in effect until March 31, 2021.

The Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) WILWorks program provides wage subsidies for student placements in manufacturing and related sectors (e.g. North American Industry Classification - NAICS codes 31-33). ​​The program is offered as part of the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP).

Subsidies are 75% of the cost of wages, up to a maximum of $7,500 per student placement. 

Apply at ​​​https://magnet.whoplusyou.com/lp/emctalent​.​​​

Canada Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program Loans

On February 1, the Canadian HASCAP Loans program is now open and accepting applications.

What is HASCAP? Canadian businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 and the global pandemic can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. The funds are guaranteed by the Canadian government through the BDC.

Find our more information at https://hascap.ca/​

BDC Small Business Loans ​

Loans of up to $100,000, repayable over 5 years that can be used to buy equipment, purchase extra software or hardware, apply for a patent, trademark or, other intellectual property protection.

Apply at ​​​www.bdc.ca/en/financing/business-loans/pages/small-business-loan.aspx​​.​

Ontario's Digital Main Street Grants​

Programs that are designed to help businesses transition online or to enhance their digital presence. The following programs are available:

  • Ontario Grants: ​Providing main street businesses with Digital Transformation training and guidance and provide the opportunity for a grant of up to $2,500.
  • shopHERE: ​​​Providing independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy, no-cost way to get selling online.​
  • Future Proof: Helping businesses identify new markets, pivot their business model, and develop and implement a deep digital transformation plan

Ontario's Main Street Relief Grant: PPE support​

A one-time grant of up to $1,000 to cover the cost of PPE purchased since March 17, 2020. To be eligible, your business must have 2 to 19 employees and be in one of the following sectors:

  • retail
  • accommodation and food services
  • repair and maintenance
  • personal and laundry services
  • gyms and yoga studios
  • arts, entertainment, and recreation.​​​​

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant provides businesses with funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown.

The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20 per cent when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This time period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.

Apply at ​https://www.app.grants.gov.on.ca/msrf/#/​

County of Simcoe 2021 Tourism, Culture, and Support Grant
*Applications are now CLOSED

​We are pleased to announce that the County of Simcoe Tourism, Culture and Sport grant will be reinstated for 2021. In 2020, the County received 99 applications requesting a total of almost $1.1 million in financial support. However, due to COVID-19, in April 2020, Council voted to suspend the Tourism, Culture and Sport Grant and apply the allocated $300,000 for 2020 to the 2021 envelope, increasing the 2021 budget to $600,000.​​​

Applicants can submit more than one application, for a total ask of $10,000. This could be one application asking for up to $10,000 or multiple applications with smaller asks for a combined total of up to $10,000​

Find out more information and the application guidelines at: https://experience.simcoe.​​ca/resources#SCTDF​

Businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures (in areas with modified Stage 2 restrictions or categorized as control or lockdown) can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs.

Eligible businesses could get rebates for:

  • municipal and education property taxes
  • energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil)

Funding will cover the entire length of time that regionally targeted public health restrictions are in place.

Apply at www.app.grants.gov.on.ca/msrf/#/​

CanExport SMEs Fu​nding​

Small and medium sized companies may access up to $75,000 in funding to assist with international market development activities. CanExport covers up to 75% of costs for export marketing of your products and services in international markets where you have little or no sales.​ Must be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP) to be eligible to apply​. 

With international travel restricted due to COVID-19, the CanExport SMEs program is pivoting to now help small businesses:

  • develo​​​p and expand their e-commerce presence by covering partial costs associated with online sales platforms and digital strategy consulting, as well as advertising and search engine optimization​​
  • attend virtual trade shows and other ​business-to-business events
  • navigate new COVID-19-related trade barriers by helping pay for new international market certifications and requirements

Find more information and apply here. 

Provides an up to 75% wage subsidy to employers who keep employees on their payroll and have suffered a decrease to gross revenues​. Available to businesses of all sizes, whether incorporated or unincorporated (i.e., individuals and partnerships), as well as non-profit organizations and charities for up to 12 weeks.

CEWS has been extended until June 2021! Apply at www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html.

Available to Canadian businessesnon-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The subsidy will be availble on a sliding scale to cover a portion of commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021

*On February 24, 2021, the government announced a proposed change. Find out more information on the change here​, and if it applied to your situation you may amend a previously submitted application.

For each claim period, you can claim eligible expenses up to a maximum of:

  • ​ $75,000 per business location (base and top-up)
  • $300,000 in total for all locations (including any amounts claimed by affiliated entities)
    • appli​es to the base subsidy only
    • there is no maximum​​ for the top-up subsidy


For help navigating funding programs, contact edo@simc​oe.ca. The Simcoe EDO has also put together a reference document of Government S​upports for yo​ur Business​​​.

Training & Support

Digital Main Street & Beyond

To help businesses get online, FREE one-on-one training thoughout Simcoe County - not just those on main street. Find more information about the program here: Digital Main Street and Beyond Eligibility Criteria.pdf

To activate easy to use tools and programs such as website support, Shopify, Google My Business, Future Proof Main Street and social media businesses should contact:

Small Business Enterprise Centre​ of Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia at 705-720-2445 or digitalsquad@barrie.ca
(For b​usinesses in the Townships of Springwater, Oro-Medonte, Ramara, Severn,​ Tay and the Towns of Bradford West Gwillimbury, Innisfil and Midland)

South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre on 705-446-3355 or email them at digitalmainst@collingwood.ca.​​
(For businesses in the Townships of Adjala-Tosorontio, Essa, Clearview, and Tiny and the Towns of Collingwood, New Tecumseth, Wasaga Beach and Penetanguishene)


HeyLocal is a Canadian marketplace that helps small and medium-sized businesses. Their mission is to offer a fully local online marketplace with the convenient shopping experience of retail giants, filled with great products sold by vendors within your community. Add your business to HeyLocal for free. ​​Learn more by visiting www.heylocal.ca​

For more information about Digital Main Street & Beyond and HeyLocal watch this 30 minute webinar​.

Ask an Expert Series

The "Ask an Expert" series helps businesses and individuals navigate information and get answers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This ongoing series feature experts on topics like Health and Safety, HR, Accounting, Marketing, Business Planning, Legal, and Mental Health, to name a few. It is a partnership between the County of Simcoe, the Small Business Centre of Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia, South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre, Orillia Area Community Development Corporation, Nottawasaga Futures, North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation and the Centre for Business and Economic Development. 

Learn more about upcoming sessions or watch recordings of previous sessions at www.simcoe.ca/askanexpert​​.

Mental Health Resources

​COVID-19 may cause increased stress and anxiety for businesses, employees, and the general public. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has put together a list of mental health resources to support you during these unprecedented times.

Learn more and stay up to date on these resources by visiting https://occ.ca/covid19-mentalhealthresources/​​.

Checklists for Reopening / Operating During COVID-19

​Self-assessment tools designed to help businesses identify gaps and risks, as well as potential approaches so they can safely resume operations.

Guides for Reopening / Operating During COVID-19

Federal Resources​​​

Service Canada continues to provide critical services online and through their call centres during these extraordinary times, including a number of new virtual “e-services”. See details on virtual services.

​ Toll-free line for Ontario businesses with​​ questions : 1-888-444-3659 .





Visit Experience Simcoe​ for a directory of local producers, restaurants, retailers and more that have pivoted their businesses to offer products and services during this challenging time.  

Industry Discussion Forums ​

  • The Simcoe Entrepreneur Network is a network of community partners within the Simcoe County Entrepreneurship Ecosystem that works together towards improving the communication, collaboration, and consolidation of resources available to better serve entrepreneurs. Join the Simcoe Entrepreneur Network groups on LinkedIn and Facebook​ to connect with local entrepreneurs, ask ques​tions and share resources and advice to help support each other through the COVID crisis.
  • Barrie Manufacturing Portal - a private forum open to Simcoe County manufacturers to share best practices and ideas. Contact edo@simcoe.ca to register. 
  • The Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC)​ has a "Member Needs Help" service to ask questions and share information. This is now open to members and non-members through the pandemic.