How to Reopen Safely

Now is the time to get ready to re-open your business. Based on Provincial direction, Stage 1 re-opening is scheduled for June 14 for non-essential businesses at 15% capacity, essential businesses at 25% capacity, and outdoor dining with limits of four people per household per table.

Stage 2 re-opening is scheduled for July 5 for salons and other personal care businesses, expanded outdoor dining, and increased capacity for indoor retail.

While there is no indication these dates will move up, better to be ready sooner, rather than later.

Some suggestions:

Get Vaccinated

For Stage 1 re-openings to take place June 14, Ontario must achieve a 60% 1-dose vaccination rate (plus a 3-week window for the vaccines to become effective); Stage 2 a 70% 1-dose, 20% 2-dose rate etc. So, book your appointment today via the Halton website (for Halton residents), your regional website, or the Ontario booking site.

Stay-at-home Order

A reminder to continue to follow the Provincial stay-at-home order until June 2. This means leaving home for essential trips only, gathering with no more than five people outside only with masks or at a safe distance, and sticking to your own household.

Re-fresh Signage and Websites

Do the work in the background to update your website with new safety protocols, capacity limits, store hours, product photos and other content so you can press ‘publish’ when it’s time. Don’t forget your Google listings.

Post fresh signs on your business door with directions around masks, capacity limits, curbside protocols and hours. Print off the mask sign.  

Stay Current on Local Health Directives

Bookmark the Region of Halton’s COVID resources page to stay current on the local health & safety protocols, now and closer to the re-opening dates when they’ll likely be updated.

Free Rapid Screening Tests

Order free rapid screening tests. They’re meant for non-symptomatic or pre-symptomatic staff. They do not replace regular COVID testing, but are one more tool for businesses to use. More than 15,000 tests have already been distributed to more than 200 local businesses. They are thousands more available for any small- or medium-sized businesses in Oakville thanks to the Oakville Chamber and Town of Oakville. You don’t have to be a Chamber member to get one. Read more about how they work.

Workplace Safety Plan

Ensure you have a COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan implemented to avoid any penalties. The Ontario government has expanded inspections of manufacturing and food processing workplaces, warehouses and distribution centres in Halton, Toronto, Hamilton and regions of Durham, Peel and York through May 28 to uphold the encouraging results previous inspections have delivered.

Learn About the BarterPay® Small Business Grant

BarterPay®, in partnership with the Halton Small Business Centre, will be hosting a virtual Information Session on Wednesday, June 9th at 10:00 am to announce the Halton BarterPay® Small Business Grant Program.

During this webinar, BarterPay® Director of Business Development, Cody Chambers will cover the following:

  • How businesses in Halton can take advantage of the Halton Small Business Grant
  • How the BarterPay® Network works
  • How our current members are using BarterPay®

Register starting May 31 here.

One-on-One Help Navigating Relief Programs

There is free, one-on-one local help available to Oakville small businesses to figure out all the re-opening requirements, Provincial and Federal relief programs, how to apply and what to do when they run out. Businesses can contact the Halton Small Business Centre and leave a voicemail at 905-825-6000 ext. 7900 (someone will respond that day) or email to set up a meeting with a business consultant.

This support is an initiative of the Oakville Economic Recovery & Resiliency Group that includes the Town of Oakville, Halton Region, Bronte Village BIA, Kerr Village BIA, Downtown Oakville BIA, Visit Oakville, and the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.