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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses of every size. This page includes information on supports, services and relief programs that can assist business owners as the situation evolves and as the economy re-opens and recovers.

Supports for all business owners

The Halton Small Business Centre is continuing to support Halton small businesses and working with our local community partners during COVID-19. Contact us for more information about our virtual services and programs. We’re here to help!

For more information, visit our Halton Business Blog (external link), follow Halton Business on Twitter (external link), follow Halton Business on Facebook (external link) or email smallbusiness@halton.ca. For more information about supports, programs and opportunities specific to your community, please visit your local municipality’s website.
 

Current situation

  • Halton Region is in Stage 3 of the Framework for Reopening our Province. Stage 3 allows nearly all businesses and public spaces to gradually reopen with restrictions in place, while some high-risk venues and activities will remain closed until they can safely resume operations. Learn more on the Reopening Halton Region page. 
  • Effective July 22, 2020, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering is mandatory in certain enclosed indoor public places in Halton region. On September 16, 2020, Halton Regional Council approved amendments to the by-law. The amended by-law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on September 23, 2020. Some individuals are exempt. Please be kind and support each other. The by-law is in effect until November 30, 2020, unless extended by Regional Council. To learn more, read the by-law or media release. You can also find information and resources for businesses on our Reopening Halton Region page.  
  • Businesses can call the Stop the Spread Information Line at 1-888-444-3659 with any questions about impacts to operations or employment.

Businesses and services not included in Stage 1 and 2 of reopening are to continue to remain closed until July 22, 2020, based on an Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging all aspects of our lives and as an employer, there are steps you can take to support your employee's health and mental well-being during this difficult time.

  • Provide regular communication to your employees regarding steps your workplace is taking to adapt to the pandemic including their expected roles.
  • Offer flexible work options (including working remotely) to staff where possible.
  • Consider reviewing sick leave policies for employees who are ill.
  • Promote your Employee Assistance Program if your employees need additional support.
  • Promote local mental health supports in Halton.

Employers can visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's Preventing COVID-19 in the workplace: Employers, employees and essential service workers page for further information.

If an employee is confirmed positive for COVID-19, the following steps should occur:

  • Employers are not required to report their employees to Halton Region Public Health. Confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 are reported by health care providers and laboratories to public health departments.  
  • Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate at home for 14 days (see Self-isolation tab on halton.ca/COVID19 webpage).
  • Surfaces that were touched by the ill employee should be disinfected (external PDF) as soon as possible.
  • The employee will be asked to inform their employer that they have been confirmed positive for COVID-19. Halton Region Public Health will contact the employee to provide guidance, identify close contacts and perform a risk assessment for all exposures that may have occurred in the workplace. 
  • Halton Region Public Health will work closely with the employee who tested positive to identify all close contacts at work while the case was infectious including: clients, vendors or third-parties. Public Health may contact the employer to assist with identifying close contacts in the workplace as required. Individuals that have had close contact (spent extensive time within 2-metre radius) with the employee may need to take additional precautions, such as self-monitoring for symptoms or self-isolation.
  • If close contacts have been identified and the employee does not have their contact information, the employer will be asked to provide contact information for these individuals. Halton Region Public Health will follow-up with each of these individuals accordingly.
  • In some situations, employers may be directed by Public Health to notify all staff who worked during the exposure dates of their potential risk of infection as directed by Public Health. When notifying staff, employers must maintain confidentiality and not identify the name of the employee who was confirmed positive for COVID-19. In this communication, employers should consider explaining the actions that will be taken to protect the ongoing health and safety of employees (for example, cleaning and disinfection of the workplace).
  • Halton Region Public Health monitors individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts. Public Health will advise these individuals when it is safe for them to return to work.
  • If an employee experiences an occupational illness (from exposure at the workplace) OR files a claim with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (external link), employers are required to provide written notice within four days of learning of the illness to:

Supports for specific industries

Programs for students/youth

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