Dear Downtown Rideau Business Community,
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we continue to work closely and consistently with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) on the development of protocols and steps that help to keep you, your families, our member companies and employees safe and healthy.
This situation is fluid and recommendations from all levels of government are evolving quickly.
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, urges people to cancel events of all sizes and limit unimportant trips out of their homes, in order to reduce transmission.
Effective immediately until March 31, 2020, in accordance with the State of Emergency requirements:
- CLOSED: Daycares, public facilities, private schools, bars, restaurants and movie theatres.
- REMAIN OPEN: Grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, public transit, construction, and office buildings.
Support for Downtown Rideau Business
Following recent announcements, we are working closely with the City of Ottawa to establish support programs for our business owners, who will be heavily impacted by this next wave of social distancing.
We have created an AT-A-GLANCE list of Downtown Rideau businesses providing services during this time, including food take-out and delivery, on-line shopping and delivery, on-line exercise classes, gift cards and more. Website link. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org you have services to include.
We are creating a SquareSpace e-commerce store (March 21) to list members who have on-line stores to share on our networks, and include in a City of Ottawa economic initiative to support its 19 B.I.A.s. Mayor Watson will be releasing a statement about this initiative on March 20, 2020. If you have an on-line store, we’d like to include your logo and link to your store on our Downtown Rideau on-line store, which is simply a landing page to link to our members’ stores. Our store will reside in a broader on-line store of B.I.A.s that will be promoted by the city and all participating B.I.A.s. To participate, contact email@example.com. Reminder to follow us on social media and our website, and @DowntownRideau with information to share and update.
Economic Partners Task Force
Following a recent joint call with our local B.I.A.’s and economic development agencies, Mayor Jim Watson announced that an Economic Partners Task Force has been created to support small businesses, along with their employees who are hurting deeply as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Task Force will be co-chaired by Mayor Watson and Councillor El-Chantiry and will advise staff in many departments on how the City can help the business community as the pandemic evolves.
Long term, relief funding will need to be in place to support our small businesses and high risk communities being impacted. Rest assured, the Downtown Rideau B.I.A. are contributing to important discussions with our municipal, provincial and federal governments to support future efforts to establish future funding programs that will incorporate tax relief, grants to help meet fixed costs, loans and sick pay coverage.
In the meantime, our local leaders, MP the Honourable Mona Fortier, MPP Lucille Collard and Municipal Councillor Mathieu Fleury, as well as Senior Business Advisor from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Marcelo Grinfeld have all proactively reached out to provide links to important resources to support business continuity for you and your teams.
Our team have rounded up a list of these business continuity and planning tools:
Government of Canada
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Resources for Canadian businesses
Business Development Bank of Canada
Support for Entrepreneurs impacted by coronavirus :
Business continuity plan and templates for entrepreneurs
Export Development Canada
Employment Insurance and Labour and Occupational Health and Safety
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Employment and Social Development Canada
Provincial Links (Ontario):
Ontario Ministry of Health – stats and self assessment tool
Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Pandemic Preparedness for Business
World Health Organization COVID-19 – Business and Employees
Travel restrictions are outlined here;
Credible Sources of Information from our Public Health Officials
Please continue to visit the following credible sources of information and follow updates from Ottawa Public Health, Councilor Sudds and the City of Ottawa for the most accurate information as material information becomes available.
Ottawa Public Health
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ottawahealth
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ottawahealth/
- Web: https://www.ottawapublichealth.ca/coronavirus
Ontario Ministry of Health
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ONThealth
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ONThealth/
- Web: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Health Canada / Public Health Agency of Canada
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/GovCanHealth
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HealthyCdns/
- Web: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
Our team will continue to post updates to the dedicated landing page on the DRBIA website with real time updates and information on COVID-19 recommendations as it relates to our businesses.
Finally, I again want to stress that as the #COVID19 situation unfolds, please be mindful of its impact on your #MentalHealth. It’s normal for situations like this to affect you and it’s completely OK to ask for help. If you need support, Distress Centre Ottawa is available 24/7 at 613-238-3311 or dcottawa.on.ca.
Executive DirectorDowntown Rideau Business Improvement Area