COVID-19: Information for Businesses

Dear Downtown Rideau B.I.A. Members,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we continue to work closely and consistently with all levels of government on the development of protocols and steps that help to keep you, your families, your customers, our member businesses, organizations and employees safe and healthy.  This situation is fluid and recommendations from all levels of government are evolving quickly.

Effective midnight March 24, 2020, in accordance with the Province of Ontario State of Emergency requirements, all non essential businesses are required to close: List of Essential Workplace

Support for Downtown Rideau Business

Following recent announcements, we are working closely with the City of Ottawa to establish economic 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.  Contact if you have services to include.

We created a Downtown Rideau online store (March 21) to list members who have online stores to share on our networks, and include in a City of Ottawa economic initiative for B.I.A.s.  If you have an online store, we’d like to include your logo and link you to our 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 the city and all participating B.I.A.s will promote.  To participate, contact  Reminder to follow us on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and our website and @DowntownRideau with information to share and update.

Mayor’s Economic Partners Task Force

Ottawa’s B.I.A.’s are working with other economic development agencies to create long-term, relief funding to support businesses deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Rest assured, the Downtown Rideau B.I.A. is contributing to these important discussions seeking funding programs that will incorporate tax relief, grants to help meet fixed costs, loans and sick pay coverage. In the meantime, our local leaders, Mayor Jim WatsonMP the Honourable Mona Fortier, MPP Lucille Collard and 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 has prepared the following resource links for your quick reference:

Government of Canada

Provincial of Ontario

City of Ottawa

Other Resources:

Credible Sources of Information

Please continue to visit the above credible sources of information and follow updates from Ottawa Public Health, Councilor Fleury and the City of Ottawa for the most accurate information as it becomes available.  Our team will continue to post updates to the NEWS page on the DRBIA website with real time 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

Hoping you all stay safe and healthy.

Peggy DuCharme

Executive Director, Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area

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Downtown Rideau has played a central role in Ottawa’s commercial and retail sectors since shortly after the area was first settled in 1826. Learn more about our story and purpose.
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