The Ontario economy has been closed for some time and businesses are anxious to reopen, but with a potential second wave of COVID-19 expected and no vaccine yet, leaders have made it clear that it will be a while before the province is open for business again. While New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have plans to reopen this month, Ontario is taking a slow and steady approach to easing us back into an open economy.
Late last month, Premier Doug Ford announced a road map to reopening Ontario, which included efforts such as opening public spaces and allowing larger gatherings. Importantly, he announced that businesses will slowly be able to open their doors. Here are the stages within the plan that affect SMEs:
Phase One: Protect and support. This is the phase that Ontario has been in since March.
Phase Two: Restart. This is the phase that will slowly open the province’s economy. Public health and safety remains top priority, and companies should continue working remotely if possible. There are 3 stages within this phase, which will be closely monitored by health officials:
- Stage 1 – open select workplaces. If your business can “immediately meet or modify operations” to meet health and safety guidelines, such as delivery or curbside pick up (if you’re not doing so already), you can reopen.
- Stage 2 – allow more workplaces to open, which may include some service-based industries as well as offices and retail companies
- Stage 3 – relax restrictions on public gatherings, open all workplaces. Large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will be restricted for the foreseeable future.
Phase 3: Recover. This is when the government will instigate the “new normal” while continuing to follow strict health and safety guidelines. Throughout these phases, it’s strongly recommended to continue remote work where possible.
It’s important to keep in mind that these phases are a road map to our future and it will likely fluctuate as health officials monitor the situation. Though planning your business’ future is tough without clear dates for each phase, these precautions are necessary to maintain the health of not only the population, but also Ontario’s economy.
When looking to the future of your business, make sure to plan around these phases. Will you need to hire back staff? Do you qualify for Canada Emergency Business Account or Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance, and will this change if you reopen your storefront and bring in more revenue?
We’ll help you navigate these steps towards reopening the Ontario economy. Whether it’s determining your break-even point, cash-flow management, or applying to the right government subsidies, our team is on your side. Schedule an appointment or give us a call at 647-476-2145 and let’s create your own roadmap for the future.