Business Resources

We're here to help

Whether it's financing, a business mentor or a market analysis, we want to connect you with the support you need to see your business prosper. 

COVID-19: Below are some resources that may help businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. We will make updates as they become available.

Keep up to date on local mandates with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health – www.wdgpublichealth.ca/coronavirus

 Financial Supports and COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

If you have additional resources to share, please email ecdev@wellington.ca.

Local Supports

NEW: i.d.e.a. Fund – Innovation Guelph

i.d.e.a. Fund (inclusion, diversity, environment, acceleration) will provide 120 participants with a non-repayable grant (seed funding) of up to $30,000 with matching funds. It also includes specialized industry expertise to develop growth plans and related strategies in the areas such as talent attraction, product development, commercialization of intellectual property, and market diversification. Applications for the 2022 i.d.e.a. Fund are open from May 10th to June 7th, 2022. Learn more.

NEW: Spark Grants – Our Food Future

A total of $50,000 is available for multiple small-scale food access initiatives. We encourage ideas in the $5,000-$10,000 range and submissions should not exceed $20,000. Anyone can apply, including individuals, non-profits, schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, etc. Application deadline June 3, 2022. Learn more.

NEW: Rapid Response for Business Development (RRBD) Initiative

The Grand River Agricultural Society RRBD Initiative will provide up to $10,000 to support Ontario-based, agriculture, agri-food, agri-products, and clean-tech businesses, as they work with established business connections to advance market opportunities and secure sales for their innovative products, processes, or technologies. The program is designed to enable businesses, with preference to those located in Wellington, Waterloo, and Perth counties, to respond quickly to global market opportunities. Applications now open. Learn more.

Business Resurgence Programme

Saugeen Economic Development Corporation is offering a FREE consulting programme for local small businesses. There are several consulting options available: Business Bootcamp, Business Profit Optimizer, Business Advisor, Digital Marketing Coach, or a membership with the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium. Learn more.

RH Accelerator

Grand River Ag Society (GRAS) and RH Accelerator Inc. announce they will work together and co invest in support of local early stage innovative companies in the agriculture, food and cleantech industries. Learn more or apply to take part.

FedDev Ontario

FedDev Ontario works to create opportunities for economic growth in southern Ontario by helping businesses become more competitive, innovative and productive. See funding opportunities here.

Provincial Supports

Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit - Available to all employers who hire co-op students from an Ontario university. Employers can receive 25% (30% for small businesses) of expenditures back-up to a maximum of $3,000 for each placement. 

Six-month interest- and penalty-free period - The province is providing a six-month interest- and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. The six-month period will begin January 1, 2022 and end July 1, 2022.

Ontario Together Fund - Provides funding to firms and organizations for projects that support either Ontario’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or Ontario’s preparedness for future public health emergencies. Funding may include a conditional grant up to 75% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $2.5M and/or complementary supports and services. Application period open until October 1, 2022.

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund - provides support for projects and investments to businesses, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations for economic development in southwestern Ontario. Application intake opening July 12 – August 25, 2022.

Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund - A cost-sharing program designed to provide non-capital funding to projects that either encourage the development of innovative new tourism products, support tourism investment and/or build the capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry. The program also supports innovative tourism recovery projects aimed at increasing tourism within Ontario to address the reduction in global travel as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Accepting applications on an ongoing basis.

Regional Development Program: Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness Stream - Provides financial support (Up to 15% of eligible project costs) to advanced manufacturing companies with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises across Ontario, to support projects which invest in capital equipment, technology adoption and skills development. Second application period open August 10, 2022 – September 22, 2022.

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Program - Employers can get reimbursed for up to three days pay (max $200/day) paid to employees on paid infectious disease emergency leave until July 31, 2022.

Online Covid-19 Safety Plan Builder - The workplace safety plan builder helps lead businesses through an easy three-step process to help develop a customized plan for your business.

Federal Supports

NEW Canada Digital Adoption Program - provides $1.4 billion in grants and 0% loans to help small and medium-sized Canadian businesses (SME) digitize their businesses. 

  • Grow Your Business Online grant: eligible businesses will receive a micro-grant of up to $2,400 to help with the costs related to adopting digital technologies. Grants will be available through local and regional service providers across Canada. The service providers will also support a network of e-commerce advisors who will advise and help small businesses adopt e-commerce. Apply Now.
  • Boost Your Business Technology grant: eligible businesses can leverage the grant to pay for the services of a digital advisor. These advisors will work with companies to recommend digital pathways and strategies that will help them achieve their business goals and increase their competitiveness in the digital economy. The grant covers up to 90% of the eligible cost of retaining the services of a digital advisor, up to a maximum grant value of $15,000 per SME, to develop a digital adoption plan. Apply Now.

Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) - supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. Contributions to businesses will be either non-repayable contributions up to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible costs OR fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 for up to 75% of eligible costs.

Canada Small Business Financing Program - For small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders. Up to a maximum of $1,000,000 for any one borrower.

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) - Targeted wage and rent support for eligible businesses, charities, and non-profits in the tourism or hospitality sector or those affected by a qualifying public health restriction.

Local Lockdown Program - A way businesses, charities, and non-profits subject to a qualifying public health restriction may be eligible for wage or rent support through the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP), even if they are not in tourism or hospitality.

Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) - Targeted wage and rent support for hard-hit eligible businesses, charities, and non-profits outside of tourism or hospitality that have been deeply affected since the start of the pandemic.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) - Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses. Extended until October 23, 2021. Note: The government is proposing to continue COVID-19 business support programs until May 2022.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations. Note: There are no claim periods for the wage and rent subsidies after period 28 (April 10 to May 7, 2022).

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) - For Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, to keep their operations going. Loans of $60,000,000 and above are being made.

Work-Sharing Program – COVID-19 (WS) - A program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers.

Other Funding and Financial Relief

Health Resources
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph
Province of Ontario
  • Reopening Ontario - Learn about the Roadmap to Reopen, the province’s three-step plan to safely and gradually lift public health measures based on ongoing progress of provincewide vaccination rates and improvements of key public health and health care indicators. Learn more.

  • Ontario Ministry of Health – www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
  • Ontario Workplace PPE Supplier Directory
  • Stop the Spread Business Information Line: 1.888.444.3659
Government of Canada
Agriculture Supports
Food Services

Government of Ontario:

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health:

Food Processing Skills Canada
General Resources
Local Business Resources

Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs)
Focusing on job creation through strategic planning, CDFCs provide funding and advisory services to area businesses.

Business Centre Guelph Wellington
Provides the entry point for entrepreneurship in Guelph and Wellington County, helping individuals get into business for themselves. We support the growth and expansion of small businesses in our region.

Innovation Guelph
Building prosperity for community wellbeing by providing mentorship and business support services that help innovative enterprises start, grow and thrive.

FindYourJob.ca
Employment postings brought to you by the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin

Our Food Future Guelph-Wellington
Our Food Future supports three core priorities in the local food economy: Increasing access to affordable, nutritious food; Supporting new and existing food businesses; and Strengthening regional food system resiliency.

  • COIL - The Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL) is an innovation platform and activation network aimed at creating, proving and scaling transformative solutions that will move Canada toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

    • ReSource Exchange Marketplace - A project of COIL, ReSource Exchange is a free business-to-business marketplace connecting organizations that have food waste and by-products with others that will find use for them. Using ReSource Exchange, businesses can turn their waste into a revenue stream instead of an expense and access new production inputs.

    • Activate Circular Accelerator - Intake closes soon for qualifying food and environment businesses who are ready to scale and become more circular. The Accelerator offers funding of up to $30k as well as training and mentorship.
    • Circulate CoLab - Intake is open now for teams of companies proposing a partnered innovation answering the challenge of increasing circularity in upstream food systems. Three teams will receive $20k to prototype their solution, and will then compete for funding of $100k to scale up into a full demonstration project.
    • Re(PURPOSE) Incubator - Intake is launching this month for qualifying food companies to participate in a waste audit process which can result in a new value stream emerging from unavoidable waste.
  • Circular Economy Digital Passport - The circular economy digital passport provides free access to a diverse community of organizations committed to building a circular economy and connects businesses with programs, business resources, and experts that can support them on their circular journey.

  • Harve$t Impact Community Donation Platform - Harve$t Impact, a project of 10C, is a new community finance intermediary, supporting the goals of Our Food Future in Guelph-Wellington by activating community donations, philanthropy and social finance investments.
Other Resources

Immigrant Services Guelph Wellington - offer settlement services to help immigrants participate fully in Canadian life, as well as Translation and Interpretation Program Services

Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) - not-for-profit organization delivering skills training, consulting, research and insight. 

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) - advocate the importance of tourism as an economic driver and job creator in order to serve the interests of Ontario’s diverse tourism industry and business community.

  • A Three Fires Collaborative Quest - designed to fill critical gaps within the industry and encourage recovery and growth of the province’s tourism workforce by bringing awareness of opportunities to potential Indigenous employees. Participation available for Employers and Employees.
Useful Articles

How to Write a Marketing Plan For Beginners

6 Unique Ways To Promote Your SMB On TikTok

Small Business Budget Template

How to set up an online store

Complying with Provincial Regulations 

Right-To-Disconnect Policy

Employers that employ 25 or more employees are required to have a written policy on disconnecting from work in place for all employees. They are also required to provide a copy of the written policy to all employees.

Employers that employ 25 or more employees on January 1, 2022 have until June 2, 2022 to have a written policy on disconnecting from work in place. Beginning in 2023, and in the years that follow, employers that employ 25 or more employees on January 1 of any year must have a written policy on disconnecting from work in place before March 1 of that year.

The term “disconnecting from work” is defined to mean not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls or sending or reviewing other messages, to be free from the performance of work. It's important to note that as of its passing, there are no explicit requirements in the law as to what a policy must contain.

Writing company policy from scratch can be difficult. You can find the province's guide, detailed regulations, tips and templates below. Please consider obtaining professional legal advice when writing policy if possible.

Right to Disconnect Webinar from RLB - April 20, 12:00pm. During this webinar we will:

  • Define the Right to Disconnect Legislation
  • Inform you of the dates and details employers need to be aware of
  • Discuss helpful tips and suggestions to follow when implementing your policy
  • Review strategies on how to train your employees on these changes
  • Present recommendations for your policy
  • Provide beneficial takeaways
Resources to Support Mental Health for Businesses and Employees
Government Sponsored Mental Health Support
  • Wellness Together Canada ca.portal.gs
    Get connected to mental health and substance use support, resources, and counselling with a mental health professional.
  • Mind Beacon Therapist Guided Programme www.mindbeacon.com
    Offering free mental health support for Ontario residents dealing with stress, anxiety, depression and more, thanks to funding from the Government of Ontario.
  • Connex Ontario www.connexontario.ca/en-ca
    ConnexOntario is an information and referral service, focusing on mental health, addiction and problem gambling services in the province. We are here to support Ontarians via phone, web-chat and email 24/7. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff offer supportive listening to help you discover the resources you need from our comprehensive database.
Access self-led telephone or online therapy
  • Togetherall togetherall.com/en-ca
    An online peer-to-peer support community for your mental health. Moderated 24/7 by trained practitioners who keep members safe, and facilitate the process of people helping people in an online environment.
  • BounceBack bouncebackontario.ca
    A free skill-building programme that adults and youth 15+ can access over the phone. With the guidance of a coach, you’ll work through a series of workbooks at your own schedule, to gain practical skills to better manage low mood, anxiety, worry or stress. You’ll learn things like how to improve your mood by changing the way you think or respond to things. Workbooks and coaching available for youths and adults (15 and older).
Other Mental Health Resources
  • Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington www.here4help.ca/Waterloo-Wellington
    Taking care of our mental health, and discovering our own resilience is even more important now, so that we are able to cope with stress, and care for others who depend on us. Here you can find resources, information, and guidance to help navigate this ‘new and temporary’ normal.
  • eMentalHealth.ca eMentalHealth.ca
    A website dedicated to improving mental health in youth and families. Through this online portal, you can find mental health help in your area and access infosheets on a wide range of topics including stress, understanding mental health disorders, and strategies for caregivers.
  • Think Mental Health www.thinkmentalhealth.ca
    A joint effort from Ontario Health and Safety System Partners to provide business owners with the resources needed to better understand and prevent mental health problems.
  • Ontario Federation of Agriculture www.ofa.on.ca A telehealth line to provide mental wellness support to all Ontario farmers and farm families is now live. Accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in English and French, farmers needing immediate support can call 1-866-267-6255 to speak to a counsellor.
  • The Conference Board of Canada www.conferenceboard.ca From home life to work life and beyond, the pandemic has impacted our collective mental health. The Conference Board of Canada’s ongoing research focuses on understanding those impacts and offering solutions. These mental health resources take a broad view of the mental health impacts amid the pandemic.
  • The Farmers' Toolbox www.thefarmerstoolbox.com
    This website is to serve as a mental health resource database. The information has been curated for farmers, anyone in the agricultural industry and residents of rural Ontario.
  • Canadian Agricultural Safety Association
    The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) is working towards making agriculture a safe and healthy environment to work and live in by helping producers and community partners to see and manage risk. The specific stress related resources that CASA has created include:
  • Do More Ag www.domore.ag/resources
    A not-for-profit organization focusing on mental health in agriculture across Canada. By championing the mental wellbeing of all Canadian producers, Do More Ag is changing the culture of agriculture to one where all producers are encouraged, supported and empowered to take care of their mental wellbeing.
Videos
  • Dr Bill Howatt
    Known as one of Canada’s top experts in mental health issues. See YouTube videos in which he openly shares his vast experience and knowledge. Videos to watch: Mental Health and COVID-19, P.U.R.E., Calm and COVID-19, dealing with Isolation and COVID-19.
  • Dr Mike Evans www.reframehealthlab.com/category/health-picks
    Best known for developing innovative health messaging for the world. To make this happen he brought together creatives, patients, and clinicians in a media lab (now Reframe). Dr Mike has some excellent whiteboard videos on topics such as ‘Mental Health 101’, ‘Science of Happiness’, ‘Depression’ and more.
Resource Guides
Other Related Health Resources
  • Participaction www.participaction.com/en-ca
    A national non-profit organization whose mission is to help Canadians sit less and move more.
  • Unlockfood (formerly Eat Right Ontario) www.unlockfood.ca/en/default.aspx
    Nutrition/Healthy Eating information on nutrition, food and healthy eating, as well as recipes, videos and online tools. There is information on hundreds of topics from A-Z. Focuses on healthy eating throughout the lifecycle (from infants to seniors), and preventing and managing health conditions.
  • Lumino Health luminohealth.sunlife.ca
    Provider and Research Search Tool as well as health guide and health topics.
  • MHCC Workplace Mental Health Winter Mini-Guide  www.theworkingmind.ca
    This mini-guide is designed to help employers provide workers with specific tools and resources during the winter months.
 Shop Local Links
Think Minto First
A one-stop-shop to purchase gift cards from amazing local stores and businesses located in the Town of Minto (Harriston, Palmerston, and Clifford). Visit www.thinkmintofirst.com to learn more.

Make it Mapleton

One convenient spot to buy gift certificates to many local businesses in the Township of Mapleton. Visit www.makeitmapleton.ca to learn more.

Shop Local CW
Purchase gift cards online from businesses in the Township of Centre Wellington (Fergus, Elora and Belwood). Visit www.shoplocalcw.ca to learn more.

Shop Wellington North
Online platform for local businesses in Mount Forest, Arthur and surrounding area to put their products for sale online. Feel free to browse, share and shop on this new platform and help support local! Visit www.shopwellingtonnorth.com.

Shop Local Puslinch
An online platform to support local businesses through gift certificate purchases that can be used right away. Visit www.shoplocalpuslinch.ca to show your support.

Find Local Food with Taste Real
Taste Real Guelph-Wellington has put together a handy list of all Taste Real farms and food businesses with details on how you can purchase from them during COVID-19.

 PPE Resources
 Personal Protective Equipment
  • Premium PromoWorx Inc., Fergus www.premiumpromoworx.com
  • Schelters Stockroom Supply Ltd., Elora (PPE, barriers, signage, cleaning supplies) www.schelterofficeplus.ca
  • Clear Sight & Sound a division of Hall Telecommunication Supply Limited, Guelph-Eramosa (masks, gloves, face shields, disposable coveralls and shoe coverings)
  • William Wood-Write Ltd, Puslinch (disposable non-medial face masks). www.penblanks.ca
  • WC Smith Wholesale, Clifford (gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, wipes and cleaners, face shields, gowns, goggles) www.wcsmith.ca
  • Fusion Products, Cambridge (masks, hand sanitizer, etc.) ppe.fusionproducts.ca
Plexiglas Partitions
Signage
Hand Sanitizer
Ontario.ca PPE Directory
 GovDeals - Surplus Municipal Equipment

The County of Wellington sells its surplus municipal equipment online through GovDeals. GovDeals is an online auction service that allows government agencies to sell their surplus assets via the Internet.

Visit GovDeals to view available County surplus for sale.


Contact the Economic Development Office for more information about doing business in Wellington County at 519.837.2600 X 2614 or by email.

© 2022 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909