COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the Uptown Waterloo BIA continues to closely monitor the developments and their impact. Our first priority is to protect the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and membership. We wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on the actions that are being taken by our association.

We have followed the advice of federal, provincial and local governments as well as Public Health. With those recommendations in mind, we have determined that BIA-related events until the end of June are all cancelled or postponed. These events require commitments of time and effort to plan and execute and the hard work of our staff and volunteers does not go unnoticed. We want to thank everyone who has helped and supported these events.

As the situation unfolds, we will continue to monitor the situation and the advice of public health officials.  We may have to make further decisions surrounding our services, events and activities in the future.

We will continue to post all news and updates on this page. 

See which businesses are open and which are closed on the following page:


Video from Virtual Town Hall Meeting

Missed our virtual Town Hall with government officials on June 8? Watch the video of the meeting here. (Password: 4h@$M4%!)


City of Waterloo Support Our Local Economic Recovery (S·O·L·E·R) Initiative

The City of Waterloo’s website is now updated with details of the SOLER initiative; find out how to expand your business offerings during the gradual reopening of Phase 2 through temporary patios, patio expansions, pop-ups for retailers and artisans on private lands and/or municipal lands, or temporarily place a sign on municipal lands to promote and market your business.

Find the information here.

Resources for Businesses

The following resources are specific to COVID-19. 

PPE Suppliers

More Health & Safety Resources

Region of Waterloo:

Province of Ontario:


Workplace Safety & Prevention Service (WSPS) Post-Pandemic Business Recovery Documents:

Retail Council of Canada Recovery Guides:


Guides to Government Support


Destination Ontario

  • Destination Ontario is looking for inspirational and/or entertaining consumer-facing tourism virtual experiences to promote on their platforms. If there is anything from your destination, event, organization or operation that you think would fit the bill (like a live concert, tour, lecture, or other experience) please feel free to send to

If you have an idea for a virtual experience, but need support to get it off the ground please contact Andrea Gardi at Regional Tourism: I would love to discuss how we can partner on that initiative.

For more general and other resources, including free webinars and online workshops, see our Learning Resources for Businesses page. 



    Upcoming Webinars


    Update: July 9 - Ontario Extends Emergency Orders to July 22

    Update: Thursday, July 9, 2020

    Federal Government Update

    Yesterday, Prime Minister Trudeau made remarks updating Canadians on COVID-19, the economy, and strategies to fight racism. 

    Read his speech here


    Provincial Government Update

    The Ontario government, in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force that were made under s.7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 22, 2020. The extension was made to ensure the province maintains the necessary flexibility to protect public health and safety as more businesses reopen and people go back to work.

    Read more about this here


    City of Waterloo Update

    With the new face covering by-law, the City of Waterloo has printed some of the Region’s posters that businesses must post for Monday, and they are available for pick-up at City Hall. (Check in with security at the doors from the parking lot and they will help facilitate.) 

    If you are able to print the posters, they are available for download here


    Supporting Entrepreneurship during the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Global Study of Entrepreneurs’ Resilience and Well-being

    King’s Business School (King’s College London) in the United Kingdom is leading a global wellbeing study on entrepreneurs and their wellbeing. The purpose of this research is to better understand the effect of COVID-19 on entrepreneurs and their business to better support these individuals during the pandemic and afterwards.

    They are looking for self-employed, small to medium-sized business owners, and start-up entrepreneurs (including part-time entrepreneurs) who reside in Canada to participate in a survey that will take about 20 minutes. The survey will ask questions about your business, changes you have made as a result of the pandemic, and your own wellbeing.

    Take the survey here.


    Webinar: COVID-19 Best Practices for Waterloo Region Restaurants

    Thursday, July 16, 10:00 – 11:00 am

    Join #BESTWR for a panel discussion led by Minto Schneider, CEO, Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation. Minto will be joined by Nick Benninger (Fat Sparrow Group), Alex Kastner (Cambridge Mill), Jody Palubiski (Charcoal Group), as well as Public Health and the AGCO, for a conversation on best practices for restaurants in a COVID-19 setting.

    Hear what other restaurants are doing and ask your questions on setting up your patio, public health guidelines, and other new best practices.

    Register here.


    Update: July 8 - Federal Government Provides Fiscal Snapshot

    Update: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

    Federal Government Update

    Today, Finance Minister Bill Morneau presented an economic and fiscal snapshot. The federal government has used its strong fiscal position to stabilize the economy and support Canadians by putting in place the largest economic aid package in generations.

    While the toll of COVID-19 on the broader economy in 2020 is expected to be the largest and most sudden economic contraction since the Great Depression, measures to flatten the pandemic curve in Canada are paying off, and efforts are underway across the country to safely and gradually reopen the Canadian economy. The actions and investments of governments across Canada to date have helped us get this far. But the road towards recovery remains long and uncertain. Today, and in the months to come, our economic health will largely depend on our public health.

    Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is ensuring Canadians have the support they need to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. Representing nearly 14 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP), the Plan includes more than $230 billion in measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians and provide direct support to Canadians, businesses and other employers, and up to $85 billion in tax and customs duty payment deferrals to meet liquidity needs of businesses and Canadian families.

    With comparatively low levels of debt, the Government of Canada has the room to borrow and support the Canadian economy. In fact, even given Canada’s increased borrowing needs due to the COVID-19 response, public debt charges are expected to fall in 2020-21, as a result of historically low borrowing rates.

    Through responsible fiscal management, the government is building a bridge from an emergency to a safer place where we can build a more resilient economy for the future.

    The government will continue to ensure Canadians are supported through this crisis and stands ready to take additional actions to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

    Some stats from the snapshot include: 

    • About 3 million Canadian workers have had their jobs supported through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and that number continues to grow.
    • Over 8 million Canadians were able to pay for groceries and rent because of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
    • Over 680,000 small businesses have received interest-free loans thanks to the Canada Emergency Business Account.
    • 15 million low- and modest-income Canadians have received a special GST credit top-up.
    • 6.7 million seniors who receive the Old Age Security pension will receive a supplementary payment this week.
    • The Federal government has also invested in community organizations that provide services to the most vulnerable, including more than 500 women’s shelters that address the immediate needs of women and children fleeing violence.


    Provincial Government Update

    The Ontario government is taking the first step in a made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery. Today, the province introduced the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, proposed legislation that lays the foundation to restart jobs and development, strengthen communities, and create opportunity for people in every region of the province. 

    If passed, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act will:

    • Restart jobs and development to get Ontario’s economic engine roaring again by getting key infrastructure projects built faster, attracting more jobs and investment, and cutting red tape to help businesses adapt to the new environment.
    • Strengthen communities by ensuring municipalities are equipped with the tools they need to continue to provide the critical services people rely on every day, including allowing municipalities and their local boards to continue to choose to hold meetings electronically at any time and putting in place a new community benefits charge to help municipalities pay for the infrastructure and services needed for growing communities.
    • Create opportunity for people as they recover their lives and livelihoods by protecting consumers, modernizing services, improving the education system and removing the social and economic barriers that stand in the way of success for young people.

    Read more about this here and here

    Update: July 7 - Region of Waterloo Council Adopts Mask By-law

    Update: Tuesday, July 7, 2020

    Provincial Government Update

    Today, the Ontario government introduced proposed legislation that, if passed, would give the province the necessary flexibility to address the ongoing risks and effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. The proposed legislation is part of the government’s plan for the continued safe and gradual reopening of the province once the declaration of emergency ends.

    Details about the proposed legislation were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

    The Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 would, if passed, ensure important measures remain in place to address the threat of COVID-19 once the provincial declaration of emergency has ended.

    Specifically, the legislation would:

    • Continue emergency orders in effect under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) under the new legislation for an initial 30 days.
    • Allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to further extend these orders for up to 30 days at a time, as required to keep Ontarians safe.
    • Allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to amend certain emergency orders continued under the EMCPA if the amendment relates to:
      • labour redeployment or workplace and management rules;
      • closure of places and spaces or regulation of how businesses and establishments can be open to provide goods or services in a safe manner;
      • compliance with public health advice; or
      • rules related to gatherings and organized public events.
    • Not allow new emergency orders to be created.
    • Allow emergency orders to be rescinded when it is safe to do so.

    The ability to extend and amend orders under the new legislation would be limited to one year, unless extended by the Ontario legislature. Appropriate oversight and transparency would be ensured through regular, mandated reporting that provides the rationale for the extension of any emergency order. The legislation would include the same types of provisions on offences and penalties as set out under the EMCPA to address non-compliance with orders.


    Region of Waterloo Update

    Regional Council adopted two bylaws that require face coverings in the following locations, with some exceptions:

    • Buses, bus shelters, ION trains and ION platforms
    • Stores and shopping malls
    • Indoor areas of restaurants and bars, with the exception of patrons consuming food/drink
    • Professional services such as counselling, personal care, funeral homes, repair and rental services
    • Lobby areas of commercial buildings
    • Hotels and motels, with the exception of rented rooms
    • Laundromats
    • Indoor areas of fitness centres, gyms and recreational and sports facilities
    • Indoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas
    • Arcades and other indoor amusement facilities
    • Museums, galleries, historic sites, etc.
    • Places of worship
    • Municipal buildings 

    More detail, including exceptions and by-law language can be found on the Region’s website.

    The by-laws take effect July 13, 2020. The by-laws will be repealed on September 30, 2020 unless extended by Council.

    The by-laws exempt children under the age of five, those who are unable to wear a face covering as a result of a medical condition or a disability and those engaged in sport or strenuous physical activity. In addition, the by-laws do not cover federal or provincial buildings, colleges, universities or schools, hospitals or health facilities, employee-only areas of businesses and other buildings.

    The Region will be undertaking an education campaign on the face covering by-laws in the coming weeks that will include website and social media messaging, digital advertising, distribution of mask by-law posters and decals to businesses and supplying free masks to riders at transit stations.

    City of Waterloo – Princess Street Closure

    The City of Waterloo will temporarily close Princess Street, located between King and Dorset streets, on July 9 to motorized vehicles to create a people-friendly space and enable on-street dining served by local businesses.

    The two-month closure is supported by the BIA and is aligned with the city’s Active Transportation focus. Picnic tables will be added. 

    Update: July 6 - Ontario Launches Online Training to Promote Safe Workplaces

    Update: Monday, July 6, 2020

    Provincial Government Update

    Ontario Launches Online Training to Promote Safe Workplaces

    As the province safely and gradually reopens, the Ontario government is investing $3 million to provide free online health and safety training for the first time. These virtual courses will make it easier for job seekers and workers to get essential qualifications, while practising physical distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

    Up to 100,000 job seekers can now take free online workplace health and safety training through Employment Ontario. There are 10 courses on offer, which include topics such as infection control, conducting health and safety incident investigations, ladder safety, slips, trips and falls prevention, and preventing workplace violence and harassment. Job seekers should contact an Employment Ontario service provider in their area to enroll.

    In addition, worker and employer members of Joint Health and Safety Committees can now use video conferencing to take training in real-time with qualified instructors from training providers approved by Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer. The training includes sessions on how to establish a Health and Safety Committee, resolving health and safety issues, workplace inspections, and accident investigations.

    Government Proposes Made-in-Ontario Plan for Growth, Renewal and Economic Recovery

    The Government of Ontario has developed a made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery. This plan includes measures that would make it easier and faster to build provincial highways, major transit infrastructure projects and quality, affordable housing, while ensuring there are meaningful opportunities for community consultation and input.

    Read more about this here.



    City of Waterloo Update

    Effective July 1, 2020, City of Waterloo gradually reinstated permit parking fees and parking enforcement. 

    In April 2020, City of Waterloo Council approved a financial relief package to support local businesses and residents dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This package included among other things, waiving the monthly parking permit fees for municipal parking lots for the months of April, May and June 2020. 

    As the province moves through stage 2 of the pandemic recovery phase and more local businesses open up, the city will slowly transition back to normal permit parking fees and enforcement operations. 

    Effective July 1, 2020, parking permit holders are now required to pay for their permits using the following phased-in schedule: 

    • July: 25 per cent of market rate
    • August: 50 per cent of market rate
    • September: 75 per cent of market rate
    • October: 100 per cent of market rate

    Also effective July 1, payment of hourly fees is required. 

    In order to ensure consistent and fair use of municipal parking lots and the streets adjacent to the lots, parking enforcement will recommence as of July 7, 2020, also using a phased-in approach. For the first two weeks of July, parking enforcement officers will issue warning tickets only, and will begin issuing full parking tickets later in the month.  

    Overnight on-street parking enforcement will recommence later this summer. 

    For more information about parking in Waterloo, please visit


    If you would like to purchase tokens for the Uptown parkade, please contact the office first to make an appointment: 519-885-1921. The BIA’s summer hours are Mon-Thurs 8:30 am-5 pm; Fri 8:30 am-12 pm. 

    Update: July 3 - Prime Minister Announces Upcoming Virtual Retreat

    Update: Friday, July 3, 2020


    Federal Government Update

    The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that he will hold a virtual Cabinet retreat and a Cabinet meeting next week.

    During the retreat, the Prime Minister and ministers will discuss how we move forward and continue to take concrete actions needed to fight racism in Canada, prepare for a potential second wave of COVID-19, and safely restart the economy.

    As the Government of Canada continues to address the health, safety, and economic impacts of COVID-19, the retreat is an opportunity to continue our work to gradually and safely restart our economy in a way that benefits all Canadians, and look at how we can make our country more resilient to future waves of the virus. The government will also look at ways to better address discrimination and systemic racism in our institutions, because we know that there is still a lot of work to do to make this country fairer and more equal for everyone.

    The Government of Canada will continue to work closely with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous peoples, racialized Canadians, stakeholders, and Canadian businesses on these and other important issues.


    Provincial Government Update

    Ontario Supporting Restaurants as Province Safely Reopens

    Office of the Premier

    TORONTO — The Ontario government is helping restaurant and bar owners reopen and safely serve more customers by issuing a new emergency order and amending another under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which will allow municipalities to quickly pass temporary bylaws for the creation and extension of patios and allow covered outdoor dining areas to serve customers.

    This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health to keep the people of Ontario safe as the province continues to recover and resume activities as part of Ontario’s Framework for Reopening the Province.

    “Businesses across the province are demonstrating that we can still enjoy our beautiful Ontario summer while protecting the health and safety of their patrons,” said Premier Ford. “Restaurants and bars are an important part of our economy, and a great driver of employment. I am proud to say that we will continue to support them as our province reopens and recovers.”

    Under the Planning Act, the process to pass temporary use bylaws to create or extend a patio could take several weeks or more. As restaurants are currently only permitted to host dine-in guests on outdoor patios under Stage 2, this exemption under the emergency order will cut red tape and reduce the process time for passing these bylaws to a matter of days. Municipalities would still be responsible for compliance activities and ensuring proper health and safety practices, like proper physical distancing.

    The government also amended an emergency order to clarify that outdoor dining areas can open if they have a roof, canopy, tent, awning or other covering. At least two full sides of the outdoor dining area must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked in any way. If the outdoor dining area has a retractable roof, the roof must be fully open and at least one full side must be open to the outdoors and must not be substantially blocked in any way.

    Most of Ontario has moved into Stage 2 recovery, except for the Municipality of Leamington and the Town of Kingsville, which remain in Stage 1.

    On June 24, Ontario announced the extension of the Declaration of Emergency to July 15, allowing the province to continue to make or amend emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The government continues to review all these emergency orders to determine when and if it is safe to amend or lift them as restrictions are eased and more places in the province reopen in a safe and measured way.

    A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and at



    Additional Resources

    Update: July 2 - Digital Main Street Support Available Now

    Update: Thursday, July 2, 2020


    Federal Government Update

    Canada Extends Mandatory Requirements Under the Quarantine Act for Anyone Entering Canada

    Today, the Government of Canada extended the Emergency Order requirements related to mandatory isolation and quarantine until August 31, 2020, for travellers entering Canada. Anyone entering Canada—whether by air, land or sea—will continue to be required to isolate for 14 days if they have COVID-19, or have reasonable grounds to suspect that they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or quarantine for 14 days if they do not have signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The Order also clarifies when travellers are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering. This includes a new requirement for individuals who are otherwise exempt from quarantine to wear a non-medical mask or face covering when in public settings if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

    Border measures prohibiting foreign nationals from entering Canada from any country other than the United States subject to certain limited exceptions—which are generally not applicable for optional or discretionary purposes, such as tourism, recreation and entertainment—have also been extended until July 31, 2020.

    Border measures restricting all non-essential travel, including tourism and recreation, across the Canada-US border remain in effect until July 21, 2020.

    Statistics Canada Survey

    Statistics Canada is asking about the challenges of living with a long-term condition or disability during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how that has impacted employment, household expenses, and access to health services. Anybody living in Canada who has a long-term condition or disability, including undiagnosed or non-visible, can participate. Caregivers may also respond on behalf of someone who cannot participate on their own, including their children. Please take a few minutes to share your insights, and forward this link to anyone who may be interested in the topic – the more people who participate, the better the data.

    Take the survey here


    Provincial Government Update

    Ontario Courts Gradually Resuming In-Person Proceedings

    Ontario courts will begin resuming in-person proceedings across the province on Monday, July 6, 2020. The gradual reopening of courtrooms will include strict health and safety protocols to protect staff and everyone required to attend a courthouse from COVID-19.

    To help maintain physical distancing, plexiglass barriers are being installed in courtrooms, interview rooms, intake offices and at public counters. Everyone who visits a courthouse will be required to wear a face covering and will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. 

    Read more about this here



    Region of Waterloo Public Health – Patios

    Questions or complaints about patios?

    Call Public Health at 519 575 4400 or fill out the form on their Check It! We Inspect It website. 


    Willis Way Summer Closure and Uptown Open-Air Market

    To align with the City of Waterloo’s focus on active transportation and enable a people-friendly space over the summer, the city will be temporarily closing part of Willis Way, from the Rainbow Crosswalk to Caroline Street, to motorized vehicles starting on July 8. The closure is planned to stay in effect for two months.

    Picnic tables will be added for passive use for people and for anyone who purchases take-out at one of our many amazing Uptown eateries. The city will be installing street signs later today – to help inform the public.

    In addition, to help add to the vibrancy of Uptown this summer, the Uptown BIA will be hosting the Uptown Open-Air Market on Wednesday evenings in July and August from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. along Willis Way. The first market will occur on July 8. As per consultations with Public Health, the market will be opened in stages with phase 1 including local food, retail and artisan vendors.

    As part of phase 2 (when restrictions relax further), the BIA will look to add a takeout food program and encourage sidewalk sales and music. The entrance to the market will be on Caroline St. at Willis Way and the exit at King St. Vendors will be located on the north side of the street only (directly on the street and not on sidewalks out front of businesses) and directional signage will be provided to ensure proper flow of visitors. Volunteers and staff will be onsite to manage the number of visitors, offer hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving and provide reminders about physical distancing.

    More information can be found on the BIA website HERE. If you are interested in being an Uptown Open-Air Market vendor or have any questions, please contact Dawne at


    Digital Transformation Grants – Available July 1

    Digital Main Street‘s Digital Transformation Grants are now available! Apply for a website grant of up to $2,500 with training and guidance. Apply here

    More from Digital Main Street

    Coming Soon: Future Proofing Main Street

    Future Proofing Main Street is a program that assists businesses with identifying new markets, pivoting their business model, and developing and implementing a deep digital transformation plan. Stay tuned for news when it becomes available! 


    Canada Post Small Business Stimulus Offer

    Advantedge Mailing Solutions is proud to partner with Canada Post on their THINK SMALL small business stimulus offer. Take advantage of Canada Post’s SOLO mailing offer and receive FREE POSTAGE on a one time Neighbourhood Mailing of up to 6,000 pieces.

    Learn more here

    Update: June 30 - Ontario Encourages Support of Local Small Businesses

    Update: Tuesday, June 30, 2020


    Federal Government Update

    The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding all travellers, ahead of the July 1 (Canada) and July 4 (United States) holidays, that travel restrictions are still in place at all Canadian international border crossings.

    These measures remain in place until at least July 21.

    Read more about this here


    Provincial Government Update

    Ontario Encourages Support of Local Small Businesses

    The Ontario Government is celebrating International Small Business Week with the launch of the “Shop Local! Shop Safe! Shop with Confidence!” campaign, encouraging Ontarians to support their local small businesses and to shop safely while doing so.

    The province’s campaign asks for mayors, local leaders and groups to support our small businesses by committing on social media to “Shop Local, Shop Safe, Shop with Confidence,” while highlighting the best practices put in place by businesses to help keep shoppers safe while ensuring that the reopening of Ontario continues to be a success. For example, the principles of the People Outside Safely Together (POST) Promise encourage small businesses to strictly follow health guidelines and reopen with appropriate measures in place, so consumers can shop safely and with confidence, including:

    • Washing and sanitizing hands
    • Maintaining physical distancing
    • Staying home if unwell
    • Practicing respiratory etiquette
    • Cleaning and disinfecting regularly

    Read more about this here.

    Ontario Celebrating Canada Day with Free Parks Admission and Extending Free Family Fishing

    The Ontario government is celebrating Canada Day by offering free day use at all provincial parks, and beginning on July 4, 2020, the province is offering free fishing for two weeks, double the length of last year. In addition, numerous Ontario attractions have special virtual experiences and events planned for July 1, 2020 which will help showcase Ontario’s artistic and musical excellence.

    Read more about this here

    See what Waterloo is doing for Canada Day below. 

    City of Waterloo Update

    The City of Waterloo is excited to announce an online event in celebration of Canada Day. 

    On July 1, the community is invited to join together to watch a video featuring local artists and musicians, with appearances by Mayor Jaworsky and city councillors. 

    The video is the official release of the “O Canada” anthem led by award-winning Artists in Residence Richard Burrows and Christa Mercey. The anthem is a compilation of video submissions from community members as they watched Burrows and Mercey’s instructional videos and used their personal musical instruments to participate in the creation of the song. Interested community members can still participate in this project – visit the Artist in Residence webpage to find out more. The project will also continue after July 1 with the creation of a new song, “We Are Waterloo”. 

    The Canada Day video celebration will begin at 4 p.m. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will count down to the fireworks which are scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. Residents are encouraged to download the snapd HUB augmented reality platform and hold their phones and tablets to the sky to see the fireworks display right in their own backyard. The virtual fireworks will be available to re-watch until July 4.

    The City of Waterloo’s Canada Day Community Celebration is made possible, in part by the Government of Canada’s Celebrate Canada program.

    Canadian Heritage’s Virtual Canada Day

    • Celebration Kit: Check out Canadian Heritage’s Celebration Kit with 30+ activities you can do to in the comfort of your home! Celebration Kit website: 
    • Virtual Broadcasts: On July 1st, engage in artistic performances from iconic Canadians coast to coast to coast! At 1 p.m. EST with hosts Serena Ryder and Pierre-Yves Lord, , discover talented artists from Sudbury, Montréal, Québec, Moncton, Winnipeg, Yellowknife and Calgary. At 8 p.m. EST an artistic collaboration of performers from across Canada. Let yourself be entertained in the comfort of your home. The night winds up with a montage of the best Canada Day fireworks from past years. Show information website:
    • Video Capsules: Canada! Let’s get Together! Starting June 29th, you can jump into the online activities and explore different facets of Canada with renowned Canadian personalities such as Chef Ricardo, former football player Étienne Boulay and travel vlogger Gunnarolla. Video capsule website:
    Update: June 29 - Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Extended

    Update: Monday, June 29, 2020

    Federal Government Update

    Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) Extended

    Today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program will be extended by one month. The CECRA for small businesses provides relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to:

    • reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants
    • meet operating expenses on commercial properties

    Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020.

    Learn more here.


    Reminder: GST/HST and Customs Duty Payment Deferral Ending June 30

    On March 27, the government announced that it would allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments, as well as customs duty payments owed for imports, until the end of June. The money this left in the pockets of business owners – the equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans – helped them continue to pay their employees and their bills, and helped ease cash-flow challenges across the country.

    Today, with a broad range of measures and support programs now in place to help and provide assistance to those businesses and individuals most affected by the economic impacts of the pandemic through the COVID -19 Economic Response Plan, the GST/HST and customs duty payment deferral is ending as planned on June 30.

    Businesses that continue to experience difficulty in remitting GST/HST and customs duty amounts owing can contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to make a request for the cancellation of penalties and interest, and/or for a flexible payment arrangement with the CRA.


    Government of Canada and Provinces Implement Digital Business Registration Solution

    In an effort to make it simpler and faster to start a business in Canada, governments across the country have together developed and launched a digital solution to improve business registration, saving businesses time and money.

    The digital solution, called the Multi-Jurisdictional Registry Access Service (MRAS), reduces red tape and internal trade barriers for companies by connecting business registries across the country. It enables businesses in Canada to register seamlessly in select provinces and territories without having to provide the same information to each jurisdiction.

    Today, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have become the first jurisdictions to adopt the MRAS digital solution to connect their business registries and exchange information. This means businesses will find it easier to register in those provinces now and in other jurisdictions in the future. The adoption of MRAS by the western provinces is an extension of the MRAS-enabled Canada’s Business Registries, a free online search platform of Canadian businesses launched in 2018.

    MRAS is the result of a pan-Canadian collaboration led by the federal government to make it easier for companies to register and do business with government and to increase corporate transparency. Under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement’s Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table, jurisdictions across Canada have endorsed an agreement to reduce internal trade barriers by collaborating in the adoption of MRAS.


    Provincial Government Update

    The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders currently in force that were made under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until July 10, 2020, while removing restrictions that were limiting access to certain sport training facilities. This decision was made in consultation with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to ensure the safe and gradual reopening of the province on a regional basis can continue as part of Ontario’s Framework for Reopening the Province.

    Read more about this here.


    Save Our Shops: Providing Relief to Small Businesses

    In response to the challenges many small businesses have faced as a result of COVID-19, four of Canada’s leading crowdfunding platforms have teamed up to provide new funding options through a national initiative called Save Our Shops, which will launch in early July.

    Through this initiative small businesses and social enterprises will be able to:

    • Run donations, rewards, or debt crowdfunding campaigns for their enterprise;
    • Create a free listing to let people know they are ‘Open for Business’ and show them on an interactive map; and
    • Access additional funds through the Canadian Small Business Relief Bond at a modest interest rate, repayable at any time without penalty.

    Learn more here.

    Update: June 26 - CEBA Open for Applications Through Large Banks

    Update: Friday, June 26, 2020



    Federal Government Update

    The expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is now open for applications through Canada’s large banks.

    As of June 26, 2020, businesses eligible for CEBA now include owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll. Applicants will have to demonstrate having eligible non-deferrable expenses between Cdn.$40,000 and Cdn.$1,500,000 in 2020.

    The expanded CEBA is being made available gradually by more than 230 financial institutions across the country, starting with the larger banks.  Other participating financial institutions will start offering the program over the coming weeks.

    For more information, visit


    Region of Waterloo Update – Public Health Virtual Town Hall

    Waterloo Region Public Health held a virtual Town Hall on Thursday, June 25 with Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hsiu Li Wang. The session saw a lot of good discussion and questions and we hope that the businesses who attended found it valuable.

    If you were unable to attend, you can view a recording of the meeting here

    You can also still provide your feedback and ask questions in this survey

    Questions and comments can also be sent directly to Laura Philippe:




    Update: June 25 - Regional Staff to Prepare Mask By-law Options

    Update: Thursday, June 25, 2020


    Federal Government Update

    Today the Prime Minister announced the launch of the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), which will support post-secondary students and recent graduates as they volunteer to serve in their communities’ COVID-19 response and gain valuable experience at the same time. The CSSG will provide these volunteers with a one-time payment of between $1,000 and $5,000 based on the number of hours they serve. To find not-for-profit organizations looking for help during the pandemic, post-secondary students and recent graduates can use the new I Want to Help platform, which also launched today.

    The Government of Canada is also helping young Canadians find paid work placements and get the skills they need to start their careers.

    Read more about this here.


    Region of Waterloo Update – Council Info from June 24, 2020

    Regional staff to prepare mask by-law options

    Council directed staff to draft options for regulatory by-laws that would require mask-wearing on transit and in indoor settings. Staff will prepare options for Council to consider at a special meeting on July 6 or 7.

    Temporary bike lanes approved

    Regional Council approved the rapid implementation of temporary active-transportation infrastructure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After an overwhelming response to public consultation on the Region’s Engage platform, curb lanes on the following Regional roads will be temporarily closed until October 31, 2020 and turned into dedicated bike lanes:

    • King Street/Coronation Boulevard/Dundas Street from Bishop Street to Beverly Street, Cambridge;
    • Westmount Road from Block Line Road to University Avenue, Kitchener and Waterloo;
    • Frederick Street from Weber Street to Lancaster Street, Kitchener;
    • Erb Street from Westmount Road to Caroline Street, Waterloo;
    • Erb Street from Peppler Street to Margaret Avenue (one lane only), Waterloo; and
    • Bridgeport Road, King Street to Margaret Avenue (one lane only), Waterloo.

    These road-space re-allocations will create 30 kilometres of new temporary bike lanes on Regional roads. Regional staff will coordinate this initiative with staff from the three cities to help ensure good collaboration and to take advantage of possible connections with facilities on city roads.

    Find more news from the Region of Waterloo here

    Update: June 24 - Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to July 15

    Update: Wednesday, June 24, 2020


    Provincial Government Update

    In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government has extended the provincial Declaration of Emergency under s.7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to July 15, 2020. This extension, approved by the Ontario Legislature earlier today, provides Ontario with the additional time, flexibility, and the necessary tools to safely and gradually allow more places to reopen, while continuing to support front line health care providers in the fight against COVID-19.

    Read more here


    City of Waterloo Update

    The City of Waterloo is recruiting residents to become neighbourhood leaders for a block connector program called Hey Neighbour! 

    This program aims to build relationships between neighbours by sparking neighbourhood community-building by connecting neighbours residing in close proximity to each other to:

    • share information;
    • support one another; and
    • build a sense of community in good times and challenging ones.

    Apply today to be a block connector! The first round of applications will be accepted until June 25 at midnight.


    The Summer 2020 Uptown Patio Map is Now Live!

    The Summer 2020 Uptown Patio Map is now live! (Click on the image above to enlarge.) You can find the map on the Uptown website here:

    We will begin to share the map on our social feeds in the coming days. If you notice your business is on the map and there is an error, or if your business is not on the map and it should be, please contact Natalie Gallo, Marketing & Communications Manager:


    Dux: Your Local City Guide

    Interested in sharing your recent local small business innovations and genius with like-minded companies and becoming momentarily famous?  Guelph-based mobile app development company Midnight Illusions Ltd. has been publishing a video blog over the past few months.  The goals are to interview a variety of businesses and organizations that have successfully pivoted during these the past few months and share positive stories, to encourage ongoing idea and creativity exchange and collectively lifting everyone up.  Browse recent video interviews here:

    There’s no cost to anyone and Midnight Illusions volunteers their time for all of this.  It’s just one small way they’re working to support local small businesses.

    For more details, contact Vik at 

    Update: June 23 - Region of Waterloo Public Health Virtual Town Hall Thursday, June 25

    Update: Tuesday, June 23, 2020


    Federal Government Update

    Today, the Federal government announced that they are extending the time period for temporary layoffs to allow employers more time to recall laid-off employees. Prior to these changes, employers covered by the Canada Labour Standards Regulations could temporarily lay-off their employees for 1) up to three months if no notice with a recall date was provided or 2) for a period of up to six months if notice was provided with an expected recall date, before the lay-off became a termination. These changes temporarily extend the lay-off time periods by up to six months. Find more information about this here.

    For reference, on June 1, the Ontario government announced a temporary change to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) that put non-unionized employees covered under the ESA who have had their hours reduced or eliminated due to COVID-19 on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave. This change was implemented to ensure that businesses are not forced to terminate employees after their ESA temporary layoff periods have expired. For more information about this, please see the June 1 announcement.


    Region of Waterloo Public Health Virtual Town Hall 

    Thursday, June 25, 10:30 – 11:30 am

    Public Health is looking to engage the business community to strengthen the adoption of recommended public health measures in business settings, including physical distancing, the wearing of cloth masks, and hand washing by staff and patrons. Public Health also would like to hear from the business community regarding what has worked well and what challenges they have encountered in their efforts to enable these practices among patrons and staff.

    This will be a great opportunity for our business community to have a direct conversation with public health and to provide feedback and input on the recent public health measures that have been employed as a result of the pandemic.  

    Register here


    Uptown BIA Office Update

    Starting this week, one member of the BIA team will be in the office during the following summer hours:

    Monday – Thursday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
    Friday 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

    If you need to come into the office to purchase Uptown dollars and/or parkade tokens or for any other reason, please call the office at 519-885-1921 or email us at to make an appointment. 



    City of Waterloo Update

    Financial impact of COVID-19 and extension of tax relief for residents

    COVID-19 is taking a financial toll on city finances due to the delivery of needed tax relief to residents who are challenged by the impacts of COVID-19.
    The city will lose approximately $5.3 million in tax based lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 15 to July 31. The city has implemented a number of cost cutting measures to reduce the deficit to an expected $2.6 million.
    Council also unanimously approved additional relief measures, specifically:

    • 75 per cent discount on the Uptown monthly parking permit fees for the month of July 2020
    • 50 per cent discount on the Uptown monthly parking permit fees for the month of August 2020
    • 25 per cent discount on the Uptown monthly parking permit fees for the month of September 2020

    Greater details can be found on the city’s website: Financial Impact of COVID-19 – update #3, page 93.


    Waterloo celebrates Canada Day with online event

    The City of Waterloo is excited to announce an online event in celebration of Canada Day. 

    On July 1, the community is invited to join together to watch a video featuring local artists and musicians, with appearances by Mayor Jaworsky and city councillors.

    Read more about this here


    Uptown Rocks!

    Gratitude Garden Social Media Campaign

    The BIA has created a social media campaign to show gratitude and encouragement to front line workers, businesses and residents in Uptown Waterloo: Uptown Rocks!

    The Uptown Rocks campaign encourages members of the community to find a rock at their home and paint it with encouraging or inspirational words and/or images. In the next few weeks, they will be invited to drop off their completed work of art at a participating business (TBA). The BIA team will collect the rocks and on a date to be determined, will arrange the rocks in a large heart formation in the Waterloo Public Square to show our gratitude to those in Uptown who have helped us through the challenges of COVID-19. The heart will be captured in an aerial photograph and shared with our community.

    If you have questions about the campaign or would like your business to be a drop-off point, contact Dawne Taylor-Gilders:


    Laurier Honours Pride Month with Research Feature

    June is Pride Month and Wilfrid Laurier University is proud to highlight some of its students and faculty members studying issues that affect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+) individuals and communities.

    Learn more about the researchers and their work here

    Update: June 22 - Waterloo Region Public Health Introduces #FaceMaskFriday

    Update: Monday, June 22, 2020


    Provincial Government Update

    The Ontario government is allowing more businesses and services to open and getting more people back to work by moving the City of Toronto and Peel Region into Stage 2 on Wednesday. This decision was made in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the local medical officers of health. It is based on positive local trends of key public health indicators, including lower transmission of COVID-19, ongoing hospital capacity, public health capacity to do rapid case and contact management, and a significant increase in testing.

    Read more about this here.


    Region of Waterloo Update

    As you may recall, on June 17, the Ontario government extended all emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This extension will be in effect until June 30, 2020 to ensure the government continues to have the necessary tools to safely and gradually reopen the province.

    And last week Waterloo Region moved into Stage 2 of reopening allowing a number of places in the Region to reopen and resume business. As such, Region of Waterloo Public Health has developed a number of resources to help business safely reopen and welcome customers.

    This guidance information can be found on the Region of Waterloo Workplace Webpage.

    Guidelines on how to develop your COVID-10 workplace safety plan and  additional sector specific resource documents can be found on the Government of Ontario website.

    Region of Waterloo guidelines and Ministry of Education guidelines are available for child care facilities that are reopening and can be found on the Region of Waterloo Child Care and Daycare Centres webpage.

    Since the declaration of emergency was made 3 months ago,  Waterloo Region has made significant positive progress in getting COVID-19 under control. As businesses begin to reopen, we must continue to be vigilant and follow public health guidelines to protect our community. Region of Waterloo Public Health strongly recommends that our residents wear a mask in all places where physical distancing cannot be guaranteed, including in indoor settings and on public transit.

    On Friday, Region of Waterloo Public Health launched their Face Mask Friday campaign in an effort to normalize mask-wearing as part of our new reality. To participate, they are encouraging anyone who is out in the community to share a photo of themselves wearing their face mask and tag @ROWPublicHealth and use #FaceMaskFriday to show your support. All businesses are encouraged to participate and share this message with their customers.


    Uptown’s Come Back Up Fund Now Available!

    A few weeks ago, the BIA announced the creation of the Come Back Up Fund to assist Uptown businesses with costs associated to changes they have made to their business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Good news – that funding is now available! 

    Visit our website to learn how it works and apply.

    Previous Updates

    Uptown BIA Office

    The City of Waterloo has reopened City Hall to the public as of Monday, June 15. As of Monday, June 22, one member of the BIA team will be in the office (while the rest of the team continues to work remotely) during the following summer hours:

    Monday – Thursday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
    Friday 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

    If you need to come into the office to purchase Uptown dollars and/or parkade tokens or for any other reason, please call the office at 519-885-1921 or email us at to make an appointment.


    Regarding Spotlight Waterloo Events/Funding:

    We will continue to assess information collected by the Region of Waterloo Public Health, Destination Ontario and Destination Canada and update the status of upcoming events.

    If you have received Spotlight Waterloo funding and are considering cancelling your event, please send us communication in writing as soon as possible so that we can work together to come up with an action plan. This may include re-scheduling your event – in which case you may still be entitled to the approved funding.

    If re-scheduling your event is not an option, and you have received 50% of your approved Spotlight funding, we will require the 50% funding deposit returned to us and will require submission of a new Spotlight application if you are planning to run your event at a later date.

    Financial Support for Businesses and their Employees

    For employees:

    • To help businesses hold on to their employees, the federal government is providing a temporary wage subsidy equal to 75% for the first $58,700 of salary, up to $847 per week. All businesses – the number of employees on the payroll doesn’t matter – that have seen revenue drop by 30% or more because of COVID-19 are eligible for the wage subsidy. This measure is retroactive to March 15. Businesses can re-hire recently let-go workers and place them on subsidized wages. The Department of Finance will release technical information (e.g. how to obtain the wage subsidy) for employers in the coming days.
    • To help businesses avoid layoffs, the federal government is also enhancing the Work-Sharing Program. The program works this way: Instead of being laid off, multiple workers’ hours and pay are reduced, with the federal government making up the shortfall in the workers’ income.

    For businesses:

    • More credit is available to Canadian businesses through the new Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). You can access the BCAP via BDC or EDC.
    • Through the Canada Emergency Business Account, banks will soon offer $40,000 loans, guaranteed by the government and interest-free for the first year, to small businesses. If recipients meet certain conditions, $10,000 will be forgivable. The government will release more details in the coming days.
    • More generally, the federal government is providing additional liquidity to Canadian banks. In return, the banks have committed to working with companies to help them get through COVID-19. Talk to your bank if you haven’t already done so.
    • Businesses can defer, until after Aug. 31, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 19 and before September. In addition, GST/HST payments, as well as duties and taxes owed on imports, are deferred until June.
    • In Ontario, the provincial government is helping businesses with cash flow through a number of measures: payment of most provincial taxes is deferred for five months without penalty or interest; Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments are deferred for six months; municipalities will be providing property tax relief; and most businesses are not required to pay the Employer Health Tax.