South Georgian Bay COVID-19 Resources

Though our staff are taking precautions by working from home, we are here to assist the public by phone, messaging or email if you have any questions.  To learn more about the association please click  HERE.

LAST UPDATED: January 21

Provincewide Lockdown In Effect December 26

Today Premier Ford announced a provincewide lockdown will begin on December 26. The lockdown will be in place for at least 28 days in Southern Ontario, which includes Grey County & Simcoe County.

What does this mean for businesses?
Many businesses sectors will not be permitted to operate during the pandemic, and others will be need to modify. The follow outlines some of the restrictions to business during the ‘Grey & Simcoe’ lockdown details of the Provincial COVID-19 Framework.

  • Retail stores (aside from essential retail, such as grocery stores and pharmacies) will be closed for in-store shopping. Curbside pickup and delivery may continue.
  • Restaurants and bars will be closed for dining. Take out can continue.
  • Sports and recreational fitness facilities will be closed. This includes outdoor recreation, such as ski hills and skating rinks.
  • Personal care services will be closed.
  • Hotels and Motels are permitted to operate except for pools, fitness centres, meeting rooms and other recreational facilities.
  • Short-term rentals (not including hotels) are not permitted. No new reservations except for individuals who are in need of housing.
  • Museums and cultural amenities will be closed.
  • Tour guides and services will be closed.

The above is only a summary of some of the sector restrictions. For a more complete breakdown, download the Provincewide Shutdown document.

Businesses are also required to have COVID Workplace Safety Plans in place. Learn More

New Ontario Small Business Support Grant
Today Premier Ford announced the New Ontario Small Business Support Grant. In his announcement, he noted small businesses required to close or restrict services during the shutdown will be eligible for a one-time grant of $10,000 to $20,000 in support.

Eligible small businesses include those that:

  • Are required to close or significantly restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020;
  • Have less than 100 employees at the enterprise level; and
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant is available here. Further details, including how to apply, will be announced in January 2021.


Relief Within Reach Website:
A Guide for Businesses in Ontario

Ontario businesses have been hugely impacted and challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. is a website designed as a resource tool for small & medium sized businesses.

Business owners can find the following information on the site:

  • Grants & Rebates
  • Programs for E-Commerce
  • Federal Funding
  • What You’ll Need to Apply

Have questions or need help? Contact your local MPP.

Regional Tourism Organization 7 in collaboration with Grey County, Simcoe County, the City of Barrie and the City of Orillia will be administering non-repayable financial support ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to tourism SMEs in Grey and Simcoe counties and the cities of Barrie and Orillia.Financial Assistance for the Tourism Industry in their fight to stop the spread of COVID.

The intention of this fund is to help offset the high cost of keeping tourists and staff safe while adapting to the changing health and safety requirements and the increasing safety demands of tourists during COVID. Examples of adaptation are the addition or expansion of patios at restaurants, the plexiglass barriers at counters or between tables, touchless payment systems, reservation systems, sanitization stations, COVID sanitizer fogging equipment, etc.


Support Local

Business Support

For support and programs, please click the links below:

COVID-19 Business Reopening Guidebook. – Download the Business Reopening Guidebook

The province has launched a toll-free line (1-888-444-3659) to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Did you know?

  • Google My Business is free
  • You can promote your Business Profile and business website on Google Search and Maps
  • You can see and connect with your customers
  • You can post updates to your Business Profile, including photos you choose to share
  • You can see how customers interact with your business on Google

Create or update your Google My Business profile now.

RTO7 is ready to go with its newest program, the Operations Implementation Program (OIP).  This program was created as part of RTO7’s 2020/21 COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan to assist and support the tourism operators in BruceGreySimcoe during recovery from the effects of COVID-19 on their business.

How does OIP work?  RTO7 will match an operator’s investment in operational expenses with $1,000 (includes HST) for a social media campaign to promote the tourism business.  Eligible operational expenses include mortgage payments, rent, insurance, inventory purchases, etc.  Proof of payment must be submitted with your final report and note that RTO7 covers the additional agency fees.

The setting up of the social media campaign will be actioned now to ensure your tourism business is ready to be advertised at the appropriate time.

For detailed information on the program, visit the Operations Implementation Program page on

Have questions? Contact Amanda, /  226-568-0242 or Kim, / 519-379-2506

Ontario Tourism Summit 2020
Tickets are now on sale for the first-ever virtual Tourism Summit taking place October 27 to 28, 2020.  For more info and to purchase tickets, visit the TIAO website.

Free Resources

PPE COVID-19 Recovery Funds Round 2

Eligibility Requirements Expanded

October 14, 2020

RTO7 is pleased to Introduce Round 2 of our PPE Recovery funding for tourism operators and businesses in BruceGreySimcoe.  We understand it’s been a challenging and busy time for our businesses so you may not yet have applied for these funds.  We encourage you to APPLY NOW!

How it works:
RTO7 will reimburse a maximum of $1,000 pre-tax towards your purchase of PPE (defined as masks, sanitizer, shields, costs incurred to adhere to social distancing, touchless payments, new technology, increased cleaning, sanitization, etc.), retroactive to April 1, 2020.

Consumer Confidence Videos

Working with our Agency of Record, H-Visual Media, RTO7 has committed $135,000 to produce 45 Consumer Confidence Videos with matching advertising videos for 45 tourism operators in Bruce, Grey and Simcoe Counties (15 from each county).  To participate, operators must provide proof of $1500 in operational expenses (i.e. copies of receipts) to leverage this FREE opportunity (which has a value of $3000).
Note:  Receipts submitted cannot be the same as those used in other RTO7 assistance programs.

Have questions?  Email


Cash Flow & Expense Management – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Municipal Provincial Federal Support – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Government Support – Wage Subsidy CEWS – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Government Support – CEBA – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Human Resources – HS ROE EI – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Human Resources – CERB – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Community: Webinars, Conference Calls, Surveys + More


The Province of Ontario has set up a website that is updated twice daily with information on COVID-19 in the province.

How to Help Prevent the Spread

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home if you are sick

In addition, here are recommendations for communicating about the virus:

  • Disclose information honestly when questioned by visitors and customers
  • Share the above list with family, friends, your staff and visitors
  • Refer visitors to the Province of Ontario website for updates from the Ministry of Health
  • At this stage there are many unknowns about the virus and as such we recommend that your promotions, advertising and communications DO NOT promote that it is a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) safe region to travel to or that it is safer in BruceGreySimcoe than somewhere else.  Continue promoting all the positive attributes about your attractions, accommodation or activity.


How To Help Support Local Businesses

We have created a resource for those looking to help support local businesses, especially during this time. Click here for the full list or visit our Instagram highlights.


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