COVID-19 – Latest Information for Businesses

It can be hard to keep track of the rapidly changing COVID-19 information & restrictions for businesses – find the details you’re looking for below.

Stay-At-Home Order Declared in Ontario

Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021at 12:01 a.m., the Ontario government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely. In addition to limiting outings for these purposes, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery. Full announcement here.

The previous Provincewide Shutdown went into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. The details of this shutdown can be found here. For information on requirements from the City of Hamilton click here. For the City’s general COVID-19 page click here. Still have questions as a business owner? The City’s dedicated Public Health number for the business community only is 905-974-9848 option 4.



Provincial Colour Stage System – *Paused While Provincewide Shutdown is in Effect*

For a full break down of Ontario’s new Colour Stages in response to COVID-19 restrictions please click here. The Province also requires that every business has a COVID-19 Workplace Safety
Plan. For details & to download the template click here. Guidance from the City of Hamilton on creating a COVID Safety Plan can be found here. The City’s COVID-19 Screening Guide can be found here.

As of Monday, December 21 Hamilton moved to the LOCKDOWN (Grey) stage within the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework. This COVID-19 Response Framework will be paused when the Provincewide Shutdown comes into effect.


Resources from the Federal government for businesses forced to close due to restrictions can be found here including the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy. Resources from the Province for businesses forced to close, including information on the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant which will help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the new Provincewide Shutdown, can be found here. Businesses can contact the Province’s Stop The Spread Helpline for questions on the lockdown or support programs at 1-888-444-3659, open 7 days a week.


Additional Information & Resources for Businesses

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Economic Development, and the Flamborough and Stoney Creek Chambers of Commerce, have created a comprehensive website featuring developments pertaining to COVID-19. Click here to view a summary of information including Government Assistance, Small Business Support, Exporting & Trade Resources, Employment & Legal Assistance and
Transportation Resources.


For general COVID-19 information from the Federal Government including case numbers, travel restrictions, symptoms, and more click here.

For information from the Federal Government on transitioning from CERB to new benefits please click here. To find information on all Government programs available in response to COVID-19 for individuals AND businesses, including the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) click here.


For all resources available from the Province to help small businesses in Ontario click here.


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The Downtown Update is the e-newsletter sent by the Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Area to keep both members of the BIA and interested supporters of Downtown up-to-date with activities and issues in the core of our community.