Support our Community!

We are fortunate to have such a supportive downtown with over 20,000 people who work here on a daily basis. In light of COVID-19, many businesses have made the wise decision to have their employees work remotely.

Our hospitality and retail businesses rely on these employees to buy their coffee, lunches, treats and run errands.

Many of our hospitality and retail businesses have had to make the difficult decision to temporarily close.  Many have adapted to provide take out!

Take out options

(S) – Skip the Dishes

(U) – UberEats

(R) – Through the restaurant

*  – Alcohol delivery available

8090 Tea House (S)(U)

Aijo Sushi (R)

Berkeley North (U)(R)*

Bread Bar (U)*

Cafe Olivia (R)

Capri Ristorante (S)(U)(R)*

Chicken Zone Chinese Cuisine (U)

Coco Fresh Tea and Juice (U)(R)

Domino’s (R)

Gino’s Pizza (R)


Hui Lau Shan (U)

Hui’s Diner (S)

Kenzo Ramen (S)(U)

King’s Pizza and Wings (S)(U)(R)

Mezza Caffe (R)

Bambu Hamilton (R)

National Pizza Place (S)(R)

Perogie Bar (R)(U)

Pizza Pizza (S)(U)(R)

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (S)(R)

Sagarmatha Curry House (R)

Saigon House (S)(U)(R)

Sana Grill (S)(U)

Sapporo Restaurant (S)(U)(R)

See Joy Bubble Tea (S)

Starbucks (U)

Subway (S)(U)

Sugar Marmalade (S)(U)

Szechuan Noodle Bowl (U)

Tea Fun (U)(R)

The Downtown Cafe (R)

The French & The Diplomat (R)* take out through Aberdeen Tavern

The Mule (U)(R)*

Tim Horton’s (S)(R)

Toast Wine Bar (R)*


If you need a break at home for some retail therapy. Here are some great options:


The Local Skateshop

Relay Coffee (use code HAMONT for free delivery in Hamilton)


1UP Games (coming soon)

The Witch’s Fix

Charles & Hunt


Businesses Temporarily Closed

33 Bowen

Assembly Gallery

Bad & Boujie

Black Rabbit Social Club

Burrito Boyz

Club 77

Club Absinthe

Dr. Disc

Frat’s Cucina

Great Red Peppers

Industria Pizzaria and Bar

John Street Diner

La Piazza

Lulu’s Shawarma

M & N Desserts

Mighty Mikes

One James Cafe

Redchurch Cafe

Relay Coffee Roasters (coffee delivery available online)

The Diplomat

The French

Uncle Ray’s Food & Liquor

Zen Lounge



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.


COVID-19 Information – Primary Websites

Federal Government

Provincial Government

City of Hamilton

Sector Specific Reopening Resources


Programs Available in Response to COVID-19


Ontario Adopts Temporary Measures to Support Bars, Restaurants and Alcohol Retailers During the COVID-19: Effective immediately, licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario may sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 pm. All active liquor licensees may immediately begin offering this service if they choose and there is no application process or fee required. Liquor may be sold for takeout or delivery through a third party, such as a food delivery service or ordering platform, provided they are acting on behalf of the licensee. Full details here.


Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA): will cover 75% of the cost of commercial rent for the months of April (retroactive), May (retroactive) and June for businesses whose rent is lower than $50,000 per month and can demonstrate a 70% loss in revenue. This program is expected to be available for application in mid-May and will be made available through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in partnership with each of the provinces.

  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June.
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75 per cent for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25 per cent of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.

Click here for the full announcement.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): The benefit will provide $2000 / month for the next four months for workers who are not getting a paycheque because of COVID-19. To qualify the person must have received at least $5,000 in employment income and have no income from employment or self-employment for at least 14-days in a row. This includes:

  • Persons who have lost their job due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are contract workers who can no longer work due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are Self-employed who can no longer work due to COVID-19 (such as independent small business owners)
  • Persons who are sick or in quarantine and not receiving a salary due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are looking after someone who is ill due to COVID-19
  • Persons who are looking after children due to school & daycare closers caused by COVID-19
  • Persons who are employed but are not receiving an income due to COVID-19 disruptions (Such as employees of non-essential businesses)

Note 1: Employees who receive the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) can not also receive the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – temporary 75% wage subsidy.

Note 2: Workers do not need to be laid off in order to receive the CERB benefit, they simply must have stopped working as a result of COVID-19, and be without employment income for at least 14 consecutive days within the initial four-week period.

Note 3: Application portals are expected to be launched on April 6, 2020 through CRA MyAccount secure portal; My Service Canada Account, or by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process. Application dates will be staggered by birth-month in order to prevent the application system from being overwhelmed. Applicants will receive funding within 10-days of applying. The CERB benefit will be paid every four weeks and will apply for the period of March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020.

Note 4: Employees who have been laid off and have applied for Employment Insurance (EI) will automatically be move over to receive the CERB benefit first.

Offered by the Federal Government, click here for more.


Temporary 75% Wage Subsidy: A subsidy equal to 75% of employee remuneration paid for businesses with any number of employees that can demonstrate that their business revenues have decreased by at least 30% due to COVID-19 as compared to the prior year or compared to January and February and 15% for the month of March 2020. These subsidies will be retroactive to Saturday, March 15, 2020, and will cover up to 75% on the first $58,700 that employees earn, – $847 per week. Employers are encouraged to cover the additional 25% of employees salaries if they are able. Applications for the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy will be available through the Canada Revenue Agency My Business Account. This benefit is pending approval from the House of Commons – expected April 20, 2020.

Note 1: Employees who receive the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – 75% temporary wage subsidy will not qualify to receive the Canadain Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Note 2: It has been clarified that Bars, Restaurants, Charities, not for profits, and non-publicly funded businesses will qualify for the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy

Note 3: Seasonal Businesses will be required to show that they experienced a 30% reduction of their revenue in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019.

Note 4: Funds will be transferred by the CRA directly to retailer’s bank account to fund payroll; however this may take time to occur, so businesses may need to contact their financial institution to bridge-finance payroll until the funding is received.

Note 5: The system does not require employers to pay the additional 25% of employees wages if they are unable, but are strongly encouraged to and will be required to attest that they have made their best efforts to do so.

Note 6: The wage subsidy will be treated as revenue to businesses and as taxable income to employees.

This will be available soon, please click here for more.


Canada Emergency Business Account: 

Canada Emergency Business Account is a $40,000 government guaranteed loan to help eligible businesses pay for operating costs that cannot be deferred and are critical to sustain business continuity (e.g. payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, debt payments and property tax).

• Funded as a revolving line of credit for $40,000 until December 31, 2020.

• After December 31, 2020 outstanding balance will be converted into a non-revolving 5-year term loan maturing on December 31, 2025

Until December 31, 2022:
• 0% Interest with no minimum monthly principal payments
• If you pay 75% of the balance of the term loan (as at January 1, 2021), on or before December 31, 2022, the remaining 25% balance of your term loan will be forgiven

Starting January 1, 2023
• Interest accrues on the balance of the term loan at the rate of 5% per annum, payable monthly on the last day of each month
• If you do not repay 75% of the balance of the term loan (as at January 1, 2021) on or before December 31, 2022, the full loan balance and all accrued and unpaid interest will be due and payable on December 31, 2025
December 31, 2025
• December 31, 2025 – The full loan balance and all accrued and unpaid interest will be due and payable.

• Preparation for CEBA enrollment:
– Update your email and contact details on your online banking account. The bank will need this information to notify you of the CEBA enrollment process.
– 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid statement. You can also contact the Canada Revenue Agency to have them re issue your 2019 statement.
– For Audit Purposes – Confirmation of payroll expenses paid of between $50,000 – $1M in 2019.

• Eligibility:
– Ensure that you have an online banking account with your primary financial institution for the respective entity you’re applying for, and your account was opened prior to March 1, 2020
▪ Ensure that you are not applying for this program at any other financial institution. You understand that applying for this benefit at more than one financial institution, as outlined as part of the government program, may result in prosecution by the federal government.
– The entity you’re applying for is an operating business (i.e., not a holding company) in operation on March 1, 2020.
– The person enrolling for CEBA must have the ability and authority to bind the organization
– Your application requires that your organization can enter the CEBA loan agreement with the consent and attestation of only 1 signing officer. The financial institution cannot accept multiple signatures
– If there are multiple signing officers, it’s recommended that the organization prepare and approve a resolution that allows the key principal applying for the loan to be given the special authority to attest on behalf of, and individually, bind the organization to the terms of the loan agreement
– Your payroll expense is between $50,000 and $1 million in the 2019 calendar year
▪ To confirm this, you will be required to provide the following information:

• Your 15-digit employer account number, as reported at the top of your 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid
• Your employment income reported in Box 14 of your 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid
• A copy of your 2019 T4 Summary of Remuneration Paid, if requested
• Your business account cheque book or your most recent business bank statement


Small businesses and not-for-profits should contact their financial institution to apply for these loans. More information here.


SME Loan Guarantee Programs: For small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that need additional support can apply for guaranteed loans through their financial institutions to help them weather the impacts of COVID-19. These loans, which will be supported through the Export Development Canada (EDC) and Business Development Bank (BDC) are intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements. These two programs are outlined below:

A. BDC Co-Lending Program for Smal and Medium Enterprises: The Business Development Bank of Canada, together with major financial institutions, will co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan. Eligible financial institutions will conduct the underwriting and manage the interface with their customers. The potential for lending for this program will be $20 billion.

B. EDC Loan Guarantees. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can apply through their financial institutions to get operating credit and cash flow term loans up to $6.25 million, which will be guaranteed by the Export Development Canada (EDC). The program cap for this new loan program will be a total of $20 billion for export sector and domestic companies. For more information click here.


Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance (HST and GST): The Federal Government will be deferring the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30,2020.

  • Monthly filers have to remit amounts collected for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods;
  • Quarterly filers have to remit amounts collected for the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period; and
  • Annual filers, whose GST/HST return or instalment are due in March, April or May 2020, have to remit amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year. For more please click here.


Small Business Tax Deferral: The CRA will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 19, 2020 and before September 2020. Click here for more.


Deferral of Business Education Tax Payments (commercial property tax) The province announced that it will defer the quarterly municipal remittance of the business education property tax to school boards by 90 days. This will allow municipalities to also provide property tax deferrals to businesses while ensuring school boards continue to receive their funding. Click here for more.


Provincial Tax Relief: The province announced that it will provide five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes. Click here for more.


Ontario Providing Electricity Relief to Small Businesses: The provincial government has suspended time-of-use hydro rates for a period of 45-days, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour. This discount will be applied automatically for all customers. Click here for more.


Employer obligations for workers infected with COVID-19: Currently under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, if an employer is advised that a worker is ill resulting from an exposure at work (including COVID-19), or a claim has been filed with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) with respect to COVID-19 exposure at work, the employer must notify the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development in writing within four days. The employer must also notify the workplace joint health and safety committee or a health and safety representative and trade union, if any. More details here.


The Employment Standards Amendment Act 2020: Provides job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures or to care for other relatives. Retroactive to January 25, 2020, and employees cannot be required to show sick notes. Click here for more.


Temporary Business Wage Subsidy: A subsidy equal to 10% of employee remuneration paid for a period of 3 months up to a maximum subsidy of $1375 per employee and $25,000 per employer between March 18, 2020 and June 20, 2020. The subsidy is provided to businesses through employers reducing their payroll remittances of federal and provincial income tax by 10% of qualified employees’ salaries, not including CPP or EI. The Temporary Business Wage Subsidy can be utilized by corporations that are also eligible to receive the small business deduction when filing their corporate taxes, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.

Note 1: Businesses that qualify for the small business deduction are Canadian-controlled private corporations with taxable capital employed in Canada of less than $15 million.

Note 2: Businesses must manually calculate the subsidy based on the CRA guidelines – companies must keep records of all information used to determine the subsidy, including total remuneration and taxes that were deducted during that time, and the number of employees who were paid.

Click here for full details.


Employment Insurance Work Sharing Program: A program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer (such as COVID-19) provides a 10% percent wage subsidy for the next 90 days, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. More details here.


Employment Insurance (EI) – Regular Benefits: Employees who lose their job through no fault of their own, and have been without work and pay for at least seven consecutive days, and have worked for the required number of insurable hours in the last 52 weeks since their last claim. Individuals should apply for EI as soon as they lose their job, even if their Record of Employment (ROE) is not yet available. Click here for more.


Banking Solutions: The Bank of Canada has cut the interest rate to 0.75%, and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions announced the release of an additional $300 billion in lending capacity by the major banks with the expectation that they will support Canadian businesses and households.

The big six Canadian banks: Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19. More details here.


IF You Have Challenges Accessing Capital Elsewhere – Business Development Bank of Canada Programs:

  1. BDC Small Business Loans
  2. BDC Working Capital Loan to bridge cash
    flow gaps and support daily operations.
  3. BDC Purchase Order Financing to fulfill domestic or international orders.

Note: Some businesses such as pubs/ bars/ clubs and marijuana companies, and non-Canadian companies are not eligible to apply.


Business Credit Availability Program: Working capital loans of up to $2 million with flexible terms and payment postponements for up to 6 months for qualifying businesses. Coming soon, please click here for more.


Enhanced Canada Child Benefit: An increase to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. Persons who expect to receive the Enhanced Canada Child Benefit are encouraged not to delay the filing of their taxes due to the personal tax filing deferral in order to ensure that their entitlements are properly determined for 2020-21. Click here for more.

Enhanced GST Credit for low & modest income families: A one-time special payment to families with low to modest incomes in early May through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) providing families with close to $400 for single individuals, and close to $600 for couples. Persons who expect to receive the Enhanced GST Credit are encouraged not to delay the filing of their taxes due to the personal tax filing deferral in order to ensure that their entitlements are properly determined for 2020-21. Click here for more.


We are all in this together! If there is a way we can support you through these times, please contact the BIA office at 905-523-1646 or



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.