Free Hand Sanitizer Bottles Available for Pick Up
At the Downtown London office, we have extra bottles of hand sanitizers available to those in need! If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (519) 663-2002 to arrange a time for pick up.
Ontario Launches Additional Supports for Small Businesses
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
The application portal will be open from February 9 to March 11 for applications from:
- Newly established businesses
- Businesses that may not have previously applied to the Ontario Small Business Support Grant in 2021
- Businesses that were previously deemed ineligible but are now eligible.
In order to be eligible, applicants will need to confirm that they:
- Had fewer than 100 employees as of December 31, 2021
- Were an active business as of January 14, 2022
- Were required to close indoor operations on January 5, 2022.
Eligible small businesses for the OSBRG include:
- Restaurants and bars
- Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms)
- Racing venues, casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
- Performing arts venues and cinemas
- Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions
- Meeting or event spaces
- Tour and guide services
- Conference centres and convention centres
- Driving instruction for individuals
- Before- and after-school programs.
The OSBRG User Application Guide provides additional information about applying for the grant. The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade emailed eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant in 2021, and were subject to closure again on January 5, 2022, as they have been pre-screened and do not need to apply for the OSBRG. But they may be asked to confirm their continued eligibility.
For more information on available business supports, please visit: Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs | Ontario.ca
If you need help, our call centres are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding government and statutory holidays. The call centres are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Toll-free TTY: 1-800-268-7095
Temporary Expansion to the Local Lockdown Program
Is your business affected by capacity restrictions of 50% or more? Have you experienced a monthly revenue loss of at least 25%? Then you may be eligible for improved wage and rent support under the temporary expansion to the Local Lockdown Program, now extended until March 12, 2022!
Applications are now being accepted for claim period 24 (December 19, 2021 to January 15, 2022), and will open soon for Periods 25 and 26.
Answer a few questions about your business on the government website to determine your eligibility.
Facebook and Instagram Advertising on a Small Budget
Whether you have $0, $50, or $100 a month to spend on Facebook and Instagram, you can still reach your target customers and clients. Discover some creative ways to do so in this fast paced, intermediate-level webinar.
- How the Facebook and Instagram algorithms work, so your content can cut through and be seen, even without spending money
- How to decide when to boost a post, and how much to spend
- What your options are for advertising on Facebook and Instagram
- How to target your ads to your ideal customer or client based on demographics, geographic area, and more
- How to create successful written copy and imagery for Facebook and Instagram ads
Join Digital Main Street for the free webinar on March 17th at 2:30pm.
Google Analytics for Small Business including Sign Language Interpreters
Ever wondered who’s visiting your website, and what they’re doing there? Google Analytics can tell you all of that and more. Discover the fundamentals of Google Analytics’ Universal Analytics (not GA4) in this beginner-level webinar.
- How to connect your website to Google Analytics
- How to set up Google Analytics properly to filter out irrelevant traffic
- How to create custom views and set goals within Google Analytics
- How to generate 5 key reports to let you know how your website is performing
- How to configure Google Analytics to automatically send you reports
Join Digital Main Street for the free webinar on March 23 at 7:00 pm.
Everything You Need to Know About Why You Should Sell Online
Considered building an online store, selling on social media, email, or even platforms such as Etsy? You’re not alone! The world of e-commerce is here and continuing to grow. Consumer behavior has shifted and embraced the conveniences of transacting online – and it’s not going away any time soon. It’s time to learn how you can take advantage of this channel and make it work for your business. Join the Small Business Centre for this free webinar on March 23, 2022 at 2:00pm.
Exclusive Offer for Business Insider Subscribers
Alieska Robles, the author of the Forest City Cookbook, has created a new cookbook titled Live Well Collection. She is currently offering 20% off the purchase of these cookbooks to all Downtown London members. To get this awesome deal, you have to be a subscriber of our Business Insider newsletter.
Downtown Loop Pre-Construction Webinar
A recording is now available for the informative webinar regarding the Downtown Loop Phase 2 (Queens Avenue and Ridout Street). Some highlights include:
- Project timelines
- Traffic management during construction
- Special accommodations for businesses and residents
- Site safety, cleanliness and accessibility
- Communications and tips to stay informed
- Question and answer session
Seasonal Outdoor Patios
Despite the snow on the ground, patio season is right around the corner! This is a friendly reminder that Seasonal Outdoor Patios are permitted starting March 15th. If you have any questions regarding patios this year, please take a look at the information provided below.
FAQs: Patios on Private Property
- Can a patio continue to extend in parking spaces on private property?
Any patio expansion on private property must comply with
Section 4.18 of the Zoning By-law.
- What is the process for patio approvals? Patios located on private property can email email@example.com
- Are there fees associated with patios on private property?
No fees for private property patios. However, if a Building permit is required for any patio structure the permit fee is applicable.
Patios on City Property in the Core Area
The Core Area Boulevard Café Grant Program associated with the Core Area Community Improvement Plan is funded through 2023. Sidewalk Café’s within the catchment area will not pay applications fees, or the fee associated with the actual license agreement in 2022. A team member(s) will be reaching out to participants to renew agreements where they are at the end of term.
New patios proposals located on City Property will need to contact Realty Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take your Red Tape Concerns Straight to Government
Dealing with red tape means dealing with rules that are ridiculous, time-consuming and take you away from growing your business. Help reduce the burden: share your real-life horror story directly with the government. Find your province in the drop-down menu below and use the online portal, e-mail address, or phone number provided to let your government know what red tape hurdles need fixing!
Visit the Ontario online portal to submit your red tape irritants and suggest possible solutions.
Cannabis Wiki Conference & Expo
The CannabisWiki Conference & Expo is coming to London, ON on June 15th and 16th. They are anticipating 5000 – 10,000 attendees, and they’d love to showcase the city of London, and more specifically Downtown London. Many of the sponsors will be looking to host events at local venues during those 2 days, and they’d love to create a shortlist of venues who are interested in being considered for hosting these events. The sponsors will then use the shortlist to select a venue for their events.
If your venue would like to be placed on this shortlist please let them know, and provide a few details (size, capacity, types of events venue is best suited for/interested in; brunch/luncheon/cocktail party/after party etc.). The sponsors have budgets for these, and will work directly with venues that they select to organize the event. Interested? Contact Janelle Powell at email@example.com.
Nominations for the Business Achievement Awards
Are you unsure of how to brand your business? Looking to refresh your existing brand? Join the Small Business It has been a difficult year for many businesses in London, but it’s still important to celebrate our achievements as a business community. We are still optimistic that the London Business Achievement Awards will continue to be the largest in-person business awards gala of its kind in Canada.
The event is scheduled to take place in person at RBC Place on September 27, 2022.
City of London Spotlight Program
The spotlight program is a new City initiative that supports safety and security in the Core Area and deters criminal activity. Through the program businesses in the Core register to receive a Spotlight program sticker to display in their storefront window. This sticker identifies that there are cameras actively monitoring the storefront area. Learn more about the Spotlight program at london.ca/spotlight.
Find it in London Campaign
You’re invited to join the Find it in London campaign! This city-wide effort is in collaboration with Tourism London, Argyle BIA, Old East Village BIA, Hamilton Road BIA, Hyde Park BIA, and Downtown London BIA. This campaign is to create a sense of community while also stimulating economic growth across the city for our businesses. There is no cost to your business to be involved … and there are other opportunities as well! Your business will be listed in the online business directory on the campaign’s website www.finditinlondon.ca . You have the opportunity to be included in future activations that will bring customers to you!
FREE Parking has been extended!
Citi Plaza offers 1 hour FREE parking Monday through Friday and 2 hours on the weekend. The City of London has extended the free parking program in Downtown London for the time being.
On the HonkMobile app, Londoners can use the promo code ‘CORE’ to receive two hours of free parking. This is only valid for on-street and municipal parking and excludes privately managed spots.
Drivers are still able to park for free up to one hour along Dundas Place with no code required. Anyone not able to use the HonkMobile app can also phone Parking Services at 519-661-4537 to arrange the discount.
STEPS TO THE DOWNTOWN DOLLAR SYSTEM UPDATE
As a Downtown London business, you have the opportunity to accept Downtown Dollars and Construction dollars as a form of payment. These dollars can only be spent in the Downtown Core and Old East Village, encouraging local spending and bringing people to our boundary!
Do you already accept Downtown Dollars?
We are moving to a gift card system. There are a few steps you need to complete to ensure you will be ready to assist customers shopping with the new gift cards. We are planning to release these this summer.
- Process a transaction with the details provided in this link as you would a regular credit transaction. (You can type in these numbers on your debit/credit machine)
- This is a test account, so the transaction will come up as DECLINED. This is a good thing!
- Enter your information on the form in the same link that will ask for the business’s name, location, phone number, and your signature. Submit this form once it is completed. It will ask for your email after you have clicked submit.
- This will send an email to your account from “Adobe Sign” confirming that your virtual signature was your own. You need to click CONFIRM YOUR EMAIL in this message for your sign up to be complete.
*If you would like downtown dollar gift cards to be used as a transaction method on your online platform/e-commerce site, simply attempt a purchase with the same numbers as step #1. It will also decline and successfully set up your system.
Payment is automatically deposited into your account when a customer makes a purchase using the gift card, much like a debit or credit transaction. You no longer will have to hold on to paper bills to bring to the office for redemption. Paper bills will still be in circulation and can be accepted as we continue to phase them out.
Click here for a list of curated grants and loans available to small businesses from a variety of sources (Federal, Provincial, Municipal, Private).