COVID-19: Resources for Small and Medium Businesses

As the situation continues to unfold, it is very important for small and medium businesses to remain informed and we will continue to update this page as more information becomes available; please check back regularly for new updates.

BBIA COVID Response: Support for Local Businesses

The mandate of the Barrhaven Business Improvement Area is to improve local business in Barrhaven. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, like local businesses, the Barrhaven BIA had to pivot quickly to modify how we operate and the ways in which we help our members.  Today, we would like to hear from you.  How are we doing?  How can we do better?

Smart Growth

Our long-standing and close working relationships with various local stakeholders: Municipal, Provincial and Federal government managers and elected officials, OCOBIA, OBIAA, TABIA, OBoT and Invest Ottawa, have proven to be invaluable throughout the COVID crisis. The BBIA has developed and nurtured these key relationships over many years.  As a result, we have been fortunate throughout this period to be able to provide you with timely access to both clarity and insight on the various COVID programs and issues.


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BBIA had developed a marketing plan for 2020 and beyond.  We set lofty social media goals: to get all of Barrhaven following @BarrhavenBIA and using the hashtag #MyBarrhaven. Our emphasis is on encouraging residents to Shop Local and to provide timely and relevant information.  Earlier this year, we launched a focused digital campaign: Live, Work, Shop, Play.  As we now enter Stage 3 in the Province’s phased business reopening strategy, we have modified the campaign to foster accountability and trust with local consumers on behalf of the business community. Live, Work, Shop, Play Safely in #MyBarrhaven is being promoted through toolkits, road signs and digital ad campaigns with great success. Our well-attended B2B series has been adapted through our weekly online open calls and webinars.


Weekly Open Calls – Every Wednesday at 9:00am

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 813 5473 9119

Find your local number:

BIA Weekly Updates

Since March 13th, we have been sending regular updates to members with the latest developments and initiatives. To sign up, click here.


Many businesses will be re-opening in the coming days and many of you will be looking for PPE and other equipment to ensure that you are able to keep your customers and staff safe. We are excited to announce that the Barrhaven BIA has developed a PPE Portal to make it easier for you, our members, to source everything that you need.

Check out the PPE Portal.


Invest Ottawa is offering FREE digital services to you as a valued Barrhaven BIA small business. This is provided by FedDev Ontario and the Ontario Government through the Digital Main Street Program.

The Digital Main Street program, including free services and funding, will be ending in early 2021. We hope small businesses can take full advantage of these free services and apply for the $2500 Digital Transformation grant (deadline to apply is November 30, 2020)!

It starts with a one-on-one consultation with a Digital Service Specialist who can perform a digital “audit” of your business, discuss what your business goals are, and guide you into the varied digital services your business can utilize (all of which are also free).

Take advantage of the Digital Main Street program. Here are some benefits you can access:

  • Free 1-hour professional Photography session at your business address (Google My Business 360 photos, product photos, social media photos)
  • Free access to the Digital Transformation Team which will create digital marketing email campaigns, social media campaigns, copywriting, and graphic design
  • Free creation of an ecommerce Website (to start selling online) for your business
  • Free guidance to apply to the Digital Transformation Grant and receive up to $2,500 (Deadline to apply: November 30th, 2020)
  • Free access to more than 15 business advisors in various fields – and up to 6 hours of free consultation with them
  • Free courses and webinars on entrepreneurship and digital marketing techniques

Book your Digital Service Specialist (DSS) today to learn how they can help you take your business online and increase your productivity with various tools and technologies.

Book Aaron: choose a time in this calendar

Book Eric C: choose a time in this calendar

BIA Initiatives

We are listening and working around the clock to help!

Early on, we asked you, our members, to complete a survey about your immediate and long term needs in dealing with this crisis and we are using this information to guide us in supporting you. We thank everyone for taking the time to complete it as it is guiding our actions.

Check out a summary of the responses here.

Made in Barrhaven Business Reopening Toolkits

The Barrhaven BIA has put together a Made in Barrhaven Business Reopening Toolkit to be provided to businesses FREE OF CHARGE in order to assist with safety measures upon reopening. These kits include a variety of items to help businesses encourage customers and clients to physical distance while highlighting best practices and safety precautions. Packages will be branded to encourage a sense of community and Shopping Local in #MyBarrhaven. Packages include the following:

  • Open for Business Signs
  • Floor Stickers to encourage physical distancing
  • Signs for hand washing
  • Signs encouraging physical and social distancing
  • Stop the Spread signs with tips including hand washing, distancing, wearing masks etc.
  • Signs encouraging the use of hand sanitizer
  • Signs to indicate clean surfaces

All items are of commercial quality. Please complete email to get your own kit.



Webinar: Tips to Maintain Your Market Presence During the COVID-19 Crisis

Webinar: Maintaining a Healthy Workplace Under Physical and Social Distancing

Webinar: Post-COVID Business Flow Planning for Personal Service Providers

Webinar: Commercial Insurance & COVID-19: What You Need Know

Webinar: Pivoting Your Business to be Digital-Centric

Webinar: Keeping Everyone Safe with PPE


We are advocating and lobbying on your behalf with all levels of government including city councillors, the Mayor’s office, our Member of Provincial Parliament, Member of Parliament, and Federal Cabinet Ministers. We continue to work independently and and with other advocacy groups, to lobby the governments for immediate assistance for Small and Medium Businesses. Here are a few of initiatives we have supported:

Information on COVID-19

OTTAWA PUBLIC HEALTH – Up to date information on the current situation in Ottawa including resources for businesses.

GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO HEALTH AND WELLNESS – Current situation in the province along with an at home self-assessment tool.

PUBLIC HEALTH CANADA – A central resource for how the Government of Canada is responding to the COVID-19 crisis. This includes travel advisories and guidance.

Resources and Links for Businesses





  • Advertising in Uncertain Times – Blog from Barrhaven’s own 20Eight Digital
  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Tip Sheets for Businesses
  • – Tracking permanently closed and endangered small businesses
    This organization is tracking the impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on small businesses and have compiled a map of businesses across the country who are either permanently closed or endangered. In the last 2 days, more than 1500 businesses have responded.

    Send a powerful message by adding your business today; this gets more powerful – for policy makers and for our fellow citizens – with more voices.

  • Business Preparedness Checklist
    We have put together a checklist to help guide businesses that are preparing to reopen. The list is to help guide your development of policies and procedures to keep your staff and customers safe. Take a moment to review it as you move forward.

  • OBIAA – Curb-Side Pick Up Information
    As more businesses prepare for curb-side pick up next week, OBIAA have developed a document with suggestions and guidelines for best practices if you choose to reopen with this model. The goal is to keep everyone safe and this document contains many helpful hints to help you do just that.