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 and we will be launching virtual Networking After Work events in the fall.


Weekly Open Calls
Every Wednesday at 9:00am

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 813 5473 9119

Find your local number:


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 Weekly Updates

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


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 will be 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

Webinar: Return to Work – Liabilities and Obligations of Employers

This webinar will expand on the liabilities and obligations of employers while employees return to workplaces after extended work-from-home protocols due to COVID -19. We will address occupational and health safety best practices, work refusals, and creating a safe work environment for employees returning to their workplace.

Simon Sigler of MDK Business Law will be leading this discussion. His practice is focused in commercial litigation and real estate litigation. Simon has appeared before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Federal Court of Canada on various commercial litigation matters.

Weekly Open Zoom Call for Barrhaven Businesses

We are excited to announce that we will be doing weekly open video calls for Barrhaven businesses to come together. Participants are able to discuss concerns and share best practices. You are not alone and we can call work together to get through this. Mark your calendars as these weekly call will take place every Wednesday at 10am. We hope to see you there!

Weekly Open Calls
Every Wednesday at 9:00am

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 813 5473 9119

Find your local number:


Previous Call Summaries:

April 1st – Video Call Summary

April 8th – Video Call Summary

April 15th – Video Call Summary

April 22nd – Video Call Summary

April 29th – Video Call Summary

May 6th – Video Call Summary

May 13th – Video Call Summary

May 20th – Video Call Summary

May 27th – Video Call Summary

June 3rd – Video Call Summary

June 10th – Video Call Summary

June 17th – Video Call Summary

 June 24th – Video Call Summary

July 8th – Video Call Summary

July 15th – Video Call Summary

August 12th – Video Call Summary

August 19th – Video Call Summary

August 26th – Video Call Summary

September 2nd – Video Call Summary

September 9th – Video Call Summary

September 23rd – Video Call Summary

September 30th – Video Call Summary

October 7th – Video Call Summary

October 21st – Video Call Summary

October 28th – Video Call Summary

November 4th – Video Call Summary



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:

Concerns Over Commercial Rent 

We are raising this concern with all levels of government and we are collecting data. At this point, if you are concerned about not being able to pay rent, it is imperative that you have an honest conversation with your landlord immediately. No property owner wants to have a massive number of empty storefronts heading into an imminent recession so it is important for tenants and landlords to work together. If you’d like advice, please email

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