Business Support Resources

Centre Wellington is blessed to have really amazing local business organizations and resources here to assist in starting, growing and expanding your business.  They all are available to help at the various stages of your business life. Please feel free to reach out to any one of them for assistance and support.


Why Should We Support Our Local Business Community?

We Thought of 9 Reasons. Can You Think of More?



Living locally, shopping locally, it's all part of the investment you're making in the success of Centre Wellington.


Staying local means you are cutting down on fossil fuels, saving money and reducing air pollution.


Helping to create walkable, safe, compact, vibrant and livable town centres.


Your local merchants want to provide you with the best service, so they hire knowledgeable staff, and care about getting to know you as a customer.


Small businesses support local community groups, you supporting them means they in turn will support you and your family.


The one-of-a-kind nature of small businesses creates the uniqueness and charm that you love about Centre Wellington.


The money you spend in your community stays in your community and has a huge impact on the prosperity of everyone.


Small business is always focused on the needs of our specific community.


Local businesses create local jobs, helping people stay in our community and make it a desirable place to move to.


COVID-19 Business Resources and Assistance

Business Support Resources during  COVID-19 Outbreak


The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting businesses locally and globally.  Centre Wellington Economic Development is here to support you, so feel free to contact our team if you require any assistance.  New information will be added to this page as it is announced. 


 Other Governmental Resources 



  • For a full overview of programs provided by the Canadian government, click here.

  • To access the Business Benefits Finder to determine the best program and service for your organization, click here.




Wage and hiring supports


• Employers may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of employee wages. In each applicable claim period, employers can claim one of the following- whichever gives the highest amount:

  •  Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
  •   Hardest-Hit Businesses Recovery Program
  •   Canada Recovery Hiring Program

• To calculate the amount available to your organization in wage/hiring support, click here.
• To apply to the wage and hiring support, click here.

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program

  • Organizations in the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors affected by a qualifying public health restriction may be eligible for funding.
  • Eligibility: Must meet 3 conditions: More than 50% of eligible revenue comes from the tourism/entertainment sector, a 12-month average revenue drop of at least 40% from March 2020 to February 2021, and a claim period revenue drop of at least 40%.
  • Timeline: Effective until May 7, 2022.
  • OR qualify under the Local Lockdown Program
  • Available for eligible organizations, regardless of the sector (organizations do not need to be in the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors.)
  • Eligibility: Must meet 2 conditions: Organization was affected by a qualifying public health restriction and a claim period revenue drop of at least 40%.
  • PROPOSED CHANGES: Include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50% and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25%.
  • Eligible employers will receive wage and rent subsidies from 25% up to a maximum of 75%, depending on their degree of revenue loss.


Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program

  • Organizations that do not qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery program may qualify for funding.
  • Eligibility: Must meet 2 conditions: a 12-month average revenue drop of at least 50% from March 2020 to February 2021 and have a claim period revenue drop of at least 50%.
  • Timeline: Effective until May 7, 2022.


Canada Recovery Hiring Program

  • Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either the higher of the Canada Recovery Hiring Program or the wage portion of the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program or the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program.
  • Timeline: Effective until May 7, 2022.


Other Business Supports


Jobs and Growth Fund


  • Eligible businesses, not-for-profits, and indigenous organizations may be eligible for funding to support the transition to a green economy, activities supporting an inclusive recovery, digital adoption projects, and projects supporting Canada’s economic growth.
  • Eligibility: Interest-free repayable contributions for up to 50% of eligible costs and eligible not-for-profit organizations could receive non-repayable contributions for up to 90% of eligible costs.
  • Indigenous clients may be eligible for 100% of eligible project costs for projects.
  • Timeline: Applications are accepted on a continuous intake basis until funding is allocated.
  • Click here to contact a FedNor Officer for further details on eligibility and how to apply


Work-Sharing Program


  • A Work-Sharing agreement is a 3-party agreement involving employers, employees, and Service Canada to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when: there is a temporary decrease in the normal level of business activity, and the decrease is beyond the control of the employer
  • Special measures for COVID-19 include extending the duration of agreements by an additional 38 weeks. That brings the total to 76 weeks (regardless of how many weeks a business has used before March 14, 2020) followed by a possible new 26-week subsequent agreement. Additional flexibility during COVID-19 is provided.
  • Timeline: Special COVID-19 measures are in effect until September 24, 2022.

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program


  • Organizations operating in the tourism, restaurant, and in-person services may be eligible for guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.
  • Eligibility: Organization’s financial institution will determine eligibility based on the eligibility criteria.
  • Timeline: Applications open until March 31, 2022.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility


  • Eligible large employers may qualify for bridge financing to meet needs that are not being met with conventional financing.
  • Eligibility: Organization has a significant impact on Canada's economy, demonstrates approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues, and requires a minimum loan size of about $60 million.



Indigenous Community Business Fund

  • Indigenous business owners can apply for non-repayable financial contributions to support their organizations impacted by COVID-19.
  • Timeline: Applications are accepted on a continuous basis until funding is allocated.
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 647-920-9516


Indigenous Community Support Fund

  • Indigenous leadership and organization can apply for funding to design and implement community-based projects to assist with COVID-19.
  • Timeline: The request process for needs-based support recently reopened.
  • For formula-based funding allocated directly to First Nation, Inuit, and Metis Nation communities, there is no deadline or request process. The funding is flowing through existing agreements.





Employment Insurance benefits and leave

  • Individuals may be eligible for funding if they lost their job through no fault of their own or cannot find a job.
  • If an individual is not eligible or has received the maximum of EI, they may be eligible to apply for the following:
  • Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit


  • Employed and self-employed individuals who are not able to work due to a lockdown order in their region can apply for $300 ($270 after taxes withheld) a week.
  • Timeline: In effect until May 7, 2022.


Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

  • Employed and self-employed individuals who are sick, isolating due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition may be eligible for $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) a week.
  • The maximum number of weeks individuals can apply for is 6 weeks.
  • Timeline: In effect until May 7, 2022.


Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

  • Employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work due to caring for a child under 12 years of age or a family member needing supervised care may be eligible for $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) a week.
  • The maximum number of weeks households can apply for is 44 weeks.
  • Timeline: In effect until May 7, 2022.


Other Supports


Mortgage payment deferral

  • Homeowners facing financial stress may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral of up to 6 months to help ease the financial burden.

Low-income workers and families

  • The Canada Workers Benefit provides a refundable tax credit for individuals earning a low income and has expanded eligibility.
  • Low-income workers are now eligible for a tax credit of up to about:
  • $1,400 for workers who are single and without children; and
  • $2,400 for workers with families.


Sector Specific



  • Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative
  •  SMEs and not-for-profits can apply through regional development agencies for funding to become more sustainable, improve productivity and strengthen commercialization.

Aquaculture and fisheries

Culture, Heritage, and Sport

  • Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative
  • Festival organizations can apply through regional development agencies for funding to continue operations and position themselves for economic recovery.
  • Eligible festivals and events: Those with annual revenues exceeding $10 million.
  • To contact FedDev Ontario, click here.
  • Support for Independent production companies
  • The Short-term Compensation Fund Initiative will compensate independent production companies for the lack of insurance coverage for COVID-19–related filming interruptions and production shutdowns in the sector.
  • Funding will be available until March 31, 2022.


  • Emissions Reduction Fund
  • Funding is available for onshore and offshore oil organizations to invest in green opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.



  • Tourism Relief Fund
  • Tourism organizations adapting their operations and investing in their future growth may be eligible for funding for projects focused on product or destination development.
  • For a full list of eligible applicants and activities click here.
  • Tourism Relief Fund - RTO4
  • Supports tourism businesses adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth.
  • Amount: non-repayable contributions between $20,000 to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible costs for for-profit businesses and up to 100% of eligible costs for not-for-profit organizations and municipalities
  • Eligibility: Must be part of tourism ecosystem and must meet Eligible Activities
  • Deadline: Initial intake period closes May 15


  • Regional Air Transportation Initiative
  • Air carriers, airports, and organizations in the air transportation industry can apply through regional development agencies to obtain funding for projects to ensure the industry remains operational.



For a full overview of programs provided by the Ontario provincial government, click here.

To contact the government with questions about the supports, call 1-866-668-8297 (1-866-ONT-TAXS).
Call centres are open Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Tel: 416-325-6691
  • Toll-free: 1-855-216-3090
  • TTY: 416-325-3408
  • Toll-free TTY: 1-800-268-7095

Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant 

  • Small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of Roadmap to Reopen may be eligible to receive a one-time grant of $10,000.
  • Eligibility: Businesses that were required to close due to the public health orders implemented on January 5, 2022; and
  • Have fewer than 100 employees.
  • If an organization previously qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, they will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and do not need to apply for this modified program.
  • The following small businesses may be eligible:
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms)
  • 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
  • Timeline: Applications will open in the coming weeks.

Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program 

  • Organizations impacted by lockdown measures and closures can receive a portion of their property tax and energy costs in form of rebate payments during the period of being subjected to lockdown measures.
  • Organizations with capacity reduced to 50% will obtain 50% in rebates for their costs.
  • Organizations closed will obtain 100% in rebates for their costs.
  • Eligibility: A comprehensive list of eligible business types will be available in mid-January.
  • Timeline: Applications open January 18, 2022, with retroactive payments dating back to December 19, 2021.


Cash Flows 

  • Organizations will have a six-month interest and penalty-free period for most provincially administered taxes.
  • Timeline: January 1, 2022, until July 1, 2022.
  • Eligibility: The option to delay tax payments applies to the following taxes:
  • Employer Health Tax
  • Beer, Wine & Spirits Taxes
  • Tobacco Tax
  • Insurance Premium Tax
  • Fuel Tax
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement
  • Gas Tax
  • Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts & Benefit Plans
  • Mining Tax
  • Race Tracks Tax


COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Program 

  • Ontario employers must provide eligible employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave due to COVID-19 related reasons.
  • Direct hotline for questions: 1-888-999-2248
  • Timeline: Extended to July 31, 2022.

Electricity-Rate Relief 

  • As of January 18, 2022, electricity prices will be set to the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for 24 hours a day.
  • This is less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate.
  • The updated rate will be in effect for 21 days
  • This will be applied automatically to residential, small businesses, and farms who are paying regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility.
  • Applies to both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans.

Fair Finance Fund Loan

  • The Fair Finance Fund offers loans for food and farm businesses located in Ontario focused on local production. Clients receive up to 10 hours of mentorship and business assistance to help navigate business challenges through the loan period from experts in food and farming.
  • Amount: loans from $20,000 up to $200,000 for a 5-year term at a 6.25% interest rate
  • Eligibility: Is a food related enterprise and meets eligibility requirements
  • Deadline: Initial intake period closes May 13
Municipal Business Support

The Centre Wellington Economic Development staff will continue to support businesses during this difficult time.  To ensure the health and safety of our staff, all business support activities will be conducted via phone or online.

 Township Economic Response
The Township of Centre Wellington has adopted policies to assist citizens during this difficult period, through the initial Economic Response Plan.  

Here are some resources and information to help our local businesses weather the current pandemic situation.   Additional resources and information will be added as it becomes available.  

The Township of Centre Wellington facilities are currently closed but staff continue to work on issues affecting the residents and business of Centre Wellington.  If you have any questions, please contact staff directly.  

 Property Taxes

  • Tax instalments due April 30: Penalty and interest for non-payment, and non sufficient funds charges for returned payment will be waived until June 30, 2020
  • Non-residential and multi-residential property owners with an instalment due March 31st will have until May 31st to make a payment without incurring penalty and interest charges.
  • The Township is encouraging business/property owners currently on Pre-Authorized Payment (PAP) to continue PAP plans. If paying the full installment is difficult at this time, we encourage property owners to reduce their PAP withdrawal amount to half for May and June. It is important that property owners recognize this is a deferral of taxes and not a reduction of property taxes. Anyone interested in reducing their PAP amounts are asked to contact the Township office at 519-846-9691, ext. 902.
  • Postponing Planned Property Tax Reassessment: The government is postponing the planned property tax reassessment for 2021. Postponing the reassessment will provide stability for Ontario’s property taxpayers and municipalities. This means that 2021 tax levies will be based on 2020 assessment values.
 Water and Wastewater
 The Township will waive all penalties and interest on water/sewer payments for 60 days.
 Planning and Development Services

  • Development applications received prior to the closure are currently being processed.
  • Time sensitive inquires will be handled by Planning staff.
  • Staff are still accepting applications and processing applications by e-mail, sent to
 Online Small Business Support and Consultations
 Guelph Wellington Business Centre 
  • Small Business Advisors at the Guelph Wellington Business Centre are available to do business planning and support consultation over the phone or on zoom.  Appointments for consultations can be made by calling 519-826-4701

Wellington Waterloo Community Futures

  • The Business consultants at Community Futures are available to discuss business training, advice or financing over the phone at 519-846-9839.

Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce

  • The Chamber of Commerce has information on resources including business continuity and the very helpful Canadian Chamber of Commerce Pandemic Planning Guide.  

Destination Development Association

  • Tourism and Downtown support organization with exceptional online materials and webinars - many great ideas for small business and content of a webinar on dealing with this current situation.

Digital Main Street 

 Shop Local Centre Wellington
Shop Local Centre Wellington

You can help support small business and the local economy by shopping Centre Wellington.

Keep the Businesses we love in Business!


Visit and purchase gift cards for use as local stores, businesses and attractions when businesses reopen.

You can help support the many small businesses and the local economy by shopping Centre Wellington.


Businesses can sign up to participate by filling in this form.  


Centre Wellington's small and locally owned businesses are a critical part of our community.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to every area of our residents’ lives. These are challenging times for everyone. A number of local businesses have had to close their brick-and-mortar stores, but many are adapting to continue to serve their customers during this period of uncertainty.

We want to keep Centre Wellington's businesses vibrant and resilient. You can help make a difference by supporting them today!

Here’s how:

  • Whenever possible, buy local
  • Order from local businesses online
  • Order meals for takeout or delivery
  • Send messages of support on social media
  • Share local business content on your social media accounts
  • Write positive reviews for your favourite businesses
  • Purchase gift certificates now to use later

The Township of Centre Wellington, Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce, and Fergus Business Improvement Areas and Elora Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) offer resources you can use and share with your family, friends, neighbours and communities.

Let’s support Centre Wellington's economy. Because together, we're #CWStrong.


 Food Businesses in Ontario
The Province of Ontario has produced a guide to assist in establishing a home-based business.  The guide, which can be found here, provides information on foods that are considered low-risk and may be produced in a home kitchen.  While all food businesses must follow the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), home-based food businesses that prepare only low risk foods are now exempt from certain regulatory requirements such as:
  • Specified handwashing stations in food premises;
  • Compliance with commercial dishwashing requirements;
  • Food handling training certification

Please check the Ontario Supporting Home Based businesses website for additional information.

 Mental Health Resources for Businesses


 Live and Work CW

Your New Home & Career Are Waiting For You in Centre Wellington.


Live and Work Centre Wellington connects job & home seekers with opportunities and properties in the communities of Elora, Fergus.

Our interactive map and listings portal is a one-stop location for the region's employment and property listings, connecting you with the job you need and accommodations for sale or rent nearby.


 Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce

 Learn more about the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce by visiting their website.

 Elora BIA

Perched on the edge of a spectacular gorge and nestled along the banks of the Grand & Irvine River lies the enchanting village of Elora, Ontario, the most beautiful village in Ontario.


The Elora BIA is here to provide beautification and marketing support for the downtown Elora area, and advocates on behalf of the business community. 


downtown Elora

 Fergus BIA

Beautiful Downtown Fergus Ontario - the most Scottish Town in Canada!


Built on the Grand River, Fergus boasts historic buildings, natural beauty, and community pride.

The Fergus BIA Over 180 businesses are part of the Downtown Fergus Business Improvement Area. If you own a business in Downtown Fergus, you are automatically a member of the Fergus B.I.A. by virtue of your location. Your input and assistance with our activities are very welcome. Please do not hesitate to call should you have any questions.


Fergus BIA boundaries map



The Fergus BIA is always expanding on the beautification of the Riverwalk and Templin Gardens with our participation in the Lighting of the Grand, Sculpture Project, new bike racks, flowers and picnic tables on the look-out. As with every year we hope to grow our beautification projects.


Fergus Welcome Sign



Contact Us