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Municipal Update: COVID-19 (#2)

Published on
March 20, 2020

An update on the ever changing municipal landscapes across the country:

City of Toronto

Announced earlier today, Mayor John Tory is extending the 30-day grace period to 60-days for businesses on tax and city utilities, including water and solid waste bill payments, for all bills dated March 16.

Therefore this will apply to both of the remaining interim tax installments that were due April 1 & May 1.

Late payment penalties will also be waived for 60-days starting March 16.

Durham Region

The Durham Economic Task Force is a collaborative response team made up of Durham Region’s Economic Development and Tourism team; Business Advisory Centre of Durham; all of Durham’s chambers of commerce and boards of trade; as well as local municipal economic development teams. The members have also been engaging with other key stakeholders, such as local business improvement areas (BIAs). InvestDurham.ca/CovidResponse  

The Durham Economic Task Force’s immediate priorities are to:

  • Advocate for the urgent needs of Durham Region’s business community to the provincial and federal governments
  • Provide resources and information about business supports available from various levels of government — from applying for government relief, to payment flexibility from local utilities such as gas, hydro, and water
  • Work with other levels of government and stakeholders to develop and implement support programming for business owners, affected employees, and their families, who are experiencing financial impacts as a result of COVID-19
  • Provide direct support to help guide small businesses through the process of accessing emergency financial assistance and programming from all levels of government
  • Promote Durham small businesses that are still open, particularly the local food and agri-businesses who are offering safe, no-contact delivery and pick-up services

The Town of Innisfil

Local small business financing of up to $10,000 is available to business owners in the following areas: Innisfil, Bradford West Gwillimbury, New Tecumseth, Adjala-Tosorontio, and Essa. Innisfil is also surveying its business owners on the immediate and future effects of the pandemic, and the support needed. Click here to submit your feedback.

Simcoe Region

Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard and MPP Andrea Khanjin are inviting business owners and entrepreneurs to join in online conversation on the current impacts to businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic. MPP Khanjin noted that they want to hear from small businesses before the economic update next Wednesday, March 25, to ensure they address needs and any gaps that exist.

City of Hamilton

In partnership with Hamilton’s three Chambers of Commerce, is forming an economic recovery working group and website to assist businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.  Hamilton City Council voted to amend their Procedural Bylaw, to permit the electronic participation of members of Council at Council and/or Committee meetings.

Staff were also directed to review the feasibility of waiving the penalties for on property tax installments for property owners who may default on their property taxes and report back to the General Issues Committee.

City of St. Catharines

Has introduced a grace period on taxes and bills. Until June 30, businesses and residents will not be charged late fees or interest penalties on water and tax payments, and accounts receivable.

City of Niagara Falls  

The City of Niagara Falls will not charge interest or penalties on overdue tax bills, and will not be shutting off electricity or water. Details of the policy will be given shortly.

The Town of Lincoln

Will suspend late fees and penalties on property taxes, water payments, and accounts receivable until June 30. Water disconnections have been suspended.

City of London

Announced the launch of the Mayor’s Economic Impact and Recovery Task Force, which will work to address the economic impact on local businesses, residents, organizations. The economic impact task force will work directly with London’s business and industry leaders and organizations and will include:

  • The chamber of commerce, London Economic Development Corp., LIUNA, large employers and the Better Business Bureau
  • The meetings will take place weekly, for as long as required

City of Montreal

The City of Montreal announced the creation of an emergency fund of $5 million to help those businesses in areas such as tourism, arts and culture that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Details of how to apply for these subsidies are still unclear.

The deadline for property tax installments has also been extended to July 2, boosting short-term cash flows.

Any businesses that have taken our loans from the City of Montreal will also be entitled to a six-month moratorium on their repayment, with the City absorbing the interest estimated at $1.3 million.

Click here to submit an information request form to the City of Montreal’s Economic Development Services department on support measures for businesses.

City of Regina

The City held a special meeting this morning at 10am to discuss issues including commercial and property taxes.

“To further support residents and businesses, and in line with other municipalities, City Administration recommends that our tax billing and collections processes be revised as follows:

  1. Send property tax bills for delivery in May 2020 consistent with prior years, pending establishment of the education property tax mill rates by the province; and
  2. Extend the property tax payment deadline for 3 months (to September 30th) allowing property owners additional time to pay their 2020 property taxes without incurring penalty.”

City of Victoria

Council has authorized the City’s Real Estate staff to look at potential options to provide relief for businesses located in City-owned properties on a case-by-case basis.

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