The East Gwillimbury Economic Development Department is here to support our business community. As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working with our industry partners to ensure that you have the supports you need.

Economic Development Department
Telephone: (905) 478-4282 

Business Recovery Check-In

Check marks in boxes

We want to hear from you! It has been one year since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic and we would like to further understand how our local businesses and organizations are doing. Complete the Business Recovery Check In to let us know whether you accessed any of the funding supports or programs so we gain some insight on the challenges and opportunities to support your ongoing business recovery. Click here to fill out the form.

If you require assistance to complete the form, have questions, or would prefer to complete the form by phone, please contact our office and a member of our team will contact you to arrange a time to speak.

Economic Development Department
Email our team! 

Business Bounce Back 

Business Bounce Back Program Cohort 2

In partnership with the Town of Georgina and York University's YSpace, we have launched the Business Bounce Back program. This new three-month program is designed to support businesses and individuals who are primarily but not exclusively, within the hospitality and tourism sector who require the entrepreneurial and digital skills needed to pivot their existing business or create a new venture. The program will provide founders with the tools, skills, and connections they need to scale and thrive in the industry. Applications for Cohort #2 are open until August 8, 2021.

Business Bounce Back Program

The Business Bounce Back Program will be broken down into three (3) cohorts and each cohort will span a three (3) month period. The participants are expected to dedicate the necessary time and effort and use the education and skills provided to create new revenue opportunities for their existing or new business.

Below are the program timelines and program components:

Upload IconImportant IconList IconRocket taking off iconFlag IconPeople Connecting Icon
 July 19 August 8  August 16  August 23  November 12  December 17
Cohort #2 Applications Open Cohort #2 Applications Close Cohort #2 Participants are Selected Cohort #2 Programming Kicks-Off Cohort #2 Programming is Completed Cohort #2 Offboarding Completed

Program Components

Ideation Validation Workshops

A two-part, six-hour workshop delivered over two days that enable participants looking to pivot their current business or start a new business to a) identify business ideas, b) validate these ideas and c) build the skills needed to implement new and sustainable revenue streams.

  • Workshop 1 – participants will gain the tools and knowledge needed to do market research, create customer personas, and build value propositions.

  • Workshop 2 – participants will gain the tools and knowledge needed to create a business model canvas, develop a minimum viable product, and set Objective and Key Results (OKR).

Digital Skills Bootcamp

In partnership with General Assembly, participants will have access to award-winning courses and bootcamps that will build their digital skills and test their ideas, such as social media marketing and e-commerce development. The newly learned digital skills will also help build a workforce equipped with skills to manage the fast-changing landscape of technology.

One-on-one Mentorship

Recognizing that each participant will have their own unique ideas and business challenges, the program will provide individualized mentorship with a structured OKR approach. The matched mentor will meet with the participant once a week to review business strategies, discuss key milestones, and how to successfully achieve Objective and Key Results. In addition, participants will also have access to a roster of subject matter experts who can support various business needs such as legal advice and accounting best practices.

Program Criteria

  1. Participants are expected to contribute a minimum of 10 hours per month directly to program related events, such as attending workshops, meeting regularly with their mentor, and meeting with the program administration team.
    Commitment to the completion of one General Assembly bootcamp program.

  2. Participants are expected to contribute a minimum of 20 – 30 hours a week working on enhancing their existing business or developing their new business idea.
    Full time commitment to the program by the Business Founder or Owner.

  3. Participants must be in one of the following categories to qualify:

    • Residents displaced from the tourism and hospitality sector and looking to create a new business in either municipality.
    • Own an existing business in the Town of Georgina or East Gwillimbury.
    • Creating a new business with a registered location in the Town of Georgina or East Gwillimbury.

Application Form

More information on the program and the application form can be found by visiting the York University YSpace Business Bounce Back page

Click Here to Start Your Application

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the York University YSpace Business Bounce Back page for FAQs.

Contact Information

Cristina Liu

Economic and Tourism Recovery Program Coordinator




Business Retention and Expansion Interviews 

Telephone Interviews Completed 

In recognition of the significant impact of the pandemic on local businesses, the Town of EG will be launching a Business Retention & Expansion interview initiative to better understand and respond to the needs of local businesses. This project will use phone interviews to survey businesses gain insights into how to best support their ongoing recovery. Businesses will be selected randomly and if contacted, are encouraged to participate. The interviews will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Analysis of the survey results will provide the Town with a comprehensive understanding of the future plans and needs of local businesses, the key issues they face and the types of supports that will be most helpful to them. The results of this analysis will directly inform the development of future economic development activities, programs and services.

To assist with the project East Gwillimbury has retained MDB Insight, an economic development consulting firm with specific expertise in market research and data analysis. MDB Insight will be working with the Town to analyze the feedback and highlight areas that local businesses and employers have been impacted.

Telephone interviews are completed. If you did not receive a telephone interview, please connect with us by completing the online Business Recovery Check In

Our businesses have demonstrated exceptional flexibility and creativity in responding to the pandemic, but we know that it continues to be incredibly challenging,” says East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson. “We recognize that businesses have been surveyed extensively in recent months, but this direct information gathering is critical to our ability to respond effectively to the needs of our business community. We must ensure that our resources and efforts are directed in a way that will be most beneficial to our valued business community.

Programs and Funding Overview

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)

As a Canadian employer who continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible to apply for one of the two subsidies to cover part of your employee wages.

The CRHP and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) support wages you pay through different phases of your economic recovery. Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either CRHP or CEWS whichever is higher. 

Next deadline

December 30, 2021: Last day to apply for claim period 17

Next period opens

August 1, 2021: First day you can apply for claim period 18

Apply Today

Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebates

Businesses that are, or were, required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs.


All small businesses that are eligible for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant are also eligible for these property tax and energy bill rebates.

In addition, businesses are eligible if they:

Businesses struggling to pay their energy bulls as a result of COVID-19 may also be eligible for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Businesses (CEAP-SB) which you can apply to through your utility provider. 

For more information: Government of Ontario - Businesses: Get Help With COVID-19 Costs 

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Businesses (CEAP-SB)

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides an on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.

Small business and registered charity customers may be eligible for up to $1,500 in support towards their electricity and natural gas bills, and can apply for on-bill credits for both electricity and natural gas separately. Customers who previously received CEAP-SB support that was less than the maximum amount of $1,500 and have additional arrears may apply again, but their total on-bill credits cannot exceed that amount.

You must apply for CEAP-SB through your utility or USMP. Contact your utility or USMP directly as each may have a unique approach for application in-take.

For more information: COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Businesses (CEAP-SB)

Professional Services Access Program 

Do you need professional advice but are concerned about the potential costs? York Small Business Enterprise Centre is still accepting applications for the Northern York Region Professional Services Access Program.

What you can receive:

Initial consultation with a York Small Business Enterprise Centre Small Business Consultant

  • A referral for free professional services under ONE of the following service options:
  •  Lawyer
  •  Accountant
  •  Financial Analyst
  •  Marketing Expert
  •  Human Resources Expert

The above list is not exhaustive, and you may qualify for other professional services. This is a limited time program, and space is available on a first-come first-served basis.

Submit your application today: York Small Business Enterprise Centre 

South Lake Futures COVID-19 Response Fund

In response to the negative impact COVID-19 is having on local businesses, South Lake Futures established the COVID-19 Response Fund to offer loans between $5,000 and $20,000 below prime rate to support businesses impacted by the pandemic.

For more information on this fund, please contact:

Brian McGregor, Interim Business Loans Officer
Website: South Lake Futures 

Business Updates

  • The East Gwillimbury Economic Development team will continue to support businesses during this difficult time. To ensure the health and safety of our clients and staff, all business support activities will be conducted via telephone (905) 478-4282 and email. Send an email to the EG Economic Development team.
  • Due dates for municipal property taxes and utility bills remain as normal timelines indicated on the bills. Residents are encouraged to pay if able, however, if there is a concern regarding the ability to pay a bill, please email the Finance Department
  • The Town of East Gwillimbury's Community Support Hotline is now open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (905) 478-3820 to provide hands-on assistance to residents and small business owners in identifying and applying for COVID-19 related Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Support Programs.
  • The East Gwillimbury Chamber of Commerce continues to support local businesses throughout these unprecedented times. Please email the Chamber of Commerce directly with any questions you may have as the EGCOC office will be working remotely. Please visit the event calendar for upcoming events and seminars. 
  • South Lake Futures remains committed to serving clients during this challenging time. Offices will be staffed but closed to the public until further notice, and will continue to be available through email and telephone 1 (866) 605-1244. Send an email to South Lake Futures. Ongoing updates will be posted to their website and social media. 
  • York Small Business Enterprise Centre continues to offer business supports and consultations via email while the office remains closed to the public until further notice. Email York Small Business Enterprise Centre for assistance or visit the events calendar for upcoming events and seminars. 
  • 211 Ontario Information Hotline is your primary source for information on government and community-based social services.  Find local services and supports in areas such as Foodbanks, Food Delivery, Helplines, Housing Support, Mental Health Support, Ready to Eat/Take Away Meals, and more. This hotline is free and confidential and available by TTY: 1 (888) 340-1001. You can email 211 Ontario Information Hotline or live chat with professionals 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week in over 100 languages. 

 Business Resources and Programs


FanSaves gift certificate program

FanSaves Logo

The East Gwillimbury Chamber of Commerce partnered with FanSaves to support the local business community. This platform is free to EG businesses and will allow people to buy gift certificates from businesses that are currently closed or offering limited services, which they can use at a later date. 


Distantly Logo

Distantly is an online donation platform that allows community members to make direct donations to small businesses in East Gwillimbury. The goal is to lessen the impact of non-essential closures by enabling customers to continue supporting businesses until they are able to full re-open.

Add your business for free 

Click the "Add my business" button in the top right-hand corner on the Distantly website.


ShopHERE logo

ShopHERE provides East Gwillimbury businesses the opportunity to develop online presence. The program provides a customized online store on Shopify, hands-on assistance with setting up and launching the online store, training and support for digital marketing, and access tools to launch of their online store. ShopHERE is free but businesses will be responsible for the monthly Shopify fee after the 90-day trial.

Government Support for Businesses

Resources for businesses, their employees and self‑employed individuals including financial support, loans and access to credit. 

Government of Canada

Support for Businesses 

Support for Employees or Self-Employed Individuals 

Government of Ontario

Regional Municipality of York 

In-person business advisory services are currently transitioning to phone consultations at this time. For information, please send an email to the Regional Municipality of York.

York Small Business Enterprise Centre (YSBEC): Effective immediately, where possible, the YSBEC will be moving all in person consultations to phone consultations. Consultations that cannot be completed by phone will be postponed until further notice.  In addition, we will be evaluating all seminars and programs to see which ones can be delivered online. Please stay tuned for more information on our programs over the coming days and weeks including:

Other information

Routes Connecting Communities 

Are you looking for someone to shop/deliver on your behalf, please email Routes Connecting Communities Inc. or call them at (905) 722-4616. Also, if you are willing to provide driving/delivery services for those in need, connect with us too. We match the need to the volunteers. 

External resources to support the workplace