March 27 2020
HAMILTON, ON – The City of Hamilton is committed to supporting local businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.
City Council has directed staff to review opportunities for relief from some municipal taxes and fees, and staff will be reporting back to Council with options in early April.
In addition, to ensure Hamilton’s economic growth and success can continue, the City has announced several initiatives and partnerships aimed at helping local business. In the days and weeks to come, the City will continue to work with the local business community to develop more programs and initiatives to provide them with the help they need while continuing to grow Hamilton’s economy.
Initial economic recovery initiatives include:
- The creation of a COVID-19 Business Continuity and Recovery Information page (hamiltonchamber.ca/covid19) in partnership with Hamilton’s three Chambers of Commerce. This site features information for Hamilton’s business community to stay up to date on the rapidly evolving situation. It includes Federal and Provincial business assistance information, ways for industry to help with the fight against COVID-19, resources for small business and creative industry support and contact information for further questions.
- Support for the creation of Hometownhub.ca, an all-in-one on-line sales site for Hamilton’s small businesses. It provides a platform for local small businesses to sell gift cards and online merchandise as well as the ability to quickly bring merchants on-line if they do not already have this sales capability.
- Start-up support for “Hamilton Shows Up”, an on-line platform for local artists and musicians to provide virtual performances.
- Weekly teleconference meetings with local BIAs to provide municipal updates and a platform to share ideas and resources.
- Modifying parking regulations to allow for free Pick-up Zones for takeout and deliveries at local businesses.
- Ensuring that businesses that provide services to the City continue to be supported. The City has made the timely processing of payments to City vendors as well as the continued preparation and development of tenders for City work a priority.
- Continuing to deliver on development approvals. While our municipal facilities, including City Hall, are closed to protect the health and safety of our staff and visitors, the review and approval of development applications and Building Permits continues. Staff in Planning, Development Engineering, and other areas are primarily working remotely, but are still processing development applications. Online building permit applications can be completed at www.hamilton.ca/eplans and Zoning Verifications at https://zoningverification.hamilton.ca/. To ensure the public can continue to be engaged in development applications, timelines for providing comments will be extended and access to information on development applications will continue to be available.
- Waiving late fees on any business license renewals up until April 6 (all licensing questions can be sent to [email protected])
- The Hamilton Business Centre remains open for calls and emails and will shortly be offering e-resources to support small business needs during this time. They can be contacted at 905-540-6400 or [email protected] . Key initiatives such as Digital Main Street, Starter Company and Summer Company will continue providing valuable training, mentorship and micro-grants to support Hamilton’s small business community.
- Economic Development staff continue to be accessible by phone, email and video conferencing to help businesses manage operations during the pandemic. Contact the team by visiting www.investinhamilton.ca
“Hamilton’s business community is the cornerstone of a strong local economy. That’s why we are already looking toward the future to find ways to assist businesses so they can recover and thrive once again. Working together, we can create the necessary conditions to return Hamilton to prosperity.” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger, City of Hamilton
“We know how critically important small business is to Hamilton’s economy, so we are taking these first steps to help them manage business operations through this pandemic.”- Jason Thorne, General Manager Planning & Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton.
“Our Economic Development Office continues to work with Hamilton businesses of all sizes to ensure this city remains open for business. The measures announced today are a first step on the road to an eventual economic recovery and we plan on announcing many more innovative solutions in the coming weeks and months ahead.” - Norm Schleehahn, Director of Economic Development, City of Hamilton
Michael R. Marini, MA, Cert. PR, APR, Ec. D.
905-546-2424, ext. 1781
Senior Communications Officer
City of Hamilton
905-546-2424, ext. 3810
Communications and Media Advisor
Office of Mayor Fred Eisenberger