businessNOW™ is the most comprehensive weekly round-up of business and organizational news and events from Peterborough and across the Kawarthas.
The week’s businessNOW features the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) giving away another $5,000 in “downtown money” when you buy gift certificates online from any of the 80 local businesses listed at supportdowntownptbo.ca.
Also featured is a summary of federal government support for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Peterborough manufacturers seeking materials for development of Personal Protective Equipment for COVID-19, and the results of TeamPtbo’s first COVID-19 business impact survey (with a second survey launched).
There’s also local business CrossFit Ptbo’s challenge for other businesses to donate any available medical supplies for COVID-19, Chimp Treats launching a new product and offering free delivery in Peterborough area, and Outset Media launching a Peterborough-based Monopoly-like board game available at Walmart.
This week’s virtual events include the Innovation Cluster hosting webinars on intellectual property and marketing strategies during COVID-19.
Get gift certificates when you buy gift certificates from downtown Peterborough businesses
The Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) is giving away $5,000 in “downtown money” — gift certificates you can use at participating downtown Peterborough businesses — when you buy gift cards from any of the 80 local businesses listed at supportdowntownptbo.ca.
If you’re able to, buying gift cards right now at supportdowntownptbo.ca will mean a lot for local businesses as they struggle to stay ahead of their expenses.
To sweeten the offer, the Peterborough DBIA is bringing back its popular “spend $50 and get $25 in downtown money” beginning at 11 a.m. on Tuesday (April 7) while quantities last. The last time the Peterborough DBIA made this offer, they sold out of downtown money in less than five hours.
For every $50 in gift cards you purchase from businesses listed at supportdowntownptbo.ca, you can also select a $25 Downtown Money Special Promotion. So if you spend $150, you can get $75 in downtown money. Shoppers are limited to eight $25 Downtown Money gift certificates per person.
When all $5,000 in downtown money have been sold out with purchases of gift cards, the site will label the promotion as sold out. Shoppers are limited to eight $25 Downtown Money gift certificates per person.
To further support downtown Peterborough businesses, the DBIA has created a list of retailers offering delivery or curbside delivery and a list of eateries offering takeout and delivery.
Federal government support for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic
As part of its support for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is making available a number of programs including wage subsidies, reduced and deferred payment, and access to credit. A summary of the available programs is provided below.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy a 75 per cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Eligible employers include individuals, taxable corporations, and partnerships consisting of eligible employers as well as non-profit organizations and registered charities. Public bodies (municipalities, public universities, colleges, schools, and hospitals) are not eligible. The subsidy is available to eligible employers that see a drop of at least 30 per cent of their revenue (employers must re-apply for the wage subsidy each month they have a 30 per cent reduction). For more information, visit canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/wage-subsidy.html.
The Temporary Wage Subsidy is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The subsidy is equal to 10 per cent of the remuneration you pay from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer. For more information, visit
GST/HST and Customs Duty Remittance Deferral allows businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the GST/HST, as well as customs duty owing on their imports. Any GST/HST payment that becomes owing from March 27 until the end of May can be deferred until the end of June. For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, deferral will include amounts owing for March, April and May. For more information, visit
The Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000). This program will roll out in mid-April. For more information, contact your financial institution.
The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) will provide $40 billion of additional support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). BDC and EDC are working with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses. This program includes a loan guarantee for small and medium enterprises (new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million) and a new co-lending program for small and medium enterprises (Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million BDC’s portion of this program is up to $5 million maximum per loan). Businesses seeking support through BCAP should contact the financial institutions with whom they have a pre-existing relationship, so that the financial institutions may assess the client’s financial request. For more information, visit
The Work-Sharing program‘s maximum duration is being extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19. Work sharing is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. For more information, visit canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html#h4.01.
Peterborough manufacturers seeking materials for development of Personal Protective Equipment for COVID-19
Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) is assisting a collaboration of companies, led by Harco Enterprises Limited with the support from Merit Precision, which is reaching out to the broader business community to source additional materials for the development of urgently needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Harco Enterprises is using its skills to retool and make plastic and rubber components that can hold and attach face shields, worn by medical professionals and first responders.
Harco Enterprises is making two specific pieces that hold the face shield, and there is an immediate need for the clear plastic required to complete the face shield.
The company is looking to partner with other manufacturers or businesses who can create the clear thin plastic shield to build a complete face shield kit.
The face shield needs to be cut to be 12.0″ by 9.5″ and approximately 0.020″ thick or 0.5mm thick from Polyethylene terephthalate (PETG) material. Images of the face shield, plastic components, and the face shield dimensions are available via Dropbox.
If you are a business in Peterborough & the Kawarthas and can help with the creation of these face shields or have access to a supplier who can, contact Suzanne McCrimmon, Director of Business Development at PKED, at 705-872-6802 or SMcCrimmon@peterboroughed.ca .
Results released of TeamPtbo’s first COVID-19 business impact survey, with second survey launched
TeamPtbo has released the results of a COVID-19 business impact survey of 335 local businesses.
TeamPtbo is the self-assigned name of a collective of the Peterborough area’s economic development organizations (Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area, the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Peterborough, and the Innovation Cluster) which are leading the area’s economic response to COVID-19.
The service, retail, manufacturing, and culinary sectors were the top four most responsive sectors in the TeamPtbo survey, which found that financial continuity, customer declines, and staff not being able to work are the three major concerns of businesses when it comes to COVID-19.
The survey, which was available from March 16th to 22nd, found that financial support of some type was the most-referred-to issue when respondents were asked about what specific assistance they required. The most-mentioned topis were wage subsidies (revenue) for workers employed and owners unemployed (20 per cent), interest leniency (8.5 per cent), rent relief (6 per cent), and deferral of taxes (3.5 per cent).
Other needs mentioned by respondents included marketing assistance, human resources support, and help finding workers. For the service sector, financial continuity and customer declines were the two largest concerns. Manufacturing has an almost equal distribution between financial continuity, customer declines, supply chain distribution, and staff not being able to work. The retail and culinary sectors both placed more emphasis on financial continuity and customer declines.
With this information in hand, TeamPTBO has created a second business impact survey, with more detailed and thorough questions for local businesses. The second survey is available at surveymonkey.com/r/COVID-19BusinessSurvey
“I can’t overstate how valuable local businesses’ input and feedback for this survey are to us,” says PKED president and CEO Rhonda Keenan. “We need local business owners to be as forthcoming and transparent as possible about how this unprecedented pandemic is impacting their business and how #TeamPTBO can help with the creation of immediate and longer term solutions.”
“All of the survey data and information will be used to communicate what specific needs are the most vital to the business community. These data sets will then be used to inform the programs and services set up by the Federal and Provincial government as well as local service providers such as Community Futures Peterborough to help local business rebound from this unfortunate situation.”
Local business CrossFit Ptbo challenges other businesses to donate any available medical supplies for COVID-19
Local business CrossFit Ptbo is challenging other businesses to donate any available medical supplies for COVID-19.
The fitness company found two unopened boxes of nitrile gloves in its first-aid kit and donated one to Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) and the other to Kawartha Community Midwives.
They are challenging other local businesses to check their own first-aid kits for any medical supplies that could be used by front-line healthcare workers.
Medical supply donations to PRHC must be unopened and can be delivered from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Monday to Friday (the donation entrance is to the left of all the loading docks). For more information, visit theppedrive.com/peterborough.
Chimp Treats launches new product and offers free delivery in Peterborough area
Peterborough-based health food startup Chimp Treats has launched Fruitful Smoothies, a new smoothie sold exclusively online and delivered directly to the consumer.
Chimp Treats is offering free deliveries within 20 kilometres of Peterborough to help people in isolation or practising physical distancing and to alleviate the normal shipping charges.
Manufactured in the Peterborough region, the Fruitful Smoothies product is be made entirely from all-natural ingredients and is dairy free. Sustainably packaged and are shelf-stable for up to six months, it comes in three flavours: Beach Vibes, Green Glow, and Soul Shine.
It will be sold exclusively online and delivered directly to the consumer by the Chimp Treats team.
Brooke Hammer started Chimp Treats while she was a student at Trent University in 2016. Her company’s Nicecream product is currently sold coast-to-coast by retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Loblaw, and Healthy Planet. The product was developed using an innovative manufacturing process that allowed the company to a fruit-only frozen dessert on a large commercial scale.
The Chimp Treats team had been working on launching Fruitful Smoothies for months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a small business owner, it is important to me that I give back to my community wherever possible,” says Brooke Hammer, Founder and CEO of Chimp Treats. “We will do everything we can to help our community during this trying time. Not delaying our launch allows us to get this great product into the market and it allows our small business to keep running and for my team to keep working.”
Chimp Treats will be donating products to Kawartha Food Share during COVID-19.
For more information and to place an order, visit chimptreats.com..
Outset Media launches Peterborough-based Monopoly-like board game available at Walmart
Outset Media and Walmart Canada have launched “Peterborough-Opoly”, a limited-edition board game that takes a distinctive local spin on the classic game of Monopoly, with the properties and places in Peterborough.
Landmarks and attractions featured in the game include the Peterborough Lift Lock, Peterborough MusicFest, The Canadian Canoe Museum, Millennium Park, Ashburnham Ale House, and more.
Peterborough-Opoly is available for a limited time exclusively at select Walmart stores and online at walmart.ca (currently out of stock online).
Outset Media is a Canadian privately held wholesale supplier and manufacturer of toys, games, and puzzles based out of Victoria, BC and founded by its president, David Manga, in 1996.
Innovation Cluster hosts virtual seminars on intellectual property and marketing strategies during COVID-19
The Innovation Cluster is hosting two virtual Hands-ON seminars this week.
The first online seminar, “Intellectual Property with Prima IP”, takes place from 12 to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7th. Marcelo Sarkis of Prima IP will facilitate the webinar, which will define intellectual property, strategies for securing it, typical costs, and intellectual property during national emergencies. Register for the free webinar at eventbrite.com/e/hands-on-intellectual-property-with-prima-ip-tickets-101311944754.
The second online seminar, “Marketing Strategies for Startups during COVID-19”, takes place from 12 to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8th. Rose Terry, marketing manager and senior innovation specialist with the Innovation Cluster, will talk about how to create a marketing plan for an uncertain future, re-evaluating and understanding your target market, understanding share of wallet during COVID-19, creating your marketing message, advertising on a budget, and recognizing growth opportunities. Register for the free webinar at eventbrite.com/e/hands-on-marketing-strategies-for-startups-during-covid-19-tickets-101231413884.
For other virtual events for business and more, check our kawarthaNOW’s new Virtual Events column.