This toolkit includes a comprehensive list of tools, resources, and programs that can assist you with the next stages of recovery and reopening for your business.

Earlier this year, the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre interviewed over 100 small business owners.

We heard about financial challenges caused by the pandemic, the desire to retain and support employees, the need to strengthen online presence and sales, interest in how other businesses are addressing challenges, the uncertainty of how to re-open and how to do so safely, and the emotional toll of all this.

Our team offered resources and advice in an effort to support small businesses.

Now, we’ve compiled all those resources here. We also heard that the sheer volume of available resources is overwhelming. So, we’ve organized the most requested resources here in a way that we hope will help to make things a little less overwhelming.

We know small businesses have been hit hard financially due to COVID-19. Learn more about the available funding and financial planning.

What financial assistance is available, and how do I apply for it?

Where can I learn more about financial planning?

Check out our funding & financing page 
Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming financial planning webinars
Sign up for Mentorworks government funding webinars
Sign up for webinars through Enterprise Toronto
Sign up for webinars through the Business Advisory Centre Durham

Paying rent has been a struggle for many small businesses during COVID-19. Learn about rent assistance and the roles and responsibilities of landlords and tenants.

How do I get assistance paying my rent?

Where can I get information about paying my rent during COVID-19?

We know you’re worried about your employees, learn about programs that help keep your employees working, managing employees during COVID-19, and hiring options.

How do I get assistance paying my employees?

Where can I get information on managing my employees during COVID-19?

How can I hire subsidized/temporary employees?

COVID –19 has highlighted the importance of having an online presence, but restructuring your business can be overwhelming. Learn about available programs and information to help get your business online.

How do I get support for moving my business online?

Where can I learn more about e-commerce and marketing?

We heard small business owners want to communicate with and learn from others who own similar businesses. Learn about connection opportunities and examples of others in your industry.

Where can I meet others in my industry?

Where can I learn more about my industry in relation to COVID-19?

Food Industry

Personal Care, Psychology, Health & Wellness etc.

Dance, Gym, & Fitness Facilities

Hair Salons



Many business owners are excited to re-open but also unsure where to begin. Learn more about what to consider and best practices for re-opening your business.

How do I safely re-open my business?

When can I re-open my business?

How do I properly clean my workplace and equipment?

Personal protective equipment is in high demand, learn more about where to purchase PPE and how to use it.

Where can I purchase PPE?

The PPE supplier information provided is for general information purposes only. The information about providers and services contained on this website does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the City of Kitchener. It is your responsibility to verify and investigate providers and services.

What PPE is recommended for my business?

We’ve heard from newer small businesses that you still need general startup assistance. Learn more about available programs and startup information.

What programs are available to help scale my business?

Where can I learn more about owning and operating a small business or non-profit?

COVID-19 has put everyone under an increased amount of stress. Learn about ways to keep you and your team motivated and managing mental health.

How can I stay motivated and productive?

How can I take care of my mental health during COVID-19?