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Covid-19 Stakeholder Resources

Chatham-Kent Tourism is supporting the directives of the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit and the Governments of Canada and Ontario through precautionary measures and enhanced monitoring of the workplace due to Covid-19. For personal health and safety our tourism office is closed to the public, but travel counsellors are still able to assist with your inquiries. You can call us 1-800-561-6125 or email We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @visitck as well as @visitchathamkent on Instagram. 

Mandatory Mask By-Law

Chatham-Kent Council has passed a by-law to make the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces mandatory as of 12:01 am, August 14, 2020.

Covid-19 Business Resources

Economic Recovery Task Force - In April, 2020, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent assisted with the creation of this entity, co-chaired by Michael Grail and Rocky Gaudrault. Here you will find information on the nine sector sub-committees, reports to council and more. 

Employment and Workforce - The government of Ontario has released a variety of programs to help residents impacted by Covid-19 get back to work. Here you will find information on things like Small Business Wage Subsidies, Work Sharing Programs, and more. 

Supplies - There are many Chatham-Kent businesses who supply personal protective equipment (PPE) and related services, including professional cleaning and disinfecting. The province of Ontario has also released a directory of where to source PPE.

SWOTC Covid-19 Tourism Operator Resources


Applications for the 'Safe Opening Program' will be accepted and will be granted on a first come, first served basis. Review the below - then set a reminder now for your chance to be reimbursed for some of your PPE expenses.

Ontario Southwest (RTO 1) may reimburse you a maximum of $1000.00 (pre-tax) towards items that were purchased to meet safety requirements to allow the safe re-opening of your business.

  • Reimbursement will be retroactive to April 1, 2020 and can be applied to things like:
  • Physical distancing (signs, plexiglass, etc.)
  • Technology upgrades supporting touch-less service
  • Increased cleaning and sanitation
  • Other requirements as outlined in 'A Framework for Reopening our Province'

The intake process will be on a "First Come, First Served" basis until the budget is reached. If you miss out this time around, there will be another intake in December 2020. Each business will only be reimbursed one time. Click here for submission form and more details.

Funding through FedDev Ontario

FedDev Ontario is accepting applications for funding from SME (small medium enterprise) that meet the following criteria:

  • Canadian or provincially incorporated business, co-operative or an Indigenous-owned business located in southern Ontario with 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees;
  • Facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs as a result of COVID-19;
  • Have been a viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic and plan to continue to operate their business or resume operations;
  • Have already applied to other Government of Canada emergency credit relief measures for which they are eligible, as outlined in the program guidelines.

Applications can be submitted for:

  • Funding support for fixed operating costs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • For more information, please view the program guidelines.
For more information click here

Digital Main Street Program 

  • assistance available for SME (small medium enterprise)
  • The Future Proof Main Street program is delivered in partnership with Communitech and Invest Ottawa
  • helps businesses identify new markets, pivot their business model, and develop and implement a deep digital transformation plan

Recovery Activation Program

  • assistance available for SME (small medium enterprise)
  • The Recovery Activation Program (RAP) is a no cost, immersive series of highly practical online programs that are designed to help you identify areas to modernize your business so that you can confidently take on all the challenges that are thrown at you in the wake of COVID-19, such as managing your workforce virtually, finding new customers without going to a tradeshow, and managing disrupted supply chains – just to name a few.
  • In three steps – taking a Digital Needs Assessment, engaging in virtual sessions, and working with industry leading experts to plan your digital transformation – you will be on your way to new growth and opportunities

Other Resources

There are many resources available for tourism operators to tap into through the Southwestern Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC).

Here you will find things like...

  • access to released safety guidelines to protect workers, customers and the general public as we continue a gradual reopening of the provincial economy
  • a tourism workforce recovery toolkit with the goal of helping operators rebound from the crisis
  • the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) resource site for reopening restaurants and creating guest confidence and comfort
  • federal and provincial Covid-19 loans, grants and toolkits available
  • information on Ontario Live - MusicTogether, a place to put on virtual performances and get paid

You can also learn more about SWOTC's E-commerce support program, photo bank building program, tips for hosting live online experiences, and much more here.