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Date Posted
May 20, 2020

The Province has now fully entered Stage 1 of re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing some businesses to re-open, if they maintain strict safety protocols. The Province and Grey Bruce Public Health are working diligently to ensure businesses have the knowledge needed to keep employees and the public safe.  

When looking to re-open a business, owners should consult the sector guidelines recommended by the Province. In general, the following guidelines may assist you:

  • have a plan and supplies to keep all work surfaces and high touch areas clean;
  • provide sanitizer or wash stations for staff and customers;
  • control the number of people in the business premises and manage traffic flow to ensure social distancing of two meters;
  • use cloth masks and face covers when physical distancing can’t be maintained (Public Health recommends non-medical cloth masks for the general public);
  • provide signage that communicates to employees and customers health and safety protocols while in the store; and where possible,
  • minimize contact with customers by continuing to offer and encourage online shopping, curbside delivery and contactless payment.

Complete sector guidelines can be found on the Province’s website, Ontario.ca.

These safety measures help keep everyone safe and build staff and consumer confidence. When businesses, staff, and the public feel safe and comfortable, the economy is proving to rebound faster in other countries.

Businesses included in the Stage 1 category are reminded that reopening physical properties is not mandated. Businesses are encouraged to re-open when they feel comfortable providing a safe environment for both employees and customers.

Grey County economic development and tourism staff are focusing on recovery. They are available to answer questions, help navigate the information available and assist business as they look to reopen. For support, contact ecdev@grey.ca or 519‑372‑0219 ext.1270. A County staff member will assist you within one business day.

For regular Grey County economic development updates, please sign up for the virtual newsletter available at Grey.ca.

Media Inquiries
Rob Hatten
Communications Manager and Emergency Information Officer

Facts and Frequently Asked Questions

Who can reopen in Stage 1? 
The partial list of businesses allowed to open (provided they can safely do it) are listed here: https://files.ontario.ca/mof-detailed-list-stage-1-openings-en-2020-05-14.pdf  

What are the safety guidelines the Province developed?
All businesses should follow the safety guidelines established for their specific sector. Refer to safety organizations on the Province of Ontario website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace#section-2.

Are surgical & N95 Masks recommended for businesses to protect form COVID‑19?
No. Grey Bruce Public Health is recommending the use of cloth masks or face coverings for employees and the public during Stage 1. Some businesses in Stages 2 and 3 will be required to use healthcare-compliant PPE. These businesses will be contacted directly by Grey Bruce Public Health. 

Do I have to screen employees and customers?
It is recommended you screen workers regularly for symptoms. Grey Bruce Public Health recommends passive screening for customers. Post signage at entries asking people not to enter if they have any symptoms. 

What if I can’t follow the safety guidelines in my location?
If you are not confident you can follow safety guidelines while re-opening your business, it is best you maintain status quo. Remain closed or continue with online sales and curbside pick up.

Should I continue with the alternative arrangements we have been using to do business?
Yes. It is possible we will shift back and forth with restrictions throughout the course of the pandemic and recovery phases could last months.

More information about cloth masks and face coverings
Grey Bruce Health Unit is recommending cloth masks and face coverings rather than medical masks for staff working in local businesses. Businesses should only open if they can do so safely. https://www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/About-Us/News-Releases/ArticleID/611/Cloth-Masks-and-Face-Coverings-in-the-Retail-Setting.

Grey County economic development and tourism recovery staff can assist you to find cloth masks. For support, contact ecdev@grey.ca or 519‑372‑0219 ext.1270. A County staff member will assist you within one business day.

Are there financial supports available to help my business during re-opening?
Yes. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has been extended to August 29. The Regional Relief & Recovery Fund is now available to businesses in rural Ontario who are unserved or underserved by current programs. Please contact your local Community Futures Development Corporation to apply. http://www.feddevontario.gc.ca/eic/site/723.nsf/eng/02588.html

Who is my Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) Contact in Grey?
For loans up to $40,000, your local CFDC can direct you to the CFDC application form, provide business coaching and other wrap-around support.

Do you have a resource page for business?
Yes. For a list of government support programs for business, please visit www.grey.ca/covid-19-resources. This is our hub for all business information relating to the pandemic. This page includes our Resiliency Map, which will show cloth mask retailers and PPE suppliers.


For more information, contact Steve Furness, Manager of Economic Development, at 519‑372‑0219 ext. 1255 or steve.furness@grey.ca.

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