Dozens of Timmins-area businesses are receiving a boost from the province to help adapt to COVID-19 public health guidelines.
Fifty-seven businesses are receiving a total of more than $1 million through the Northern Ontario Recovery Program. The program accepted applications for businesses adjusting to COVID-19 through building renovations and new constructions, customer and employee safety installations, personal protective equipment purchases, marketing for new business initiatives, and restructuring business operations.
"During the ongoing pandemic period, our government is standing shoulder to shoulder with northern business owners, entrepreneurs and workers in Timmins," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, in a news release.
"COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our day-to-day lives and how we do business. That's why our government is supporting small and medium-sized businesses as we safely and gradually reopen.”
Three of the successful businesses are highlighted in the province's announcement.
Chenier Motors received $25,390 to install glass barriers and create a contact-less pick-up and delivery department.
"Thanks to the Ontario government, we are able to protect our customers and employees by installing glass barriers in our parts and service department. We also added glass barriers to all our showroom office desks. To become a contact-less pick-up and delivery department, we built a dedicated receiving door to accommodate such practices," said Kara Lynn Chenier, Chenier Motors Limited owner, in the announcement.
Total Martial Arts Centre downtown Timmins received $25,000 to buy safety equipment, personal protective equipment and sanitizing supplies.
"The Northern Ontario Recovery Program was very beneficial to us during our closure as we were able to purchase cleaning equipment and supplies, as well as safety equipment that made our jobs safer and easier. It will also increase efficiency in the future, allowing us to spend more time on the actual business. A big thanks to the Ontario government and all involved," said president Matthew R. Poulin.
Dr. Stephen Coutts said the $10,127 for Dr. S. Coutts Medicine Professional Corporation helped them continue serving the needs of patients in Timmins and Sudbury.
"I was able to purchase computer equipment to assist in the provision of virtual care to patients all over Northern Ontario. As well, I purchased personal protective equipment to be used by patients and health care providers and was able to provide in-person care. During the lockdown period, my physician assistant and I were able to provide over 3,000 in-person visits with safety protocols being respected. Overall, I am very pleased by the assistance provided by the Ontario government," said Coutts, a primary care physician.