Parry Sound-area businesses share $840K from province to adapt to COVID-19
The Ontario government is providing $840,000 to help 43 businesses adapt to COVID-19 public health guidelines in the Parry Sound region.
In a news release Wednesday, the province said the funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Recovery Program (NORP) and will support building renovations, installation of safety equipment and the purchase of personal protective equipment.
"This program has made the difference for many small businesses across the Parry Sound District," Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, said in the release.
"NORP has enabled businesses to stay in business and make necessary upgrades to protect their customers and employees."
NORP was established as a short-term program to help businesses across Northern Ontario adjust to the impacts of COVID-19. Applications were accepted until Nov. 20, 2020, and a total of 1,384 businesses have received funding. A full list of recipients can be found here.
"This funding represents a significant and welcome boost for Parry Sound area businesses," Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, said in the release.
"Our government stands shoulder-to-shoulder with small and medium businesses, and we will continue to find solutions to support communities, businesses, and families."
Recipients include Zak's, a retail shop in Sundridge, to purchase personal protective equipment, develop a fully functional custom website and email marketing program, and renovate the staff kitchen and washroom.
"The NORP funding received from the Ontario government has literally changed the way that Zak's Inc. has operated this year," owner Penny Stoker said.
"The business has been operational for 36 years and with the funding, we were able to build a fully operational custom website and email marketing program. Once again, without this grant, we don't believe we would have successfully completed this financial year."
Other recipients include:
• $25,000 for Glen Bernard Camp, an overnight summer camp for girls in Sundridge, to expand its facilities in order to accommodate social distancing.
• $25,000 for The Cutter's Edge Corp., a manufacturer and retailer of custom wood furniture, home décor, and fashion items in Burk's Falls, to help restructure its business operations and develop marketing strategies.
• $25,000 for Bearly Used Books Inc., a used bookstore in Parry Sound, to purchase personal protective equipment, restructure its business operations, create a new e-commerce website, and develop marketing strategies.
• $8,536 for Swift Canoe Company Inc., a manufacturer of hand-made, lightweight canoes, kayaks and pack boats in South River, to purchase personal protective equipment and install a customer service window.