[Updated: April 14, 2020.]
This list will be continually updated and adjusted, please be sure to check back regularly. Our goal is to provide a list of resources, products, blogs and more that you can rely on during these times to help your business.
Small Business Support Resources
The business community globally, in Canada, and Ontario is being impacted by COVID-19. In response, both the Canadian and the Ontario Governments have announced support for the business community during this pandemic.
For more information please visit the following:
- Government of Canada: COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
- Employment and Social Development Canada: Employment Insurance – COVID-19
- Trade Commissioner Services: Resources for Canadian Businesses – COVID-19
- The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC): Support for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19
- Export Development Canada (EDC): EDC support for Canadian exporters impacted by COVID-19
- FedDev Ontario: COVID-19 Support for Tourism Operators and Small to Medium-sized Business or Organizations
- EDC: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Managing the impact on global supply chains
- BDC: How to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on your business
- MentorWorks: COVID-19 Support for Canadian Businesses
- Hamilton Business Centre: Seminars & Workshops Calendar (Newly Added)
Digital Main Street
- Small Business Starter Kit – The DMS team wanted to put together a package of short snippet resource guides to provide you with topics and ideas you should consider
- Product Photography Guide – Our own team member Lana Pribic curated a small business product photography guide that is full of practical information
- Microsoft is offering a free six-month trial for a premium tier of Microsoft Teams, its workplace chat and communication platform
- Microsoft Teams: A beginners guide – This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about the chat-based communication and collaboration platform Microsoft Teams.
- Microsoft Modern Workplace on Demand – This FREE business channel – a first in Canada – strives to inspire, educate, and empower businesses to modernize.
- Microsoft SMB Blog – A place for all relevant SMB content and thought leadership
- Office 365 – A free trial of Microsoft Office 365. Work anywhere, anytime, on any device.
- COVID19 Response Announcement – Including: 90 day free trials, Gift cards available on all plans, Local in-store/curbside pickup and delivery for POS, Community Forum/Live Webinars/Meetups for Support
- How to Build a “Buy Online, Pickup Curbside” store – Presentation (Newly Added)
- Shopify Academy – Free Shopify training to help you build and grow a profitable business. Topics include starting your online store, promoting it via social media, photography, and more
- Shopify Blog – Industry leading blog featuring articles on how-to-guides, practical advice, revenue strategies and more
- If your organization uses Google G Suite, you now have free access to advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities through July 1, 2020
- Think With Google Canada – Insights. Ideas. Inspiration. Take your marketing further with Google. Think with Google.
- Grow With Google – Free training, tools, and events to help you grow your skills, career, or business.
- Google Primer – Bite-sized lessons to better your business. Google Primer is a free mobile app that offers quick, easy-to-understand lessons to help business owners and individuals grow skills and reach their goals.
- Google My Business – Businesses affected by COVID-19: Guidance on updating info and temporary closures
- Google Ads is giving $340 million in ad credits to small and medium-sized businesses who have been active advertisers since at least the beginning of 2019. There are also further details about their other initiatives to support SMBs. (Newly Added)
- Google Skillshop – Develop skills you can apply right away, with free e-learning courses designed by Google product experts. Learn at your own pace and get Google product certified. (Newly Added)
Through their Master Your Card initiative, Mastercard Canada has provided a series of
infographics that help you protect and grow your business.
- 30 Billion Reasons to Accept Mobile Payments
- Grow Your Market And Win Consumers
- Securing Your Data And Your Business
- Protecting Your Business From Fraud
- Facebook will be offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. They have offered additional tips in their Business Resource Hub (Newly Added)
Hamilton Business Centre
- Book a free 60-minute one-on-one consultation – The HBC is now offering remote phone and video consultations to better help serve your business during COVID-19. Book online today! (Newly Added)
- Google My Business Optimization Checklist – A comprehensive blog post covering the basics of optimizing your GMB listing for maximum visibility (Newly Added)
- Google My Business Photo Optimization (Geo-Tagging) – A comprehensive blog post explaining the what, why, and how of geo-tagging your GMB photos for increased exposure (Newly Added)
Other Blogs and Resources
- HubSpot Academy – Take your professional skills to the next level with free, online training from HubSpot Academy. From quick, practical courses to comprehensive certifications, learn everything you need to know about the most sought-after business skills
- Hootsuite, the software that many of us use to manage our social media accounts, is giving free access to Hootsuite Professional plan tools to small businesses and non-profits until July 1st, 2020
- Hootsuite Academy – Whether you’re looking to build your skills or take the next leap in your career, our courses and certifications will help you succeed with social media
- LinkedIn Learning has unlocked 16 learning courses for free, which are geared toward working from home
- SEMRUSH Academy – Free Online Digital Marketing Courses and Exams (SEO, Keyword Research, Mobile SEO, Backlink Management, and more) (Newly Added)
- Volunteer Tech, Digital Marketing & Website Help for Small Businesses – A list of designers, marketers, and agencies offering pro-bono work (Newly Added)
- Mailchimp is giving $10 million in Mailchimp service to small business customers who want to continue using Mailchimp’s platform but need some financial support during the COVID-19 crisis (Newly Added)
- HelpForMyRestaurant.com has a comprehensive ‘digital survival kit‘ for restaurants and bars (Newly Added)
- Offline2on is a global initiative empowering retailers, wholesalers and merchants during COVID-19 through small business e-commerce resources and support (Newly Added)
- Siteground is offering web hosting for $0.99 for three months (Newly Added)
- Storyvine is offering free video templates to help with getting your message out (Newly Added)
- Futurpeneur Canada – A comprehensive list of government resources related to the effects of COVID-19 on small businesses (Newly Added)
- Hometownhub.ca – Hometown hub offers the community a direct link to local businesses offering online services through delivery, e-commerce and gift cards, bringing the power of shopping online to everyone! Get your business listed today! (Newly Added)
- Hamilton Chamber of Commerce – COVID-19 Business Continuity & Recovery Information (Newly Added)
- Moz Academy – Now through May 31, Moz is offering free SEO training. Now is the perfect time to learn how to increase your sites organic rankings. A $149 USD value (Newly Added)
- Udemy – Hundreds of free online courses are now available from Udemy. Learn HTML and CSS fundamentals, Basics of Photography, How to Use Smart Goals, and much more! (Newly Added)
- Ahref Academy – Ahref’s is offering an extensive (approx. 5 hrs) video course on “Blogging for Business” free, a great course for anyone running a website and want learn strategies on how to drive traffic (Newly Added)