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Help for Businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting businesses locally, across Canada and around the globe. The City of Kenora, including staff in Development Services, are here to support you, so feel free to contact our team if you require any assistance.

Below you will find information and resources for businesses to help assist with challenges during and after the pandemic:

Follow-up survey

The Kenora Business Partners developed a short follow up survey to the one that was issued in March. We would appreciate your participation as it will allow us to track a few of the data points over time. The results of this and the previous survey will be sent to the Northwest Training and Adjustment Board and the Northern Policy Institute so that our information from Kenora can be aggregated with other data from Northern Ontario.

The link to the follow-up survey is here:

We ask that you take 2 – 3 minutes to complete this new survey and kindly forward it onto your business owner contacts.

Municipal Business Support

• Business Support – The City of Kenora Development Services team will continue to support businesses during this difficult time. To ensure the health and safety of our clients and staff, all business support will be conducted via phone and online

• Online Seminars to Support Businesses – We are sharing new workshop topics specifically geared to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 – see below for a current list of upcoming workshops and seminars that will be regularly updated

• Community Improvement Plans – for the Harbourtown Centre, Keewatin and Former Mill Site – these programs remain open for application

Municipal Relief Measures

Interest and penalties on property taxes will be waived for 6 months until August 31, 2020. Taxpayers are reminded that the taxes owing are still due. The tax due date which has historically been the third week in July will be extended to August 26, 2020.

Interest on utilities (water and sewer services) will be waived for the 6 months ending August 31, 2020. Customers are reminded that all amounts owing are still due. There will just be no charge for deferring payments until the end of August.

Collection of Local Intelligence

In collaboration with the Kenora Business Partners, we have collected information through a survey to share with all levels of government to assist in identifying the impacts of COVID-19 in Northern Ontario.

The survey results are in:

  • 80 total respondents
  • 48% are open or open with reduced hours or modified functions
  • 82% are projecting a drop in revenues or business
  • 32% have asked or required staff to work from home
  • 40% have modified service delivery
  • 70% identified access to zero percent interest loans as beneficial
  • 50% identified delay of municipal tax payment without penalty as beneficial
Kenora Business Partners COVID-19 survey results

Kenora Business Partners COVID-19 survey results

Federal and Provincial Economic Recovery Programs

We understand that this is a lot of information. For business counseling and assistance with understanding the resources below, contact Allyson at the Northwest Business Centre to set up a one-on-one business consultation at or call 807-467-4643

LOWBIC Specialized Lending

LOWBIC is pleased to provide the following lending solution for qualified applicants to address the short-term needs of small and medium size businesses in the Kenora area.

• Zero % interest loans for the first 6 (six) months with an additional 18 months (24-month maximum period) at prime (2.45%) and the potential for no payments during the first 6 (six) months.
• A simplified form and quick turnaround on loan applications, once all information is received.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in uncertainty and anxiety for many businesses, their employees as well as their families. As a result, the Federal Government and FedNor have authorized LOWBIC (and all Northern Ontario CFDCs) to provide a specific lending solution to qualifying small businesses. Through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), business owners who have not qualified for other government relief can apply for the loan.


For more information, please contact Samantha Smith at or call/text at (807) 464-1116.

Indigenous Businesses

Funding for small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and Aboriginal Financial Institutions

The Canadian Government has announced up to $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses. The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.

These measures will help 6,000 Indigenous-owned businesses get through these difficult times.

Financial support for Indigenous businesses will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.

In addition to the measure above, Indigenous peoples can also access benefits listed under Support for individuals and Support for businesses.