Carolyn Bennett
Hon. Carolyn Bennett
Member of Parliament for Toronto—St. Paul's
Small Business Week 2021 | Community Update | October 22, 2021
October 22, 2021

In celebration of Small Business Week, we are highlighting the amazing resilience of the small businesses in Toronto-St.Paul’s and across Canada.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been able to raise awareness of the importance of shopping local. From curbside pickup to finally being able to get inside, our communities have demonstrated tremendous loyalty in recognition of excellence that is available within walking distance. As we lost some of our favourite restaurants and stores, we worked even harder to show our love and ensure that our neighbourhoods would stay vibrant and our communities strong.  

As many of you know, I grew up in a small business. Eunice Denby Flowers on Eglinton West was our family business. Eunice was my mother. Her mother Caroline, had opened the Violet Flower Shop at St. Clair and Yonge in the middle of the depression because my grandfather was unable to find work as a house painter. When I was born, we lived in the apartment over the store and for 42 years Peter and I have lived in the house next to the store. Shopping on Eglinton was our way of life. The other store owners were part of my Dad’s Rotary Club and sponsored hockey teams at North Toronto. We were a community of support for one another. 

From gyms to dance studios to insurance and accounting businesses, the small businesses across Toronto-St. Paul's are working together with the restaurants and the stores to build a stronger community for us all. The Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) are doing an amazing job (Eglinton Way BIAMount Pleasant Village BIAMidtown Yonge BIADupont by the Castle BIAOakwood Village BIAHillcrest Village BIA). We are so grateful for their vision and leadership. 

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods.  The ravines have divided our wonderful city into natural neighbourhoods. The main streets are ‘back bones’ that draw our neighbours and neighbourhoods together.  The Federal Mainstreet Recovery and Rebuild Initiative is helping businesses in Little Jamaica and across the city. 

I am proud of the work our government has been able to do to support small businesses, with wage subsidies, rent subsidies, and loans. We have had their backs, but there are still some businesses struggling, especially in tourism, entertainment, hospitality and recreation.  

Let’s show our love, and start our holiday shopping early and local. Let’s think outside the box – for sure outside of big box stores! I’ve promised myself to have fewer online shopping parcels arriving at my door!  

Happy Small Business Week! Shop Local! 



Federal Updates

Targeted Support for Supporting Businesses in the Continued Fight Against COVID-19

With one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world, many businesses safely reopening, and employment now back to pre-pandemic levels, we have reached a turning point in the fight against COVID-19. 

The government has now surpassed its target of creating a million new jobs. Canada is on the road to economic recovery—but some areas of the country and economy continue to need targeted support. Yesterday, on Thursday October 21st, 2021 the government announced a targeted approach to supporting businesses through the continued fight against COVID-19. 

To make sure that businesses that are still deeply affected by the pandemic get the support they need, the following are proposed changes to business support programs:

  • Extending the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10 percent and increasing the subsidy rate to 50 percent.
  • Delivering targeted support to businesses that are still facing significant pandemic-related challenges. Support would be available through two streams:
    • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, and restaurants, in keeping with our promise to Canadians in the last election, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent.
    • Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, which would provide support through the wage and rent subsidy programs, to other businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 per cent.
    • These programs will be available until May 7, 2022, with the proposed subsidy rates available through to March 13th, 2022. From March 13, 2022, to May 7, 2022, the subsidy rates will decrease by half. Both streams will be subject to new eligibility requirements.

To ensure that workers continue to have support and that no one is left behind, our government is proposing:

  • To establish the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit which would provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers should they be unable to work due to a local lockdown anytime between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.
  • To extend the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit until May 7, 2022, and increase the maximum duration of benefits by 2 weeks–extending the caregiving benefit from 42 to 44 weeks and the sickness benefit from 4 to 6 weeks.

With these changes, the government is supporting the hardest-hit sectors and those who are affected by the virus while recognizing that broad-based assistance is no longer needed. These changes will continue to prioritize job creation and a strong economic recovery.

For more information, please click here


As the situation is changing daily, please check the following websites for daily updates in Toronto and across Canada:

Mental Health Support

Wellness Together Canada

COVID-19 has changed the daily lives of people around the world. During these difficult times, it is critical that Canadians be able to obtain credible information and access services to support their mental health and wellbeing. That's why the government launched a portal dedicated to mental wellness: Wellness Together Canada.


This portal will connect Canadians to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls, and will make it easier to find credible information and help address mental health and substance use issues.

Kids Help Phone

Although we’re far apart physically, our young people must feel help is close.  Kids Help Phone is a remote mental health service that connects youth with professional counselling, information and referrals across Canada without any face-to-face contact. Contact Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, by texting 686868, or by going online to

Main office - Toronto
40 Holly Street, Suite 103
Toronto, Ontario
M4S 3C3


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Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6


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