Waterloo ramps up economic recovery supports for local businesses

Posted On Tuesday June 01, 2021

As the province-wide shutdown affects many local businesses, the City of Waterloo is furthering supports through a number of new and extended initiatives to help businesses recover. 

COVID-relief Community Improvement Plan

On April 19, council approved the City of Waterloo's COVID-relief Community Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP is intended to help provide support for businesses across the city that have been adversely impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing eligible businesses with grants of up to $2,500 to recover COVID-19 related expenses dating back to March of 2020. 

The program launches June 1, 2021 and offers financial support for the additional costs associated with building and space alterations in response to COVID-19. The program areas cover costs associated with improvements to physical distancing measures, businesses operational adaptations, improved ventilation, technology expansion, and outdoor expansion. Businesses can apply on our website starting June 1.


Support our Local Economic Recovery (SOLER) 

Businesses across Waterloo can also apply for the city’s Support Our Local Economic Recovery (SOLER) initiative that allows businesses temporary land use opportunities for patios, patio expansions, pop-ups, and additional signage. 

Waterloo’s SOLER initiative began in 2020 and is extended for the 2021 outdoor season. The initiative supports local economic recovery as businesses of all types gradually and strategically reopen with a continued focus on health and safety. Visit the SOLER page on our website to learn more.


Uptown sidewalk patio program 

Waterloo’s uptown sidewalk patio program applications are now open for uptown businesses to expand their outdoor spaces. Patio districts have been established to help promote patio culture, ease the planning application process and encourage decorative aspects of patios. Learn more and apply for uptown patio expansions

“We encourage businesses to plan for reopening and want them to take advantage of the programs being offered as a part of the City of Waterloo’s economic recovery,” says Justin McFadden, executive director of economic development. “We know many businesses are facing significant challenges and we want to do everything we can to help them adapt and recover. We have programs open to businesses all across the city and are available to help them find solutions.” 

Waterloo businesses are encouraged to subscribe to the Smart City newsletter for important updates, and to follow us on Twitter @CityWatEcDev and on LinkedIn. Learn more about these programs and supports to Waterloo businesses at waterloo.ca/ecdev.

Media contact:

Shelly Reed
Communications consultant


Economic development contact:

Justin McFadden
Executive director of economic development