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Prioritizing public health is our only strategy for saving our economy. Be diligent in following the directions of Ottawa Public Health. This next two weeks will tell the story of how well we followed the rules and determine how long we will be in this crisis.


Our locally owned, small business owners are the front line of this economic downturn. Target 10% of your discretionary spending to support them. Buy from them online, get gift certificates, order takeout and promote them as much as possible.


Use this time wisely to innovate in your business, look for ways to support others who are more vulnerable, share positive messages and stories to inspire others and support mental wellness.

A thousand candles can be lit by one.

The World Health Organization has announced that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has become a global pandemic. The number of confirmed cases in Ottawa remains low, and our public health system is actively responding. As business owners, employers, employees, and citizens, we recognize that this rapidly changing situation with COVID-19 is causing worry and concern. To support you through this uncertainty, the Ottawa Board of Trade has gathered and prepared several resources. The Ottawa Board of Trade continues to monitor and assess new developments.

We all play an important role in protecting our families, colleagues, friends, and communities. As it stands, social distancing measures have proven to be the most effective means to contain the spread of the virus. We are taking our lead from the highest levels of business, government and health officials. Please follow the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for Pandemic Preparedness for Business and government support updates. Please follow the Ottawa Public Health as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada  for the most update to date statistics and recommendations.

Effective March 16, 2020, all Ottawa Board of Trade staff will be working from home, and our physical office space will be closed to the public.

The work of the Board of Trade will continue. Every team member at the Board of Trade is set-up to work remotely and we will be connected with each other and with all our members and stakeholders. It is because we have the infrastructure that we are able to take this precautionary step. We also felt very strongly that it was the right step to take for the well-being of our community.

We will continue to make sure the voice of Ottawa’s business community is heard by leaders and decision makers to create opportunities for connection, learning and growth, and to deliver on our purpose to nourish, power and inspire our business community. We will simply do all of these keeping social distancing in mind through all of our engagement.

The Ottawa Board of Trade wants to know what challenges you are facing due to COVID-19. This will assist us in creating resources for you and sharing the most relevant information with government officials. Thank you in advance for you input. Take the survey HERE.

Stay up to date on the rapidly evolving situation, and on the nature of the virus itself, by frequently checking provincial, national and international websites.



Use best practices to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, at home and at work.

  • Actively encourage anyone who is feeling ill to stay home and away from others.
  • Use and encourage good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing and avoiding touch.
  • Consider additional social distancing measures, such as working remotely.


The City of Ottawa prepared a guide for you to prevent the spread of germs at work, at home or in the community. Click HERE.


Ensure your business is prepared to handle a potential case of business disruption, including accessing available government resources to mitigate potential financial impacts to your employees and your business.

  • Review or create a Business Continuity Plan for your organization, ensuring it contains:
    • Process to follow if an employee becomes ill;
    • Policies around travel;
    • Policies around sick leave;
    • How to mitigate risk so essential business functions can continue; and
    • Internal and external communications plans.



Consider how you can support your immediate community through the outbreak

  • Offer and provide support to employees and coworkers who are at home.
  • Consider whether your organization can provide goods or services to assist those in self-isolation (ie: grocery delivery, online or telephone counselling, internet services).


We would like to thank the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce & the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce for the format of this great resource for our community and membership.

Launching the #OttawaNEXT portal is the latest in a succession of Ottawa Board of Trade (OBoT) initiatives designed to remove barriers for local businesses. If you are tired of information overload about COVID-19, economic recovery strategies, and what support is available to you and your business, #OttawaNEXT keeps it simple!