Long term construction can be disruptive. Use the resources below to better prepare your business.

Construction projects can create serious operational challenges for retailers – especially small businesses with limited resources.

This guide and retailer checklist is intended to provide information for small business owners to prepare for construction, and presents mitigation strategies for construction affecting retail main streets, to ease potential business disruption. Construction mitigation efforts can reduce negative financial impacts but will likely not eliminate them entirely.

Learn more.

Construction Mitigation Strategies – Retailer Checklist
Theme Task
Communication & Marketing Create and update marketing calendar (promotions, events, advertising)
Communication & Marketing Sign up for updates from the construction group (email, social media, Google News Alerts, etc.)
Communication & Marketing Create/Maintain your business’ newsletter, keeping your customer informed.
Communication& Marketing Update your Google My Business listing to help potential customers locate your business.
Communication & Marketing Visit Digital Main Street and complete an online assessment to identify other opportunities.
Communication & Marketing Continue to edit and update promotional calendar based on construction updates. Evaluate what has been successful/unsuccessful.
Signage & Wayfinding Post signage and window displays tied to promotional calendar.
Signage & Wayfinding Consider directional and parking signs.
Signage & Wayfinding Update signage to reflect and changes that may occur as a result of construction. For example, operating hours.
Signage & Wayfinding Consider signage materials depending on length of project.
Signage & Wayfinding Re-evaluate and refresh signage as required.
Business Strategies & Education Consider how construction may affect operations, and develop strategies for things like operating hours, staff, access, etc.
Business Strategies & Education Enhance your online and ecommerce presence/channel strategy.
Business Strategies & Education Limit inventory purchases to counteract decrease in traffic, plan sales/markdowns, clearances, etc.
Business Strategies & Education Re-evaluate product assortment for the potential change in traffic.
Business Strategies & Education Plan for post-construction inventory purchases for when business normalizes.
Business Strategies & Education Reduce inventory purchases for when demand decreases with construction.
Business Strategies & Education Actively monitor sales, revenue, and traffic to identify the need for aid.
Finance & Funding Be proactive by financially preparing for it, including reducing expenses and build a contingency fund.
Finance & Funding Review current financial position (cash flow, cost reduction opportunities, etc.), and continue monitoring rigorously.
Finance & Funding Apply for all applicable grants and payment deferrals. Continue monitoring as new supports arise.
Finance & Funding Develop a risk management strategy.
Finance & Funding Discuss lease terms/abatements with landlord.
Finance & Funding Explore lending options if needed.
Finance & Funding Compare actual sales and cash flow to forecast and adjust accordingly.
Finance & Funding Check with the Toronto Small Business Enterprise Centre for grants.
Parking & Transportation Develop a parking plan in collaboration with transportation stakeholders.
Parking & Transportation Create signage if there’s a designated area for curbside pickup.

Each grant has unique eligibility criteria and application timelines, which may fluctuate throughout the year. We recommend checking the respective grant pages regularly to confirm the current open dates and requirements.

Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant

The Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program offers matching funding of 50 per cent to commercial business operators and owners of storefronts to undertake interior renovations. Commercial properties that are vacant or at risk of becoming vacant due to major transit expansion construction are eligible.

This program is funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program

The Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program provides funding to Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and business associations for community-driven initiatives that mitigate the impacts of construction on local businesses.

Learn more.

Most large-scale construction and, consequently, disruption happen due to transit expansion projects. These projects aim to improve the rapid transit network in the city and provide more mobility options to all Torontonians.

There are currently several transit expansion projects underway at varying phases. Learn more about the ongoing projects.

There are several reasons why the City might need to proceed with construction in the public realm. Aside from emergency repairs, most of them are connected to maintaining safety and the state of good repair of the right of way.

Find planned work for your area.