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Program helps over 1,000 local small businesses minimize risk of COVID-19 exposure

The COVID-19 Safe Ambassador Program will now expand to include businesses with up to 125 employees
The COVID-19 Safe Ambassador Program provides free education and one-on-one guidance to help small and medium-sized businesses in Waterloo Region minimize COVID-19 risks

The COVID-19 Safe Ambassador Program helped more than 1,000 businesses in Waterloo Region, the region announced Monday, as the service expands to include larger-sized businesses.

The program, which is the first of its kind in Canada, is a collaboration between the Region of Waterloo and the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge Chambers of Commerce, and provides free education and one-on-one guidance to help small and medium sized businesses in Waterloo Region to minimize COVID-19 risks.

The 1,000th ambassador visit happened last Thursday morning at a local Freshii store in south Kitchener.

“We’re pleased with the reception of the program from the business community,” said Greg Durocher, president and CEO of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, in a press release.

“Having a team of ambassadors going business to business, providing education, resources and free medical-grade masks will help to make sure businesses are able to re-open safely and confidently,” added Ian McLean, president and CEO of the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce. 

Now that more than 1,000 small businesses, with 50 employees or less, have taken part, the region says the program will now expand to include businesses with up to 125 employees.

The new service offering will focus on businesses with larger square footage, and will see Ambassadors provide more in-depth guidance over a two-hour period.

Since the onset of COVID-related safety measures, business have been asking for increased clarity and information on how to operate safely in different stages of the province’s framework. The COVID-Safe Program is a direct response to this need so that businesses have a specialized place to get information and training.

Program ambassadors, who have been trained by NSF International, a global health and safety organization, have been visiting businesses since early June.

“It’s a timely milestone to be celebrating,” said Regional Chair Karen Redman. “With the region now officially moved into Step 2, it’s wonderful to see so many business owners making COVID safety a top priority. Increasing customer confidence is critical to our economic recovery as we reopen.”

Businesses who are interested in learning more, or would like to request an ambassador visit, can visit