COMING SOON: Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program: Through this new program, eligible businesses will receive rebate payments equivalent to 50 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to the current capacity limits. Examples of businesses that will be eligible for the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program include restaurants, smaller retail stores and gyms. A full list of eligible business types will be made available through a program guide in mid-January 2022, with payments to eligible businesses provided retroactive to December 19, 2021. Businesses will be required to submit property tax and energy bills as part of the application process.
The province is also providing businesses with a six-month interest- and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. The six-month period will begin January 1, 2022 and end July 1, 2022. Eligible businesses will have the option to delay their payments for the following provincially administered taxes:
- Employer Health Tax
- Beer, Wine & Spirits Taxes
- Tobacco Tax
- Insurance Premium Tax
- Fuel Tax
- International Fuel Tax Agreement
- Gas Tax
- Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts & Benefit Plans
- Mining Tax
- Race Tracks Tax
COMING SOON: Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant: The Ontario government is providing targeted relief for businesses and people impacted by the current public health measures by introducing a $10,000 grant for eligible businesses that are subject to closures under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. Eligible small businesses include:
- Restaurants and bars;
- Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms);
- Performing arts and cinemas;
- Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
- Meeting or event spaces;
- Tour and guide services;
- Conference centres and convention centres;
- Driving instruction for individuals; and
- Before- and after- school programs.
Eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and that are subject to closure under modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and will not need to apply to the new program. Newly established and newly eligible small businesses will need to apply once the application portal opens in the coming weeks. Small businesses that qualify can expect to receive their payment in February.
COMING SOON – Electricity Rate Relief: The Ontario government is also providing electricity-rate relief to support small businesses, as well as workers and families spending more time at home while the province is in Modified Step Two. For 21 days starting at 12:01 am on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, electricity prices will be set 24 hours a day at the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. The off-peak rate will apply automatically to residential, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility and will benefit customers on both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans.
Other recent Ontario support initiatives for businesses include:
- Cutting wholesale alcohol prices to support to restaurants, bars and other businesses, as well as making it easier for businesses to create and extend patios and permanently allowing licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order.
- Extending COVID-19 paid sick days until July 31, 2022 to keep workers safe.
- Ontario is calling on the federal government to strengthen federal support programs to ensure businesses and workers have the support they need. This includes adjusting the eligibility requirements for the Government of Canada’s Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program to ensure more impacted businesses can apply, while also ensuring that businesses experiencing partial capacity restrictions can qualify for the Local Lockdown Program. Ontario is also inviting the federal government to work together with the province to further help businesses that are struggling with cash flow challenges, by developing a program that would allow hard hit businesses to temporarily defer the remittance of HST, starting with a commitment to allow eligible businesses to defer HST collected in December, interest-free, for a period of up to six months.
Tourism Relief Fund: This program offers eligible businesses up to $100,000 in non-repayable contributions for up to 50% of eligible costs or up to $500,000 in repayable contributions for up to 75% of eligible costs. Applicants are encouraged to review the Application Guide and to contact a FedNor Officer prior to submitting an application. For operators located in Northern Ontario, please apply through FedNor by clicking here. For operators located from Muskoka-south, please apply through FedDev by clicking here. Please note: you must be incorporated to be eligible. NOTO continues to advocate for changes on this front.
Jobs & Growth Fund: In Northern Ontario, FedNor is investing $26.6 million to help employers future-proof their businesses, build resiliency and prepare for growth by transitioning to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery, enhancing competitiveness, and creating jobs. Click here to learn more and to apply for this fund. For operators located in Southern Ontario, reach out to FedDev to learn more.
Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit: Provides $300 a week to eligible workers who are unable to work due to a temporary local lockdown anytime between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.The benefit is only available when a COVID-19 lockdown order is designated for your region.
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit:This program provides up to $500/week for up to 44 weeks per household for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family members because of school, day-case or face facility closures, or because the child or family member is sick and/or requires to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit: This program provides up to $500/week for a maximum of 6 weeks for any worker who is unable to work because they have contracted COVID-19, or are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19.
Highlighly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program: HASCAP provides businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19, access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. HASCAP is available to businesses that operate in sectors such as tourism and hospitality, restaurants and those that primarily rely on in-person services. Business owners can apply for support until March 31, 2022.
Wage and Rent Subsidies – For each applicable claim period, eligible employers can claim ONE of the following, whichever gives the highest amount:
- Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program: The THRP supports businesses, charities, and non-profits who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through wage and rent subsidies. The THRP is available to businesses and organizations in the tourism and hospitality industry with a 12-month average revenue drop (March 2020 to February 2021) of at least 40% and a claim-period revenue drop of at least 40%. Effective October 24th. 2021 to May 7th, 2022. From December 19, 2021 to February 12, 2022, businesses with a current-month revenue loss of 25% and who are affected by a capacity-limiting public health restriction of 50% or more are eligible to apply for THRP wage and rent subsidies. Please Note: The Federal Government is advising applicants that there was a spreadsheet error that may have impacted your eligibility if you applied for period 22 (October 24 to November 20th, 2021) between Tuesday December 21st and Friday December 24th. If you submitted an application during this timeframe, please contact the Business Enquiries line at 1-800-959-5525.
- Canada Recovery Hiring Program: As a replacement to CEWS, the Government is encouraging business owners to apply to the new CRHP. This program provides a wage subsidy to businesses who continue to require wage support to keep or re-hire staff. Available until May 7th, 2022.
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Effective: March 15, 2020, to October 23, 2021 – you may still retroactively apply to the CEWS program. Learn more here.
Proposed regulatory changes to temporarily expand access to lockdown program:
The government has announced new proposed regulatory changes to temporarily expand eligibility for wage and commercial rent support for businesses and other organizations under the Local Lockdown Program. These changes would:
- apply to claim periods 24 and 25 (December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022)
- allow those entities to qualify if they are subject to a capacity-limiting public health restriction of 50 per cent or more
- reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25 per cent for those entitled
Tourism HR Canada’s Propel Student Work Placement Program: Funded by the Government of Canada through the Student Work Placement Program, Propel offers registered Canadian businesses, startups and not-for-profits related to the tourism and hospitality sector a wage subsidy of up to 75 per cent of a qualifying student’s wages, to a maximum of $7,500 for each student hired through the program (open until March 2022).
Tourism SkillsNet North: TSNN is a program designed to train up to 300 employees and match them with employers across Northern Ontario’s tourism and hospitality industry. Participants receive industry relevant training, and employers receive a wage subsidy of 30% (up to $3000) per employee. You can use this program to train and receive a wage subsidy for any employee hired after June 1st, 2021. Program open until March 31st, 2022. We have applied for a second round of funding to extend the program and are awaiting a decision.
Tourism and Hospitality Emergency Recover: THER, led by OTEC, is working with partners across Canada to drive recruitment and support sector recovery. Learn more at LetsGetReady.ca
Non-COVID Related Funding:
To view a full list of other available programs both Federally and Provincially that you may want to access for non-COVID related initiatives or upgrades, please click on the links below. Note that these webpages are regularly updates as new programs are created and made available. Feel free to bookmark them for future reference.