Ontario announces COVID business supports available

Merna Emara
Staff Writer

Member of provincial parliament, Greg Rickford, announced three supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The applications for these grants will be available through the Ontario website.

Ontario Small Business Support Grant

This grant offers up to $20,000 to small businesses that must close or significantly restrict services due to the recent province-wide shutdown that came in effect on Boxing Day 2020.

Businesses wishing to apply for this fund must demonstrate a decline of at least 20 per cent in their revenue when comparing monthly revenue since April 2019 and April 2020. According to the eligibility criteria, this time period was selected because it reflects how public health measures impacted small businesses. As well, businesses wishing to apply for this grant should have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level.

Businesses eligible for the grants are at the liberty to use the money as they see fit. This includes paying wages, replenishing their inventory or hiring employees.

Property Tax and Energy Bill Rebate

For this grant, businesses that are or were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures can apply for rebates. The rebates will be provided in the form of grants to help businesses with their fixed costs.

Eligible businesses in regions that are currently or were subject to heightened restrictions include but are not limited to restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas, gaming establishments, performing arts, shopping malls, driving instruction and racing venues.

According to the eligibility criteria, businesses will not be eligible if they are either within the areas subject to public health restrictions, but were not required to close or significantly restrict services or owned by the federal, provincial or municipal government, or by a person holding federal or provincial office.

Businesses found to be eligible for funding could get rebates for municipal and educational property taxes and energy costs including electricity and natural gas. Funding will only cover the length of time that public health restrictions were in place. The website states that most businesses can expect to receive their rebate payments within a few weeks of submitting a complete application.

Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support.

Under this grant the government will be providing small business one-time grants of up to $1,000 to help with unexpected costs of personal protective equipment. Businesses eligible must have two to nine employees and be one of the following sectors: retail, gyms and yoga studios, personal and laundry services, repair and maintenance or accommodation and food services.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ontario Premier Doug Ford encouraged eligible businesses to apply to apply as he made the announcement that Ontario is entering a state of emergency, which will affect businesses deemed non-essential after reducing work hours.

To review eligibility criteria or apply, visit this website: www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs.