In response to business owners call for more immediate support the Ontario Government announced the following support:
Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant
The Ontario government announced that Ontario businesses impacted by modified Step 2 COVID restrictions can apply for $10,000 grants.
To receive the grant, a small business must:
- be required to close due to public health orders that took effect 12:01 a.m. on January 5, 2022
- have fewer than 100 employees
Eligible businesses that previously qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and will not need to apply for 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 the coming weeks.
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
- performing arts venues 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
- before- and after- school programs
Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program
The Ontario Government is introducing the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program to support businesses that are most impacted by public health measures in response to the Omicron variant.
Eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity will receive rebate payments for a portion of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these measures. Eligible businesses required to reduce capacity to 50 percent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 percent of their costs, while businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 percent of their costs.
A full list of eligible business types will be available through a program guide in mid-January 2022.
Online applications for this program will open on January 18, 2022. Payments to eligible businesses will be retroactive to December 19, 2021.
Businesses will be required to submit property tax and energy bills as part of the application process.
Improving cash flows for Ontario Businesses
The Ontario government is providing additional support to help improve cash flows for Ontario businesses by providing a six-month interest- and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. This will:
- support businesses in the immediate term while capacity restrictions are in place
- provide the flexibility Ontario businesses will need for long-term planning
The six-month period will begin on January 1, 2022, and end on July 1, 2022.
This measure will provide up to $7.5 billion in relief to help approximately 80,000 Ontario businesses. 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
Information on the Ontario programs can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs