Applications Now Open for Ontario's Small Business Support Grant
Province Providing up to $20,000 for Eligible Businesses Impacted by Provincewide Shutdown
TORONTO — The Ontario government has opened applications for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The grant, first announced in December, provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict their operations due to the Provincewide Shutdown. The tightened restrictions were put in place to help stop the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in Ontario.
"As Ontario's employers do their part to defeat COVID-19, they are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of this global pandemic," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board. "I encourage every eligible small business owner in Ontario to visit Ontario.ca/COVIDSupport to access the support our government has made available. While we still have a lot of work ahead of us, we can all look confidently to the future as we resolve to do our parts and put COVID-19 behind us."
Small businesses required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for a one-time grant and use this funding in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business needs. For example, some businesses could need support paying employee wages, while others could need support with their rent.
Eligible small businesses include those that:
Were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26.
Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level.
Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019. New businesses established since April 2019 will also be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria.
"Small businesses are the heart of Ontario's economy," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "The Ontario Small Business Support Grant will help thousands of small businesses get through this difficult time, while strengthening our province's economic recovery."
"As the son of two small business owners, I understand what small businesses mean to the families, employees, and local communities they support," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "Our hardworking businesses can be encouraged that the government's new Ontario Small Business Support Grant offers yet another helping hand that will give them the boost they need to meet the challenges of today and prepare for a brighter tomorrow."
Businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown are also eligible for additional supports, including the government's program to provide rebates to offset fixed costs such as property tax and energy bills. These rebates will continue to be available for businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown and earlier restrictions.
More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and other rebates is available on Ontario.ca/COVIDsupport.
The businesses must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20 per cent when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This time period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.
New businesses established since April 2019 will also be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria. They will be able to select alternative months for comparing revenue decline through the application portal. In addition, winter seasonal businesses, such as ski hills, will be permitted to compare revenue from December 2019 or January 2020 to December 2020.
The 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover outlined more than $13.5 billion in support for people and jobs. The government is also investing $4.8 billion to address critical areas to support a strong long-term recovery that helps workers, employers and communities get back on their feet, while building the foundation for recovery and growth.
Ontario Supporting Home-Based Food Businesses During COVID-19
Government providing entrepreneurs with a new “How to” guide
TORONTO — The Ontario government is supporting home-based food businesses by providing a guide on how to start a home-based food business, which includes an overview of public health requirements that need to be followed as a food operator. To further support these entrepreneurs, the government has also made regulatory changes to allow more flexibility to sell low-risk, home-prepared foods. These supports are part of the government's continued efforts to help small, independent businesses succeed and contribute to Ontario communities during COVID-19.
"For many local entrepreneurs, they start with a love of food and a cherished family recipe, whether it's grandma's apple pie or that new take on homegrown pickles, jams and preserves, and try and turn their passion into a successful business," said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. "Our government applauds them for their vision and effort and we are doing everything we can to help them seize new opportunities without compromising Ontario's high standards for food safety."
Low-risk foods are considered non-hazardous and do not require refrigeration. They include items such as baked goods, pickles, jams and preserves, chocolates, hard candies and brittles, fudge and toffees, granola, trail mix, nuts and seeds, and coffee beans and tea leaves.
"Starting a home-based food business is an excellent opportunity for people across Ontario to share their culinary creativity, build a business for themselves and be part of the province's agri-food sector," said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Our government is committed to encouraging this growing part of the economy and to support all the good things that are grown and produced right here in Ontario."
Home-based food businesses that prepare only low-risk foods are exempt from certain regulatory requirements, such as specified handwashing stations in food premises, compliance with commercial dishwashing requirements and food handling training certification.