On January 7, the Province of Ontario announced a new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that are required to close under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. The program will provide a $10,000 grant to eligible businesses.  

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
  • 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. Qualifying small businesses can expect the grant payment in February

Electricity-Rate Relief

The Ontario government is also providing electricity-rate relief for 21-days starting on January 18 at 12:01 a.m.

Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program

Online applications for the previously-announced Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program will open on January 18. This program will provide eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with a rebate. Eligible businesses will receive payments for up to 100 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health measures. 

The provincial government is also providing up to $7.5 billion in cash flow relief through a six-month interest- and penalty-free period, beginning January 1 for businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. 

On January 10, the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Lisa MacLeod, and the Finance Minister, Peter Bethlenfalvy, hosted a technical briefing to discuss new relief measures for businesses. Presentation materials are available here.