Watch the video to see why Halton Hills is a great place to do business.

The Town of Halton Hills continues to take proactive, decisive and coordinated action to respond to COVID-19 and to support the local business community
  • Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant
  • Applications Now Open for Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program
  • Ontario Cuts Small Business Electricity Rates
  • Ontario Raises Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour
  • Ontario Launches AMIC Program to Support Advanced Manufacturers
  • Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative
  • Federal COVID-19 Business Support Programs
  • Applications Now Open for Halton Region’s Farm to Retail Food Program
  • Halton Hills Economic Development Services & COVID-19 Information
Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant
The provincial government has announced the Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. Eligible small businesses will receive a grant payment of $10,000. To receive the grant, a small business must:

  • Have been required to close due to public health orders that took effect 12:01 a.m. on January 5, 2022
  • Have fewer than 100 employees as of December 31, 2021
  • Be an active business as of January 14, 2022
Applications for the Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant will open in the coming weeks.
Applications Now Open for Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program
The Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program provides eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with rebate payments for up to 100% of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health measures in response to the Omicron variant.

Examples of businesses eligible for the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program include restaurants, smaller retail stores and gyms.

Online applications for the Ontario Business Costs Rebate program opened on January 18, 2022, with payments to eligible businesses provided retroactive to December 19, 2021.
Ontario Cuts Small Business Electricity Rates
The Ontario government is providing 21 days of electricity-rate relief to support families and workers spending more time at home, as well as small businesses, consistent with the length of time the province is in modified Step Two public health measures.

As of January 18, electricity prices were lowered to the off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour – less than half the on-peak rate – 24 hours per day.

Implementation of the off-peak rate builds on existing programs introduced by government to reduce electricity prices including the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER), which provides a 17% rebate on the subtotal of the electricity bill of eligible customers including households, small businesses and farms.

Ontario Raises Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour
As of January 1, 2022, the Ontario government has raised the general minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. This new, higher general minimum wage is expanded to include bartenders and alcohol servers. The special minimum wages for students under 18, homeworkers and hunting, fishing and wilderness guides have also increased.

As of January 1, 2022, the following wages are in place in Ontario:
  • General minimum wage workers are now earning $15.00 per hour, a raise from $14.35.
  • Liquor servers have received a pay raise from $12.55 to $15.00 per hour.
  • Students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session or work during a school break or summer holidays, had their pay raised from $13.50 to $14.10 per hour.
  • Homeworkers (those who do paid work out of their own homes for employers) had their pay raised from $15.80 to $16.50 per hour.
  • Hunting, fishing and wilderness guides had their pay raised from $71.75 to $75.00 when working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $143.55 to $150.05 when working five or more hours in a day.
Ontario Launches AMIC Program to Support Advanced Manufacturers
The Ontario government has launched the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness (AMIC) program to help companies get the tools, technology, and talent they need to grow, compete and innovate in an increasingly competitive global market.
AMIC is a new stream of the Regional Development Program (RDP), and is a two-year, $40 million program designed to support advanced manufacturing businesses to invest in the equipment, advanced technologies and skilled workforce needed to improve competitiveness and growth.
Eligibility requirements include:

  • Minimum of 10 employees
  • Three or more years of financial statements, and
  • Minimum of $500,000 in eligible project costs.

Eligible businesses can now apply for the new program, and the first round of applications will be open until February 10, 2022.
Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative
The Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI) is a national program that will provide $250 million over three years to help the Canadian aerospace sector emerge from the pandemic and continue to compete on the global stage.

Businesses operating in the aerospace industry, and the organizations that support them through supply chains, are eligible to apply for funding for projects that will:
  • Help them green their operations and adopt environmentally sustainable practices
  • Improve productivity and strengthen commercialization
  • Strengthen integration into regional and global supply chains
FedDev Ontario is now accepting applications on an ongoing basis for ARRI until funding is fully committed.
Federal COVID-19 Business Support Programs
The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) gives temporary income support to employed and self-employed people who cannot work due to a COVID-19 lockdown.
The THRP provides wage and rent subsidies, similar to the CEWS/CERS, to eligible entities in the tourism and hospitality industry that have experienced significant losses since the outset of the pandemic.
Through the HHBRP, businesses may be able to get a subsidy to help cover wages (formerly the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) and rent (formerly the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy).
On January 12, the Canadian government announced that the repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness is being extended from December 31, 2022, to December 31, 2023, for all eligible borrowers in good standing.
Applications Now Open for Halton Region's
Farm to Retail Food Program
The Halton Region’s Food Venture Program – Farm to Retail includes facilitation of a dedicated program of live workshops delivered virtually on Zoom.
The workshops are delivered as a sequential, laddering-up bootcamp for small or medium-sized farmers and food product owners. Each week will include a webinar presented by food industry business mentors. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional advice tailored to their business.
Intake for the program will be done through an application process and spots are limited. The application deadline is Friday, January 28, 2022.
Halton Hills Economic Development Services
& COVID-19 Information
Halton Hills’ Economic Development, Innovation and Culture division provides a full suite of high-quality services and supports to the business community that in turn foster a prosperous economy and enhance quality of life. These include:
  • Financial incentives via the Community Improvement Plan (CIP)
  • Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) programming
  • Investment attraction, expansion and relocation
  • Business Concierge service
  • Site selection assistance
  • Market research
  • Industry engagement
  • Workforce development
  • Supporting and advancing affordable housing projects and initiatives
  • Amplifying tourism’s economic benefits
  • Leveraging and supporting the arts and culture sector to raise quality of life
The Town offers existing and potential businesses a strategic platform for success, proximity to world-class markets, a distinct community with an ideal balance between urban and rural environments, and an outstanding quality of life.
As part of an ongoing commitment to engage with and support the local business community, Economic Development staff continue to update the Town’s COVID-19 Business Supports web page.
Please contact the Town’s Economic Development staff if you require assistance.
Please note:
Pictures used in this e-newsletter are for illustration purposes only
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