Please review the below COVID-19 grant opportunities and other supports from the Governments of Ontario and Canada.
Province of Ontario
Ontario Small Business Support/Main Street Relief Grant
Applications are open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which helps small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the Province-wide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020. Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant provides businesses with funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Province-wide Shutdown.
COVID-19: Help for businesses in Ontario
Learn about changes to government programs and available supports as your business recovers from COVID-19.
Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs – Find out if your business is eligible to recover costs for personal protective equipment (PPE) or for rebates to help with fixed costs, such as property tax and energy bills.
Reconnect Festival and Event Program 2020-2021
The Reconnect Festival and Event Program offers non-capital funding to in-person and online events in Ontario that: provide experiences that encourage people to travel locally and rediscover the beauty and diversity of their community; draw attendees and provide positive economic impact for the local community, the region and the province; create job opportunities for Ontarians, particularly in the tourism, culture and entertainment sectors; and increase Ontario’s profile through media and/or broadcast exposure to generate interest in future travel to the province once it is safe to do so again.
Get support for families
While schools and childcare centres are closed, parents can apply for direct funding to offset the cost of buying materials to support their children’s learning, while they practice self-isolation and physical distancing. Eligible parents will receive a one-time per child payment.
Agriculture and food jobs in Ontario – If you’re looking for a new professional opportunity and the chance to make a difference during this COVID-19 outbreak, this is a one-stop-shop that highlights employment openings and training resources in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector.
Agri-Food Open for E-Business – Targeted Intake: The Governments of Canada and Ontario are supporting the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors to capture online e-business opportunities that will help create new, expanded or enhanced markets and open new retail channels to help generate new revenue streams for future growth. The Agri-Food Open for E-Business targeted intake will help businesses/organizations quickly expand their marketing channels and respond to new market challenges, increase online sales in the sector and provide consumers with access to more local food.
COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open(link is external) – Read how we’re keeping Ontario safe and open, including regional health measures and sector-specific public health and workplace safety measures.
Government of Canada
Canada Healthy Communities Initiative
The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI) is providing up to $31 million in existing federal funding to support communities as they deploy new ways to adapt spaces and services to respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 over the next two years. Community Foundations of Canada is currently accepting applications for project funding. The first intake for applications will close on March 9th, 2021 at 5:00PM PST. Details on project eligibility and how to apply for project funding are available on Community Foundations of Canada’s website.
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
The RRRF provides liquidity support to businesses and organizations affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, that are unable to access other federal relief measures, or require additional support. The Fund, valued at more than $2 billion nationally, is delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies.
Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee
Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they’re sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) – The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they’re sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) – The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) – The LEEFF program will be open to large for-profit businesses—with the exception of those in the financial sector—as well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher. To qualify for LEEFF support, eligible businesses must be seeking financing of $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The Canada Emergency Business Account will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada. Loans available up to $40,000 with zero interest payable in year 1. Starting on Friday, December 4, 2020, eligible businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are able to access a second CEBA loan of up to $20,000 – on top of the initial $40,000 that was available to small businesses. Half of this additional financing, up to $10,000, will be forgivable if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022. Applicants now have until June 30, 2021 to apply for a $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion at their financial institution.
SME Loan and Guarantee program
Up to $6.25 million available through either stream for approved applicants.
Employment Insurance Benefits and Leave
Employment Insurance benefits and leave information for workers, families, fishers and sickness available as well as how to apply and submit a report.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Information for industry (link is external). The agriculture and agri-food sector plays a critical role in distributing safe, high-quality food to Canadians. Maintaining the integrity of the agri-food supply chain during an emergency is essential for all Canadians.
Resources for Canadian Businesses
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. During this extraordinary time, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help Canadian businesses as COVID-19 is affecting them, their employees and their families.
Canadian Business Resilience Network– In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help Canadian businesses navigate the COVID-19 reality and prepare for recovery.
Ontario’s Action Plan Doubles Ontario Small Business Support Grant
2021 Budget invests $1.7 billion in second round of payments for eligible small businesses
March 25, 2021
TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing additional support to eligible small businesses to help with the ongoing costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Confirmed eligible recipients of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will automatically receive a second payment equal to the amount of their first payment, for minimum total support of $20,000 up to a maximum of $40,000. This support to help small business owners keep the doors open and workers employed is part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.
Today, Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board, reinforced the importance of this increased support at a virtual fireside chat hosted by the Canadian Club.
“One of the most significant inequities of the pandemic has been the impact on small business owners and their employees who have faced significant restrictions,” said Minister Bethlenfalvy. “That’s why in the Budget yesterday we announced a second payment of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant — so that eligible small businesses will automatically receive a second payment in an amount equal to their first. Businesses in communities from Sarnia to
Sault Ste. Marie have said this support is the difference between keeping the lights on and turning them off for good.”
Through these two rounds of support, the Ontario Small Business Support Grant is projected to deliver an estimated $3.4 billion to approximately 120,000 small businesses across Ontario, protecting jobs through this difficult time. Businesses can use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for them. For example, some businesses could use the support to pay employee wages, while others may need support maintaining their inventory.
Launched in January, the Ontario Small Business Support Grant provides direct financial support to eligible small businesses that were required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown that came into effect in December 2020. Small businesses who have been determined as eligible recipients of the grant will automatically be entitled to a second payment in an amount equal to the first payment they receive. They will not need to apply again to receive this additional funding.
“Small businesses have faced some of the most difficult impacts of COVID-19, all while continually stepping up to help their communities and bringing forward their innovative ideas and solutions throughout the pandemic,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “We introduced the Small Business Support Grant to give businesses a helping hand, and today nearly 100,000 businesses have received over $1.414 billion in support. In the 2021 Budget we announced a second round of payments will be made to eligible recipients to make sure our small businesses continue to be supported as we get closer to our economy reopening.”
Eligible business owners who have not yet applied for the grant have until March 31, 2021, to submit an application. A detailed list of businesses eligible for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant is available on the application page. Business owners can also visit Ontario.ca/COVIDsupport for more information about this grant as well as Ontario’s other supports for businesses.
“Protecting our economy starts with protecting our small businesses and the people who pour everything into making them grow,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “With this record investment, we’re giving our small businesses the support they need to stay safe, stay solvent and see a brighter tomorrow.
Healthy people are essential for a healthy economy. With vaccines being distributed, hope is on the horizon. Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy provides the resources necessary to finish the battle with COVID-19, building on the government’s record investments to protect health and jobs during the global pandemic.
March 31, 2021
Westport’s Robin Jones is the newest member to be appointed to the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) board of directors.
Robin brings significant professional expertise to the OAC board in addition to her love of both music and ceramics. Currently she serves as the mayor of Westport in eastern Ontario. (Read more…)
“The scope of Robin’s municipal experience as well as her years of living and working in rural Ontario, are welcome assets to any provincial board, but especially one with such a broad mandate,” said Rita Davies, OAC Chair.
The Ontario Arts Council has a 12-member government-appointed board of directors that is responsible for oversight of OAC’s granting process, including policies and decision-making. In 2019-20, the Ontario Arts Council invested $51.9 million in 197 communities across Ontario through 1,965 grants to individual artists and 1,152 grants to organizations.
Ontario Implements Provincewide Emergency Brake
TORONTO —The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a provincewide emergency brake as a result of an alarming surge in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province. The provincewide emergency brake will be effective Saturday, April 3, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. and the government intends to keep this in place for at least four weeks.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Co-Chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.
“We are facing a serious situation and drastic measures are required to contain the rapid spread of the virus, especially the new variants of concern,” said Premier Ford. “I know pulling the emergency brake will be difficult on many people across the province, but we must try and prevent more people from getting infected and overwhelming our hospitals. Our vaccine rollout is steadily increasing, and I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. That is our best protection against this deadly virus.”
Ontario’s key indicators and latest modelling show that additional measures must be taken. From March 26 to 28, 2021, provincial case rates have increased by 7.7 per cent to 101.1 cases per 100,000 people. Current COVID-19 related ICU admissions are already over the peak of wave two and hospitals in regional hotspots will need to further ramp down scheduled surgeries. COVID-19 related ICU admissions are projected to exceed 650 beds in a few weeks. These increases are being driven by COVID-19 variants, which are transmitted easily and result in a higher risk of death and hospitalization, including in younger populations.
The provincewide emergency brake would put in place time-limited public health and workplace safety measures to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives. Measures include, but are not limited to:
- Prohibiting indoor organized public events and social gatherings and limiting the capacity for outdoor organized public events or social gatherings to a 5-person maximum, except for gatherings with members of the same household (the people you live with) or gatherings of members of one household and one other person from another household who lives alone.
- Restricting in-person shopping in all retail settings, including a 50 per cent capacity limit for supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, indoor farmers’ markets, other stores that primarily sell food and pharmacies, and 25 per cent for all other retail including big box stores, along with other public health and workplace safety measures;
- Prohibiting personal care services;
- Prohibiting indoor and outdoor dining. Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments will be permitted to operate by take-out, drive-through, and delivery only;
- Prohibiting the use of facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness (e.g., gyms) with very limited exceptions;
- Requiring day camps to close; and,
- Limiting capacity at weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies to 15 per cent occupancy per room indoors, and to the number of individuals that can maintain two metres of physical distance outdoors. This does not include social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions, which are not permitted indoors and are limited to five people outdoors.
On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, all Ontarians are asked to limit trips outside the home to necessities such as food, medication, medical appointments, supporting vulnerable community members, or exercising outdoors with members of their household. Employers in all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.
“Ontario, like many other provinces and jurisdictions around the world, is in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and immediate action is required to help turn the tide,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Implementing a provincewide emergency brake was not an easy decision to make and is not one we take lightly. As we continue to vaccinate more Ontarians, the end is in sight, but right now these necessary measures will help to stop the spread of variants in our communities, protect capacity in our health care system, and save lives.”
The current COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open, will be paused when the provincewide emergency brake comes into effect. The impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated throughout the next four weeks to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended. With more than $1.6 billion invested to protect against COVID-19, schools remain safe for students and staff. Keeping schools open is critical to the mental health and well-being of Ontario youth. During the emergency shutdown, schools will remain open for in-person learning with strict safety measures in place. The spring break will continue as planned for the week of April 12. In order to support working families, child care will remain open during the shutdown. Child care settings will continue to adhere to stringent health and safety measures so that they remain safe places for children and staff.
“In the last few weeks a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and variants of concern has been observed across Ontario which has put considerable strain on our public health and health care systems,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Implementing a provincewide shutdown is needed to bring the third wave of this pandemic under control so that we can save lives, keep our education system open and allow our vaccination program to take hold.”