The Ontario government announced a new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that have been subject to closure 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; and
- 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 2022.
The Ontario government is also providing electricity-rate relief for 21-days starting on January 18, 2022 at 12:01am. Electricity prices will be set 24hrs a day at the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate. The off-peak rate will apply automatically.
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 rebate payments for up to 100% 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 6-month interest- and penalty-free period starting January 1, 2022 for businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes.
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