Ontario Small Business Support Grant
Applications are open for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant until March 31. The grant helps small businesses that were required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020.
What you’ll get
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 Provincewide Shutdown.
On March 24, the government announced a second round of support through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. Small businesses who have been determined as eligible recipients for the Ontario Small Business Support 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.
With this additional round of support, eligible businesses can expect minimum total support of $20,000, up to a maximum of $40,000, over the two Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments. To be eligible, a business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20% 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 are also eligible provided they meet the other eligibility criteria.
Businesses will be able to 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.
To receive the grant, a small business must:
- be required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020
- have fewer than 100 employees across all affiliated businesses
- have experienced a minimum of 20% revenue decline comparing April 2020 to April 2019 revenues. New businesses established since April 2019 are also eligible provided they meet the other eligibility criteria
Businesses that are not eligible include those that were already required to close prior to the introduction of modified Stage 2 measures on October 10, 2020, and essential businesses permitted to operate with capacity restrictions (for example, discount and big box stores selling groceries, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, and beer, wine and liquor stores).
Small businesses not in operation in April 2019 or April 2020 will be able to select alternative months for comparing revenue decline through the application portal.
Most businesses require a CRA business number in order to be eligible. If a business does not have a business number, they will need to apply for a business number before they can proceed with their application. Indigenous-owned small businesses can apply without a business number through a dedicated application form on the application portal.
All businesses need to have information about the revenue decline and number of employees available and would have to attest to the information provided in their application.
Eligible businesses can expect to receive payment about 10 business days after their application is reviewed and approved. Eligible businesses that submit applications with incomplete or incorrect information, or that require additional review, may experience a delay in payment.
Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant: PPE support
We are helping small businesses with the unexpected costs of PPE.
To be eligible, your business must have 2 to 19 employees and be in one of the following sectors:
- accommodation and food services
- repair and maintenance
- personal and laundry services
- gyms and yoga studios
- arts, entertainment and recreation
What you’ll get
Eligible small businesses will get one-time grants of up to $1,000.
Property tax and energy cost rebates
Businesses that are, or were, required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs.
Businesses struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19 may also be eligible for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB), which you can apply to through your utility provider.
All small businesses that are eligible for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant are also eligible for these property tax and energy bill rebates.
In addition, businesses are eligible if they:
- are, or were, required to close or significantly restrict services as a result of being under Control, Lockdown or Provincewide Shutdown in the COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open
- were required to close or significantly restrict services as a result of being under “modified Stage 2” restrictions in the previous framework
Eligible businesses in regions that are or were subject to Control restrictions or previously modified Stage 2 restrictions include:
- restaurants and bars
- gyms, facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities
- performing arts and cinemas
- bingo halls, gaming establishments, casinos, conference centres and convention centres
- community centres, multi-purpose facilities, and museums
- personal care services (with the exception of oxygen bars)
- racing venues
- meeting or event space
- in-person teaching and instruction
In addition, eligible businesses in regions subject to Lockdown measures in the previous COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open, include:
- retail required to close for in-person shopping
- shopping malls
- personal services
- driving instruction
- tour and guide services
- photography services
- cannabis retail stores
In addition, eligible businesses in regions subject to the Provincewide Shutdown measures, include:
- hardware stores (including big box stores) required to close for in-person shopping
- drive-in cinemas
- garden centres
- outdoor sports and recreation facilities
- day camps for children
- pet/animal food and services
- ski hills
- outdoor markets (excluding grocery)
- safety, medical and assistive devices retail (excluding pharmacies)
- rental and leasing services
- domestic services
- vehicle and equipment repair services
- veterinary services
- cell phone and computer providers & repairs
- media industries including film and television production (excluding radio/television broadcasting)
- before- and after- school programs
Businesses will not be eligible if they are:
- within the areas subject to public health restrictions, but were not required to close or significantly restrict services
- owned by the federal, provincial, or a municipal government, or by a person holding federal or provincial office
What you’ll get
Eligible businesses could get rebates for:
- municipal and education property taxes
- energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil)
Funding will cover the entire length of time that regionally targeted public health restrictions are in place.
Most businesses can expect to receive their rebate payments within a few weeks of submitting a complete application.
Coming soon: Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant
The government is introducing the new Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant, which will provide an estimated $100 million in one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Examples of eligible businesses include:
- Travel agencies
- Amusement and water parks
- Hunting and fishing camps
- Recreational and vacation camps (for example, children’s overnight summer camps)
Application details, including a full list of eligible businesses, will be available soon.
Note: Any small businesses that received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will not be eligible for this new grant.
What you’ll need to apply
Business and banking information
You will need your business and banking information to apply, including:
- general business information (for example, CRA business number)
- banking information (for example, banking institution, account number, branch code)
Receipts for PPE
You will need to submit receipts or proof of costs for PPE purchased since March 17, 2020.
- gloves, gowns, face shields, eye protection, masks, sanitizer, sanitizing wipes
- thermometers, temperature monitors or cameras
- physical changes, including the installation of hand sanitizer stations and plexiglass dividers
- signs to guide or inform customers and employees
Bills and/or invoices
To apply, you will have to submit proof of costs.
For property tax rebates, this includes your property tax bills (or proof of costs associated with property taxes).
For energy cost rebates, this includes a digital copy of the first energy bill (including electricity, natural gas, propane or other) you received on or after the day modified Stage 2, Control, Lockdown or Provincewide Shutdown restrictions were put in place in your region. You can also submit other energy bills if your business is heated by propane or heating oil.
Fill out an online application to apply for PPE support, property tax rebates, energy cost rebates or the Ontario Small Business Support Grant.
You will be able to complete a single form to apply for any – or all – of these programs.
Our call centres are open:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 8:30 am to 5:00 p.m.