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The Ontario government has opened applications for the Small Business Support Grant, a program that will provide up to $20,000 to eligible small businesses constrained by the province-wide lockdown.
Ontario Small Business Support Grant
The grant, first announced in December, will award between $10,000 and $20,000 to these small businesses. The funding can be used for any cost they see fit, whether it’s wages, bills or rent.
How To Get Government Grants And Funding For Startups In Ontario
The funding comes after Ontario tightened restrictions, imposed a stay-at-home order and further frustrated small business owners, who criticized the province for allowing big-box stores to sell non-essential goods while being open for in-person shopping. The new restrictions have also caused confusion for many Ontarians and business owners.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases remain high in Ontario, which reported 2,998 new cases on Friday and a record 100 deaths.
Julie Kwiczynski, Ontario regional director for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said the organization is pleased with the sponsorship and applauds the government for the quick launch.
“Businesses cannot wait,” Kwiczynski said, adding that she was assured that the funds would quickly reach many businesses.
Small Business Grants In Ontario For 2021
The government website says that eligible businesses can expect payment within about 10 working days of submitting their application, provided they have all the required information and no verification is required.
To be eligible for the grant, a business must have fewer than 100 employees and must have closed or significantly reduced operations due to the countywide shutdown that began Dec. 26. Businesses must also experience at least a 20 percent drop in revenue in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
However, businesses opened after April 2019 will still be able to receive the subsidy, provided they meet the other eligibility criteria.
This will be a sticking point for some businesses, as thousands of new businesses have been unable to access many of the available COVID-19 benefits, such as wage subsidy or rent subsidy. As the pandemic approaches a year in Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has advocated for these businesses to be included in the COVID-19 relief funding.
Ontario Small Business Support Grant
According to the press release, these businesses will be able to choose alternate months to reflect their decreased revenue when using the app portal. Also, seasonal businesses that rely on winter traffic, such as ski hills, can use December or January instead of April to show that their revenue is down.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Finance confirmed that businesses that were already required to close before the amended restrictions entered phase 2, such as saunas and strip clubs, will not be eligible for the grant. Also, essential businesses that remain open with capacity restrictions, such as large grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and liquor stores, will not be eligible.
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Kwiczynski said that while there are some eligibility gaps that the CFIB will lobby the government to address, overall the CFIB is satisfied with the grant program. Because the government matches revenue losses dollar for dollar up to $20,000, he said many small businesses may be eligible for the full grant amount.
Ontario Small Business Support Grant: Anyone Else Still Waiting?
Among the ineligible businesses Kwiczynski hopes to include are small businesses deemed necessary and able to remain open for personal services, such as dry cleaning, which are still seeing a drop in revenue despite being open during the lockdown. He also noted that while having separate eligibility criteria for seasonal businesses in the winter is a positive point, there is no similar provision for seasonal businesses in the summer.
Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenpalwee said in a press release that employers are now facing “unprecedented challenges” due to the pandemic.
“As the son of two small business owners, I understand what small businesses mean to the families, workers and local communities they support,” Prabmeet Sarkaria, Ontario’s deputy minister of small business and red tape, said in a press release. “Our hard-working businesses can be encouraged that the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant offers an extra hand to give them the boost they need to meet today’s challenges and prepare for a brighter tomorrow.”
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New Ontario Small Business Support Grant
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Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. All rights reserved. Publication or distribution of this content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. To order copies of Toronto Star articles, go to: www.TorontoStarReprints.comHas your Ontario small business been forced to significantly reduce service or even close as part of the new province-wide shutdown?
If so, you should apply for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, courtesy of the Ontario government. Your business must show how it experienced a drop in income of at least 20 percent compared to monthly income in April 2019 and April 2020.
This time period was chosen because it reflects the “before” and “after” impact of closing the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. These two monthly snapshots should provide a good picture of the impact public health measures are having on small businesses like yours. Other time periods are available for businesses that were not operating in April 2019.
Ontario Small Business Support Grant: Apply Now
The grant will provide all eligible businesses with one-time dollar funding, a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $20,000, to help cover anticipated reduced revenue as a result of the shutdown across the province of Ontario. Your small business can use support in whatever way makes the most sense for you, such as continuing to pay wages or rent. Businesses that are not eligible include those that were already closed before the updated measures entered phase 2.
These health measures were introduced on a region-by-region basis by the Ontario government in October 2020 in consultation with public health experts and local health officers. As of November 2020, Ontario Public Health Unit districts have transitioned to the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open framework, which categorizes public health areas into five levels: green-protection, yellow-protection, orange-containment, red-control and lockdown as a measure. of last resort and emergency. Just a month later, the color-coded area comment box was discontinued. On December 26, 2020, we entered a district-wide shutdown. Then, starting Thursday, January 14, 2021, the second emergency declaration went into effect.
We hope this information and the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, as well as other provincial and federal support for the COVID-19 pandemic, can help your small business survive through this second emergency declaration. More details about the grant, including how to apply, will be available through the Ontario government later in January 2021. Please stay home (as much as you can) and stay safe as we overcome the challenge of COVID-19. If you would like to discuss your business challenges via Zoom, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will set up a meeting. In the meantime, these articles may interest you: