Supports for Businesses

This list was last updated: May 27th, 2020

If you need assistance you can also call our constituency office at 416-733-7878 (9:30 am to 5:00 pm) and we'll do our best to connect you with the resources and help you need.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 please visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/

Other Government Supports

Support for People

 


Support for Businesses

Federal Government

Canada Emergency Business Account

This program will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans (of up to $40,000) to small businesses with payrolls between $20,000 to $1.5 million. A quarter of this loan (up top $10,000) is eligible for complete forgiveness if repaid on or before Dec. 31st, 2022.

Applicants with payroll less than $20,000 would need: 

  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

These loans are guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada and will ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need, at a 0% interest rate, so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the next number of months. 

This program will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Loan Guarantee Program

This program will enable guaranteed loans for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million.

This program will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Co-Lending Program

This program will enable co-lending term loans to small businesses for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.

This program will roll out in the three weeks after March 27, and interested businesses should work with their current financial institutions.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy 

For those companies experiencing a decrease in revenues of at least 15% in March 2020 and 30% for the following months, the government will cover up to 75% of a salary on the first $58,700, which could mean payments of up to $847 a week until August 29, 2020. Eligible employers would include individuals, taxable corporations, and partnerships consisting of eligible employers as well as non‑profit organizations and registered charities.

Organizations that do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may qualify for the previously announced wage subsidy of 10 per cent of remuneration paid from March 18 to August 29, 2020.

Eligible employers would be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through Canada Revenue Agency's My Business Account portal. For more information on eligibility, calculations, and amount of subsidy, please click here.

You can generally expect to receive your payment within 10 business days if you are registered for direct deposit on your payroll account. In some cases, the CRA may need to delay your payment if additional review is required or if they need to contact you.

Applications for the program will open on April 27th, 2020.

Extending the Work-Sharing Program

Extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.

Apply online at https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/work-sharing/apply.html

Deferring Payment on Income Tax

The government is allowing all taxpayers to defer the payment of income tax amounts owed on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as installments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts if the deferred payment requirements are met by September 1, 2020.

Penalties and interest relief will be considered on a case-by-case basis for income tax balances that are not covered by the COVID-19 relief provisions described here.

Defer All Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Payments

This provision includes all businesses and self-employed individuals defer payments until June 30, 2020, as well as customs duties owed for imports. This deferral will apply to remittances for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods for monthly filers; the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers; and for annual filers, the amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.

These amounts would normally have been due to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of this month. This measure will take effect immediately, through existing authorities.

Increasing Credit Available for Farmers

Supporting Farm Credit Canada by allowing an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially strong during this difficult time.

Waiving Ground Lease Rents

Waiving ground lease rents from March 2020 through December 2020 for the 21 airport authorities that pay rent to the federal government. The Federal government is also providing comparable treatment for PortsToronto, which operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and pays a charge to the federal government.

Temporary changes to Canada Summer Jobs Program

The Canada Summer Jobs Program provides opportunities for young individuals to develop their skills in the non-for-profit, small business and public sector, and supports the delivery of key community services. 

Changes are being made to the program to allow employers to:

  • Receive an increased wage subsidy, so that private and public sector employers can also receive up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee
  • Extend the end date for employment to February 28, 2021
  • Adapt their projects and job activities
  • Hire staff on a part-time basis

For more information, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/canada-summer-jobs.html

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance 

The federal government in collaboration with all provinces and territories are implementing this program to lower rent by 75% for eligible small businesses. As well as provide loans and/or forgivable loans to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June.

Please find more information under the Ontario Government section, titled "Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program".

Businesses in the Territories   

Providing $15 million in non-repayable support for businesses in the territories to help address the impacts of COVID-19. This support will assist businesses with operating costs not already covered by other Government of Canada measures. 

Rural Businesses and Communities

Providing $287 million to support rural businesses and communities by providing them with much-needed access to capital through the Community Futures Network. 

Please contact your Regional Development Agency to receive assistance. 

Canada's Regional Development Agencies

Providing $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports through Canada's Regional Development Agencies.

For help visit your Regional Development Agency: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/icgc.nsf/eng/h_07662.html

Assisting Innovative and Early-Stage Businesses

Investing $250 million to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). This program provides advice, connections and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses (fewer than 500 staff) increase their innovation capacity to sell their product or solution to meet a COVID-19 related need.

NRC IRAP will partner with Innovative Solutions Canada to launch calls for proposals over the next few weeks to address challenges, fund development of solutions, and buy successful products and services needed to address COVID-19.

For details on how to apply, please click here

Young Entrepreneurs

Providing $20.1 million in support for Futurpreneur Canada to continue supporting young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19. The funding will allow Futurpreneur Canada to provide payment relief for its client for up to 12 months. 

To learn more, please visit https://www.futurpreneur.ca/en/

Small and Medium-Sized Indigenous Businesses and Aboriginal Financial Institutions 

Providing up to $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses. The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.

Financial support for Indigenous businesses will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Métis capital corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.

Temporary Salary Top-Up for Low-Income Essential Workers

The government will work with provinces and territories through a new transfer to cost-share a temporary top-up to the salaries of low-income workers deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19, who make less than $2,500 a month. Details as to the application and delivery of this measure will be released shortly following further work with provinces and territories.

This will provide a much needed boost to those on the front-line in hospitals, those caring for seniors in long-term care facilities, those working so hard to make sure that there is food on our shelves and tables, and others.

More details will be released shortly.

 

Ontario Government

Deferring Provincial Taxes

Providing a five-month interest and penalty-free period to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.

Tax filing and remittance deadlines will remain the same. However, the period between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020 will be interest and penalty-free for businesses who are unable to file and make payments on time for select provincially administered taxes. This is expected to free up as much as $6 billion in cash flow for about 100,000 businesses.

The following provincial taxes are included in the relief period:

  • Employer Health Tax
  • Tobacco Tax
  • Fuel Tax
  • Gas Tax
  • Beer, Wine & Spirits Tax
  • Mining Tax
  • Insurance Premium Tax
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement
  • Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts and Benefit Plans
  • Race Tracks Tax

If you have any questions, please contact: 1-866-ONT-TAXS (1-866-668-8297) or click here for more information.

Deferring WSIB Payments

Providing up to $1.9 billion in financial relief by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months (until August 31, 2020).

The deferred premiums will amount to an average $1,760 for approximately 275,000 Ontario businesses. Businesses are not required to inform the WSIB that they will take advantage of this financial relief package. In addition, WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month period. Be assured that WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.

All employers covered by WSIB are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package; there is no need to opt-in to receive this benefit. Click here for more information.

Expanding Employer Health Tax Exemption

Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million and a 5 month relief period for Ontario businesses who are unable to file or remit their provincial taxes on time due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus (COVID‑19) in Ontario.

Deferring Property Tax 

Deferring the upcoming quarterly (June 30th) remittance education property tax to school boards by 90 days will provide municipalities the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals of over $1.8 billion to local residents and businesses while ensuring school boards receive their funding.

See more information in the City of Toronto section below.

Reducing Electricity Bills

Making electricity bills more affordable for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers through a $1.5 billion increase in electricity cost relief compared to the 2019 Budget. In addition, the Province is also setting electricity prices for time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the “off-peak” price of 10 cents/kWh for 24 hours a day until May 31, 2020 to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID‑19 outbreak, addressing concerns about time-of-use metering.

No need to apply. Reduced rates will be applied to your bill automatically.

Allowing Delivery of Alcohol

Effective immediately, Ontario will allow takeout and delivery of alcohol with a food order from licensed restaurants and bars; no application process or fee required.

The holder of the liquor sales licence is accountable for the responsible sale and delivery of alcohol. This includes making sure the person to whom the order is delivered is at least 19 years old and is not intoxicated. The licensee or its staff involved in the delivery of alcohol must have successfully completed Smart Serve training. Instances where the delivery is being carried out by a third party on behalf of the licensee, Smart Serve certification is required by April 25, 2020.

Allowing 24/7 Deliveries 

All businesses may accept 24/7 deliveries to help ensure important goods - such as food, medication, and essential household items – can be delivered as efficiently as possible, without the restrictions of municipal noise by-laws. This will help keep shelves stocked with necessary food and medication, and help our supply chain operate quickly during this crisis.

Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

Providing a 10% refundable Corporate Income Tax credit for eligible businesses that build, renovate or acquire qualifying commercial and industrial buildings in designated regions of the province, of up to $45,000. The tax credit would be available for expenditures in excess of $50,000 and up to a limit of $500,000 for qualifying investments that become available for use by a Canadian-controlled private corporation in the taxation year.

Please click here to view a list of eligible regions.

Ontario Together Fund

Providing $50 million in funding to provide immediate support to businesses, organizations and communities who are teaming up with the province to combat COVID-19. This is a one-time fund and is available to companies and organizations across Ontario to apply.

The fund will help companies make investments to build their capacity or provide technological solutions, either in new equipment or retooling. This will allow them to quickly pivot to manufacturing critical supplies and equipment needed in hospitals, long-term care homes and other priority public services. 

The Ontario Together Fund will leverage the recently launched Ontario Together website to accept proposals. The government will be looking for the most viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide critical goods and services and the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario.

If you need help making an online submission, please call 1-888-777-0554.

Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund

Investing $20 million to focus on areas of research such as vaccine development, diagnostics, drug trials and development, and social sciences to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19. Researchers were encouraged to submit proposals through the "Ideas section" of the new Ontario Together website, which was established to collect emergency products and identify immediate and innovative solutions in our response to COVID-19. Researchers and research institutions were asked to prioritize proposals that are highly feasible with achievable results within one year or a maximum of two years. The deadline for submissions was Friday, April 24, 2020.

Since the Rapid Research Fund was announced, the Ontario Together portal received 1,062 research submissions and awarded 15 recipients of this funding. To read more, click here.

Tackling the Barriers Portal

Launched the Tackling the Barriers website to gather suggestions on regulations that are making it harder to: retool operations to produce health-related products and supplies, assist our healthcare system in meeting emergency needs and keep our supply chain operating and critical products moving.

Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products or those who want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to the website. 

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

The Ontario Government is committing $241 million to partner with the federal government and deliver more than $900 million in urgent relief to impacted small business tenants and their landlords through this program.

The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In turn, commercial rent for small businesses will be lowered by 75% for April to June 2020. The forgiveable loan would also be contingent on the signing of a rent forgiveness agreement between impacted tenants and landlords. This would also include a moratorium on evictions for three months.

The program has been developed to share the cost between impacted small business tenants and landlords. Impacted small business tenants and landlords would each be asked to pay 25% of the before profit costs rent and the provincial and federal government would share the remaining 50%.

The OCECRA will be administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and become available until September 30, 2020. Support would be retroactive to April 1, covering April, May and June 2020. The deadline to apply is August 31, 2020.

Properties with or without a mortgage are eligible under OCECRA for impacted small businessess. However, small businesses that opened on or after March 1, 2020 are not eligible.

To qualify the commercial property owner must:

  • Own commercial real property which is occupied by one or more impacted small business tenants
  • Enter (or have already entered) into a legally binding rent reduction agreement for the period of April, May and June 2020, reducing an impacted small business tenant’s rent by at least 75%
  • Ensure the rent reduction agreement with each impacted tenant includes:
    • a moratorium on eviction for the period during which the property owner agrees to apply the loan proceeds, and  
    • a declaration of rental revenue included in the attestation

Impacted small businesses tenants, including non-profit and charitable organizations, are businesses that:

  • Pay no more than $50,000 in monthly gross rent per location (as defined by a valid and enforceable lease agreement)
  • Generate no more than $20 million in gross annual revenues, calculated on a consolidated basis (at the ultimate parent level)
  • Have experienced at least a 70% decline in pre-COVID-19 revenues

Commercial properties with a residential component, and residential mixed-use properties with a 30% commercial component, would be equally eligible for support with respect to their commercial tenants.

To manage volume, we will be asking property owners to register on the following days.

Day Who should register?
Monday Property owners who are located in Atlantic Canada, BC, Alberta and Quebec, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program
Tuesday Property owners who are located in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Territories, with up to 10 tenants who are eligible for the program
Wednesday All other property owners in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Territories
Thursday All other property owners in Atlantic Canada, BC, Alberta and Quebec
Friday All

Please click here for more information.

Agri-Food Open for E-Business Program

The Ontario government has announced the Agri-Food Open for E-Business program to help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries and agricultural associations expand online, offering more food choices for families who are shopping from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. As well, eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost share funding for up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.

Applications are live and being reviewed on an ongoing basis. 

To find out more information please visit http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/index.htm or call 1-877-424-1300.

Additional Steps to Protect Agri-Food Workers 

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $2.25 million in provincially licensed meat processing plants to implement COVID-19 health and safety measures, including purchasing additional personal protective equipment, redesigning workstations, supporting employees who require mandatory isolation, and work-site mobility and transportation.

Applications are currently being accepted and assessed on a continuous basis while funding is available. 

More information about this targeted intake and the program guidelines can be found online at: http://omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/index.htm or by calling: 1-877-424-1300.

Agriculture Industry Job Support Portal

Launched a new website aimed at individuals seeking a job in the agri-food industry and the chance to make a difference during this COVID-19 outbreak. This online portal provides access to information on exciting job opportunities right across Ontario’s food supply chain – from grocery retailers, to bakeries and cheese factories, to opportunities on farms and in transportation, and many more.

The targeted intake will begin accepting applications on April 17, 2020. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.

Please click here to apply.

Voluntary Redeployment of Education Workers

Subject to a local agreement of the framework, eligible education sector staff who volunteer will be able to register through an online portal and be matched with congregate settings that are facing staffing shortages. Positions available may include custodial, maintenance, food preparation, children and youth service workers, social workers, and educational assistants.

Training and appropriate safety equipment will be provided to redeployed staff. Volunteers who are redeployed will be eligible for Ontario's temporary pandemic premium and emergency child care.

For more information, please visit https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/voluntary-redeployment-of-education-sector-workers-during-covid-19.html

Health Workforce Matching Portal

Launched a new Health Workforce Matching Portal to help match skilled frontline health care workers with employers. The portal will enable a range of different care providers, including retired or non-active health care providers with their regulatory college, internationally educated health care providers and students, to assist with the province’s response to COVID-19. 

Once you create a profile, you may be matched with positions and opportunities to use your skills and provide services where they are most needed in the fight against COVID-19. 

Pandemic Pay in the Broader Public Sector

Providing a payment increase of $4/hour worked in addition to existing hourly wages, regardless of the qualified employees’ hourly wage. In addition, employees working over 100 hours/month would receive lump sum payments of $250/month. Both of these payments would be in effect for 16 weeks, effective from April 24, 2020 until August 13, 2020.

The premium pay applies to front line staff in corrections, social services and health care. Examples include respiratory therapists, mental health and addictions workers in hospitals and congregate care settings, public health nurses, and paramedics. A full list of eligible workers and workplaces can be found here

#TakeoutWednesdays

Last month, the Ontario government participated in the national campaign developed by Restaurants Canada to support restaurants in our communities with the "#TakeoutDay Wednesdays" initiative. Based on the positive feedback we received, we're bringing the campaign home to Ontario with a #TakeoutWednesdayON push aimed at driving up businesses for local restaurants that are suffering due to COVID-19.

This campaign will run for Wednesday's throughout the month of May, beginning May 6th, 2020.

Support for Seniors & Long-Term Care Homes

The Ontario Government has also introduced a temporary emergency order effective April 22, 2020. The Order requires long-term care staff to work in only one long-term care home, retirement home, or other health care setting, and to not work for any other health service provider. The government has made funds directly available to help long-term care homes, to help long-term care workers make-up these lost wages.

Long-term care employers are being encouraged to offer full-time hours to their part-time employees. Employers can cover this expense through the emergency funding provided to all long-term care homes. Employees who face financial hardship as a result of this order will be entitled to job-protected leaves of absence under the Employment Standards Act

Ontario's Action Plan includes supports for seniors and investments in the long-term care sector, such as:

  • $243 million for additional capacity in the sector and more resources for screening, infection control, staffing and supplies;
  • Approximately $80 million to improve and maintain the quality of care in long-term care homes; and
  • Approximately $23 million for a minor capital program that will support the ongoing repair of homes and allow operators to maintain safe and modern facilities.
  • $10M to help community organizations with the coordination of subsidized deliveries of meals, medicines and other necessities to seniors. Interested organizations are encouraged to reach out to the City of Toronto to apply for this funding.
  • $20M to increase infection control and active screening procedures

The government is also working with province-wide organizations including Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA), Older Adults Centres' Association of Ontario (OACAO) to identify and mobilize potential volunteer supports in the community to address social isolation and support daily living assistance.

Following the report from the Canadian Armed Forces', the Ministry of Long-Term Care has deployed long-term care inspection teams to conduct comprehensive, detailed inspections at high-risk long-term care homes over the next 21 days. At the same time, the Ministry of Long-Term Care has started the process of appointing temporary management at Eatonville Care Centre, Hawthorne Place Care Centre, Altamont Care Community, Orchard Villa, and Camilla Care Community. Further, the recently announced independent commission into Ontario's long-term care system will now begin its work in July 2020. To read more, please click here.

 

City of Toronto

Extend Grace Periods for Property Taxes & Utility Bills 

The City will be suspending all pending automated withdrawals that have been scheduled for all City residents and businesses within the next 60-day period but not yet withdrawn.

Customers who pay their taxes through their mortgage should contact their mortgage company or financial institution to understand how this grace period will affect their mortgage amount and/or mortgage payment schedule.

For all property owners who have submitted post-dated cheques for upcoming property tax installments, all post-dated cheques will be held and not cashed until 60 days after the original installment due date – for example, post-dated cheques intended for the April 1 installment will be cashed on June 1, and post-dated cheques for the May 1 installment will be cashed on July 2, 2020.  Any other post-dated cheques received before May 1, 2020 will be held for a period of 60 days from the date of the cheque before being cashed.

The City is providing a grace period for payments and payment penalties for 60 days, starting March 16, 2020.

This grace period applies to all customers. At this time, the City is unable to process individual requests to have pre-authorized payments or post-dated cheques processed as scheduled.

Utility Bill (Water/ Sewer Service and Solid Waste Management charges where applicable):

  • Approximately 30,000 utility bills are issued to business and residential properties each week. Utility bills are usually due approximately 21 days after the billing date. The City is extending the due date for all utility bills issued by an additional 60 days, to give utility customers an additional 60 days to make payment to take advantage of the early payment discount.

Property Tax Payments:

For property owners on the regular three-installment payment plan, the April 1 property tax installment due date would be extended to June 1, 2020.

  1. For property owners on the 11-installment pre-authorized payment plan, Interim 2020 installment due dates will be extended by 60 days.
  2. Late payment penalties (applied on the first day following the installment due date where payment in full is not received) would be waived for 60 days, starting March 16, 2020.
  3. As Interim 2020 bills have already been mailed that specify the regular installment due dates, the City will use other means (website, social media, other advertising), to identify this grace period to property owners. Property tax accounts will be adjusted as necessary to reflect these relief measures.

Toronto Hydro Suspending Electricity Disconnections

As of March 24, 2020, households, farms and small businesses that pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged the off-peak rate of 10.1¢ per kWh, 24 hours a day, seven days a week until May 31, 2020.

In addition, Toronto Hydro has extended its current suspension of electricity disconnections for low-volume small business customers until July 31, 2020. They’re encouraging business customers to contact their Customer Care team directly at 416-542-8000 for help with billing concerns and payment options.

City of Toronto Contingency Fund 

The City plans to establish a substantial contingency fund to support businesses and affected groups, based on consultations to determine need and scale.

More information will be available in the coming days.