COVID-19 #41 – Ontario Small Business Relief Grant
Our COVID-19 Canadian Tax and Business News updates are our way of informing our clients, friends and business associates with recent information that may help businesses and individuals while coping with the outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our goal is to monitor the news and release relevant information as it becomes available.
The summary below is based on our understanding and interpretation of the announcements made by the government. The information below is in summary form and subject to change until the proposals are passed as legislation. Contact one of our professionals to discuss these matters in the context of your situation before acting upon such information.
Ontario Small Business Relief Grant
On January 7, 2022, the Ontario government announced it would be providing targeted relief for business impacted by the current public health measures. The government is introducing a $10,000 grant for eligible businesses subject to closures under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen.
Application portals will open in the coming weeks for newly established and newly eligible small business. Eligible businesses that qualified for the previous Ontario Small Business Support Grant that are now 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.
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.
Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program
Ontario also confirmed online applications for the OBCRP will open on January 18, 2022. The OBCRP 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 in response to the Omicron variant. Those required to reduce capacity to 50% will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50% of their costs. A complete list of eligible businesses will be provided prior to the launch of the application portal.
Ontario Electricity-Rate Relief
The government also announced electricity-rate relief to support small businesses and individuals spending more time at home due to the current public health measures. For 21 days starting at 12:01 am on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, electricity prices will be set 24 hours 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 to residential, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility and will benefit customers on both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans.
As we all try to stay safe, we need to remind ourselves business will get back to normal but in the meantime let’s all do our part to get to normal as soon as we can. If you have any questions or require further information, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.