Government Financial Support Programs
Enclosed is a list of current and major support programs for business provided through the Federal and Ontario governments as of April 15, 2021. For up-to-date information about these programs, please ensure that you visit the links in this document.
To better serve the business community, the government programs available have been translated in the following languages: Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, Somali, Tigrinya
Federal Government Financial Support Programs
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) replaces the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and provides direct payments to qualifying renters without the participation of landlords. The program is in effect September 27, 2020 to June 2021. The CERS program includes a base subsidy and additional lockdown support for eligible businesses, non-profit and charitable organizations who have been significantly affected by a public health order of a week or longer.
There is no minimum revenue drop required to qualify. The rate of an applicant’s revenue decline is subsequently used to calculate the subsidy. There is a calculator available to help businesses calculate their subsidy amount. Further information can be obtained through the CRA Business Enquiries Line at 1-800-959-5525.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides a financial subsidy to employers for employee wages retroactive to March 15, 2020. The program is effective until June 2021.
Eligibility for the program is based on revenue decline by comparing levels during the COVID-19 crisis with a previous period (baseline revenue). Qualifying employers receive a percentage of employees’ pay based on these variances. There is a calculator available to help businesses calculate their subsidy amount. Information on CEWS applications can be obtained at 1-833-966-2099.
The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 33 percent.
As of October 2020, eligibility for CEBA was expanded by removing the previous condition of a business needing an active business chequing/operating account. Businesses can now apply after opening a business chequing/operating account with their primary financial institution.
As of December 4, 2020, approved CEBA applicants can receive a $60,000 loan. Recipients of the earlier $40,000 loan may apply for an additional amount up to $20,000. The program is available from more than 220 financial institutions across Canada. Further information can be obtained at 1-888-324-4201.
The RRRF provides an interest-free loan to businesses and not-for-profit organizations affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, that are unable to access other federal relief measures, or require
additional support. There are two funding options through the RRRF: both loan options will support six months of eligible and supported fixed operating costs up to a max of $40,000 or up to a max of $1 million, depending on the option. The timeframe to consider costs has been extended to September 30, 2021.
Some of the eligibility criteria organizations must meet includes: facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; have applied to other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures for which they are eligible; were operational prior to March 15, 2020; and have an active business chequing/operating account.
Applications for RRRF loans will be accepted until June 30, 2021 or until such time that the Fund is fully committed.
Provincial Government Financial Support Programs
Applications for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant closed on April 7, 2021.
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 property taxes and energy costs. All small businesses that were eligible for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant are also eligible for these property tax and energy bill rebates.
Eligible businesses could get rebates for 1) municipal and education property taxes, and 2) 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. Further information can be obtained at 1-855-216-3090.
The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one-time, on-bill credit to eligible small businesses and registered charity customers. Recipients may be eligible for up to $850 in support if they primarily use electricity for heating, or up to $425 for other forms of energy.
This program is being delivered through electricity distributors, natural gas distributors, and unit sub-meter providers who will collectively receive business applications.
Applications for the Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support closed on March 31, 2021.
Coming soon! The Provincial Government is introducing the Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant, which will provide payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. Examples of eligible businesses for this grant include hotels, motels, travel agencies, amusement and water parks, hunting and fishing camps, and recreational and vacation camps (for example, children’s overnight summer camps). Any small businesses that received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will not be eligible for this new grant. .