In the first week applications were open for Ontario’s Support for Small Business Grant, more than 42,000 Ontario small businesses applied. Businesses that have been approved can expect to receive payment within about 10 business days. During the Provincewide Shutdown all eligible small businesses facing challenges are being encouraged to apply for this financial support to receive between $10,000 and $20,000.
“I encourage any small business that is eligible – which is basically any business with fewer than 100 employees that has been required to close or significantly restrict their business as a result of the Boxing Day shutdown – to apply,” said Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norman Miller. “This and the other supports offered by the government are intended to provide life support so the businesses are able to survive the pandemic.”
“There’s no question that eligible small businesses need urgent relief to help them navigate this challenging period,” said Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy. “If you own an eligible small business in Ontario, I urge you to visit Ontario.ca/COVIDsupport to join tens of thousands of others to access the support that is available to help navigate COVID-19.”
“I was pleased the criteria for this grant have been designed in order to be able to help new businesses as well as winter seasonal businesses,” said Miller. “Businesses can apply for all provincial supports in one place and the application is not difficult.”
To get more information about the grants available or to watch a video that walks through the steps visit normmiller.mpp/covid-19-supports-for-small-business/.
“Whether your small business employs a couple of close family members or dozens of people from all over the community, it matters to our government and to our province,” said Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Prabmeet Sarkaria. “That’s why we want you to go to ontario.ca/COVIDsupport to apply for grants that can help bridge the gap to better days ahead. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s one of many ways our government is supporting small businesses – every step along the way.”
The Ontario Small Business Support Grant is one of a number of supports available to businesses during the pandemic, such as $600 million available in rebates to help offset fixed costs such as property taxes and energy bills, and grants to help cover the cost of personal protective equipment. Eligible business owners can apply for all of these supports through a single, hassle-free application.
One of the earlier programs, the Main Street Digital program, offered support to help businesses develop an online presence. This program invested more than $50,000 in Parry Sound-Muskoka businesses both through Main Street Digital Grants and through Digital Service Squads that hired students to help businesses navigate setting up an online presence.
The Digital Main Street program was funded by the federal and provincial governments and administered by the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association in conjunction with participating municipalities, Chambers of Commerce and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs). The Digital Service Squads are expected to help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students.
“Rural Ontario’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and our communities,” said Miller. “The Digital Service Squads are helping our businesses transition online, allowing them to access new customers safely and reliably. By choosing to shop local by shopping local we are helping our businesses stay in business.”
Currently, only about 60 percent of Ontario’s small enterprises have a website, and only 7 percent accept online payment. Through Digital Main Street, Ontario businesses are adopting new tools that will allow them to reach a wider customer base and help them weather the economic impacts of COVID-19.