Ontario has announced the COVID-19 Business Support Grants program to help businesses that were required to shut down or restrict services due to provincial public health measures: modified Stage 2 restrictions or in areas categorized as Red-Control, Grey-Lockdown or Provincewide Shutdown.
•The rebate will fully offset energy costs for electricity and natural gas (or heating oil/propane) for eligible businesses as well as property tax.
•Funding is available to cover the entire length of time that regionally targeted provincial public health restrictions are in place. Businesses that are eligible for more than one billing cycle will be able to update their applications and add additional bills as they are received.
Electricity, natural gas, heating oil or propane bills must be dated after the date that the region/city that the business is located in moved into modified Stage 2, Red-Control, Grey-Lockdown or Provincewide Shutdown restrictions.
•Starting November 16, 2020, businesses can apply for grants online. If customers are interested in applying, they can visit: www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
•The temporary COVID-19 Business Support Grants program will feature a simple, one window application that will allow eligible businesses to apply for the rebates as well as the Main Street Relief Grant for PPE and the Small Business Support Grant.
•The application process is designed to make it easy for eligible businesses to apply and receive their payment as quickly as possible.
•The rebate will fully offset energy costs for electricity and natural gas for eligible, affected businesses during the periods of restriction. There is no cap on the rebate received.
•Propane or heating oil costs are also eligible for businesses without natural gas service. These costs would be based on the most recent bill received after the region/city the business is located in moved into modified Stage 2, Red-Control, Grey-Lockdown or Provincewide Shutdown restrictions.
•As of February 22, 2020, eligible regions and public health restriction periods include:
|PHU/Region||Provincial Restriction Start Date and # of eligible billing Cycles||# of eligible billing Cycles|
|Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph||Businesses in Red/Control: Dec 14, 2020||3|
|All Ontario Public Health Units (PHU)||Businesses in Provincewide Shutdown: Dec 26, 2020||2|
|Control (O. Reg. 263/20)||Lockdown (O. Reg. 82/20)||Provincewide Shutdown|
|Restaurants and bars|
•Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms)
•Conference centres and convention centres
•Community centres and multi-purpose facilities
•Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attraction
•Performing arts and cinemas
•Personal care services relating to the hair or body(with exception of oxygen bars)
•Racing venues, casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
•Meeting or event space
•In person teaching and instruction
|Additional business that would become eligible as a region moves from Control to Lockdown:|
•Retail required to close for in-person shopping
• Tour and guide services
• Photography services
• Cannabis retail stores
|Additional businesses that are eligible during Provincewide Shutdown:|
•Hardware stores (including Big Box stores) required to close for in-person shopping
•Outdoor sports and recreation facilities
• Day camps for children
• Pet/animal food and services
• Ski hills
•Outdoor markets (excluding grocery)
•Safety, medical and assistive devices retail(excluding pharmacies)
•Rental and leasing services
•Vehicle and equipment repair services
•Cell phone and computer providers & repairs
•Media industries including film and television production (excluding radio/television broadcasting)
•Before- and after- school programs
Businesses that are not eligible are those that were already required to close prior to the introduction of modified Stage 2 provincial public health restrictions, those that were not required to close or restrict services due to modified Stage 2 public health restrictions, and those who do not pay property taxes or energy costs.
•Businesses can expect to receive their rebate payments as early as two weeks from the date they finalize and submit their application.