As of December 26, 2020 we are in full lockdown again in Ontario. Since March small businesses and restaurants have been really struggling and as much as the public can help by getting take out, it is not the same as getting dine in customers.
I have spoken to many restaurant and small business owners and I thought I would share a few ways business owners can get some financial relief during these crazy times.
Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support
Eligible small businesses will get one-time grants of up to $1,000. This grant is for covering unexpected costs of buying PPE like masks, gloves, face shields, etc. To find out if you are eligible and for more details, head over to the government website here.
Property Tax and Energy Bill Rebates
“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 fixed costs.
Businesses struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19 may also be eligible for the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB), which you can apply to through your utility provider.”
For more details to see if your business qualifies, head over to the government website here.
Gather Your Information to Apply
You will need to gather all your information before you can apply. Make sure you have:
- banking information (banking institution, account number, branch code)
- business registration number
- receipts from buying PPE (since March 17, 2020)
- bills and invoices (ex: energy bills & property tax bills)
Where To Apply?
Luckily they made everything easy to access and apply. Everything can be done online here.
NEW! Coming January 2021 – Ontario Small Business Support Grant
This is a good one but many people were hoping for something like this earlier in the year. However, it is better than nothing! Here are the details:
“Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with dollar for dollar funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown. The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20 per cent when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This time period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.
Businesses will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for them. For example, some businesses will use the support to pay employee wages, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.”
For more information on this new grants, read about it here.
Digital Main Street Grant
This grant has been around for a while now but many people haven’t taken advantage of it. They have 3 programs: shopHERE, Future Proof, and Ontario Grants. Digital Main Street Grants are more for marketing. If you are thinking about whether or not you should apply, the answer is YES. Without proper marketing, no one will know you exist as a business. To use your time wisely during lockdown, consider putting some efforts into marketing so when you do re-open you are ready to go and can focus on your day to day operations.