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  • Writer's picturePeter Wiesner

Ontario Business Relief Rules for Lock Down Coming-$10,000 to $20,000 Available in January, 2021

Ontario has announced new measures to assist with business's impacted by the up coming lock down. The funds will start in January 2021 and here are the criteria.

What you’ll get

$10,000 to $20,000

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.


To receive the grant, a small business must:

  • Be required to close or restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26

  • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level

  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline comparing April 2020 to April 2019 revenues

Businesses that are not eligible include those that were already required to close prior to the introduction of modified Stage 2 measures, and essential business permitted to operate with capacity restrictions (e.g., discount and big box stores selling groceries, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, and beer, wine and liquor stores).

For small businesses not in operation in April 2019 or April 2020, eligibility criteria will be announced in January 2021.

Further details about the grant, including how to apply, will be available in January 2021.

What you’ll need to apply

Business and banking information

You will need your business and banking information to apply, including:

  • general business information (for example, CRA business number)

  • banking information (for example, banking institution, account number, branch code)


Ontario's Main Street Relief Grant: PPE support

We are helping small businesses with the unexpected costs of PPE.


To be eligible, your business must have two to nine employees and be in one of the following sectors:

  • retail

  • accommodation and food services

  • repair and maintenance

  • personal and laundry services

  • gyms and yoga studios

What you’ll get

Eligible small businesses will get one-time grants of up to $1,000.


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.


All small businesses that are eligible for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant are also eligible for these property tax and energy bill rebates.

In addition, businesses are eligible if they:

  • are, or were, required to close or significantly restrict services as a result of being under control or lockdown restrictions in the COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open

  • were required to close or significantly restrict services as a result of being under “modified Stage 2” restrictions in the previous framework

Eligible businesses in regions that are or were subject to control restrictions or previously modified stage 2 restrictions include:

  • restaurants and bars

  • gyms, facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities

  • performing arts and cinemas

  • bingo halls, gaming establishments, casinos, conference centres and convention centres

  • community centres, multi-purpose facilities, and museums

  • personal care services (with the exception of oxygen bars)

  • racing venues

  • meeting or event space

  • in-person teaching and instruction

In addition, eligible businesses in regions subject to lockdown measures in the previous COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open, include:

  • retail required to close for in-person shopping

  • shopping malls

  • personal services

  • driving instruction

  • tour and guide services

  • photography services

  • campgrounds

Businesses will not be eligible if they are:

  • within the areas subject to public health restrictions, but were not required to close or significantly restrict services

  • owned by the federal, provincial, or a municipal government, or by a person holding federal or provincial office

What you’ll get

Eligible businesses could get rebates for:

  • municipal and education property taxes

  • 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.

Receipts for PPE

You will need to submit receipts or proof of costs for PPE purchased since March 17, 2020.

This includes:

  • gloves, gowns, face shields, eye protection, masks, sanitizer, sanitizing wipes

  • thermometers, temperature monitors or cameras

  • physical changes, including the installation of hand sanitizer stations and plexiglass dividers

  • signs to guide or inform customers and employees

Bills and/or invoices

To apply, you will have to submit proof of costs.

For property tax rebates, this includes your property tax bills (or proof of costs associated with property taxes).

For energy cost rebates, this includes a digital copy of the first energy bill (including electricity, natural gas, propane or other) you received on or after the day modified stage 2, , control or lockdown restrictions were put in place in your region. You can also submit other energy bills if your business is heated by propane or heating oil.

Anyway, these measures appear targeted to specific and hard hit sectors of the economy.

Details of how and when to apply are still pending.

Copyright©2020 By Peter Wiesner CPA, CA

All Rights Reserved


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