Update on COVID-19 Business Support Grants program

The government of Ontario continues to deliver the COVID-19 Business Support Grants program directly to businesses through a one-window application portal. This program is designed to help businesses that were required to shut down or restrict services due to provincial public health measures. The government continues to increase the number of billing cycles that can be claimed for eligible businesses in regions impacted by red/control, grey/lockdown and provincewide shutdown restrictions. Please visit and apply through this site:  www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs or call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.

COVID-19 Business Support Grants
 
  • 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: 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 online applications to add additional bills.

  • 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 Red-Control, Grey-Lockdown or Provincewide Shutdown restrictions.

  • Starting November 16, 2020, businesses can apply for rebates 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.

BACKGROUND:

  • The temporary COVID-19 Business Support Grants program features a simple, one window application that will allow eligible businesses to apply for the energy cost rebate as well as other Ontario government supports.

  • 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.

 

The following business types are eligible for the Energy Cost Rebate Grant:

  • In regions subject to modified Stage 2, Control, Lockdown or Provincewide Shutdown public health measures:

    • Restaurants and bars

    • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (for example: fitness centres, gyms, dance studios, karate/martial arts facilities)

    • Conference centres and convention centres

    • Community centres and multi-purpose facilities

    • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions

    • 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 for rental

    • In person teaching and instruction
       

  • The following types of businesses are eligible for support in regions subject to Lockdown or Provincewide Shutdown public health measures:

    • Retail required to close for in-person shopping

    • Shopping malls

    • Personal services (for example: party and wedding planners, personal organizer services, and personal physical fitness and sport trainers) 

    • Driving instruction

    • Tour and guide services

    • Photography services

    • Campgrounds

    • Cannabis retail stores

    • Outdoor markets (excluding grocery)

  • The following types of businesses are eligible for support in regions subject to Provincewide Shutdown public health measures:

    • Hardware stores (including Big Box stores) required to close for in-person shopping

    • Drive-in cinemas, concerts, events and performances

    • Garden centres

    • Outdoor sports and recreation facilities

    • Day camps for children

    • Pet/animal food and services

    • Ski hills

    • Safety, medical and assistive devices retail (excluding pharmacies)

    • Rental and leasing services (including automobile, commercial and light industrial machinery and equipment rental)

    • Domestic services (for example: house cleaning, housekeeping, cooking, indoor and outdoor cleaning, and janitorial services)

    • Vehicle and equipment repair services

    • Veterinary services

    • Cell Phone and computer providers & repairs

    • Media industries including film and television production (excluding radio/television broadcasting)

    • Before- and After- School Programs

  • Note: some business types have not been required to close or significantly restrict services during the entirety of their regions’ Control, Lockdown and/or Provincewide Shutdown periods. Rebate amounts will reflect the actual periods of time a business has been required to close or significantly restrict services.

  • Before applying, businesses will be prompted to complete a brief checklist to ensure that their business is eligible.

  • 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.