Applications Now Open for Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program
TORONTO — Eligible businesses required to close or reduce capacity due to the current public health measures put in place to blunt the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 can apply for the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program starting today. Through the new program, the government will provide eligible businesses with a rebate payment of up to 100 per cent for property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these restrictions.
“We recognize that these necessary public health measures are impacting businesses, and as we have been since the beginning of the pandemic, we are there to support them,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “With the opening of applications for this new rebate program, our government is putting money directly into the hands of impacted businesses during this critical time.”
Eligible businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs. Those required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs.
Businesses will be required to submit proof of costs associated with property tax and energy bills as part of the application process. All eligible businesses must submit an application to be considered, including those that received previous COVID-19 support payments. To learn more, including to find a full list of eligible businesses, visit the online application portal here.
“We recognize that these are challenging times for Ontario’s businesses,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “We are committed to supporting businesses most impacted by the public health measures and this rebate program will provide them with the much needed support on their energy bills.”
“We are prepared to deliver these critical supports to Ontario businesses quickly and seamlessly to ensure they can navigate through these extremely challenging times,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “This new program will provide substantial relief for many businesses so that they can continue to support our communities as we work together to overcome COVID-19 and its variants.”
The government is also improving cash flows for Ontario businesses by making up to $7.5 billion available through a six-month interest- and penalty-free period for Ontario businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. This penalty and interest-free period started on January 1, 2022. This supports businesses now and provides the flexibility they will need for long-term planning.
The government is also introducing a new COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant that will give businesses subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen a $10,000 grant. The money will flow to eligible businesses in February.
The government’s new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant will also help eligible small businesses that are subject to closures under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen by providing eligible small businesses with a grant payment of $10,000. Eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and that are subject to closure under modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and may need to provide some additional information but will not need to apply to the new program. Newly established and newly eligible small businesses will need to apply once the application portal opens in the coming weeks. Small businesses that qualify can expect to receive their payment beginning in February.
“Small businesses play a vital role in Ontario’s diverse economy,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Through the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program and other vital support programs like the new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant, our government will continue to provide thousands of small businesses with the financial relief they need.”
- The government has temporarily moved the province back into Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen, with modifications that take into account the province’s successful vaccination efforts. These time-limited measures will help blunt transmission and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed as the province continues to accelerate its booster dose rollout. They will be in place at least until January 26, 2022, subject to trends in public health and health system indicators.
- The Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program will build on Ontario’s support for businesses and workers, including:
- Cutting wholesale alcohol prices to provide approximately $60 million in annual support to restaurants, bars and other businesses, as well as making it easier for businesses to create and extend patios and permanently allowing licenced restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order.
- Extending COVID-19 paid sick days until July 31, 2022 to keep workers safe and ensure they do not lose pay if they need to miss work for reasons related to COVID-19.
- Enabling an estimated $10.1 billion in cost savings and support to Ontario businesses in 2021, with more than 60 per cent, or $6.3 billion, going to small businesses, including:
- Supporting a reduction in Workplace Safety and Insurance Board premiums.
- Allowing businesses to accelerate write-offs of capital investments for tax purposes.
- Reducing the small business Corporate Income Tax rate to 3.2 per cent.
- Providing the Digital Main Street program, which helped more than 20,000 businesses across the province to increase their digital presence in 2020-21.
- Introducing and temporarily enhancing the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit to encourage investments in certain regions of Ontario that have lagged in employment growth in the past.
- Providing targeted COVID-19 support through the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant.
- Lowering high Business Education Tax rates for job creators.
- Increasing the Employer Health Tax exemption from $490,000 to $1 million.
- Providing targeted COVID-19 support through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which delivered $3 billion in urgent and unprecedented support to over 110,000 small businesses across the province.
- Providing eligible businesses with 100 per cent of their reported property tax and energy bills through the Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebates Program.