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$1 billion given to support small Ontario businesses

Toronto: The Ontario government has to-date provided more than $1 billion through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant to help eligible business owners affected by the Covid19 restrictions.

The grant provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 and can be used in whatever way makes the most sense for individual businesses; from paying employee wages, to offsetting the cost of rent, to purchasing inventory, said a government statement.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy employing local people in communities across the province,” said Premier Doug Ford. “The sad fact is these business owners have suffered significantly through the pandemic, but we have had their backs with programs like the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. So far the uptake of these grants has been tremendous, and I strongly encourage all business owners to apply and access this financial relief.”

More than 78,000 Ontario Small Business Support Grant applications from small businesses across the province have been processed representing more than $1 billion in support. Upon approval, successful applicants receive payment within 10 days. Applications are still open until March 31, and a detailed step-by-step instructional video on the application portal is available to help guide applicants through the process.

Eligible small businesses can also apply for additional financial supports including the newly expanded Main Street Relief Grant, which provides up to $1,000 to help offset the costs of purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE). The grant is now available to main street businesses with 2 to 19 employees in all eligible sectors, helping up to 60,000 small businesses in the retail trade, accommodation and food services, repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, gyms and yoga studios, and arts, entertainment and recreation.

The government is also providing eligible businesses with rebates for property tax and energy costs. Grant programs are available through a simple online application, and businesses can learn more by visiting Ontario.ca/Covidsupport.

Ontario is also helping small businesses go digital in order to reach more customers through the $57-million Digital Main Street program, supported by the federal and provincial government. This initiative is expected to help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence by April 2021.

Small businesses can visit ontario.ca/smallbusiness to learn about the many supports available to them. These include resources to find Ontario-made PPE through the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory, tailored local support through the Small Business ovid-19 Recovery Network, and obtain free financial advice.

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