Ontario Providing Supports for Small Businesses, Workers and Families

Published on January 07, 2022

Since the first day of the pandemic, the government has provided unprecedented levels of support to protect people, jobs and our economy. We will continue to deliver on that commitment. The Ontario government is providing targeted relief for businesses and people impacted by the current public health measures aimed at blunting the spread of the Omicron variant.

As part of a comprehensive plan to support workers and businesses, the government is announcing an Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of Roadmap to Reopen. It will provide eligible small businesses with a grant payment of $10,000. Eligible small businesses include:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms)
  • Racing venues, casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Meeting or event spaces
  • Tour and guide services
  • Performing arts venues and cinemas
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions
  • Conference centres and convention centres
  • Driving instruction for individuals
  • Before- and after- school programs


The Ontario government is also providing electricity rate relief to support small businesses, as well as workers and families spending more time at home while the province is in Modified Step Two. For 21 days, starting at 12:01 am on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, electricity prices will be set 24 hours a day at the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate. The off-peak rate will apply automatically to residential, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility and will benefit customers on both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans.

The government is also announcing that online applications for the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program will open on January 18. A complete list of eligible businesses will be provided prior to the launch of the application portal. Under the Rebate Program, 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.

As part of it’s plan to provide targeted relief to small businesses, the government is also improving cash flows for Ontario businesses by providing up to $7.5 billion through a six-month interest- and penalty-free period starting January 1, 2022 for Ontario businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes. This supports businesses now and provides the flexibility they will need for long-term planning.

Building on Ontario’s efforts to improve cash flows for businesses, the province continues to call on the federal government to match provincial tax deferral efforts by allowing small businesses impacted by public health measures to also defer their HST remittances for a period of six months.

Learn more about supports Ontario is providing to businesses, workers and families. https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1001399/ontario-providing-supports-for-small-businesses-workers-and-families