Small Business WeekPublished on October 19, 2021
We know how difficult the pandemic has been for small businesses and yet they continue to serve the people of Ontario, even despite the challenges. That is one of the reasons we’ve implemented the vaccine certificate program using the made-in-Ontario, Verify Ontario app, so businesses will have further comfort in their ability to operate safely and remain open.
The government continues to work hard to help small businesses succeed, making smart investments to help them sustain their operations in the present and taking strategic action to position them for a stronger future.
To support this foundational sector, the government has made the single largest small business investment in Canada. The historic Ontario Small Business Support Grant delivered payments of $20,000 to $40,000 to over 110,000 businesses across the province, totaling nearly $3 billion in funding.
We paired this funding with additional supports to help small businesses manage the demands of COVID-19. A new dedicated webpage at ontario.ca/smallbusiness provides information on free financial planning resources, mental health supports, where to find PPE supplies, and how to obtain local advice through Ontario’s Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network.
To help more small businesses achieve a digital transformation and serve customers effectively online, the government has invested $10 million in the Digital Main Street program for 2021-22. Eligible businesses can apply for $2,500 grants and access digital service squads that offer one-on-one support.
Moving forward, the government is doing all it can to keep small businesses open for business. It’s why we dramatically ramped up the Provincial Antigen Screening Program to provide easy access to free rapid antigen test kits across Ontario.
By lowering taxes, reducing electricity costs, and cutting red tape, the government has reduced business costs in the province by nearly $7 billion annually.