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Economic support and recovery

Innovation Pilot Program

Recovery Stream - process and timeline, funding, evaluation, application form, projects underway…

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Statement from Mayor Watson following a call with leaders of Ottawa’s business community

‘’Through these very challenging times, we must come together to find ways to support Ottawa’s small businesses, restaurants, tourism operators and special events – as well as their employees, who are all hurting deeply as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following a call with the heads of Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), the Ottawa Board of Trade, le Regroupement des gens d’affaires, Ottawa Tourism and Ottawa Festival Network, I have struck an Economic Partners Task Force, which I will co-chair with Councillor El-Chantiry, a former small business owner and the Mayor’s representative with BIAs and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Dudas. The Task Force will advise our staff in many departments on how the City can help the business community as the pandemic evolves.

Ottawa is fortunate to have a number of proactive and credible business organizations who will be valued partners and contributors in these efforts. The Economic Partners Task Force will be composed of the following leaders of our business community:

  • Mark Kaluski, Chair, Ottawa Coalition of Business Improvement Areas (BIAs)
  • Sueling Ching, President and CEO, Ottawa Board of Trade
  • Lise Sarazin, directrice générale, Regroupement des gens d’affaires (RGA)
  • Michael Crockatt, President and CEO, Ottawa Tourism
  • Carole Anne Piccinin, Executive Director, Ottawa Festival Network
  • Michael Tremblay, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa
  • Bruce Harvey, Ottawa Film Commissioner, Ottawa Film Office
  • Jamie Kwong, Executive Director, Ottawa Music Coalition
  • Sarah Chown, Ottawa Board Member, Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association

City staff are currently assessing ways the City can help small business owners get through this crisis. The Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development team will be leading this initiative and working with the Task Force to maintain open lines of communication, as well as assess and roll-out a number of measures to support locally-owned shops and restaurants.

For its part, Finance is evaluating if the City is in a position to enact tax deferral measures that would help some small businesses manage their cash flow and payroll obligations.

The City of Ottawa is committed to working with all its economic development partners over the coming weeks, as we help support our restaurants and small business owners get through this pandemic. We will also be there to help with the economic recovery once our community overcomes these challenging times for all.’’

Resources for businesses and workers

City of Ottawa

COVID-19 Relief

Impacted City Facilities and Services

Guidance for Farmer’s Markets - Farmer’s Markets have been deemed an essential business, under the current Order from the Province of Ontario. The following information will provide direction when used in combination with the Farmers’ Market’s of Ontario (FMO) protocols. Please note that market organizers require landowner permission to operate while Provincial orders in place. Market organizers must also contact Ottawa Public Health to review their plans before operating.

Province of Ontario

Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street is an Ontario funded program that helps small businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and a Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.

Ontario Investing $100 Million to Help Tourism Sector Rebound From COVID-19

The Ontario government is investing $100 million through the new Tourism Recovery Program to help stabilize the province’s tourism industry as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19. The program will help for-profit tourism businesses in the attraction, accommodation, and leisure travel sectors protect critical jobs in communities across the province and help them prepare to reopen and safely welcome back visitors.

Ontario Supports the Cultural and Economic Vitality of French-Speaking Communities

The Ontario government is providing a total of $2 million in project-based funding to 51 organizations serving the francophone community through the 2021-22 Francophone Community Grants Program, twice the investment of prior years.

Province Launches New Modern Ontario Business Registry
Ontario is launching a new Ontario Business Registry on October 19, making it easier, simpler, and more affordable for millions of businesses and not-for-profit corporations to interact with the government. The new online registry will replace out-dated technology, providing people across the province with direct access to government services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the first time ever.

Ontario Helping Small Businesses Establish Online Presence
The Ontario government is investing $10 million towards the Digital Main Street program for 2021-22 to help over 13,000 small businesses expand their digital presence and market their services online. As businesses enter Step 3 of the Roadmap to Reopen, the renewed program will provide small businesses with $2,500 grants, technical training, and digital resources to help them reach more customers in person and online, positioning them for a stronger recovery.

Ontario Supporting Wineries, Cideries and Agri-Tourism Industry with Relief Initiative
As part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, the government committed to provide a one‑time $10 million grant in 2021 to help wineries and cideries with on-site stores whose business were impacted by COVID-19 safety measures to stop the spread of the virus. The new Winery Agri-Tourism COVID-19 Relief Initiative will fulfill this commitment by providing one-time grants to eligible wineries and cideries with on-site retail stores in September 2021.

Ontario Releases Tourism Economic Recovery Report
The report provides 10 key recommendations about how to rebuild and reshape the future of Ontario’s tourism industry. The recommendations include reducing red tape for tourism businesses, restoring consumer confidence in visitors through collaboration between public health officials and the tourism industry and encouraging Ontarians to experience the province through industry co-ordinated travel days. The report also suggests new opportunities to showcase the best Ontario has to offer through itineraries, packages and trails that will make it easier to find local Ontario products and experiences.

Ontario Launches Applications for 2021-22 Seniors Community Grant
The Ontario government is investing $5 million in the 2021-22 Seniors Community Grant program to help enable municipalities and local organizations to deliver programs for older adults to stay active in their communities.

New Venture Ontario Fund Drives Economic Growth and Creation of High-Value Jobs
The Ontario government is providing $100 million in venture capital funding to assist high-potential technology companies innovate and grow, boosting the province’s long-term competitiveness, helping to create jobs and driving economic growth.

Community Museum Operating and Pay Equity Grants Program
The Community Museum Operating and Pay Equity Grants Program provides annual operating grants to eligible community museums across Ontario. Funding will help community museums:

  • contribute to economic well-being as employers and tourist attractions
  • strengthen their role as custodians and interpreters of the province's irreplaceable heritage collections

Applications are due June 30, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

Ontario Community Environment Fund
How not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, conservation authorities, as well as First Nation and Métis organizations and communities can get government grants for local projects to help protect and restore the environment.

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit
Learn about the Ontario Government’s proposed plan to offer paid leave for COVID-19.

COVID-19: Help for businesses in Ontario
Learn about changes to government programs and available supports as your business recovers from COVID-19.

Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs - Find out if your business is eligible to recover costs for personal protective equipment (PPE) or for rebates to help with fixed costs, such as property tax and energy bills.

Reconnect Festival and Event Program 2020-2021
The Reconnect Festival and Event Program offers non-capital funding to in-person and online events in Ontario that: provide experiences that encourage people to travel locally and rediscover the beauty and diversity of their community; draw attendees and provide positive economic impact for the local community, the region and the province; create job opportunities for Ontarians, particularly in the tourism, culture and entertainment sectors; and increase Ontario’s profile through media and/or broadcast exposure to generate interest in future travel to the province once it is safe to do so again.

Get support for families
While schools and childcare centres are closed, parents can apply for direct funding to offset the cost of buying materials to support their children’s learning, while they practice self-isolation and physical distancing. Eligible parents will receive a one-time per child payment.

Agriculture and food jobs in Ontario - If you’re looking for a new professional opportunity and the chance to make a difference during this COVID-19 outbreak, this is a one-stop-shop that highlights employment openings and training resources in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector.

Agri-Food Open for E-Business - Targeted Intake: The Governments of Canada and Ontario are supporting the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors to capture online e-business opportunities that will help create new, expanded or enhanced markets and open new retail channels to help generate new revenue streams for future growth. The Agri-Food Open for E-Business targeted intake will help businesses/organizations quickly expand their marketing channels and respond to new market challenges, increase online sales in the sector and provide consumers with access to more local food.

COVID-19 response framework: keeping Ontario safe and open - Read how we’re keeping Ontario safe and open, including regional health measures and sector-specific public health and workplace safety measures.

Government of Canada

Government announces targeted COVID-19 support measures to create jobs and growth
With one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the world, many businesses safely reopening, and employment now back to pre-pandemic levels, Canadians have reached a turning point in the fight against COVID-19. The government has now surpassed its target of creating a million new jobs. Canada is on the road to economic recovery—but some areas of the country and economy continue to need targeted support.

Government extends COVID-19 benefits and business supports to support stronger economic recovery
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the Government of Canada continues to adapt its support to deliver support to those who need it, heal the wounds of the pandemic recession, and build a strong recovery that leaves no one behind.

Federal government launches Tourism Relief Fund to help tourism businesses and organizations recover and grow
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Government of Canada has provided over $15.4 billion in direct supports to the tourism sector. Budget 2021 committed an additional $1 billion to help the tourism sector prepare to welcome domestic travellers and reposition Canada as a world-class destination. Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, launched $500-million in funding for the new Tourism Relief Fund. Eligible organizations can now submit applications to support the tourism sector prepare to welcome back domestic travellers and reposition Canada as a world-class destination.

Government of Canada announces new Natural Infrastructure Fund
Across the country, Canadians are feeling the impacts of COVID-19, on their families, their livelihoods, and their way of life. The pandemic has amplified the need for Canadians to have greater access to local parks, green spaces and waterfronts. In addition, the increasing severity of weather events and impacts of climate change on municipalities has created a greater need for adaptation measures. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting families and communities to ensure community infrastructure is safe and reliable, while protecting people from the effects of climate change, creating economic opportunities, and improving quality of life.

Minister Ng announces Shop Local investment benefiting Canada’s small businesses
As more and more Canadians are getting vaccinated and we finish the fight against COVID-19 and begin to safely reopen, the Government of Canada is committed to supporting small businesses from coast to coast to coast.

Government of Canada Announces Details of the New Canada Recovery Hiring Program and Extension of Business Support Programs
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, the Honourable Mary Ng, announced that the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program, would be available retroactively to June 6, 2021.

Energy advisor recruitment, training and mentorship
Through the energy advisor recruitment, training and mentorship campaign, you can support our Greener Homes initiative, designed to help Canadians retrofit their homes and buildings; create thousands of good, middle-class jobs; and save energy costs for families and businesses. The energy advisor recruitment, training and mentorship campaign will provide a total of $10 million in funding over 5 years to support innovative projects. We are looking for new ideas and experienced partners to:

  • support increased demand for EnerGuide evaluations in all regions of Canada
  • increase the diversity of the energy advisor workforce

Deadline: Call for proposals is open until July 8, 2021.

Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB)
Infrastructure Canada is currently accepting applications for retrofits and new building projects for community buildings. Applications are being accepted on an ongoing basis for projects under $3 million and until July 6, 2021 at 23:59 PDT for projects from $3 million to $25 million.

Canada Healthy Communities Initiative
The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI) is providing up to $31 million in existing federal funding to support communities as they deploy new ways to adapt spaces and services to respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 over the next two years. The application portal will open for Round 2 on May 14, 2021, at 9:00 AM AST. Applications must be submitted by June 25, 2021, at 5:00 PM PST. Applicants who did not receive funding in round one may re-apply to round two but will not be guaranteed funding. Review committees will start meeting on July 23rd, 2021 and all applicants will receive results by September 16th, 2021, at the latest.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
The RRRF provides liquidity support to businesses and organizations affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, that are unable to access other federal relief measures, or require additional support. The Fund, valued at more than $2 billion nationally, is delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies.

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee
Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) - The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they're sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) - The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they're sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) - The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) - The LEEFF program will be open to large for-profit businesses—with the exception of those in the financial sector—as well as certain not-for-profit businesses, such as airports, with annual revenues generally in the order of $300 million or higher. To qualify for LEEFF support, eligible businesses must be seeking financing of $60 million or more, have significant operations or workforce in Canada, and not be involved in active insolvency proceedings.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The Canada Emergency Business Account will be implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada. Loans available up to $40,000 with zero interest payable in year 1. Starting on Friday, December 4, 2020, eligible businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are able to access a second CEBA loan of up to $20,000 – on top of the initial $40,000 that was available to small businesses. Half of this additional financing, up to $10,000, will be forgivable if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022. Applicants now have until June 30, 2021 to apply for a $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion at their financial institution.

SME Loan and Guarantee program
Up to $6.25 million available through either stream for approved applicants.

Employment Insurance Benefits and Leave
Employment Insurance benefits and leave information for workers, families, fishers and sickness available as well as how to apply and submit a report.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - Information for industry (link is external). The agriculture and agri-food sector plays a critical role in distributing safe, high-quality food to Canadians. Maintaining the integrity of the agri-food supply chain during an emergency is essential for all Canadians.

Resources for Canadian Businesses
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. During this extraordinary time, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help Canadian businesses as COVID-19 is affecting them, their employees and their families.

Managing your business during COVID-19

Additional Resources

Tourism Relief and Investment Program
The Tourism Relief and Investment Program (TRIP) provides one-time, non-repayable funding support of up to $20,000 to eligible francophone, Indigenous, rural and semi-urban tourism businesses in the Ottawa region (Renfrew – Lanark – Ottawa – Prescott-Russell corridor). This program has been developed in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to ensure our industry can effectively meet the evolving health, safety and experience needs of residents and visitors.

Canadian Federation of Agriculture
Resources for COVID-19: CFA has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it relates to Canadian Agriculture. We will be providing our members with weekly updates on the virus as information emerges. Please check this page regularly for resources on the virus.

The Canadian Agricultural HR Council
Information and Tips on COVID-19: Keeping up to date with COVID-19 details and recommended protocols is challenging for everyone at this time. CAHRC is here to help. We have created a dedicated webpage with the latest information, recommendations, employee management tips, tools (posters, policies) and links to authorities. We will also continue to share relevant news articles through our Newsfeed. These details will help you respond to the pandemic and limit the impact and spread of COVID-19 within your business.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce
COVID-19 Business Resilience: To help businesses prepare for and manage through a potential COVID-19 escalation in Canada, the Canadian Chamber has developed a brief guide source from a number of best practice documents and designed to assist business planning and continuity efforts.

Ottawa Board of Trade
COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

Farm Credit Canada
To ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors can remain focused on business-critical functions, FCC has put customer support programs in place

Canada Council for the Arts - Artists, groups or organizations can either adapt their existing work or create a new work for digital dissemination to the Canadian public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital Originals offers a $5,000 micro innovation grant from the Canada Council.

The Recovery Activation Program - Part of the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Reimagining Recovery Framework, the Recovery Activation Program (RAP) is an immersive online workshop program that connects businesses with industry experts for guidance, mentorship and practical advice about process modernization and end-to-end digital transformation. (English only)

Updates from the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada

Planning applications and building permits during COVID-19


For additional support, information or general inquiries on Ottawa’s economic recovery, please contact and an Economic Development Officer will provide assistance.