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COVID-19 Relief

Local

Businesses

Tourism Relief and Investment Program (TRIP)The program provides a 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. 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.

Destination Development Fund: The fund can assist not-for-profit organizations, national and/or provincial industry sector associations, municipalities, and for-profit businesses. The goals are to develop quality tourism products, encourage the competitiveness of our tourism sector organizations, stimulate increased tourist attendance and expenditures, and encourage private sector tourism investment in Ottawa.

Province of Ontario

Businesses:

  • Ontario’s Property Tax and Energy Bill Rebates program: Businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures (in areas with modified Stage 2 restrictions or categorized as control or lockdown) can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs. 

  • Doubling the Ontario Small Business Support Grant: To help small businesses that have been most affected by the necessary restrictions to protect people from COVID-19, Ontario is providing a second round of Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments to eligible recipients. Small businesses who have been determined as eligible recipients of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will automatically be entitled to a second payment in an amount equal to the first payment they received. They will not need to apply again to receive this additional funding. 

  • Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant: The government is introducing the new Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant, which will provide an estimated $100 million in one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. Application details, including a full list of eligible businesses, will be available soon.

  • Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund: The fund is an application-based, cost-sharing program designed to provide non-capital funding to projects that either encourage the development of innovative new tourism products, support tourism investment or build the capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry. 

  • COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program - Small Business (CEAP-SB): CEAP-SB provides a one- time*, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Small business and registered charity customers may be eligible for up to $1,500 in support towards their electricity and natural gas bills and can apply for on-bill credits for both electricity and natural gas separately. The eligibility criteria were updated on January 14, 2021, so that more customers may qualify for CEAP-SB. 
    *Customers who applied and received CEAP support in 2020 may apply again to be considered for the increased funding amount.

  • Business Education Tax (BET) Reduction: All high BET rates will be lowered to a rate of 0.88 per cent for both commercial, office and industrial properties beginning in 2021. This is ten basis points below the existing target rate and represents a tax cut reduction of 30 per cent for industrial properties and office tax class properties and 10 per cent for commercial tax class properties located in Ottawa. This equates to a total of $37M in tax relief for Ottawa Commercial, Office and Industrial tax classes.

  • Small Business Deduction (SBD): The Ontario small business deduction reduces the corporate income tax rate on the first $500,000 of active business income of Canadian controlled private corporations (CCPCs). Effective January 1, 2020, the lower rate of Ontario corporate income tax is reduced from 3.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent.

  • Employer Health Tax Changes: The Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption has increased from $490,000 to $1 million permanently. Along with doubling the exemption, the instalment threshold has also been doubled from $600,000 to $1.2 million starting with the 2021 tax year.

  • Freezing Beer and Wine Tax Rate: The government is freezing beer tax and mark-up rates until March 1, 2022.

  • Indigenous-Owned Business Relief: The government of Ontario is providing up to $10 million to Indigenous-owned small and medium sized businesses to help them with much needed capital as the province begins to safely and gradually reopen the economy. Loans of up to $50,000 will be available to businesses that are either ineligible for, or unable to access, existing federal and provincial COVID-19 response initiatives for small businesses. Loans will be available through Aboriginal Financial Institutions. Up to 50% of each loan will be in the form of a non-repayable grant, with no interest due on the loan portion until December 31, 2022.

  • Francophone Non-Profits Relief Fund: Francophone non-profit organizations can apply for financial assistance from the $1 million COVID-19 Relief Fund. The fund, which is being administered by the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario, will provide operational funding to eligible organizations to support them during the pandemic.  

  • Helping Faith-Based and Cultural Organizations Reopen: To provide meaningful support and help offset costs associated with making these facilities safe for regular community gatherings, the government will be making up to $50 million available for grants to eligible faith-based and cultural organizations that are not currently eligible to access other provincial support grants. To be eligible, organizations must operate facilities used for regular community gatherings and must not be eligible for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. Details on the grant and the application process will be available later this spring.

Residents

  • COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program - Residential (CEAP): CEAP provides a one-time*, on-bill credit to eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Residential customers may be eligible for up to $750 in support towards their electricity and natural gas bills, and can apply for on-bill credits for both electricity and natural gas separately. Eligibility criteria was updated on January 14, 2021, so that more customers may qualify for CEAP. 
    *Customers who applied and received CEAP support in 2020 may apply again to be considered for the increased funding amount.

  • Seniors’ Home Tax Safety Credit: Ontario approved a new tax credit to help seniors and intergenerational families who have seniors living with them, make their homes safer and more accessible by providing a 25 per cent credit on eligible renovations of up to $10,000 for the 2021 taxation year. The new personal income tax credit would support seniors regardless of their incomes and whether they owe income tax for 2021.

  • Commodity Loan Guarantee Program (CLGP): The CLGP supports farmers by providing access to short-term operating loans for the purchase of crop input supplies, such as seed, fertilizer, and pesticides. Loan repayment deadlines are being permanently extended from February 28 to September 30 to better align repayment dates with the growing season. The program's maximum guaranteed loan limit is also being permanently increased from $120 million to $200 million to allow extended loan repayment deadlines and accommodate an increase in lending capacity.

  • Temporary Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit: The government is proposing a new temporary Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit for 2021. This Personal Income Tax credit would be refundable and provide support to eligible individuals whether or not they owe income tax for 2021. It would be calculated as 50 per cent of eligible expenses for 2021. The maximum credit would be $2,000.

Residents and Businesses

  • Postponing Planned Property Tax Reassessment: The next property valuation update, known as a reassessment, had been scheduled to be completed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) in 2020 for the 2021-2024 taxation years. As a result, MPAC would have issued new assessments for more than five million properties. To provide continued stability, the Government of Ontario had postponed the reassessment in 2020 and is implementing a further postponement of the property tax reassessment. This means that assessments for the 2021 and 2022 taxation years will continue to be based on the same valuation that was in effect for the 2020 taxation year.

  • Ontario's Arts Community: To support the arts sector during COVID‑19, the government is increasing its investment in Ontario’s arts community by $10 million in 2021–22. The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) provides grants to Ontario-based individual artists and arts professionals, ad hoc groups/collectives and organizations. Grants support a range of arts activities and disciplines.

Government of Canada

Businesses

  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy – This program has replaced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and will support businesses that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses retroactive to September 27, 2020 until June 5, 2021. The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. Qualifying organizations that have been significantly restricted by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority can receive an additional 25% of rent support through the Lockdown Support. The combined effect of the rent subsidy and the Lockdown Support is that hard-hit businesses, non-profits and charities subject to a lockdown can receive rent support of up to 90%.
     
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy– The government has extended the program until June 2021. The subsidy would remain at the current subsidy rate of up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020. The maximum wage subsidy rate will increase to 75 per cent for the period beginning Sunday, December 20, 2020, until June 5, 2021. The wage subsidy is now more flexible and targeted, allowing employers to access the maximum subsidy rate based on a single month’s revenue decline instead of having to demonstrate three months’ decline.
     
  • Canada Emergency Business Account – As of October 26, 2020, eligibility for CEBA has expanded by removing the previous condition for having an active business chequing/operating account. With this removal, eligible businesses can now apply after opening a business chequing/operating account with their primary financial institution. Effective 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. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 33 percent (up to $20,000).

Credit Availability Programs

  • Loan and Guarantee Program: Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).This program is now available at various banks and credit unions.
     
  • Co-Lending Program: Business Development Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions provides eligible small and medium-sized businesses with incremental credit amounts up to $6.25 million, 80 per cent of which would be provided by BDC, with the remaining 20 per cent by a financial institution.
     
  • Mid-Market Financing Program: Business Development Canada's (BDC) Mid-Market Financing Program will provide commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the Business Credit Availability Program and other measures. This support is available until June 2021.
     
  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP): The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million. HASCAP will be available to businesses across the country, in all sectors, that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Hard-hit businesses, like a chain of hotels or restaurants with multiple locations under one related entity, could be eligible for up to $6.25 million. Businesses need to show a year-over-year revenue decline of at least 50% in three months, within the eight months prior to their application. They must also be able to show their financial institutions that they have previously applied for either the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy. Eligible businesses can start applying as early as February 1 at principal financial institutions and more widely by February 15. Interested businesses should contact their primary lender to get more information and to apply.

Indigenous Businesses

  • Small and Medium-Sized Business Relief: The government is providing $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses. The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.
     
  • Indigenous Community Business Fund: This fund will provide $117 million in non-repayable financial contributions to help support operating costs for First Nation, Inuit and Métis community-or collectively-owned businesses and microbusinesses whose revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund seeks to provide support for businesses that do not qualify for other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures. Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis until all funding has been allocated.

Black Entrepreneurship Program

  • Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund: The fund will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000. The program will be opening in May 2021, with further details to be available soon.

Young Entrepreneurs

  • Futurpreneur Canada, in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada, offers young entrepreneurs age 18 to 39 up to $60,000 in financing to launch or grow a business. Refer to Futurpreneur Canada's Financing page for more details. 

Residents

  • Mortgage payment deferral: The deferral is an agreement between you and your lender. Typically, the agreement indicates that you and your lender have agreed to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a certain amount of time. After the agreement ends, your mortgage payments return to normal and the deferred payments — including principal and accumulated interest – are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.

Additional Information

Property owners may refer to the City of Ottawa's Economic Support and Recovery page for more information and resources concerning financial aid and the reopening of businesses.

For a full list of provincial resources:

Businesses: COVID-19: Help for businesses in Ontario
Student and ParentsCOVID-19: Support for Students and Parents
Residents (including seniors and youth): COVID-19: Support for People

For a full list of federal resources, please refer to Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan