Business Supports

COVID-19 has put a tremendous strain on our local businesses, not-for-profits and nonprofits. On this page, we have outlined supports available. 


 

Get COVID-19 Relief Funding for Your Business

Ontario is helping businesses recover costs for personal protective equipment and providing extra support for businesses required to close or significantly restrict services as a result of provincial public health measures. More information on the programs available is below.

For more information on applying for funding, watch the explainer video below:

Apply for funding now


One way our government is putting money back into the pockets of families, boosting main streets in communities across our province, and supporting a strong economic recovery is through the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit. That’s why, Minister MacLeod joined leaders in the tourism industry in Niagara Falls today to encourage Ontario families to explore the province this March Break and all year round. 

The Ontario Staycation Tax Credit allows Ontario residents to claim 20 per cent of their eligible 2022 accommodation expenses of up to $1,000 as an individual or $2,000 if you have a spouse, common-law partner or eligible children, to get back up to $200 as an individual or $400 as a family.

An eligible accommodation expense must be:

  • for a stay of less than a month at an eligible accommodation such as a hotel, motel, resort, lodge, bed-and-breakfast establishment, cottage, or campground in Ontario
  • for a stay between January 1 and December 31 of 2022
  • incurred for leisure (e.g., a non-business purpose)
  • paid by the Ontario tax filer, their spouse or common-law partner, or their eligible child, as set out on a detailed receipt
  • not reimbursed to the tax filer, their spouse or common-law partner, or their eligible child, by any person, including by a friend or an employer
  • subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), as set out on a detailed receipt.

If you live in Ontario, you can apply for this refundable credit when filing your personal 2022 Income Tax and Benefit Return – and receive the credit even if you don’t owe income tax.


Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program

Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program was introduced to support businesses that are most impacted by provincial public health measures in response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

What you'll get

Eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity will receive rebate payments for a portion of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these measures. Eligible businesses 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, while 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. Payments to eligible businesses will be retroactive to December 19, 2021 when public health measures were first effective.

Eligibility

Eligible businesses include:

  • restaurants and bars
  • personal care services (hair or body)
  • retailers (non-grocery, less than 50,000 sq ft)
  • small grocery stores (less than 5,000 sq ft)
  • gyms and other indoor sports and recreational facilities
  • places of worship
  • indoor meeting and event spaces
  • indoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas
  • casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
  • indoor portion of horse and car racing tracks
  • indoor museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions
  • indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities
  • indoor business associated with tour and guide services
  • steam rooms and saunas
  • oxygen bars
  • bathhouses and sex clubs
  • indoor teaching and instruction centres
  • indoor driving instruction centres
  • day camps and overnight camps for children
  • before- and after-school programs
  • pet and veterinary services

Online applications for this program are now open. Apply now here.

Businesses will be required to submit proof of costs associated with property tax and energy bills as part of the application process.

If you have questions about the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program, call ServiceOntario at 1-855-216-3090.


Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit

The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit is a temporary, refundable personal income tax credit that helps workers get training that may be needed:

  • for a career shift
  • for re-training
  • to sharpen their skills

The credit provides up to $2,000 per year in relief for 50% of a person’s 2021 or 2022 eligible expenses.

The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit has the same eligibility requirements as the Canada Training Credit available on the federal tax return.

To claim the credit  for 2021 or 2022, you must:

  • have a positive Canada Training Credit limit for that year
  • be an Ontario resident on December 31 of that year
  • be aged 26 to 65 years old at the end that year, and
  • meet the other requirements set out in the federal Income Tax Act for at least one of 2019, 2020 or 2021.

You can find your Canada Training Credit limit for a tax year on your latest notice of assessment or reassessment, which is provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

You can visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s website to learn more about who can apply.

Due dates

  • Annual returns are due March 15th of the following calendar year.
  • Special returns are due on the 15th of the month after the payroll was paid.
  • Final returns are due 40 days after your business closes or the amalgamation date.

Note: Financial institutions are not authorized to accept or process employer health tax returns.

Read more about annual filing requirements for EHT


 Tax Relief 

The Ontario government has increased the EHT exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus (COVID‑19) in Ontario. In the 2020 Ontario Budget, the government announced it was making the EHT payroll exemption increase permanent.

What this means for you

The EHT exemption is indexed to inflation every five years and the next adjustment had been scheduled for 2024. Given the doubling of the exemption threshold starting in 2020, the government moved the next scheduled adjustment for inflation to January 1, 2029.

To be able to claim the tax exemption, employers must be eligible employers as defined under the EHT Act. Employers who have a municipal representative on their board of directors, or who are under the control of any level of government, are generally not eligible employers.

Employers normally cannot claim the exemption if their Ontario payroll for the year (including the payroll of any associated employers) is over $5 million. However, eligible employers who are registered charities can claim the exemption even if their payroll exceeds $5 million.

Due dates

  • Annual returns are due March 15th of the following calendar year.
  • Special returns are due on the 15th of the month after the payroll was paid.
  • Final returns are due 40 days after your business closes or the amalgamation date.

Note: Financial institutions are not authorized to accept or process employer health tax returns.

Read more about annual filing requirements for EHT


 Cancelling the Wine and Beer Tax

The Government of Ontario is freezing beer tax rates until March 1, 2022, and is proposing to retroactively cancel the increase in wine basic tax rates legislated to occur on June 1, 2020. The government is also committed to explore options to permanently allow alcohol to be included in food take-out and delivery orders before the existing regulation expires on December 31, 2020.


 Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street is a digital “how to” guide and program to help you grow your business. The program is now supported as part of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario.

  • ShopHERE: a program that provides independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away. 
  • Ontario Grants Program: providing main street businesses with $2,500 Digital Transformation Grants, and municipalities / local communities with grants to implement a Digital Service Squad.
  • The Future Proof Main Street program delivered in partnership with Communitech and Invest Ottawa helps businesses identify new markets, pivot their business model, and develop and implement a deep digital transformation plan.

 The Ontario Trillium Foundation 

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. The OTF provides grants for the non-profit sector. The OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.


The Ontario Arts Council

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. The OAC offers two types of grant programs: 
  • Project grants – one-time grants for specific projects, available to individual artists, ad hoc groups/collectives and organizations
  • Operating grants – ongoing support for Ontario-based, not-for-profit arts organizations and for-profit book and magazine publishers.

 

For more info about Ontario Government programs and available supports for your business visitCOVID-19: Help for businesses in Ontario