COVID-19 Support for Ontario Businesses Announced

COVID-19 Impact on Business

TORONTO – COVID-19 – Businesses across Ontario will be eligible to apply for support from the Ontario Government starting in January 2020 as part of the Ford Government’s support package for the announced shutdown in December 2020 into January 2021.

In January 2021, applications will open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will help small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the new Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020.

What you’ll get

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with dollar for dollar funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown. The business must demonstrate they experienced a revenue decline of at least 20 per cent when comparing monthly revenue in April 2019 and April 2020. This time period was selected because it reflects the impact of the public health measures in spring 2020, and as such provides a representation of the possible impact of these latest measures on small businesses.

Businesses will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for them. For example, some businesses will use the support to pay employee wages, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.


To receive the grant, a small business must:

  • Be required to close or restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26
  • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline comparing April 2020 to April 2019 revenues

Examples of eligible small businesses include:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms)
  • Conference centres and convention centres
  • Community centres and multi-purpose facilities
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attraction
  • Performing arts and cinemas
  • Personal care services relating to the hair or body (with exception of oxygen bars)
  • Racing venues, casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Meeting or event space
  • In person teaching and instruction
  • Retail required to close for in-person shopping
  • Shopping malls
  • Personal services
  • Driving instruction
  • Tour and guide services
  • Photography services
  • Campgrounds
  • Neighbourhood hardware stores
  • Drive-in cinemas
  • Garden Centres (excluding Big Box)
  • Outdoor sports and recreation facilities/amenities
  • Day camps for children
  • Pet/animal food and services
  • Ski hills
  • Outdoor markets
  • Safety, medical and assistive devices retail
  • Rental and leasing services (e.g., automobile, commercial and light machinery, and equipment rental)
  • Lawn care and landscaping services
  • Domestic services
  • Vehicle and equipment repair services
  • Veterinary services
  • Cell Phone and computer providers & repairs
  • Media industries including film and television production (excluding radio/television broadcasting)

Businesses that are not eligible include those that were already required to close prior to the introduction of modified Stage 2 measures, and essential business permitted to operate with capacity restrictions (e.g., discount and big box stores selling groceries, supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, and beer, wine and liquor stores).

For small businesses not in operation in April 2019 or April 2020, eligibility criteria will be announced in January 2021.

Further details about the grant, including how to apply, will be available in January 2021.

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