The application window for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant is now open. The provincial COVID-19 relief measure is intended as yet another lifeline to aid struggling small to medium-sized businesses across Ontario that have been forced to close or reduce services due to the most recent province-wide lockdown.
Qualifying businesses—including corporations, partnerships, charities, non-profits and unincorporated sole proprietorships operating in Ontario—are eligible to receive between $10,000 and $20,000 in grants to fund core operating expenses such as rent, inventory or payroll. To be eligible, organizations must have:
- A business number
- Been forced to close or reduce operations since December 26th, 2020
- Experienced a year-over-year revenue decline of 20 per cent or more, when comparing April 2020 and April 2019 revenue
- Fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level
New businesses founded and in operation after April 2019 are also eligible for the benefit and will be permitted to use alternative months for revenue decline comparisons. In announcing the measure, Queen’s Park pointed out that hard-hit “winter seasonal businesses, such as ski hills, will be permitted to compare revenue from December 2019 or January 2020 to December 2020.”
Essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies, as well as those already “required to close prior to the introduction of modified Stage 2 measures on October 10, 2020,” do not qualify for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. Neither do businesses owned by the federal, provincial or municipal government.
The Ontario government says that qualifying businesses should expect payments within 10 business days of application approval. To demonstrate the 20 per cent revenue decline, organizations will be required to provide records of their typical monthly revenue from ordinary business activities in Ontario. Revenue from capital transactions or unusual or one-time streams of revenue are to be excluded from those calculations.
The application deadline for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant is March 31st, 2021.
As always, if you require assistance accessing or processing COVID-19 relief benefits, please contact a member of our team.
Armando Iannuzzi, Co-Managing Partner