Does your independent restaurant qualify for new government support during COVID-19?

Jan 12, 2022

Morton Food Service is dedicated to supporting our clients through difficult times and have made every effort to share up-to-date resources for independent restaurants across Ontario. With information constantly changing, it can be hard to keep up and critical announcements may be missed. We strive to share this information in a clear and concise format in order to help businesses access the support they need.

Please take a moment to review these new and ongoing programs to see if your business qualifies for financial assistance at this time. In addition to programs supporting restaurants, some of the programs further down this list may be of use to local food producers and suppliers. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our team for guidance. 

Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant

The Ontario government announced a new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that have been subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. The program will provide a $10,000 grant to eligible businesses. 

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Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program

Eligible businesses required to reduce capacity to 50%, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50% of their costs. While businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100% of their costs.

Online applications for this program will open January 18, 2022, with payments to eligible businesses provided retroactive to December 19, 2021. Businesses will be required to submit property tax and energy bills as part of the application process. 

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Six-Month Interest & Penalty Free Period

The province is also providing support to help improve cash flows by providing a six-month interest-and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes, supporting businesses in the immediate term while capacity restrictions are in place.

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Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Program

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program has provided interest-free, partially forgivable loans to nearly 900,000 small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to help them navigate the pandemic and remain resilient.

The repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness is being extended from December 31, 2022, to December 31, 2023, for all eligible borrowers in good standing.

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Federal Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program

From December 19, 2021 to February 12, 2022, businesses with a current-month revenue loss of 25% and who are affected by a capacity-limiting public health restriction of 50% or more are eligible to apply for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) wage and rent subsidies. 

Please note that recent applicants for the THRP may have been affected by an error in the calculation spreadsheet for wage and hiring support, which erroneously showed they were ineligible for the THRP when they may have been eligible. 

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Provincial Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund

As a reminder, the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund (TEDRF) 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
  • Build the capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry

The program also supports innovative tourism recovery projects aimed at increasing tourism within Ontario to address the reduction in global travel as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

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The following programs specifically support tourism stakeholders:

Grassroots Growth Initiative

The Ontario government is investing $1 million annually to promote locally grown food and support the economic growth and success of the province’s agri-food sector. Up to $100,000 is available for marketing projects that encourages Ontarians to buy fresh, locally grown and made agri-food products.

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Reconnect Ontario 2022 Program

The Reconnect Ontario 2022 Program supports festivals and events that have a tourism economic impact and motivate visitors to rediscover Ontario, reconnect people with local experiences and increase tourism spending.

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Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster

The Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster program supports costs related to hosting:

  • Major one-time events in Ontario
  • Events that do not recur annually or biennially in Ontario
  • National or international events in Ontario

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Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund

The Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund helps not-for-profit organizations cover the marketing and promotional costs of their new attraction or special event.

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Jobs and Growth Fund in Southern Ontario

As a reminder, the Jobs and Growth Fund provides funding to businesses and organizations to help create jobs and position local economies for long-term growth. 

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