Business Support

January 2022

With ever-evolving public health measures, advice and restrictions, please find the following consistently updated resources for businesses:

In addition, please find the following additional potentially applicable resources and links for businesses, referenced since the beginning of the pandemic.


Preparing for a safe reopening of my business

  • In the federal government’s endeavour to drive a more modernized procurement approach through challenge-based procurement, Shared Services Canada (SSC) is collaborating with TECHNATION on an upcoming Agile procurement initiative. TECHNATION has recently launched an open business intelligence platform called the TECH2GOV Digital Marketplace.  This platform is open to all incorporated technology companies in Canada to register and showcase all areas of technology specialization and experience. (June 29, 2020)
  • As Ontario begins to reopen the economy, the City of Ottawa, in consultation with Ottawa Public Health, has prepared a Business Reopening Toolkit. Subject to the direction from the Province of Ontario, the toolkit is intended to provide guidance to businesses to prepare for safe reopening. (May 20, 2020)

Grants, funding and loans for your business

  • Businesses with less than 100 employees ordered to close indoor operations January 5, 2022 may be eligible for an Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant. Applications will open in the coming weeks. (Jan. 2022)

  • Please see below important links to information newly announced today by the Government of Canada, on the details of the new program for businesses in highly affected sectors. (Jan. 2021)
  • The Government of Ontario has announced that applications will open mid-January 2022 for Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program – eligible businesses receive rebate payments for a portion of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to closure or reduced capacity. (Jan. 2022)
  • The Ontario government is providing nearly $41 million to help 486 non-profit organizations across the province to rebuild and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s new $83-million Resilient Communities Fund. (Dec. 2020)
  • The federal government and National Research Council Canada have an updated NRC-IRAP program with new support and funding. (Feb 3, 2021)
  • EDC’s supports and develops export trade by helping businesses respond to international opportunities and this new COVID-19 mandate as Canada’s export credit agency. (Mar 27, 2020)
  • The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) are providing more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses including the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP). See BDC’s new relief measure for qualified businesses. (Jan 2022)
  • Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII) loan program supports high-growth, innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in rural and urban communities by offering loans of $150,000 to $500,000.
  • Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) support to expand your business or bring business to your community in eastern Ontario.
  • FedDev Ontario is a Regional Development Agency (RDA) that provides programs, services and funding to support innovation and economic growth in southern Ontario. FedDev Ontario can assist small or medium-sized businesses that need assistance or advice accessing federal funding programs.

Programs to help companies make payroll

  • The Ontario Provincial Government is making it easier for business to create and extend patios and permanently allowing licenced restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order. (Jan. 2022)

  • The Local Lockdown Program, by the Government of Canada, provides businesses that face temporary new local lockdowns up to the maximum amount available through the wage and rent subsidy programs. (Jan 2022)
  • The Federal government is providing support through wage and rent subsidies to businesses that have faced deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 percent with the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program. (Jan 2022)
  • The Canada Recovery Hiring Program has been extended until May 7, 2022 by the Federal government, for eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10 percent and increasing the subsidy rate to 50 percent. (Jan 2022)
  • The Government of Canada has proposed regulatory changes to temporarily expand eligibility for wage and commercial rent support for businesses and other organizations under the Local Lockdown Program. (Jan 2022)
  • The Government of Canada is Improving cash flows for Ontario businesses. (Jan 2022) 
  • The Government of Canada originally announced a Small Business Wage Subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
  • Survey findings on the wage subsidy eligibility include the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) CEO survey results as well as survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). (April 7, 2020)

Opportunities to contribute solutions to COVID-19

  • Canada’s largest innovation hubs announced the formation of the Innovation Economy Council (IEC), a coalition of tech-sector leaders dedicated to shaping Canada’s innovation policy. Led by MaRS, OCE, Communitech, DMZ, Invest Ottawa and CCRM, the IEC produces key reports and hosts events with the goal of advocating for startups and the tech community; fostering thoughtful conversation; and growing the economy at large. (April 29, 2020)
  • The Ontario government is launching the COVID-19: Tackling the Barriers website to help businesses overcome the unique challenges created by the global pandemic. Businesses working to retool their operations to produce health-related products, or those that want to continue their operations in this new environment of physical distancing, can submit any potential roadblocks to the website. (April 29, 2020)
  • MITACS is expanding its effort to support Canadian businesses in the fight against COVID-19. Specifically, by decreasing the cost of entry, including their Accelerate Program, to SMEs for COVID19 projects. (April 30, 2020)
  • For a limited time, to address the pandemic, college students can be added to the development portion of COVID-19 Mitacs projects. College students can support development activities such as coding, prototyping, monitoring cell cultures, managing data, and creating visual presentations of modelling, among others. (April 30, 2020)
  • Siemens Health is hiring, with roles supporting the manufacturing of their Epoc Point-of-Care Blood Test used globally in the treatment of patients with COVID-19. (April 20, 2020)
  • Mayor Jim Watson, the City, Invest Ottawa and Ottawa’s economic development leaders have provided the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario with recommendations on support for the business community during the COVID-19 crisis. (April 15, 2020)
  • SOSCIP, a FedDev funded consortium is running a SOSCIP COVID-19 Response initiative that will fast-track researchers onto their HPC advanced research computing platforms to solve problems related to pandemics, now and in the years to come. (April 15, 2020)
  • If you are a scientist at an academic institution currently working on a COVID-19 related project, you can now apply for a Fast Grants of between $10k to $500k and decisions are made in under 48 hours. (April 9, 2020)
  • The Digital Technology Supercluster is leading the development of solutions to some of the biggest issues created by COVID-19. Contribute digital technology solutions that help government, communities, employers, and individual Canadians. (April 1, 2020)
  • The Federal Government is seeking any businesses and organizations that can supply innovative solutions to support responses to COVID-19 including supply chain resiliency monitoring, financial planning & advising, IT support and other services. (Mar 31, 2020)
  • The Province of Ontario has launched the online portal Ontario Together, which welcomes the help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and innovative solutions to support the Province’s response to COVID-19. (Mar 31, 2020)
  • How the Canadian Tech Community Can Respond to COVID-19  (Upside Foundation).

Resources Specifically for Women-Led Businesses

Cost savings for your business

  • Starting January 18th residential, small business and farm customers will be billed at the off-peak rate for all electricity usage for 21 days (the duration of public health measures). (Jan. 2022)

  • The Ontario Government is cutting wholesale alcohol prices to provide approximately $60 million in annual support to restaurants, bars and other businesses licensed to serve alcohol. (Jan. 2022)

  • The Ontario Government is supporting a reduction in Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums. (Jan. 2022)

  • The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program provides government support through wage and rent subsidies for businesses, including restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 percent. The eligible types of businesses are detailed in the legislation and related backgrounder. (Jan 2022)
  • The Ontario government has announced programs to reduce your electricity bill. (Feb 1, 2021)

Added flexibility for taxes

  • The Ontario Government is providing up to $7.5 billion through a six-month interest- and penalty-free period starting January 1, 2022 for Ontario businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes.

  • Eligible businesses can receive rebate payments equivalent to 50 percent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to the current capacity limits with the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program. Online applications for this program will open in mid-January 2022, with payments to eligible businesses provided retroactively to December 19, 2021. (Jan 2022)
  • The Ontario government is providing a six-month interest- and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes with support for Improving Cash Flow for Ontario Businesses. The six-month period will begin January 1, 2022 and end July 1, 2022. (Jan 2022)
  • Businesses, including self-employed individuals, can defer federal sales tax remittance and customs duty payments of GST and HST, as well as customs duties owing on their imports. (Feb 1, 2021)
  • Canada Revenue Agency will defer tax payment obligations, to help businesses with cash flow. (Feb 1, 2021)
  • The Government of Canada has extended the deadline for businesses to pay income tax penalties. (Feb 1, 2021)
  • The City of Ottawa has implemented Property Tax Grace Periods (Feb 1, 2021)

Direct support for employees

  • The government of Canada’s Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit provides $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly impacted by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown in their region up until May 7, 2022. (Jan 2022)
  • The Federal Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit provides income support if you must stop work to care for dependents due to closures, high risk and caregiver availability. (Jan 2022)
  • The Federal government’s Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit has been extended until May 7, 2022 and provides up to six weeks of support if you are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19. (Jan 2022)
  • The Government of Canada offers Employment Insurance benefits to people whose jobs are affected by COVID-19 and other roadblocks. (Feb 1, 2021)

Other Response Plans and Links


Show Local Love

Supporting local businesses makes a big difference for the entrepreneur next door and our economy. Now more than ever, let’s show our neighbours we’re here for them. 

Visit Together Apart to find local spots to order from and support when you can.

Sponsors Step Up

Great companies have stepped-up in this time of need, including many of our corporate sponsors and community partners.  

Explore the insights, toolkits and resources they’ve made available: 


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