The provincial government is introducing the new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program 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
Through the new program, the government will provide eligible businesses with a rebate payment of up to 100 per cent for property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these restrictions.
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.
Businesses will be required to submit proof of costs associated with property tax and energy bills as part of the application process. All eligible businesses must submit an application to be considered, including those that received previous COVID-19 support payments.
"We recognize that these are challenging times for Ontario’s businesses,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “We are committed to supporting businesses most impacted by the public health measures and this rebate program will provide them with the much needed support on their energy bills".
Payments to eligible businesses will be retroactive to December 19, 2021 when public health measures were first effective.
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
- day camps and overnight camps for children
- before- and after-school programs
- pet and veterinary services
Further details can be found in the program guide. Learn more here.
How to apply
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.
The government is also introducing a new COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant that will give businesses subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen a $10,000 grant. The money will flow to eligible businesses in February. Applications will open soon.
The government’s new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant will also help eligible small businesses that are subject to closures under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen by providing eligible small businesses with a grant payment of $10,000. Eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and that are subject to closure under modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and may need to provide some additional information but will not need to apply to the new program. Newly established and newly eligible small businesses will need to apply once the application portal opens in the coming weeks. Small businesses that qualify can expect to receive their payment beginning in February.