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Wednesday, 22 December 2021 16:25

Updated Benefits for Small Businesses


The following is a message from John Kiru at the Toronto Association of BIAs.


Note - the benefits will be retroactive to December 19th.


The federal government announced its intention to temporarily expand eligibility for key support programs to ensure Canadians are protected and workers and businesses get the help they need to sustain them through new and necessary public health restrictions.

Using regulatory authority provided in Bill C-2, (Passed third reeding last week and received Senate approval) the government intends to introduce new regulations that would:

  • Expand the Local Lockdown Program to include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more; and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25 per cent. Eligible employers will receive wage and rent subsidies from 25 per cent up to a maximum of 75 per cent, depending on their degree of revenue loss. The 12-month revenue decline test continues to not be required in order to access this support.
  • Expand the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers in regions where provincial or territorial governments have introduced capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more. As announced previously, this benefit will provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown, and who have lost 50 per cent or more of their income as a result.

These updated regulations will apply from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022, during which time it is expected that public health authorities will continue to implement “circuit-breaker” restrictions that limit the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 across Canada.

As always there is more details on the expansion of these support measures  in the Backgrounder   available in the backgrounder





For businesses impacted by the most recent public health measures, the provincial government is introducing new support in response to the Omicron variant.



Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program:

Eligible businesses will receive rebate payments equivalent to 50% of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to current capacity limits.


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



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.


This period will begin January 1, 2022 and will end July 1, 2022. This measure will provide up to $7.5 billion in relief to approximately 80,000 Ontario businesses for the following provincially administered taxes:


  • Employer Health Tax
  • Beer, Wine & Spirits Taxes
  • Tobacco Tax
  • Insurance Premium Tax
  • Fuel Tax
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement
  • Gas Tax
  • Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts & Benefit Plans
  • Mining Tax
  • Race Tracks Tax