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Author: Loucas Loucaides

Ontario Providing Supports for Small Businesses, Workers and Families

Province’s plan includes $10,000 grant for eligible small businesses and additional electricity-rate relief.

January 07, 2022
Ministry of Finance
From the Ontario Newsroom

TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing targeted relief for businesses and people impacted by the current public health measures aimed at blunting the spread of the Omicron variant. As part of this plan, the government is introducing a $10,000 grant for eligible businesses that are subject to closures under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen and is providing additional electricity-rate relief for businesses, as well as workers and families spending more time at home.

“Our government understands that public health measures needed to blunt the spread of the Omicron variant are impacting the lives and livelihoods of small businesses, workers and families across Ontario,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “Since the first day of the pandemic, we have provided unprecedented levels of support to protect people, jobs and our economy. We will continue to deliver on that commitment.”

As part of a comprehensive plan to support workers and businesses, the government is announcing an Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. It will provide eligible small businesses with a grant payment of $10,000.

Eligible small businesses include:

  • Restaurants and bars;
  • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms);
  • Performing arts and cinemas;
  • Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
  • Meeting or event spaces;
  • Tour and guide services;
  • Conference centres and convention centres;
  • Driving instruction for individuals; and
  • Before- and after- school programs.

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 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 in February.

“Small businesses, job creators and the entrepreneurial spirit are the backbone of Ontario’s economy. Unfortunately, these businesses have been some of the most impacted by COVID-19, and many continue to struggle,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Since the start of the pandemic, we have provided unprecedented supports for businesses in every region of the province. With the new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant, our government will provide relief for thousands of small businesses that create jobs for hard working Ontarians.”

The Ontario government is also providing electricity-rate relief to support small businesses, as well as workers and families spending more time at home while the province is in Modified Step Two. For 21 days starting at 12:01 am on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, electricity prices will be set 24 hours a day at the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate. The off-peak rate will apply automatically to residential, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility and will benefit customers on both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans.

“We know that spending more time at home means using more electricity during the day when prices are higher, that’s why we are moving to off-peak electricity rates 24 hours per day, seven days a week,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “The off-peak rate will provide immediate savings for families, small businesses and farms as all Ontarians work together to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.”

Further, online applications for the previously-announced Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program will open on January 18. This program will provide eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with rebate payments for up to 100 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health measures in response to the Omicron variant.

Eligible 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. Those 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. A complete list of eligible businesses will be provided prior to the launch of the application portal.

“Small businesses are at the heart of every community across our province and make a tremendous contribution to Ontario’s economy,” said Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “Our government knows how important it is to support small business owners during such a difficult time. That’s why throughout the pandemic, our government has supported small businesses and continues to do so through the new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant.”

The government is also improving cash flows for Ontario businesses by 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. This supports businesses now and provides the flexibility they will need for long-term planning. Building on Ontario’s efforts to improve cash flows for businesses, the province continues to call on the federal government to match provincial tax deferral efforts by allowing small businesses impacted by public health restrictions to defer their HST remittances for a period of six months.

“Ontario’s heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries have been hit first, hardest, and are expected to take the longest to recover from the pandemic,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “These new supports are critical to protect sectors that contribute more than $76 billion and hundreds of thousands of jobs in communities across the province.”

These measures will build on Ontario’s support for businesses and workers, including:

  • Cutting wholesale alcohol prices to provide approximately $60 million in annual support to restaurants, bars and other businesses, as well as making it easier for businesses 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.
  • Extending COVID-19 paid sick days until July 31, 2022 to keep workers safe and ensure they do not lose pay if they need to miss work for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Enabling an estimated $10.1 billion in cost savings and support to Ontario businesses in 2021, with more than 60 per cent, or $6.3 billion, going to small businesses, including:
    • Supporting a reduction in Workplace Safety and Insurance Board premiums.
    • Allowing businesses to accelerate write-offs of capital investments for tax purposes.
    • Reducing the small business Corporate Income Tax rate to 3.2 per cent.
    • Providing the Digital Main Street program, which helped more than 20,000 businesses across the province to increase their digital presence in 2020-21.
    • Introducing and temporarily enhancing the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit to encourage investments in certain regions of Ontario that have lagged in employment growth in the past.
    • Providing targeted COVID-19 support through the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant.
    • Lowering high Business Education Tax rates for job creators.
    • Increasing the Employer Health Tax exemption from $490,000 to $1 million.
    • Lowering electricity bills through measures such as the Comprehensive Electricity Plan, with the Province paying for a portion of high-priced, non-hydro renewable energy contracts.
    • Providing targeted COVID-19 support through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which delivered $3 billion in urgent and unprecedented support to over 110,000 small businesses across the province.

Quick Facts

  • The government has temporarily moved the province back into Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen, with modifications that take into account the province’s successful vaccination efforts. These time-limited measures will help blunt transmission and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed as the province continues to accelerate its booster dose rollout. They will be in place at least until January 26, 2022, subject to trends in public health and health system indicators.
  • Launched in January 2021, the Ontario Small Business Support Grant provided direct financial support to eligible small businesses that were required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown that came into effect in December 2020.
  • Businesses subject to 50 per cent capacity restrictions are not eligible for the new Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant.
  • The Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program provides eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with rebate payments for a portion of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health measures in response to the Omicron variant.

Additional Resources

Ye Olde Tyme Christmas

Downtown Bolton’s inaugural Ye Olde Tyme Christmas was an amazing success! 🎉🎄

With an incredible turnout from the community, hardworking & dedicated vendors and some special visitors from the North Pole, we couldn’t be more joyful or full of holiday spirit 🎅❄️

Thank you to everyone who made this night possible, including our amazing vendors, the Bolton Community Crew, Downtown Bolton Revitalization Task Force, Town of Caledon, Michelle our vendor market coordinator, Bruno Zuccato, Mr & Mrs Claus (& Comet 🦌), Pine Farms Orchard, Caledon Concert Band, our Victorian Guests, Carollers & Blacksmiths, Caledon Fire & Emergency Services, The Royal Courtyards, and all of our spectacular Downtown Bolton businesses who stayed open for the night!

📷 Photo Credits: Chris Millar, Lucky Element Media, Verona Teskey

Digital Transformation Grant closes November 30

Attention Downtown Bolton brick & mortar businesses, if you haven’t yet applied for the Digital Transformation Grant, now is the time to do so! The grant closes on November 30th, and if eligible, your business can receive $2500 towards expanding your digital presence.

Participant Requirements

A Digital Transformation Grant is open to any business that meets the following requirements:

Must be a business that:

  • Has a permanent ‘brick-and-mortar’ establishment in Ontario
  • Is employing 1-50 employees
  • Has not received a DTG previously
  • Is paying commercial property tax (commercially assessed), either directly or through commercial rent
  • Is a registered business in Ontario and/or is incorporated
  • Is open for business/operating at the time of application (not a start up)
  • Is open to the general public for walk-in and onsite purchases of goods and services – NOT A WHOLESALER OR MANUFACTURER
  • Is NOT a business supplying digital services to other businesses (e.g. website design/development, SEO, programming)
  • Is NOT a franchise, including those individually owned and operated
  • Is NOT a not-for-profit/ charitable organization
  • Is NOT renting office space on a temporary basis (month-to-month)
  • Is NOT in a shared workspace such as a hot desk or dedicated desk
  • Is NOT a purely online business

Owned by:

  • An Ontario resident operating a business in Ontario.
  • An individual of 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Has completed the Digital Transformation for Main Street program, which includes:

  • The Digital Main Street Assessment
  • Has passed the eligibility quiz
  • The online training
  • Developing a Digital Transformation Plan

*OBIAA reserves the right to determine who is eligible/ineligible on a case-by-case basis.

Ye Olde Tyme Christmas

Downtown Bolton Community Event

Ye Olde Tyme Christmas Banner Info

It’s official! Christmas is coming early to Downtown Bolton 🎄

Join us Friday, December 3 from 6-9pm at “Ye Olde Tyme Christmas” for some incredible fun & celebrations:

🎄 Annual Tree Lighting
🛍 Outdoor Vendor Market in the Royal Courtyards
🎅 Free Photos with Santa, Mrs Claus & Reindeer
🎶 Victorian Christmas Carollers
🚒 Say Goodbye to the Old Firehall with Sparky the Firedog & Learn About the New Community “Firehub”
🏪 Stores & restaurants in the Downtown Core will have extended hours

Stay tuned for a map of the festivities!

We can’t wait to celebrate the Holidays & Bolton’s Bicentennial with the community! 🎁

For all of our BIA business members, this is a great opportunity for you to promote your business! The event will also be widely promoted through the The Town of Caledon, Bolton BIA Area and Regional councillors and other Community Groups.

Event Map

Ye Olde Tyme Christmas Map Schedule

Vendor List

102.7 Moose FM (Vista Radio)
A Girl And Her Graphics
A Little House of Crafts
Adventures of Lollipop Comics
Alysia McAuslan
Basic Creativity
BE•FOR•YOU Women’s Yoga & Wellness Boutique
Black Oak Boutique
Bolton British Bites
Bolton Chiropractic Centre
Cakes By Anna Maria
Caledon Community Services
Caledon Concert Band
Caledon Meals on Wheels
Caledon Senior’s Centre Satellite Program
Candles Eh
CCG Breakthrough
Champagne Lolli
Coldwell Banker Select Real Estate
Crystal Magic Mama
Custom Candles By Julia, Handmade Customs.to, Design Defined.co

Dream Crystals
Driven By… Co.
E.l.customs
East of Fifty
Edward Jones
FIGHT FOR FIVE SUSTAINABILITY PROJECTS
Free Bird Handcrafted
Glitzy Gals Jewellery
Grace At The Door Decor
Heavenly popt
Humbervalley Honey
Jane & Joy Confections
Jason’s Quest
Knots and Gnomes
Kristina Kreates
Li’l B Boutique
Lil’Dreams Design Boutique & Boxed4U
Makeup By Melissa Diaferia
Navybean Handmade Apothecary
Nue Belle Laser
Perfect Baskets
Pine Farms Orchard
Redline Creations and Redline Plates

Reneessance Jewelry
Ritzy Bitzy Balloons
Rovili’s Petworld
SB Studios
Serena’s Sugar Shop
Serenity Wreaths
Star soy candles
Still Pretty Sweet
Strung Out Beadz
Summer and Glitter
Susie Cattedra Artist
Sweet Leaf Aromas
Sweetsandtreatsbolton
The Glitter Shop
The Holiday Shop
The Riverwood Collective
The Soap Nook (by Filice Boutique)
The UPS Store #549
The Weehomestead
Tickled Pink Sterling Silver Jewellery
Timberwolf Woodcraft
Twigs and Treasures
VenusMoonEmporium
Willows and Fawns

Annual General Meeting of the Downtown Bolton Business Improvement Area

To all owners and tenants in the Downtown Bolton Business Improvement Area:

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Downtown Bolton Business Improvement Area. Due to the pandemic and our ongoing support of the Provincial Orders, the meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 6 p.m. via an online program known as Cisco WebEx.

The agenda includes key items such as the proposed 2022 Budget and a presentation by Town of Caledon staff on the Downtown Bolton Revitalization Project. The full meeting agenda  will be posted on the website www.downtownbolton.ca.

As this meeting will be held virtually, you must pre-register to participate.  To register contact the Town’s Legislative Services staff by telephone at 905.584.2272 ext. 2366 or by e-mail at agenda@caledon.ca.  

Should you wish to listen to the meetings but are unable to participate virtually please use the call in details below:

Call In Number: 1.833.311.4101
Meeting Access Code: 2632 580 0580#

Owners, please share this notice with your tenants, if applicable.  

We look forward to another engaging AGM with our members and look forward to seeing you at the meeting (virtually)!

Sincerely,
Jean Carberry, Chair on behalf of the Board of Members of the Downtown Bolton BIA 

Annual General Meeting of the Downtown Bolton Business Improvement Area

To all owners and tenants in the Downtown Bolton Business Improvement Area:

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Downtown Bolton Business Improvement Area. Due to the pandemic and our ongoing support of the Provincial Orders, the meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 6 p.m. via an online program known as Cisco WebEx.

The agenda includes key items such as the proposed 2022 Budget and a presentation by Town of Caledon staff on the Downtown Bolton Revitalization Project. The full meeting agenda  will be posted on the website www.downtownbolton.ca.

As this meeting will be held virtually, you must pre-register to participate.  To register contact the Town’s Legislative Services staff by telephone at 905.584.2272 ext. 2366 or by e-mail at agenda@caledon.ca.  

Should you wish to listen to the meetings but are unable to participate virtually please use the call in details below:

Call In Number: 1.833.311.4101
Meeting Access Code: 2632 580 0580#

Owners, please share this notice with your tenants, if applicable.  

We look forward to another engaging AGM with our members and look forward to seeing you at the meeting (virtually)!

Sincerely,
Jean Carberry, Chair on behalf of the Board of Members of the Downtown Bolton BIA 

Voice your opinion about the future of Caledon!

Complete the recently launched community Vision Survey, where you can express your needs and priorities as the Town of Caledon refines their Vision and Guiding Principles, and begin to think about land use planning policy directions.

https://haveyoursaycaledon.ca/official-plan-review/survey_tools/future-caledon-official-plan-vision-survey

Please spread the word about the Vision Survey to your networks and encourage your friends, family and neighbours to provide their input and have their say. The survey will be live until October 1, 2021.