To support businesses impacted by the return to Ontario’s Modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopening, the Ontario government has expanded several business support programs.
Ontario Business Cost Rebate Program (OBCRP) – Support for retail, restaurants & cinemas
The Ontario government has expanded the Ontario Business Cost Rebate Program (OBCRP). Businesses that are (1) closed or (2) have been made to reduce capacity due to health measures may be eligible for rebates on property tax and energy bills. While the full list of eligible business types will not be available until applications open on January 18, 2022, it has been shared that many retailers will qualify. Eligible businesses forced to close will be in a position to claim 100% of property tax and energy bills, while eligible businesses forced to reduce capacity (like the bulk of our retail members) will be eligible for a reduction in property tax and energy bills equivalent to the capacity reduction (for most retail, this is simply 50% – the calculation could get more complex, like in a scenario where a retailer operates a dine-in seating area in the retail space).
RCC will continue to keep members informed about the OBCRP as more details are released next Tuesday, January 18, 2022, when applications are open.
Tax deferral – Support for retail, restaurants, cinemas
In an effort to improve short-term business cash flows, Ontario announced a 6-month interest and penalty-free period wherein businesses may delay payments on most provincially administered taxes. This includes the Employer Health Tax, among others.
The 6-month period began on January 1, 2022 and will end on July 1, 2022. See the complete list of impacted taxes below:
- Employer Health
- Beer, Wine & Spirits
- Insurance Premium
- International Fuel Tax Agreement
- Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts & Benefit Plans
- Race Tracks
COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant – Support for restaurants, cinemas & other fully closed small businesses
To support eligible small businesses (with fewer than 100 employees on pay roll) who are fully closed by the return to Ontario’s Modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopening, Ontario will be providing businesses with a COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant of $10,000.
At present, most retailers do not qualify for this grant, as capacity is only reduced – in general, retailers are not closed. RCC’s franchised or small business restaurant and cinema members, however, are in a position to qualify for this grant.
Eligible businesses that previously qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant need not apply to this grant; Ontario will pre-screen those historical applications to verify eligibility, and will automatically issue grants to small businesses that remain eligible. For those businesses that did not historically apply to the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, or who newly meet the employee head count requirements, applications open on January 18, 2022. RCC will continue to keep members informed about the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant as more details are released next Tuesday, January 18, 2022, when applications open.
For more information, please contact:
Director, Government Relations (Ontario)