COVID-19 Government Supports for Businesses

Level of Government

City of Toronto

For a complete list of City of Toronto Support and Resources for Individuals and Families, please visit:

For a complete list of City of Toronto Financial Relief & Support Programs for Businesses, please visit:

Home Energy Loan Program

For projects starting in Q2 2022, the City will launch an enhanced Home Energy Loan Program that will include an interest rate as low as zero percent. 

Through the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), Toronto homeowners can get a low-interest loan of up to $125,000 to cover the cost of home energy improvements, such as:

High-efficiency furnaces / boilers / air conditioners
Air-source heat pumps
Window / door replacements
Basement/attic/exterior wall insulation
Air sealing (e.g. weather stripping or caulking)
Geothermal systems
High-efficiency water heaters
Tankless water heaters
Drain-water heat recovery systems
Toilet replacements
Solar hot water systems
Rooftop solar PV panels
Electric vehicle charging stations (Level 2)
Battery storage


Anticipated launch date for applications is Q2 2022.


Note: Good time now to confirm eligibility (especially lender consent), do energy audits, line up contractors, look at other incentive programs to stack, etc.

Retail Accelerator Program

The application window for the City of Toronto Retail Accelerator Program is open. This program provides access to retail training, advisory services and mentoring opportunities. In addition, it offers a micro grant valued at $10,000 to help retail businesses develop and expand.

Eligible BusinessIneligible Business
The Retail Accelerator Program is available to owners of retail businesses within the City of Toronto.

The following types of independent business ventures are eligible to participate:

Sole proprietorship or corporation where the applicant is the majority shareholder; or

Partnership where the applicant holds the majority share; if shared 50/50 only one partner may apply
The following types of businesses are not eligible to apply for or participate in the Retail Accelerator Program:

Franchises, commissioned sales and distributorships
Online e-commerce retail operations (must have a physical location)
Mobile retail operations of any kind
Not-for-profits, social enterprises, co-operatives or charitable enterprises
Multi-level marketing ventures
Single events, musical bands, DJs or party event organizations


The City will be accepting the first round of applications until March 31, 2022, or until the funds last.


Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program

The Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program offers matching funding of 50 per cent to commercial business operators and owners of storefronts that are vacant (or, in certain limited circumstances, at risk of becoming vacant) to undertake interior improvements, assisting businesses to re-lease space impacted by COVID-19.


The first round of applications will be accepted until February 28, 2022, or when funds are expended, whichever comes first.


The Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program is available to owners and tenants of vacant properties or the risk of being vacant properties at street level, or properties at risk of becoming vacant (that have received funding from the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy program) within the city of Toronto, that are used for commercial purposes at street level, and that are locally owned and operated. A minimum of three eligible improvements must be made.

Tenants who apply for the program must have written permission from the property owner to make any improvements to the property and receive grants.

Eligible ProjectsIneligible Projects
The following projects would be considered eligible for a Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant:
Structural upgrades, interior light fixtures, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), plumbing, electrical, interior painting, flooring/ceiling/walls, permanently-affixed counters, merchandise displays and accessibility improvements, among others.

Architectural, engineering, certified Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) specialist and Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) registered designer fees may be covered to a maximum of $2,000 per application as part of the base grant.

Multi-unit properties are eligible for additional grant funding of up to $4,000 per unit for each additional unit for which improvements are proposed, to a maximum of $20,000.

Additional grant funding of up to $4,000 is available for interior accessibility improvements which meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) design standards.

A minimum of three eligible improvements must be made to each unit.
Maintenance to fix broken windows, interior lighting or security systems, clean clogged plumbing, or replace ceiling panels.

Only one application for a business chain or for any franchise organization is permitted.

Applications for work totaling less than $5,000 are ineligible.

The program is not to cover maintenance costs of existing interior property elements.

Places of worship, institutional buildings, not-for-profit commercial buildings and residential buildings are ineligible for the program.

Moveable furniture, window coverings, equipment, appliances, computers, IT expenses or elements such as tiling outside of the front door, are ineligible.


Province of Ontario

For a full overview of programs provided by the Ontario provincial government, please visit

To contact the government with questions about the supports, call 1-866-668-8297 (1-866-ONTTAXS).

Call centres are open Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Tel: 416-325-6691
  • Toll-free: 1-855-216-3090
  • TTY: 416-325-3408
  • Toll-free TTY: 1-800-268-7095

Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant

Small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of Roadmap to Reopen may be eligible to receive a one-time grant of $10,000. If an organization previously qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, they will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and do not need to apply for this modified program.


  • Businesses that were required to close due to the public health orders implemented
  • on January 5, 2022; and
  • Have fewer than 100 employees.

The following small businesses may be eligible:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres
  • and gyms)
  • Performing arts venues 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


Applications will open in the coming weeks.


Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program

Organizations impacted by lockdown measures and closures can receive a portion of their property tax and energy costs in form of rebate payments during the period of being subjected to lockdown measures.

  • Organizations with capacity reduced to 50% will obtain 50% in rebates for their costs.
  • Organizations closed will obtain 100% in rebates for their costs.


A comprehensive list of eligible business types will be available in mid-January.


Applications open January 18, 2022, with retroactive payments dating back to December 19, 2021.

Electricity-Rate Relief

As of January 18, 2022, electricity prices will be set to the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for 24 hours a day.

  • This is less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate.
  • The updated rate will be in effect for 21 days

This will be applied automatically to residential, small businesses, and farms who are paying regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility.

  • Applies to both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans.

Improving cash flows for Ontario businesses

Organizations will have a six-month interest and penalty-free period for most provincially administered taxes.


January 1, 2022, until July 1, 2022.


The option to delay tax payments applies to the following 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

COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Program

Ontario employers must provide eligible employees with up to three days of paid infectious

disease emergency leave due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Direct hotline for questions: 1-888-999-2248


Extended to July 31, 2022.


Government of Canada

For a full overview of programs provided by the Canadian government, go to

To access the Business Benefits Finder to determine the best program and service for your

organization, go to

Note: The repayment deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is being

extended to December 31, 2023.

  • This applies to all eligible borrowers in good standing.
  • Repayment on or before the new deadline will result in loan forgiveness of up to a third of the value of loans (up to $20,000).

Note: The repayment deadline to qualify for partial forgiveness of the Regional Relief and Recovery. Fund is being extended to December 31, 2023.

Wage and hiring supports

Employers may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of employee wages. In each applicable claim period, employers can claim one of the following- whichever gives the highest amount:

  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
  • Hardest-Hit Businesses Recovery Program
  • Canada Recovery Hiring Program

To calculate the amount available to your organization in wage/hiring support, go to

To apply to the wage and hiring support, go to

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program


  • Organizations in the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors affected by a qualifying public health restriction may be eligible for funding.
    • Eligibility
      • Must meet 3 conditions: More than 50% of eligible revenue comes from the tourism/entertainment sector, a 12-month average revenue drop of at least 40% from March 2020 to February 2021, and a claim period revenue drop of at least 40%.
    • Timeline
      • Effective until May 7, 2022.
  • Available for eligible organizations, regardless of the sector (organizations do not need to be in the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors.)
  • Eligibility
    • Must meet 2 conditions: Organization was affected by a qualifying public health restriction and a claim period revenue drop of at least 40%. 
    • Include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50% and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25%. 
      • Eligible employers will receive wage and rent subsidies from 25% up to a maximum of 75%, depending on their degree of revenue loss.

Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program


Organizations that do not qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery program may qualify for funding.


Must meet 2 conditions: a 12-month average revenue drop of at least 50% from March 2020 to February 2021 and have a claim period revenue drop of at least 50%.


Effective until May 7, 2022.

Canada Recovery Hiring Program


Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either the higher of the Canada Recovery Hiring Program or the wage portion of the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program or the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program.


Effective until May 7, 2022.

Jobs and Growth Fund


Eligible businesses, not-for-profits, and indigenous organizations may be eligible for funding to support the transition to a green economy, activities supporting an inclusive recovery, digital adoption projects, and projects supporting Canada’s economic growth.


Interest-free repayable contributions for up to 50% of eligible costs and eligible not-for-profit organizations could receive non-repayable contributions for up to 90% of eligible costs.

  • Indigenous clients may be eligible for 100% of eligible project costs for projects.


Applications are accepted on a continuous intake basis until funding is allocated.

To contact a FedNor Officer for further details on eligibility and how to apply, please go to

Work-Sharing Program


A Work-Sharing agreement is a 3-party agreement involving employers, employees, and Service Canada to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when: there is a temporary decrease in the normal level of business activity, and the decrease is beyond the control of the employer

Special measures for COVID-19 include extending the duration of agreements by an additional 38 weeks. That brings the total to 76 weeks (regardless of how many weeks a business has used before March 14, 2020) followed by a possible new 26-week subsequent agreement.  Additional flexibility during COVID-19 is provided.


Special COVID-19 measures are in effect until September 24, 2022. 

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program


Organizations operating in the tourism, restaurant, and in-person services may be eligible for guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.


Organization’s financial institution will determine eligibility based on the eligibility criteria.


Applications open until March 31, 2022.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility


Eligible large employers may qualify for bridge financing to meet needs that are not being met with conventional financing.


Organization has a significant impact on Canada’s economy, demonstrates approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues, and requires a minimum loan size of about $60 million.


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