Small businesses that have recently opened will also be able to apply for support grant

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GORE BAY – It appears a Gore Bay small business owner and others in Ontario that have recently opened will be able to apply for Ontario’s Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG).

The Ontario government has opened applications for the new OSBSG. The grant, first announced in December, provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict their operations due to the province-wide shutdown. The tightened restrictions were put in place to help stop the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in Ontario.

“Well, at least we have our application in for the funding,” said Michael Lalonde, co-owner of Raven’s Roost Medley in Gore Bay. “You never know how many small businesses on Manitoulin Island in the community may see some benefit.” 

“As Ontario’s employers do their part to defeat COVID-19, they are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of this global pandemic,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, minister of finance and president of the treasury board. “I encourage every eligible small business owner in Ontario to visit Ontario.ca/COVIDSupport to access the support our government has made available. While we still have a lot of work ahead of us, we can all look confidently to the future as we resolve to do our part and put COVID-19 behind us.” 

Small businesses required to close or significantly restrict services under the province wide shutdown will be able to apply for a one-time grant and use this funding in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business needs. For example, some businesses could need support paying employee wages, while others could need support with their rent.

Eligible small businesses include those that: were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the province-wide shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 am on December 26; have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level; have experienced a minimum of 20 percent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019. New businesses established since April 2019 will also be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria.

Mr. Lalonde said he does have a concern. “They are saying that we have to show our December sales figures and our best month of sales to see if there was a 20 percent drop. However, our best sales month of the year and December numbers will not reflect a 20 percent drop. But since December 26 there has been a 90 percent drop in our sales (with the lockdown). I have asked what if we used the comparison of our best month (2020) and January of this year. Hopefully someone is paying attention and will take this all into account.”

“Small businesses are the heart of Ontario’s economy,” said Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade. “The Ontario Small Business Support Grant will help thousands of small businesses get through this difficult time, while strengthening our province’s economic recovery.” 

Businesses impacted by the province-wide shutdown are also eligible for additional supports, including the government’s program to provide rebates to offset fixed costs such as property tax and energy bills. These rebates will continue to be available for businesses impacted by the province wide shutdown and earlier restrictions.