Supported the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters in developing the #OntarioMade logo and product guide to help consumers identify made-in-Ontario products.

Businesses and manufacturers across the province can register their made-in-Ontario products and be included in the Ontario Made Consumer Directory at

Helping Employers Hire and Train Apprentices

To make it easier for small- to medium-sized employers to find the skilled employees they need, Ontario is establishing new grant programs to train apprentices towards program completion and trade certification.

A new Group Sponsorship Grant reduces the pressure on any single employer to see an apprentice through to completion in training. This also exposes apprentices to a wider range of skills to increase their career success.

Employers and organizations can apply for grants at Hire an apprentice |

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Covering 75% of employees’ wages on the first $58,700 earned, for qualifying businesses and organizations. This subsidy will be retroactive to March 15, 2020, and will apply for 3 months.

CEWS will be extended until August 29, 2020.

Businesses now have more flexibility in terms of which monthly figures they compare to.

  • One option is the change in an eligible employer’s monthly revenues, year-over-year, for the calendar month in which the period began. For example, comparing March 2020 to March 2019.

  • The second option is to compare revenue using an average of their revenue earned in January and February 2020.


Employers can select either approach when first applying to the CEWS but are required to use the same approach for the duration of the program.


There are 3 periods of eligibility, and the first one is from March 15 to April 11. For this first period, the required reduction in revenue is now 15%, and for subsequent periods is 30%. 

Once an employer is found eligible for a specific period, the employer automatically qualifies for the next period.

Other Details:

  • Maximum benefit of $847 per employee/week.

  • Employers are encouraged to contribute the other 25% of employees’ wages if they are able.


Eligible employers can apply through their Canada Revenue Agency ‘My Business’ account or through a separate online portal. Please contact the CRA’s business telephone line, 1-800-959-5525 if you require assistance.

Employers will receive money from the program beginning May 7, through direct deposit. Companies who have not signed up for direct deposit with the CRA may have to wait longer for money to arrive. 

Click here to learn more.

To help determine the required figures for your applications, as well as estimate the amount of your business’ wage subsidy, please visit the CRA’s wage subsidy calculator.

Temporary Business Wage Subsidy

Employers who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy may be eligible for this program.

  • Eligible employers will receive a subsidy equal to 10% of wages, for the period from March 18 to before June 20, 2020.

  • Maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

Employers will continue deducting income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums from salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration paid to employees.

The subsidy is calculated when you remit these amounts to the CRA.

Once you have calculated your subsidy, you can reduce your current payroll remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.

Click here to learn more.

Expanding Work-Share Program

Effective March 15, 2020, to March 14, 2021, and not limited to one specific sector or industry, the Government of Canada is introducing temporary special measures to the Work-Sharing Program:

  • Extension of the maximum possible duration of an agreement from 38 weeks to 76 weeks.

  • A mandatory cooling-off period has been waived for employers who have already used the Work-Sharing program so that eligible employers may immediately enter into a new agreement.

  • Reduce the previous requirements for a Recovery Plan to a single line of text in the application form.

  • Reduce the requirement and expand eligibility to employers affected by accepting business who have been in business for only 1 year rather than 2, and eliminate the burden of having to provide sales/production figures at the same time.

  • Expand eligibility for staff who are essential to recovery, Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and non-for-profit organization employers.

Click here to learn more.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

Find out if you're eligible to apply at Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) -

Allowing Delivery of Alcohol

Effective immediately, Ontario will allow takeout and delivery of alcohol with a food order from licensed restaurants and bars; no application process or fee required.

The holder of the liquor sales licence is accountable for the responsible sale and delivery of alcohol. This includes making sure the person to whom the order is delivered is at least 19 years old and is not intoxicated. The licensee or its staff involved in the delivery of alcohol must have successfully completed Smart Serve training. In instances where the delivery is being carried out by a third party on behalf of the licensee, Smart Serve certification is required by April 25, 2020.

Allowing 24/7 Deliveries

All businesses may accept 24/7 deliveries to help ensure important goods - such as food, medication, and essential household items – can be delivered as efficiently as possible, without the restrictions of municipal noise by-laws. This will help keep shelves stocked with necessary food and medication, and help our supply chain operate quickly during this crisis.

Agriculture Industry Job Support Portal

Launched a new website aimed at individuals seeking a job in the agri-food industry and the chance to make a difference during this COVID-19 outbreak. The portal highlights employment openings and training resources in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector.

This online portal provides access to information on exciting job opportunities right across Ontario’s food supply chain – from grocery retailers to bakeries and cheese factories, to opportunities on farms and in transportation, and many more.

Workplace Safety Tool Kit

The Government of Ontario has released a first-of-its-kind general workplace guidance document to help all employers protect workers from the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

This new guidance includes help on how to create a safety plan, including specific advice on personal protective equipment and the use of face masks. It also includes a list of controls, from most important to least important, that employers can take to minimize the spread of the virus.

Click here to learn more.



Income Tax Deferral

Providing flexibility to businesses who may find it challenging to meet their tax obligations.


The Federal Government has allowed taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.

Deferring Provincial Taxes

Providing a five-month interest and penalty-free period to make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.

Tax filing and remittance deadlines will remain the same. However, between April 1, 2020, and August 31, 2020, penalties and interest will not apply to Ontario businesses that miss any filing or remittance deadline under select provincial taxes. This will continue for a period of five months.

The following provincial taxes are included in the relief period:

  • Employer Health Tax

  • Tobacco Tax

  • Fuel Tax

  • Gas Tax

  • Beer, Wine & Spirits Tax

  • Mining Tax

  • Insurance Premium Tax

  • International Fuel Tax Agreement

  • Retail Sales Tax on Insurance Contracts and Benefit Plans

  • Race Tracks Tax


If you have any questions, please contact: 1-866-ONT-TAXS (1-866-668-8297) or click here for more information.

HST Payment Deferrals

Deferring HST payments for small and medium-sized businesses until June, freeing up an additional $30 billion for businesses.

Education Property Tax Deferral

The Government of Ontario is providing municipalities with the option to defer the education property tax payment they make to school boards for 90 days. Reach out to your local municipality to make sure they are taking advantage of this.


This would defer the June 30th quarterly municipal remittance to school boards which provides municipalities with the flexibility, in turn, to provide over $1.8 billion in property tax deferral to residents and businesses.



Expanding Employer Health Tax Exemption

Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million and a 5 month relief period for Ontario businesses who are unable to file or remit their provincial taxes on time due to the special circumstances caused by the coronavirus (COVID‑19) in Ontario.

Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

Providing a 10% refundable Corporate Income Tax credit for eligible businesses that build, renovate or acquire qualifying commercial and industrial buildings in designated regions of the province, of up to $45,000. The tax credit would be available for expenditures in excess of $50,000 and up to a limit of $500,000 for qualifying investments that become available for use by a Canadian-controlled private corporation in the taxation year.

Please click here to view a list of eligible regions.



Deferring WSIB Payments

Providing up to $1.9 billion in financial relief by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months (until August 31, 2020).

The deferred premiums will amount to an average of $1,760 for approximately 275,000 Ontario businesses. Businesses are not required to inform the WSIB that they will take advantage of this financial relief package. In addition, WSIB will cease interest accrual on all outstanding premium payments. They will not charge penalties during this six-month period. Be assured that WSIB will continue to fully cover workers at eligible workplaces.

All employers covered by WSIB are automatically eligible for the provisions of the relief package; there is no need to opt-in to receive this benefit. 

Targeted Relief to Keep Electricity Bills Low

We are keeping the cost of energy low for families, small businesses and farmers by stabilizing electricity rates and providing customers with more choice and energy assistance programs.

Customers eligible for the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) will automatically receive a 33.2% reduction off their energy bill when new electricity rates for Regulated Price Plan (RPP) customers come into effect November 1, 2020.

As of November 1st, customers who pay time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates will have the flexibility to choose an electricity bill structure that best suits their lifestyle, choosing between TOU and tiered rates (flat-rate).

Our government is also making it easier for families and businesses to receive support on their overdue electricity bills through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Any residential, small business or registered charity customer with overdue electricity or natural gas bill will now be eligible to apply. A residential customer can receive up to $750 for their electricity bill and an additional $750 for their natural gas bill. Small businesses can receive up to $1500 each.

Contact your energy provider if you would like to opt-in for tiered rates:

Alectra UtilitiesInnpower, or Hydro One.

More electricity support programs are available for low-income individuals at the Ontario Energy Board website. 



Business Credit Availability Program

The Government of Canada has established the BCAP to provide $65 billion of additional support to businesses through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

Canada Emergency Business Account

Canadian banks will provide loans of up to $40,000, backed by the federal government, to small and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profits.


If repaid by December 31, 2022, 25% of the loan will be forgiven, or up to $10,000. If not repaid by this date, the remaining balance will be converted to a three-year term loan at 5 percent interest.   

To be eligible, organizations and businesses will need to demonstrate that they paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.

UPDATE (May 19, 2020): The eligibility criteria will be expanded to include many owner-operated small businesses. Under these new criteria, businesses with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution

  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.

  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

UPDATE (June 15, 2020): The eligibility criteria have been expanded to include many owner-operated small businesses. Under these new criteria, businesses with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution

  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.

  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.

    Applications for those eligible under these new criteria will open on Friday June 19, 2020.


Click here to learn more.


Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)

The Government of Canada will establish the LEEFF to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers who are not able to meet their needs through conventional financing. This will allow Canada’s largest businesses and their suppliers to remain active during this difficult time, and position them for a rapid economic recovery. Companies applying for financing through LEEFF must satisfy a number of rules and requirements.  

Click here to apply for LEEFF.


Loan Guarantee For Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises​

EDC is working with financial institutions to issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.

Co-Lending Program For Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises​

BDC is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.


Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.

Regional Relief And Recovery Fund

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fund, valued at more than $962 million nationally, is delivered by Canada’s six regional development agencies.

In southern Ontario, $252.4 million is available as follows:

  • $213 million for SMEs facing financial pressure supporting southern Ontario SMEs that do not qualify for, or have been declined for, current Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures.; and


  • $39.4 million to provide rural businesses with access to capital and business support, delivered by southern Ontario’s Community Futures Development Corporations.

Click here to learn more about the eligibility and next steps for the application.

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Reduction

On March 27th, the Bank of Canada lowered interest rates to 0.25%, down from 0.75% announced on March 13.

Farm Credit Canada Support Program

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has put in place:

  • a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or

  • a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months

  • access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements or universal movable hypothec (Québec only)


Click here to learn more.

Canada's Regional Development Agencies

If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium-sized business or organization impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy and need pressing assistance, the RDAs could assist you with:


  • Access to federal funding to help you stay in business.

  • Advice and pathfinding to other available federal programs and services.

Click here to learn more.

Lending Loop Small Business Financing

Lending Loop has implemented a temporary hardship program for borrowers that are currently distressed as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. This program will allow Lending Loop clients that meet certain criteria to make interest-only payments on their loans for a period of 3 months to accommodate this unexpected event.

Click here to learn more.



The Government of Ontario is deferring a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan (RPP), starting from April 2020. The government intends to keep this relief in place until June 2020, subject to necessary extensions and approvals to implement this initiative. Without this action, a small industrial or commercial consumer could have seen bills increase by 15 percent or more.

Click here to learn more.



The Government of Canada will invest more than $250 million through a series of new programs to support farmers, food businesses, and food processors. This includes:

  • Launching a national AgriRecovery initiative of up to $125 million in funding to help producers faced with additional costs incurred by COVID-19.

  • Creating a $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund to help food producers adapt to changing health protocols, procure PPE, and respond to emerging pressures from COVID-19.

  • Launching a Surplus Food Purchase Program with an initial $50 million fund designed to help redistribute existing and unsold inventories to local food organizations who are serving vulnerable Canadians.

Click here to learn more.



The Government of Canada is providing $30 million in FedDev Ontario RRRF funding to the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO). This will provide financial relief to destination marketing organizations (DMOs) across southern Ontario that has experienced significant revenue shortfalls.

Applications can be submitted online starting June 5. For more information on how to apply, visit

Click here to learn more.



Digital Main Street is a non-profit organization that helps small businesses connect with digital technologies, tools and service providers. These digital resources may be essential to the success of your business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital Main Street can assist you with a wide range of tools and services, including e-commerce platforms, websites, social media, and much more.

They offer an online learning platform, digital resources and workshops, and a Digital Service Squad who will work with your business one-on-one to help meet your digital needs. 

There is no cost to join Digital Main Street, and all businesses can receive a free Digital Assessment.

Digital Main Street is supported by companies well versed in digital technologies, including Google, MasterCard, Microsoft and Shopify.

Click here to learn more.

Community Resources

2020 Ontario Budget