Ontario budget commits to double small business support grant

Published March 24, 2021

Restaurants Canada welcomes today’s budget announcement from the Ontario government, which included a commitment to double the Ontario Small Business Support Grant.

Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses and providing up to a maximum of $20,000 in funding, the grant was initially available to small businesses that were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the provincewide stay-at-home order that came into effect on Dec. 26, 2020. Approximately 120,000 small businesses will automatically benefit from an additional $1.7 billion in relief through this second round of support.

Doubling this funding will help restaurants cover costs to reopen and bring their employees safely back to work so that they can continue to play a key role feeding the recovery.

Ontario’s 2021 budget will also include:

  • A new $100 million Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant, for one time payments for businesses between $10,000-$20,000 (note that any business who received the Small Business Support Grant will not be eligible for this program – its either/or)
  • A new $100 million Ontario Tourism Recovery Program
  • $150 local tourism tax credit to encourage local tourism

While this additional working capital for small businesses and support for the province’s tourism and hospitality recovery is appreciated, Restaurants Canada is continuing to advocate for further sector-specific support to help the hard-hit foodservice industry transition from survival to revival. Most notably, we are continuing to call for a wholesale liquor pricing model for licensed bars and restaurants, to even the playing field between hospitality and retail and help licensed establishments recover from the pandemic.

Restaurants Canada looks forward to working with the Government of Ontario to deliver on the commitments announced today and will provide updates as further details become available.

Marlee Wasser

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