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Financial Support and Resources

We continue to reach out to local businesses daily to understand their concerns and continue to share those concerns with all levels of government to help create meaningful recovery programming to assist our local business community during these challenging times. Many financial aid packages have been developed at the Federal and Provincial level, and municipal programs are starting to roll out.

Get Help with COVID-19 Costs through the Provincial Government

Financial Support Programs

New programs, amendments to programs and constant updates with respect to details are happening at a rapid pace. We endeavor to keep this information as up-to-date as possible, however, it is highly recommended that businesses use the program pages for the most accurate source of information. Please check back regularly for updates.

Ontario Government 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program


You must submit your application by April 20, 2021 by 5 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time).


The 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program supports innovative programming and marketing for festivals and events. It helps to improve experiences for visitors and stimulate local community economic development and recovery.

The program supports innovative events in Ontario that will:

  • provide safe experiences that encourage people to rediscover the beauty and diversity of Ontario’s communities
  • draw attendees, whether in-person or virtually
  • provide a positive economic impact
  • provide job opportunities for Ontarians in the tourism, culture and entertainment sectors
  • increase Ontario’s profile through media and/or broadcast exposure to instill interest in future travel to the province once it is safe to do so


To be eligible, your organization must:

  • be Ontario-based with legal status for one year or longer, as of January 1, 2021. For example, this includes organizations that are:
    • established by or under legislation
    • federally or provincially incorporated
    • band councils established under the Indian Act
    • other Indigenous organizations that are incorporated
  • not be in default of the terms and conditions of any grant or loan agreement with any ministry or agency of the Government of Ontario (for example, Ontario Trillium Foundation)

Your event must also meet each of the following requirements:

  • take place between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022
  • if an in-person event, it must occur in the province of Ontario. Broadcast or virtual events must be produced in Ontario
  • be open to the public at large without membership in a club or group
  • follow all municipal and provincial guidelines, including health and safety guidelines

Organizations that are approved for funding will enter into a Transfer Payment Agreement with the province.

For information on the program including changes to eligibility, funding priorities and program details, please see the Reconnect Festival and Event Program Application Guide.

Information Sessions

To help with the application process, online information sessions are being offered via webinar and teleconference.

To register for a session, please choose your preferred option below:

English: Wed., March 24, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (EDT)
English: Fri., March 26, 2021 – 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (EDT)
French: Wed., March 24, 2021 – 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (EDT)
French: Fri., March 26, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. (EDT)

Tourism Advisors are available to assist with questions about the 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program application process.

The deadline to apply for the 2021 Reconnect Festival and Event Program is Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at 5 p.m. (EDT). Information about how to apply to the program is available at Ontario.ca.

The Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund

COVID-19 has had an overwhelming impact on the arts and culture, heritage, tourism, sport and recreation sectors.

These sectors are critical to the social and economic fabric of Ontario and its communities and to support their broader recovery, the Ontario government is investing $105 million through the Community Building Fund.

This fund will support arts and culture, heritage, tourism, sport and recreation non-profits and Indigenous communities that operate facilities and/or deliver experiences or programs for the public. The fund will enable organizations to remain viable so they can continue to improve quality of life and provide services, jobs, educational opportunities, and programming for Ontarians. This initiative is part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.

The fund is being delivered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation across two distinct funding streams – Operating and Capital.

Information about the Capital stream will be available later in 2021.

Community Building Fund – Operating stream

  • Applications will be accepted starting March 31, 2021.
  • Application deadline is April 28, 2021 at 5 PM ET

Please stay tuned for more information about the Community Building Fund – Operating stream application resources and eligibility requirements being released March 25.

Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Government of Canada Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html

*Changes to CEWS were announced on July 17th. Find out what the changes are.

As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease you back into normal operations.

This wage subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position you to resume normal operations following the crisis.

Infographic: Are you eligible for the CEWS?

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Step-by-Step Guide to prepare

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs.

Is this the right financing for my business? These loans are for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19.

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

Government of Canada Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/frequently-asked-questions-wage-subsidy-small-businesses.html

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Note: The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, which provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, is a separate program. For more information on that program, see Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB)

The Government of Ontario is making $8 million available to support small business and registered charities who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.

To apply for CEAP funding, customers should contact their energy provider. Electricity and natural gas utilities and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs) will begin accepting applications for CEAP-SB on August 31, 2020, delivering the program in accordance with rules laid out by the OEB. CEAP-SB funding is limited, with utilities and USMPs expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. Please note, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

For more information, including eligibility requirements and on-bill credit amounts, visit oeb.ca/ceap.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

Apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit/crb-how-apply.html

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Government of Canada Website: https://ceba-cuec.ca/

The Government of Canada has launched the CEBA which has been implemented by financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada. It is a $25 billion program which provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced due to COVID-19.

Repayment of the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25% (up to $10,000)

Visit the website for information on eligibility (including exlusions and restrictions) and how to apply

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

  • Legislation to enact these measures has been presented and now requires approval in the House of Commons and Senate
    • The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which would provide simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19.
    • The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners.
    • The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020.
    • Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

Prime Minister’s Office News Release: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/04/24/prime-minister-announces-partnerships-provinces-and-territories

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced on April 24th that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.

  • The program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May, and June. 
  • The loans will be forgiven if the mortgaged property owner agrees to reduce the eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% for the three corresponding months under a rent forgiveness agreement, which will include a term not to evict the tenant while the agreement is in place. The small business tenant would cover the remainder, up to 25% of the rent.
  • Impacted small business tenants are businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in rent and who have temporarily ceased operations or have experienced at least a 70% drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues. This support will also be available to non-profit and charitable organizations.


Employment Insurance (EI)

A new “simplified” EI program will become effective September 27, 2020. As a result, CERB, which was supposed to end this month, has been extended by an additional 4 weeks to dovetail with the revised EI program. This means that workers who began CERB in March and who would otherwise have had their CERB benefit end this month, can now continue to claim the benefit for an extra four weeks (another $8 billion added to a ballooning tab).

Read the full update from Savino Human Resources Partners.

Government of Canada Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html#employment-insurance

Ongoing access to the Employment Insurance (EI) program is available for eligible workers who have lost their job. EI is designed to provide temporary financial support for those workers who have lost their job, are sick, pregnant, caring for a newborn or adopted child, caring for a family member who is seriously ill with a significant risk of death or providing care or support to a critically ill family member.

If you have recently applied for Employment Insurance (EI) regular or sickness benefits, do not re-apply. Your application will automatically be assessed to determine if you are eligible for the CERB.

Support for farmers and food processing employers

Government of Canada Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/agriculture-agri-food/news/2020/04/keeping-canadians-and-workers-in-the-food-supply-chain-safe.html

$50 million to help farmers, fish harvesters, and all food production and processing employers, put in place the measures necessary to follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) & Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) – awaiting legislation

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced on April 22 comprehensive support of nearly $9 billion for post-secondary students and recent graduates. This plan will help provide the financial support they need this summer, help them continue their studies in the fall, and help many get the experience they need to start their careers. These measures include launching:

  • the proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020.
  • the new Canada Student Service Grant, which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall. 

The Government of Canada will expand existing federal employment, skills development, and youth programming. In addition, to help students continue their studies in the fall, the government will:

  • double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
  • broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
  • enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
  • increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.
  • extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.

Work-Sharing Program (WS)

Government of Canada Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html#work-share

Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers.

Ontario Supports Small Main Street Businesses with $60 Million in Funding through PPE Grant

The Ontario government is continuing to help businesses rebuild, reinvest and create good jobs across the province. Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, announced Ontario’s Main Street Recovery Plan and intends to introduce the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020, proposed legislation that would support small businesses and modernize rules to allow them to innovate and meet the challenges of today. The act will remove hurdles faced by small businesses and allow them to pursue new opportunities — while maintaining or enhancing protections for public health, safety and the environment.

The plan includes:

  • A one-time grant of up to $1,000 for eligible main street small businesses — in retail, food and accommodations, and other service sectors — with two to nine employees to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • Ontario’s Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network, which links 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres across the province as places where small businesses can access tailored advice and information on local, provincial and federal programs;
  • Digital Main Street Squads to help small businesses grow online;
  • Mental health supports for families, frontline workers, young people, children, and Indigenous communities;
  • Ontario’s Small Business Recovery Webpage to provide single window access to small business supports.

Funding Programs

New programs, amendments to programs and constant updates with respect to details are happening at a rapid pace. We endeavor to keep this information as up-to-date as possible, however, it is highly recommended that businesses use the program pages for the most accurate source of information. Please check back regularly for updates.

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)

HASCAP is a government-guaranteed, low-interest loan for amounts between $25,000 and $1 million per legal entity, up to a maximum of $6.25 million for related entities, to cover operational cash flow needs. HASCAP applications opened February 1 through your primary lender and will be available until June 30, 2021. These loans are intended for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19.

Canada and Ontario Support Beef and Hog Farmers During COVID-19

New Programs to Cover Increased Cost of Feeding Market Ready Cattle and Hogs

Canadian Agricultural Partnership Funding Announcement

The Place to Grow: Agri-Food Initiative is now accepting applications until 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on November 26, 2020 through the Funding for Sectors stream. This stream will support agriculture and food value-chain partners in addressing emerging sector challenges and opportunities to create sector wide benefits. Funding for Sectors Supports agriculture and food value chain partners by offering cost-share opportunities to address identified industry priorities and outcomes for Ontario in the following areas:

How to Apply

Eligible applicants can apply for Funding for Sectors programming beginning November 4, 2020. The Funding for Sectors Application form can be found here.

Ontario Helps People Impacted by COVID-19 Get Back to Work

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Government of Canada Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html

The Government of Canada has introduced the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty.

BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions. Through this program, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide direct lending and other types of financial support.

The Program includes:

The CEBA (see above)

Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium Enterprises from EDC and BDC

Contact your local office or the Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 for further details. 

Farm Credit Canada Payment Deferrals and Credit Line Program

Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

To ensure producers, agribusinesses and food processors can remain focused on business-critical functions rather than worrying about how to access funds to keep operating through this challenging period, effective immediately, 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
RESOURCE: Ontario Federation of Agriculture – Summary of Financial Assistance Measures

Community Futures Peterborough

Website: https://communityfuturespeterborough.ca/

Emergency Loans: If your business has been impacted by COVID-19, emergency funding is available through Community Futures Peterborough via the Micro Loan Process

  • Loans up to$20,000 to offset expenses
  • 3 months no interest, no payments
  • 2 year amortization at 2.45% interest rate
  • No application fees
  • Completed applications can be approved quickly

Emergency Relief for Existing Loans: Community Futures Peterborough is accepting request for loan payment deferral for May.

Non-Emergency Loans: Community Futures Peterborough offers flexible financing up to $300,000 through a standard application process for new start ups, business expansion and growth.

Visit the website for information on eligibility (including exlusions and restrictions) and how to apply

Futurpreneur Canada

Website: https://www.futurpreneur.ca/en/get-started/financing-and-mentoring/

Futurpreneur Canada has partnered with BDC to extend support, offering collateral-free loans at better interest rates than most banks.

NGen Supercluster Funding

Website: https://www.ngen.ca/covid-19-response

NGen will invest at least $50 million in Supercluster funding to support companies as they rapidly respond to the COVID-19 crisis by building a Canadian supply of essential equipment, products and therapeutics.  


*Starts August 31, 2020

The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund will be managed by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network in support of other chambers and partners to help small Canadian businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19.

If awarded, a relief grant can be used for any of the following activities:

  • Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, face shields, and latex gloves.
  • Renovating physical space to adhere to local, Provincial or Federal reopening guidelines.
  • Developing or improving e-commerce capabilities for your business.

Successful applicants will receive a relief grant of up to $5,000. We intend to support local businesses of all kinds from across the country (from retailers to barbershops to farmers).


Resilient Communities Fund

The Resilient Communities Fund is a one-time fund to support the non-profit sector recover and rebuild from the impacts emerging from COVID-19 so they can effectively meet the needs of communities across Ontario. 

OTF is investing in projects of eligible non-profit organizations to aid their medium to longer-term recovery efforts, help with their stabilization and build their capacity and resiliency in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

This fund is providing a flexible range of activities over two deadlines to address the diverse needs of organizations and to support them where they are at in their recovery and rebuilding.  

Request amount: From $5,000 to $150,000 
Grant term: up to 1 year
Application Deadlines*: September 2, 2020 at 5 pm ET. and December 2, 2020 at 5 pm ET.

Province announces new $60M fund for small business

Federal Government adds $600M to Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

Ontario Launching COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream

The Ontario government is providing up to $1.05 billion in combined federal-provincial funding through the new COVID-19 Resilience infrastructure stream to build or renovate health and safety related projects in long-term care, education and municipalities. The funding is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and reinforces the commitment of both the federal and provincial governments to protect the health and well-being of individuals and families during the pandemic.

Eligible projects under the COVID-19 Resilience stream will fall under four main categories:

  • Community, recreation, health and education renovations (e.g. retrofits, repairs or upgrades to long-term care homes, publicly funded schools and co-located childcare centre facilities, recreation centres or shelters);
  • COVID-19 response infrastructure (e.g. heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, new builds or renovations to enable physical distancing);
  • Active transportation (e.g. parks, trails); and
  • Disaster mitigation, adaptation, or remediation (e.g. flood mitigation).

Eligible projects must begin by September 30, 2021 and be completed by December 31, 2021. Additional details about the COVID-19 Resilience stream and intake opening dates will be available in the days and weeks ahead.

For more information, please see: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/58972/ontario-launching-covid-19-resilience-infrastructure-stream

Ontario Investing Nearly $1 Billion to Expand and Improve Broadband and Cellular Access

The Ontario government is making a historic investment of nearly $1 billion over six years to improve and expand broadband and cellular access across the province. The $680 million being announced today is on top of the $315 million to support Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan. This funding will be used for shovel-ready projects starting in 2019-20, will create jobs, and connect unserved and underserved communities during COVID-19 and beyond. Read more here: https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/59057/ontario-investing-nearly-1-billion-to-expand-and-improve-broadband-and-cellular-access

Relief Programs & Measures

New programs, amendments to programs and constant updates with respect to details are happening at a rapid pace. We endeavor to keep this information as up-to-date as possible, however, it is highly recommended that businesses use the program pages for the most accurate source of information. Please check back regularly for updates.

Government of Canada Changes to taxes and benefits

Government of Canada Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html

Updates on changes to the Canada Revenue Agency services, due dates and programs affected by COVID-19

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation – Mortgage Payment Deferral

Homeowners facing financial stress may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral up to 6 months to help ease the financial burden.

Electricity Relief for Families, Small Businesses and Farms during COVID-19

The Government of Ontario is providing immediate electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms paying time-of-use (TOU) rates.

Support for Families with Children

Learn about funding that families can apply for if they have children who are not in school or child care because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

WSIB Financial Relief Package

The financial relief package allows businesses to defer premium reporting and payments and is extended to 2021. Businesses who report and pay monthly, quarterly or annually based on their insurable earnings are eligible for this deferral.

Canadian Payroll Association

The Canadian Payroll Association has developed a comprehensive Q&A document related to the impacts of COVID-19 on payroll compliance. Topics include completing the ROE, Layoffs and EI Benefits.

Community Futures Peterborough offers financial support for Business Clients + Federal Announcement of $287M for Community Futures