Economic Relief for Burlington Businesses
We understand the financial hardship that members of our community are facing arising from the COVID-19 crisis. There have been continuous updates from various levels of government as their efforts to provide financial relief to businesses and employees have evolved.
Since the crisis emerged, we have been working closely with all levels of government to explore and advocate for a broad range of relief measures for residents and businesses across Burlington and beyond. The City of Burlington, Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada have each released economic relief packages that are intended to provide protection. It is our hope that the consolidated list below will be of assistance to outline the key options that may be available to employers and employees during this unprecedented time.
The following lists programs funded by the Government of Canada as well as private programs. For a full list of programs funded by the Government of Canada visit the Government of Canada COVID-19 Economic Response Plan or visit all federal government announcements.
The CRHP is now open for application. As a Canadian employer who continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible to apply for one of the two subsidies to cover part of your employee wages. The CRHP and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) support wages you pay through different phases of your economic recovery. Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either CRHP or CEWS, whichever is higher. The program closes on December 30, 2021.
As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The federal government has extended the eligibility period for CEWS until October 23, 2021. Use the calculator to find the amount of CEWS you can claim.
The HASCAP Guarantee is available until December 31, 2021.
Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. 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. Applicants must contact their primary financial institution to apply for this loan.
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue during 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. The federal government has extended the eligibility period for CERS until October 23, 2021.
The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund is a partnership between the Government, Black-led business organizations, and several financial institutions. It will provide loans up to $250,000 to Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country. The Government of Canada has announced that the Loan Fund is accepting loan applications from Black business owners and entrepreneurs through the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE).
Futurpreneur Canada’s new Black Entrepreneur Startup Program, funded by RBC, with additional loan financing provided by BDC, will provide financing, mentorship, networking opportunities and resources to aspiring, young Black entrepreneurs.
The program offers up to $60,000 in startup funding and expert mentorship, in addition to connecting entrepreneurs to cash flow planning services, business training and much more. This new program is devoted to empowering young Black entrepreneurs to launch successful businesses across Canada.
If you were receiving CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits listed below retroactive to September 27, 2020, and available until October 23, 2021.
BCAP is available until December 31, 2021.
Up to $6.25 million to help cover operating costs during a period where revenues have been temporarily reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some eligibility criteria listed below:
- Your business is Canadian-based and in operation as of March 1, 2020
- Your business was directly or indirectly impacted by COVID‐19
- Your business must have been financially stable and viable prior to the current economic turmoil
- Subject to each financial institution’s underwriting criteria
Through Heritage Canada, the Government of Canada has made $500 million available in funding to support artists, creators and athletes. This funding will help artists, athletes and cultural organizations with wage supports and liquidity.
The Regional Development Program provides support for projects and investments to businesses, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations for economic development in Ontario, by region.
The types of support available include:
- Complementary services and support
The program supports projects that:
- Create jobs and build talent
- Attract and encourage private sector investment
- Lead to business growth and broad positive economic impacts
- Encourage innovation, collaboration and cluster development
Funding opportunities are currently available for:
The Government of Ontario introduced the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) as temporary measures to support energy customers through pandemic lockdowns. As the province moves forward with its reopening plan, the Government is concluding the programs.
The Government has asked the Ontario Energy Board to take the necessary steps to ensure any remaining CEAP and CEAP-SB funds are distributed to customers in need while working with utilities to wind down the program.
Utilities will continue to provide CEAP and CEAP-SB credits to eligible customers if they have funds remaining. Customers can contact their electricity and/or natural gas utility to determine if they are still accepting applications.
There are a number of programs available in Ontario to help low-income energy consumers. You can learn more at oeb.ca/billhelp.
Applications for property tax and energy cost rebates closed on July 30, 2021. Applications received before the deadline are being reviewed.
The property tax and energy cost rebates program provided support to businesses that were required to close or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures. Eligible businesses were able to apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs.
The Ontario government is investing $105 million through the new Community Building Fund to support non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations. The funding will be used to help these non-profits recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of their communities.
The fund is being delivered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation across two distinct funding streams – Operating and Capital. Only the Capital stream is still open.
Community Building Fund – Capital stream
Support for the repair, renovation or retrofitting of existing sport and recreation infrastructure to address public health requirements related to COVID-19 and community need.
- Applications are available starting September 1, 2021
- Application deadline is September 29, 2021 at 5 PM ET
Job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation/quarantine or taking care of family or children due to school/daycare closures.
The Ontario Together Fund (OTF) supports manufacturing and innovation for goods and services critical to the health, safety, and security of Ontarians.
Funding is available for projects that support:
- Ongoing response to the covid 19 pandemic
- Preparedness for future public health emergencies
Municipal and Local Measures
Team Burlington (Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington), in partnership with the City of Burlington, launched the Burlington Safe Restart Program in September 2020 with the intent to provide grants to assist Burlington’s small business community.
In the two rounds of the Safe Restart Business Relief Grant, a total of $240,481 was given to 153 Burlington businesses. Applications for the Burlington Safe Restart Program are currently closed.
At the July 22, 2020, Burlington Economic Recovery Network (BERN) meeting, key issues were identified to support economic recovery including supporting the safe restarting of the economy and rebuilding consumer and employee trust in engaging with businesses. As a result of this, a report was submitted to Council (BEDC–05-20) outlining the business conditions in Burlington and the impact of COVID-19 on small independent owners, particularly public-facing businesses, such as retail and restaurants. On August 13, 2020, Burlington City Council approved the provision of $125,000 for an immediate and timely small business relief grant program for COVID–19 related reopening costs.
Team Burlington, in partnership with the City of Burlington and POST Promise, launched the Burlington Safe Restart Program with the intent to provide grants to assist Burlington’s small business community. The Burlington Safe Restart Business Support Program helps businesses open safely and follow key public health guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.
- To support the restoration of consumer confidence in engaging with the economy as measured by an increase in customers or sales for the businesses supported;
- To support employee safety and increase employment in Burlington for businesses supported as measured by an increase in employees returning to work, new employees hired or employees’ increasing hours;
- To support public health and safety and stop the spread of COVID-19 by the adoption of the POST Promise as measured by businesses participating in the program;
- To support the retention and growth of Burlington businesses by offsetting business investments to support safe reopening as measured by the number of businesses participating that report negative impacts due to COVID-19 and that this program, along with other business supports, have resulted in continuing business operations; and
- To support Burlington’s recognition as a supportive and open for business community by displaying the Burlington Safe Restart materials as part of the grant conditions.
These objectives will be measured by a post–support survey administered to businesses three months after the funding disbursements are approved.
In support of COVID-19 recovery, the City of Burlington is permitting Temporary Outdoor Patios through a streamed lined process until October 31, 2021. The City of Burlington is reimbursing the building permit fee for restauranteurs wanting to install a temporary tent/structure on their patio.
Property owners that are experiencing financial hardship directly related to COVID-19 and unable to pay property taxes by the regularly scheduled tax due dates can apply for a deferred pre-authorized monthly payment plan if they meet eligibility criteria. Equal monthly withdrawals will allow for the property taxes to be paid in full by December 1, 2021. Property owners may choose which month they would like to start the pre-authorized monthly payments. The options for start dates are April 1, May 1, June 1 or July 1.
Property owners with an unpaid balance on their account from March 1, 2020 onward can include this balance in the pre-authorized monthly payment plan. Immediately following enrollment, penalty/interest is suspended for the duration of the deferral as long as payments are made.
The monthly withdrawal amount is calculated by taking an estimate of the total 2021 tax year levy plus any eligible 2020 tax year balance. This total amount will be divided over the number of monthly withdrawals based on the start date, to the last withdrawal on Dec. 1, 2021. Read more.
The Digital Service Squad is part of the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association’s (OBIAA) newly introduced Digital Main Street program. The Squad is composed of trained specialists who will introduce you to the digital tools and technologies businesses need today to stay competitive and grow. These resources are particularly important with the advent of physical distancing and mask laws.
The Squad will first conduct a complimentary audit of your digital presence, then help you develop a Digital Transformation Plan. A $2,500 grant is available to help you purchase equipment and services necessary to implement your plan. Click here to learn more about the program.