- The City is offering the Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program to City of Ottawa residential property owners and small business property owners (assessed property value of up to $7.5 M) that have been financially affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For further information on how to apply, eligibility requirements and application deadlines, please visit 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program.
- The City has prepared a support resource page on Ottawa.ca to provide information to businesses and workers on all supports, from various levels of government available to them. For a full list of government-offered relief options, please visit COVID-19 Support for Businesses and Workers.
- Our office has set up a Buy Local resource page, directing residents to websites and information that can help them to continue supporting our local small businesses. Our office is also highlighting individual local businesses in the Ward in all of our e-mail bulletins moving forward, to bolster support for them during this difficult time.
- In the months ahead, the gradual easing of pandemic restrictions will bring new challenges for our community and for our businesses. For example, when our local shops start to re-open, it likely won’t be business as usual, but your ideas can help our economy bounce back while keeping people safe. The Innovation Pilot Program - Recovery Stream is seeking innovative project ideas to support public health efforts or stimulate economic recovery. We are accepting proposals in many sectors, including health, tourism, festivals and events, restaurants, retail, construction, transportation, and food supply. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to test and quickly deploy their technology innovations in real-life testing environments with the City or one of its economic development partners. The program provides companies with valuable feedback on their innovations prior to scaling and production.
As Ontario begins to reopen the economy, the city is encouraging all Ottawa businesses and organizations to ensure they are prepared to go back to work safely. Members of the Ottawa business community can access the Business Reopening Toolkit online. It provides guidance on preparing your workplace, employees and operations to resume while ensuring physical distancing, and also provides links to official resources such as public health signage, sector-specific guidelines and government financial assistance programs.
- At the Provincial level, a five-month penalty and interest relief period has been allocated to businesses that are unable to file or remit select provincial taxes on time. Banks have also stepped up to offer assistance to businesses and residents, allowing them to defer payments or make interest only payments on their loans and mortgages for up to 6 months. We would recommend following up with your financial institution for further information.
- The Federal Government has recently launched the Canada Emergency Business Account to support small and medium-sized businesses during this unprecedented time of crisis. Small business owners can apply for support through their banks and credit unions, wherever they have a pre-existing relationship. Eligible small business and non-profit organizations can get interest-free loans of up to $40,000. If the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, 25% of it will be forgiven, up to $10,000. These loans are fully funded by the Government of Canada. Further details and information are available from the Department of Finance Canada by phone at 613-369-3710 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the Canada Emergency Business Account webpage on Canada.ca.
- In addition to this, the Federal Government is offering a SME (Businesses with fewer than 500 Employees) Loan and Guarantee program, with up to $6.25 million available through either stream for approved applicants. The Federal Government has also launched the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower (or forgo) the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. For further information, please visit Canada Emergency Rent Assistance.
If you are a Canadian employer and your business has lost revenue because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The CEWS provides 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.