Ontario Introduces New Supports for Businesses


TORONTO — The Ontario government is introducing new supports for businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions put in place in response to the Omicron variant. These supports include a new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program and a six-month interest and penalty-free period to make payments for most provincially administered taxes.

Through the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program, eligible businesses will receive rebate payments equivalent to 50 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to the current capacity limits. Eligible businesses include restaurants, small retail stores and gyms. A full list of businesses will be available in a program guide, and online applications will open, in mid-January 2022. Payments will be retroactive to Dec. 19, 2021.

The province is also providing support to help improve cash flows for Ontario businesses by providing a six-month interest and penalty-free period to make tax payments, providing up to $7.5 billion in relief to roughly 80,000 Ontario businesses. This period will begin Jan. 1, 2022 and end July 1, 2022.

Taxes include:

  • employer health tax
  • beer, wine & spirits taxes
  • tobacco tax
  • insurance premium tax
  • fuel tax
  • international fuel tax agreement
  • gas tax
  • retail sales tax on insurance contracts & benefit plans
  • mining tax
  • race tracks tax

“Ontario businesses have already contributed so much to the province’s fight against COVID-19,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance in a release. “We recognize that these necessary capacity limits to reduce the transmission of the virus will impact businesses, and that’s why we are introducing these new supports, which will put money directly into the hands of business and free up their cash flows during this critical time.”

“I commend business owners for pivoting quickly as we respond to the Omicron variant in our continued fight against COVID-19,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “It is essential that we support them during their time of need, and that’s why our new rebate program will provide them with the support they need right now on their energy bills.”

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