COVID-19 Business Supports

The past year has been a challenging time for all of us and particularly stressful for business owners. We've brought together this list with some of the opportunities to help you as a business owner, whether you're looking for funding, learning opportunities, or best practice advice for operating safely.

This list is not a complete list and please be advised that we are doing our best to update this regularly, but changes are fast and frequent. Check back regularly for updates and contact us directly if you need help navigating these: we're here to help you!

Please refer to this website for the most updated information regarding public health and workplace safety:

Make sure you're also following us on our Do Business Huron-Kinloss page and that you're subscribed to the Business Banner Newsletter so that you don't miss out on any future updates.

Funding Opportunities

Deloitte has created a tool to help small businesses find specific funding opportunities to meet their needs.

Below are some COVID-19 Supports Quick Reference Sheets (updated in February 2021) that summarize government programs:

Private Sector Supports

Non-Profit Supports

Community Supports 

Federal Programs

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Covers 75% of employee's wages retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy

Reduction of payroll deductions required to be remitted to CRA from March 18th to June 19th, 2020.

Extension of Work-Sharing Program

Extension of the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for employers affected by COVID-19.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Additional support through Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) who are working with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Interest-free loan of up to $60,000 to small businesses & not-for-profits; Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 33 percent (up to $20,000).

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to 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. This program replaced the earlier Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CERCA).

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

Help for businesses and organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, tourism and others that are key to the regions and local economies.

Sectoral Supports

These may not be new offerings but there may have been adjustments to the programs or additional funding due to COVID-19.

Provincial Programs

Ontario's Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Grant

Helping small businesses with the unexpected costs of PPE.

Property Tax and Energy Bill Rebates

Businesses that are, or were, required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to help with their fixed costs.

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

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 (contact your utility company to apply).

Employer Health Tax Relief

Increase to the exemption for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million and a five-month relief period for businesses unable to file or remit their provincial taxes on time.

Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant

The Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant provides one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and travel sector.

Ontario Together Program

Funds earmarked for retooling or adopting technological changes needed to produce or supply equipment for the healthcare sector or other critical public services.

Local Programs

Emergency Business Sustainability Loan

Low-interest loans of up to $20,000 are available to help local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) PPE COVID-19 Funds

A maximum $1000 grant to tourism operators for PPE.

Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab: Spark Program

More information to come on this Program in 2021.

Businesses Start Up and Youth Programs

Starter Company Plus

A hands-on training and mentorship program that gives entrepreneurs  an up to $5,000 grant.

Futurpreneur Canada

Existing start-up program for individuals ages 18-39 and ready to launch a business; offering financing and mentoring with additional programs for acceleration and business plan support.

Student Work Placement Program
Real-world, hands-on works experience to post-secondary students across Canada.


Federal Tax & Duty Deferrals

Income tax deferrals until August 31, 2020; deferral of sales tax (GST/HST) remittance and customs duty payments to June 30th; taxes waived on certain medical goods.

WSIB Payment Deferrals
Employers can defer WSIB payments for up to 6 months.

Learning Opportunities

Digital Main Street Webinars

A range of webinars designed to help you do business online.

Contact North

Online programs and courses from Ontario's 24 public colleges, 22 public universities, 9 Indigenous institutes and more.

Fanshawe College
Offering small class, focused, hands-on skill development with placement opportunities at local employers in the region.

Expanding Your Businesses Online

Digital Main Street shopHERE

Hands-on assistance to set-up and launch your online store.

Huron-Kinloss' The Hub

Staff at The Hub located in Huron-Kinloss is happy to help you expand your business online and assist you with digital marketing.

Building and Storefront Improvements

Spruce The Bruce

Applications are open to grants designed to help you improve your façade, install a patio, perpendicular sign or awning, or collaborate with local businesses.

Huron-Kinloss Downtown Improvement Program

Our range of grants for businesses in the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) areas can help improve your business.

Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit
Tax credit for building, renovating or acquisition of commercial or industrial buildings.

Best Practice Information and Posters

Province of Ontario Sector Specific Guidelines & Posters

Designed to help protect workers, customers and the public.

Grey Bruce Public Health Unit

Guidelines and resources for businesses, organizations, operators, employees and volunteers.