2021 Ontario Budget Highlights
The Government of Ontario released its 2021 Budget on March 24, which included support for jobs and workers through more Small Business Support Grants, Digital Main Street funding through 2022, tourism industry supports and skills re-training programs.
Below are highlights from Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, pulled from the government’s release, that are important to our business community. Thanks to the Oakville Chamber of Commerce for the summary.
- Providing a second round of Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible recipients. Small businesses who are confirmed eligible recipients of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will be automatically entitled to a second payment in an amount equal to the first payment they received. They will not need to apply again to receive this additional funding.
- Introducing the Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant. The grant will provide an estimated $100 million in one‑time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses. Businesses must demonstrate they have experienced a minimum 20 percent revenue decline and have less than 100 employees to qualify. Any small businesses that received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will not be eligible for this new grant. Application details, including a full list of eligible businesses, will be available soon. Learn more at Ontario.ca/COVIDsupport.
- Ontario is introducing the Ontario Tourism Recovery Program, a new $100 million initiative for 2021–22 to help tourism operators, anchor businesses, and attractions recover from the impacts of COVID‑19.
- Investing an additional $400 million over the next three years in new initiatives to support Ontario’s tourism, hospitality and culture industries. Investing $2.8 billion to connect homes, businesses, and communities to broadband.
- Investing an additional $10 million in the Digital Main Street program in 2021–22 to help more small businesses achieve a digital transformation and serve customers effectively online. The program will continue to provide digital transformation grants, an online learning platform, training programs, and Digital Service Squads offering technical support to small business owners.
- The government is proposing a new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit for 2021. It would provide up to $2,000 per recipient for 50 percent of eligible expenses.
- Investing an additional $614.3 million during 2020–21 and 2021–22 for employment and training supports, including $117.3 million to assist those who are facing the highest rates of unemployment during the pandemic such as women, racialized individuals, Indigenous peoples, youth, and people with disabilities.
- $85.0 million to support the Skills Development Fund to help training and employment organizations assist workers during the province’s economic recovery. The funded projects will give laid-off workers immediate access to training supports or new jobs, improve the quality of training, support traditionally underrepresented groups, increase apprentice registrations and completion, better serve local communities and support the talent needs of small businesses.
- $157.2 million to provide workers in the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic — including the hospitality and tourism sectors — with career counselling and urgent training to find new careers and good jobs. This support will be provided by Employment Ontario’s range of client services and community development programs.