Federal and Provincial Governments Announce New COVID Support Programs
(Mississauga, ON – December 22, 2021) – Today the Federal and Provincial Governments announced new financial support programs for businesses that have been affected by the most recent capacity restrictions. The new measures, aimed to reduce the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant, will have a devastating impact on many businesses in Mississauga.
The Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT) and our partners at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) have been calling on both levels of government to support businesses through this most recent wave of COVID-19.
“While we thank and appreciate that the federal and provincial governments have responded quickly to the call for additional business supports, we are concerned that these may not go far enough in recognizing the reality of the impacts that these hardest hit businesses will continue to experience over the next several months,” said Trevor McPherson, President & CEO, MBOT.
The supports announced today are as follows:
Using regulatory authority provided in Bill C-2, the government intends to introduce new regulations that would:
Expand the Local Lockdown Program to include employers subject to capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more; and reduce the current-month revenue decline threshold requirement to 25 per cent. Eligible employers will receive wage and rent subsidies from 25 per cent up to a maximum of 75 per cent, depending on their degree of revenue loss. The 12-month revenue decline test continues to not be required in order to access this support.
Expand the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers in regions where provincial or territorial governments have introduced capacity-limiting restrictions of 50 per cent or more. As announced previously, this benefit will provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown, and who have lost 50 per cent or more of their income as a result.
These updated regulations will apply from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022, during which time it is expected that public health authorities will continue to implement “circuit-breaker” restrictions that limit the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 across Canada.
Through the new 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. This will provide support to businesses that are expected to be most impacted financially by the requirement to reduce capacity to 50 per cent. Examples of businesses that will be eligible for the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program include restaurants, smaller retail stores and gyms. A full list of eligible business types will be made available through a program guide in mid-January 2022.
“Both Governments have to realize they need to step up more to support the business community when they impose restrictions and lockdowns. A number of small and medium-sized businesses are at the brink of closing their doors permanently,” said Mr. McPherson.
About the Mississauga Board of Trade
Since being established in 1961, MBOT has played an important leadership role serving and representing the interests of business of all sizes and sectors in our community.
Mississauga is Canada’s sixth largest city and third largest in Ontario – with a population of over 700,000 residents and more than 50,000 businesses employing over 440,000 people, including 60 Fortune 500 Canadian headquarters. Mississauga is where successful companies choose to do business. MBOT’s large, diverse and active membership has made us one of the most vibrant business associations in Canada.
As the “Voice of Business” we advocate on policy issues that impact local business at all levels of government and are influential in helping to shape policy decisions. MBOT also offers a wide variety of valuable business services and professional development programs, networking events and marketing opportunities, to help business grow, prosper, and get connected.
For more information, please contact:
Kelsey Lusk, Communications – Digital Asset Manager