Government of Ontario – Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program

Description:

The new Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program support businesses that are most impacted by public health measures in response to the Omicron variant. Eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity will receive rebate payments for a portion of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to these measures.

Comments on Funding:

Funding will take the form of a rebate and will cover:

  • 50% of the property tax and energy costs businesses incur while required to reduce capacity to 50% due to the public health measures in response to the Omicron variant;
  • 100% of the property tax and energy costs businesses incur while required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms.

Eligibility:

Applicants must be businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • Business must be subject to a provincially mandated capacity limit of 50% or lower (including a requirement to temporarily close);
  • Business must pay commercial (non-residential) property taxes and/or non-residential energy costs — either directly or through the property owner (as detailed in their lease); and
  • Be expected to be most impacted by the provincially mandated capacity limit of 50% or lower.

Landlords are not eligible for this program unless they own or operate an eligible business.

The following types of businesses are eligible for support:

  • restaurants and bars;
  • personal care services relating to the hair or body;
  • retailers less than 50,000 sq ft (non-grocery);
  • small grocery stores less than 5,000 sq ft;
  • gyms and other facilities used for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including indoor spectator sports);
  • places of worship;
  • indoor meeting and event spaces available for rent;
  • indoor concert venues, theatres and cinemas;
  • casinos, bingo halls, and other gaming establishments;
  • indoor portion of horse and car racing tracks;
  • indoor museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;
  • indoor clubhouses at outdoor recreational amenities;
  • indoor business associated with tour and guide services;
  • oxygen bars;
  • steam rooms and saunas;
  • bathhouses and sex clubs;
  • indoor teaching and instruction centres;
  • indoor driving instruction centres;
  • day camps and overnight camps for children;
  • before- and after-school programs;
  • pet and veterinary services.

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must submit:

  1. photograph of the exterior of the business. One can only upload one file to the system. Maximum file size is 6 MB. Allowed file types: JPG, PNG or PDF.
  2. a void cheque which needs to show either the legal business name or operating business name of the business.
  3. property tax and energy bills as follows:
  • for the property tax component, submit a digital copy of the 2021 final commercial (non-residential) property tax bill or proof of costs associated with 2021 annual property taxes; and
  • for the energy costs component, submit a digital copy of all pages of the energy bill(s) (i.e., electricity, natural gas, propane and/or heating oil) received on or after the day the business became subject to a provincially-mandated capacity limit of 50% or lower (for example, on or after December 19, 2021 for a restaurant business). Partial bills will not be accepted.

Other Things to Note:

Online applications for this program opened in mid-January 2022. Payments to eligible businesses are retroactive to December 19, 2021.

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