The Ontario 2021 Budget promises more support for families, employers, and workers in Ontario by establishing a multitude of support programs that will protect jobs and provide Canadian businesses with the support they need to recover and grow past COVID-19. 

The Ontario 2021 Budget has come in at a total proposed spending amount of $23.3 billion.

New Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Support Programs

Small businesses are the backbone of the Ontario economy, but the ongoing pandemic has undoubtably put a massive halt to many of their cashflows. 

With many small businesses having to adapt to fully online marketplaces and competing with large internet resellers such as Amazon or Walmart, the Ontario government has created new, and improved existing, programs to help give local businesses the support they need.

The Ontario Budget 2021 has committed to:

  • Doubling the Ontario Small Business Support Grant to deliver an estimated $3.4B to roughly 120,000 small businesses in Ontario.
  • An additional $10 million for the Digital Main Street program in 2021–22 to help more small businesses aechieve a digital transformation and serve customers effectively online.
  • Helping eligible small businesses with the unexpected costs of PPE with onetime grants of up to $1,000 through Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant.
  • Partnering with the federal government to provide $976 million in urgent rent relief through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program for small businesses.
  • Providing property tax and energy cost rebates to help eligible businesses in the Control, Lockdown, or Shutdown regions (or previously in Modified Stage 2 regions).
  • $8 million for the COVID19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business to support businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.

$320 million in additional relief in 2020–21 through offpeak electricity pricing, 24 hours a day, for eligible residential, farm, and small business customers during periods of provincial restrictions from March 24, 2020 to May 31, 2020, and January 1, 2021 to February 22, 2021.

Invest Ontario Fund

The Ontario Budget 2021 has also pledged $400 million over the next four years to create the Invest Ontario Fund, which will support Invest Ontario and encourage investments in the key sectors of advanced manufacturing, technology, and life sciences.

Skills Training Programs

  • A new Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit for 2021 will provide up to $2,000 per recipient toward 50% of eligible expenses, for a total of an estimated $260 million in support to about 230,000 people in 2021.
  • Ontario is investing a total of $288.2 million in 2021–22 in its Skilled Trades Strategy.
  • Employment Training and Supports Programs will receive an additional $614.3 million during 2020–21 and 2021–22 will provide targeted employment and training supports.

Broadband Funding

  • Ontario’s planned investments over the next 10 years total $145.4 billion, including $16.9 billion in 2021–22. Ontario has created programs like the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) to help rural regions get connected to the internet.

Additional Ontario 2021 Budget Funding and Programs

To learn more about the overall breakdown of the Ontario 2021 Budget, including options for industry-specific support, regional support, municipal and non-profit support, and other additional support options for Canadian businesses, please read the detailed overview of the Ontario 2021 Budget

Mentor Works is a business support organization specializing in Canadian government funding. The Ontario-based business has helped hundreds of businesses build and execute their funding strategy through a mix of federal and provincial government grants, loans, and tax credits. Mentor Works offers free online resources, funding webinars, and news via their website at

Author: Alena Barreca – As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Alena helps Canadian business owners by creating educational content about government funding.

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