Representative image of Toronto small businesses by Unsplash/Artem Gavrysh
An announcement was made by Toronto Mayor John Tory on Jan 19 that the City of Toronto and funding partners FedDev Ontario and Metrolinx would make available more than $5.4 million in funding this winter to help eligible local small businesses, a news release has reported.
“Toronto’s small businesses are vital to our city’s success…I want to thank both the federal and provincial governments for their continued support for our small businesses and for funding for the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative,” said Tory in the news release
2023 tabled Budget continues to include a 15 percent property tax rate reduction which has supported more than 29,000 small businesses.
Continuing to support small businesses and main street vitality, the City of Toronto is inviting eligible businesses and organizations to immediately apply for the new Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program, the Main Street Innovation Fund, and the Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant program.
Main Street Innovation Fund would fund $25,000 to $100,000 to support streetscape animation and local businesses through innovative activations, creative place-making, and community capacity-building initiatives and also for BIAs and not-for-profit organizations and test their innovative and creative solutions to local challenges and share their findings and results with others.
Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program would give grants of up to $24,000 and offers matching funding of 50 percent to commercial business operators and owners of vacant storefronts to undertake interior improvements, assisting businesses to re-lease space impacted by COVID-19. Improvements comply meet health regulations as well as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program would Grants of up to $50,000. This new Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program for Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), non-profit organizations, and charities demonstrate a strong local business involvement and was launched in partnership with FedDev Ontario and Metrolinx.
Community-driven projects affected by the transit construction would be benefited from this grant.
Metrolinx’s contribution is dedicated specifically to supporting BIAs and businesses impacted by the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) construction.
Up to $18 million for seven inclusive and sustainable economic recovery projects is being provided by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario to assist small businesses in Toronto in recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.