Toronto launches campaign to make small businesses aware of pandemic recovery supports

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Today Mayor John Tory announced a new business supports campaign to help make small business owners and operators more aware of grants, incentives, training and other available resources as they recover from the pandemic.

“Small businesses across our city have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to provide them as much support as possible we are launching a campaign that will connect them to the resources that are available to them. Toronto’s small businesses and restaurants are vital to our city’s success and we know it will take a lot of work from everyone to ensure that they can continue thriving,” said Tory. “I encourage small business owners and operators to learn more about these programs and take advantage of them so that we can move forward together and come back stronger than ever.”

To ensure equitable opportunities to access the financial supports available, Toronto’s campaign will include multilingual, community and neighbourhood targeted advertising and outreach. Toronto’s webpages are translatable into 51 languages and free access to a translation service is available for calls to 311 upon request, to help remove any potential language barriers.

Key small business supports provided by the City of Toronto currently include:

Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative (https://www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-operation-growth/business-incentives/toronto-main-street-recovery-and-rebuild-initiative/)
To assist small businesses in Toronto to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (https://www.feddevontario.gc.ca/eic/site/723.nsf/eng/home) is providing up to $18 million for six inclusive and sustainable economic recovery projects, including CaféTO.

Free business webinars (https://www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-start-ups/training-support-for-business-start-ups/business-webinars/)
The City, with support from the Government of Ontario through the Small Business Enterprise Centre program, offers year-round, free online learning opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners, from regularly scheduled seminars such as marketing, tax literacy and e-commerce to large networking events.

Digital transformation resources for businesses (https://www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-operation-growth/business-support/covid-19-bills-tax-relief-businesses/)
Provides businesses with help accessing and adopting digital tools, technologies and services, including the Digital Main Street Program and ShopHERE powered by Google.

CaféTO (https://www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-operation-growth/business-support/covid-19-cafeto/)
Back for 2022, CaféTO provides restaurants and bars in Toronto with the opportunity to expand and offer outdoor dining space through sidewalk cafés, curb lane cafés or patios on private property. Restaurant operators can apply for sidewalk café permits or register for curb lane cafés. The deadline to register for curb lane cafés is Saturday, April 2.

Small business tax subclass (https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/property-taxes-utilities/small-business-tax-class/)
In 2022, many small businesses in Toronto will benefit from the new Small Business Tax Subclass and a 15 per cent reduction in the commercial property municipal tax rate.
The City also encourages businesses to actively participate in and benefit from the services provided by local Business Improvement Areas.

More information is available at www.toronto.ca/BusinessSupport.

Small businesses (fewer than 100 employees) make up close to 98 per cent of all businesses in the city and employ approximately 60 per cent of Toronto’s workforce.

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