Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

Help Small Businesses Reopen and Stay Open

We are calling for funding to help local businesses make it to their re-opening day, and stay open — including a new and vastly improved round of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, and a tax credit for visiting Ontario-owned restaurants and Ontario tourism businesses.

Our plan to do that includes: 

  • A vastly improved third round of Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments: Unlike the government's earlier choices, this time, the government must not leave any business behind – providing a new payment to bridge to reopening every small or medium-sized local business that’s experienced revenue decline in the third wave, compared to pre-pandemic.
  • A $1,000 tourism and local restaurant tax credit: The Travel Ontario Tax Credit bill from MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) gives families a $1,000 tax credit to visit qualifying tourism businesses in Ontario, including qualifying purchases at restaurants, to hotels, outfitters and attractions.
  • Targeted re-opening support for personal care and service-based businesses: Especially impacted by necessary public health measures, personal care businesses like salons and service-industry businesses like restaurants need access to a Safe Reopening Grant in order to open, and stay open.
  • Access to forgivable loans: Businesses may need access to capital to re-open and drive economic recovery.


  • According to the CFIB, “Ontario’s small businesses are only at 27 per cent of normal revenues, so they’ll need provincial and federal relief programs for the foreseeable future to help them survive. Many business owners have invested their personal life savings in their business’s survival, but that personal well has now run dry, and government programs are drying up, too.”
  • We estimate this package of supports will cost $2.2 billion.
    • A new, improved round of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant is expected to cost more than $1.7 billion once previously-excluded businesses are supported
    • The Travel Ontario Tax Credit is estimated to cost $150 million

We can afford to do this, and we must to ensure our main streets and small businesses can stay open. 

If you are a small business owner in Ottawa, and you agree with our plan, sign on to endorse it below.