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COVID Supports For Business

Here is an overview of various funding programs supporting businesses in St. Catharines.

Federal / Provincial COVID-19 Support Programs for Businesses

  • Local Lockdown Progam

    The Local Lockdown Program is a way businesses, charities, and non-profits affected by a qualifying public health restriction can be eligible for wage and rent support through the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP).

    You do not have to be in the tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, or recreation sectors to be eligible for this support.

    Learn More

  • COVID-19 wage and hiring support for businesses

    As an employer in Canada who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of the wages you pay employees. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations.

    For each applicable claim period, eligible employers can claim one of the following, whichever gives the highest amount:

    Many of the eligibility and calculation rules for the wage subsidy under the THRP and the HHBRP are the same as they were for the CEWS.

    Read More

  • COVID-19 rent and property expense support for businesses

    As a business, non-profit organization, or charity in Canada who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your commercial rent or property expenses.

    Depending on the period you are applying for, you may be eligible to claim your commercial rent or property expenses through one of the following:

    Many of the eligibility and calculation rules for the rent subsidy under the THRP and the HHBRP are the same as they were for the CERS.

    If you are eligible for a base rent subsidy, you may also be eligible for a top-up if your business location is significantly affected by a public health restriction for a week or more.

    Learn More

  • Government of Canada’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility

    The Government of Canada’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility will provide emergency funding support for large Canadian enterprises facing financial challenges in light of the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic

    LEEFF will be open to large Canadian employers who:

    • have a significant impact on Canada’s economy, as demonstrated by
      • having significant operations in Canada,
      • or  supporting a significant workforce in Canada;
    • can generally demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues;

    require a minimum loan size of about $60 million.

    Fact Sheet

    Learn More and Apply

  • Tourism Relief Fund

    The Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth.

    With a national budget of $500 million over two years, including $50 million dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives, this Fund will help to position Canada to be a destination of choice when domestic and international travel is once again safe, by:

    - empowering tourism operators to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors
    - helping the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors by offering the best Canadian tourism experiences we have to offer the world

    Who can apply?
    Applicants must fall under one of the following parameters to be eligible for funding:
    - A key supplier/operator in the visitor experience
    - A key supplier/operator in the visitor experience is one that provides the infrastructure and services necessary to support a tourism economy, connects tourism products to potential markets, leads planning for sustainable destination development and supports capacity building/skill development in the sector.
    - Part of a defined tourism cluster or tourism-dependent community
    - A tourism cluster is a geographic concentration of businesses and organizations involved in tourism, linked by common and complementary products and services that are tailored to the visitor economy and supported by a network of services and associated institutions. A tourism cluster can include, but is not limited to, a community or region that is dependent on tourism for economic activity or is transitioning towards a more tourism-focused local economy.
    - An anchor product or service in a destination
    - An anchor product or service in a destination is defined as a key asset that serves as a motivator of travel to the region. It is the activity or product that provides the catalyst for the visitor to visit the destination. Anchor products may be operated by for-profit or not-for-profit organizations.

    NOTE: Eligible applicants may fit under more than one of these categories and will have the opportunity to select all and explain how in the Application for Funding.

    Eligible applicants
    Eligible applicants must be part of the tourism ecosystem and will include tourism entities that cater mainly to visitors. Eligible applicants include:

    - incorporated businesses, primarily small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
    - not-for-profit incorporated organizations (including tourism associations and destination marketing organizations)
    - co-operatives (for-profit and not-for-profit)
    - municipalities, Municipal Development Corporations, and related entities
    - post-secondary institutions
    - Indigenous/First Nations/Métis Settlement owned businesses or organizations, an Indigenous organization such as Indigenous-led not-for-profits and - organizations which include but are not limited to First Nations as represented by their Chief and Council, Tribal Councils, Indigenous Representative Organizations, - Métis and Inuit organizations and Settlements

    Ineligible applicants
    Businesses that are in the following industries are normally not eligible under this initiative:
    - restaurants
    - retail sector
    - hotel chains

    Apply Now

Other Support Programs for Businesses

  • Canada Digital Adoption Program

    Canada Digital Adoption Program

    How Canadians do business has changed. To stay competitive and grow, small and medium-sized businesses need to adopt new digital tools.

    The new Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), which will provide $4 billion over four years to support up to 160,000 small businesses and create good middle-class jobs across the country, including thousands of jobs for young Canadians.

    Under the CDAP, Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to assess their digital readiness and apply for grants and loans online. This funding will help them: leverage e-commerce opportunities, upgrade or adopt digital technologies, and digitize their operations to stay competitive and meet their customers’ needs in the digital marketplace.

    Funding opportunities

    • Grow Your Business Online
      Apply for a micro-grant and access e-commerce advisors to help you go digital and take advantage of e-commerce opportunities.

      Apply Now
    • Boost Your Business Technology
      Apply for a grant to help you develop a digital plan, and leverage funded work placements to help with your digital transformation.

      Apply Now
  • Canada-Ontario Job Grant

    Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) provides opportunities for employers, individually or in groups, to invest in their workforce, with help from the government.

    The Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides direct financial support (up to $10,000 per person) to individual employers or employer consortia who wish to purchase training for their employees. It is available to small, medium and large businesses with a plan to deliver short-term training to existing and new employees.

    If you're an employer with a particular skills demand, the Canada-Ontario Job Grant might be right for you. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

    Please note, funding activities will need to be kept within the 2022-23 fiscal year. This means any training agreement commitments and funding obligations are not to extend beyond March 31, 2023.

    Learn More and Apply

  • Canada Summer Jobs Wage Subsidy

    Canada Summer Jobs provides wage subsidies to employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public sector, and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees, to create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30 years.

    Applications will be accepted until January 12, 2023 11:59 am (Pacific Standard Time)

    Apply Now

  • Digital Main Street

    St. Catharines Digital Service Squad member Dylan Tamlin

    Digital Main Street is focused on helping main street small businesses adopt digital technologies. Through a partnership with FedDev Ontario and the Province of Ontario, Digital Main Street offers learning opportunities, grants, support setting up online stores, coaching / mentorship and more to empower small businesses in their digital transformations.

    The St. Catharines Digital Service Squad is ready to help you through Digital Main Street's programs.

    Learn More

  • Food and Beverage Ontario’s CareersNOW!

    CareersNOW! Employer is Food and Beverage Ontario’s workforce development program supporting Ontario’s food and beverage processing employers. CareersNOW! helps businesses find qualified, trained employees

    The program is addressing the industry's labour shortage by delivering:

    • Free online training and coaching on topics such as workplace safety, employee-employer relations, and safe food handling, to prepare people for jobs in food and beverage manufacturing.
    • A virtual career mentorship series delivered in partnership with Ontario colleges and universities that provides students with opportunities to connect with professionals in the industry and explore education and career pathways.
    • Online job fairs to connect jobseekers with open positions.

    Employers who wish to participate, by posting job openings, mentoring trainees, or participating in job fairs, can apply through CareersNOW! Employer portal.

    Participate as a CareersNOW! Employer

  • Youth Break Barriers to Employment

    Youth Break Barriers to Employment (YBBE) is an innovative youth employment program aiming to stimulate the Ontario economy by training youth aged 15-30 (inclusive) and matching them with quality employment placements. YBBE offers up to 80% wage subsidy to employers related to one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for up to $15,000 per intern. Additional training opportunities for interns available.

    The YBBE program is an United Nations Association in Canada initiative to tackle youth un-and underemployment in positions relating to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and is support through funding from the Government of Canada.

    If you are an organization from St. Catharines and are interested in receiving wage subsidies and training for new hires, apply today!

    Please note that United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada) is an equal opportunity employer and encourage organizations interested in hiring differently-abled, rural/remote and/or indigenous youth to apply to funding.

    Learn More

  • Trade Accelerator Program (TAP)

    The Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) is an innovative initiative, designed to accelerate the strategic development of your business and to better prepare you for expansion into international markets.

    In addition to our in-class program, virtual formats are now available, depending on the region.

    Learn More

  • Free Business Listing on

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    Join our campaign encouraging St. Catharines to shop local and help customers find you with a FREE business listing on

    List your operating hours, pickup and delivery options, dining room status, health and safety guidelines, promotions and events and more so customers know before they go.

    All businesses, including retail, fitness studios, spas and personal care, professional services and more are welcome to join

    Submit Your Business Listing

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