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Support Programs

Team STC is committed to helping entrepreneurs in St. Catharines access tools, programs and funding opportunities to support and enhance their businesses.

Support 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.
    • 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.
    Learn More and Apply
  • 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 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. Important to know:
    - Employers can get up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs.
    - The training has to be delivered by an eligible, third-party trainer.
    - Employers with 100 or more employees need to contribute 1/2 of the training costs. Small employers with less than 100 employees need to contribute 1/6 of training costs.
    - For employer groups who want to apply for training supports the government offers a COJG Consortium Stream. The Consortium Stream allows a group of employers (two or more employers) to pool their resources to support common training objectives and goals. To apply as a consortium, the intermediary organization needs to ensure all the participating employers and trainees meet COJG requirements, and are able to make their required contribution towards the training cost.
    - Most organizations acting as an intermediary are eligible for administrative funding equal to 15% of the government contribution.

    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.

    Learn More and Apply

  • Food and Beverage Ontario’s CareersNOW!

    CareersNOW! Employer is Food and Beverage Ontario’s workforce development program to support Ontario’s food and beverage processing employers. Applications are now open to jobseekers and employers and will run until March 31, 2022.

    CareersNOW! can help your business find qualified, trained employees. The program is equipping jobseekers with essential skills training, access to mentorships and connecting them to businesses like yours.

    Job postings in food processing, transportation and warehousing have nearly doubled over the past year and a fifth of the workforce is preparing to retire. The CareersNOW! program will help address this 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.

    Learn More

    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 a quality employment placement. 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 loveSTC.ca

    Shop Local with lovestc.ca

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

    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 lovestc.ca.

    Submit Your Business Listing

  • ShopHERE Powered by Google

    St. Catharines small businesses: here's your chance to build an eCommerce site for free.

    ShopHERE powered by Google Canada is providing independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of having an online presence to sell goods and services. To address this need, Digital Main Street is collaborating with Google, Shopify, Mastercard and Microsoft to build and optimize online stores for small independent businesses and artists in just a matter of days.

    Sign up for a FREE online store

COVID-19 Support 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

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