On January 19th, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto and funding partners FedDev Ontario and Metrolinx are making more than $5.4 million in funding available this winter to help eligible local small businesses.
Mayor Tory was onsite at Berkeley Castle, 264 The Esplanade, alongside Jean Yip, Member of Parliament for Scarborough–Agincourt, Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee, and local Councillor Chris Moise (Toronto Centre).
The City continues to support small businesses and main street vitality and 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.
The City continues to support small businesses in Toronto including in the 2023 tabled Budget which continues to include a 15 per cent property tax rate reduction which has supported more than 29,000 small businesses.
Main Street Innovation Fund
Funding from $25,000 to $100,000 – Applications now open
The Main Street Innovation Fund has opened a new stream of applications to support streetscape animation and local businesses through innovative activations, creative place-making and community capacity-building initiatives. The program offers funding for BIAs and not-for-profit organizations to test innovative and creative solutions to local challenges and share their findings and results with others.
Approved standard-scale projects may receive up to $25,000. Approved larger-scale projects may receive up to $50,000. Approved legacy-scale projects may receive up to $100,000. Applications are being accepted beginning today until March 16.
Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program
Grants of up to $24,000 – Applications now open
The Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program offers matching funding of 50 per cent to commercial business operators and owners of vacant storefronts (or, in certain limited circumstances, at risk of becoming vacant) to undertake interior improvements, assisting businesses to re-lease space impacted by COVID-19. Improvements to meet health regulations and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance are also included.
The maximum grant available is $20,000. Further funding of up to $4,000, for a maximum grant of $24,000, is available for upgrades to meet accessibility standards. Applications will be accepted until Tuesday, February 28, or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first.
Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program
Grants of up to $50,000 – Applications now open.
In partnership with FedDev Ontario and Metrolinx, the City has launched a new Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program for Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), non-profit organizations and charities demonstrating a strong local business involvement. This grant will provide funding for community-driven projects that address the unintended effects that transit construction can have on local businesses.
Organizations are eligible for grants of up to $50,000 for various initiatives, such as business engagement, area marketing and branding, creative event activations, research and needs assessment and beautification. Applications are being accepted until Thursday, March 2 or until funds are fully expended, whichever comes first.
Metrolinx’s contribution is dedicated specifically to supporting BIAs and businesses impacted by the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) construction.
To assist small businesses in Toronto in recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario , is providing up to $18 million for seven inclusive and sustainable economic recovery projects.
To date, the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative (MRRI) has committed funding to support 270 entrepreneurs, more than 360 businesses and 64 community organizations. More information about MRRI is available on the program webpage.
The City and its partners offer free year-round learning opportunities for entrepreneurs, small business operators and staff. The City’s business webinars will improve your business knowledge and skills. More information is available on the City’s Business Webinar webpage.