Today, 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.
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.
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.
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.
More information about the City’s wider small business supports is available at Toronto.ca/BusinessSupport.
“Toronto’s small businesses are vital to our city’s success. As we continue to rebuild from the pandemic the City of Toronto is committed to supporting small businesses and ensuring we come back stronger than ever. I want to thank both the federal and provincial governments for their continued support for our small businesses and for funding for the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative.”
– Mayor John Tory
“It’s heartwarming to see the entire City of Toronto come together with such enthusiasm, including its agencies, corporations, elected officials and political staff, in support of this great cause. I look forward to this continued collaboration and cooperation as we support our friends at United Way Greater Toronto in future campaigns.”
– Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park)
“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of everyone who participated in the United Way Employee Campaign, we are helping to make our communities more accessible to those facing inequality and poverty, at a time when it’s needed most.”
– Councillor Brad Bradford (Beaches-East York)
“The Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative is providing small businesses across Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods with funding to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic. Our government was there for Canadians during the pandemic, and we will continue to be as we finish the fight against COVID-19.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“The City of Toronto, including my hometown Scarborough, is a vibrant community, filled with many businesses and restaurants that attract millions of tourists every year. These are essential to the City’s economic success and the Government of Canada will continue to support these businesses through our $18-million investment in the Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative.”
– Jean Yip, Member of Parliament for Scarborough–Agincourt
“Major infrastructure investments will bring generational benefits to local communities. Metrolinx has worked to adopt innovative ways to support the local BIAs business community along the corridor since construction began on the ECLRT project. More recently, we have partnered with the City of Toronto to find the right application for our business support efforts, and we look forward to future partnership opportunities.”
– Paul Manhire, Executive Vice President, Light Rail & Bus Projects, Metrolinx
“Since its inception in 2021, the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative (MRRI) has supported over 360 businesses, 270 entrepreneurs, and 64 community and business organizations. I encourage small business owners and operators to learn more about MRRI programs and other supports that the city has to offer. And as always, I encourage Toronto residents to continue supporting local businesses whenever they can.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“Small businesses are crucial to the fabric of a thriving city. I invite small businesses and restaurants across the city to take advantage of the support and resources that the city has to offer.”
– Councillor Chris Moise (Toronto Centre)
About FedDev Ontario
For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.