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Support for Businesses

The City recognizes the economic consequences of the pandemic response are going to be significant, and businesses – both large and small – will bear a heavy burden. To provide assistance, there are resources available from different levels of government and a variety of organizations, and this page will be updated regularly as more information becomes available; including details about direct business support programs and helpful links/resources.

The City has also established a hotline (705-574-1230) and email address (businessinfo@cityssm.on.ca) as a means of providing further assistance. Businesses can contact the hotline between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Canada Recovery Hiring Program 

As a Canadian employer who continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible to apply for one of the two subsidies to cover part of your employee wages.
The Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) support wages you pay through different phases of your economic recovery. Each claim period, eligible employers can claim either CRHP or CEWS, whichever is higher.
For more information and to apply, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/recovery-hiring-program.html.

Canada Community Revitalization Fund

The Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) aims to help communities across Canada build and improve community infrastructure projects so they can rebound from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a national investment of $500 million over two years, the Fund’s purpose is to support not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and other community groups, as well as Indigenous communities
  • build new community infrastructure and revitalize existing assets
  • bring people back to public spaces safely as health measures ease
  • create jobs and stimulate local economies
For more information and to apply, visit: https://fednor.gc.ca/eic/site/fednor-fednor.nsf/eng/h_fn04606.html.

Tourism Relief Fund

The Tourism Relief Fund, administered by Canada’s regional development agencies and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), 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 budget of $500 million over two years (ending March 31, 2023), including $50 million specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives and $15 million for national initiatives, this fund will position Canada to be a destination of choice when domestic and international travel is once again safe by:
  • empowering tourism businesses to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors; and
  • helping the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors by providing the best Canadian tourism experiences we have to offer the world.
For more information and to apply, visit: https://fednor.gc.ca/eic/site/fednor-fednor.nsf/eng/h_fn04619.html.

Roadmap to Reopen Ontario

Learn about the Roadmap to Reopen, the province’s three-step plan to safely and gradually lift public health measures based on ongoing progress of provincewide vaccination rates and improvements of key public health and health care indicators. 
Learn more about each step online at: Reopening Ontario | Ontario.ca

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides rent and mortgage support to small businesses affected by COVID-19. The subsidy is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provides support directly to tenants until June 2021. CERS replaces the previous Canada Emergency Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.

Community Enhancement Program

The Community Enhancement Program is designed to help build strong and resilient Northern communities through infrastructure investments, to upgrade / repair existing assets to improve community quality of life, economic development infrastructure and strategic economic development initiatives. The 3 streams are: Enhance Your Community Program, Rural Enhancement Funding Stream, and Broadband and Cellular Expansion Projects.

For more information and to apply, visit: nohfc.ca/en/pages/programs/community-enhancement-program.

Cultural Supports Program Program

The Cultural Supports Program is designed to help showcase Northern Ontario culture, geography and talent through event partnerships and the production of films and television series. The 2 streams are: Community Events Stream and Film and Television Stream.

For a list of eligible projects and to apply, visit nohfc.ca/en/pages/programs/cultural-supports-program.

INVEST North Program

The Invest North Program is designed to boost economic growth in Northern Ontario by encouraging businesses to invest in transformative, strategic and complementary business development opportunities in Northern communities. The program will support productivity, innovation, business competitiveness, revenue growth, export capacity development, job creation and retention. The 6 streams are: Innovation Stream, Innovation – Industrial Research Chair, Investment - Launch Stream, Investment – Grow Stream, Investment – Locate Stream, and Regional Tile Drainage.

For a list of eligible projects and to apply, visit nohfc.ca/en/pages/programs/invest-north-program.

People and Talent Program

The People and Talent Program is designed to attract, retain and develop Northern Ontario’s workforce. The two streams are: Indigenous Workforce Development Stream and Workforce Development Stream.

For more information and to apply, visit: nohfc.ca/en/pages/programs/people-talent-program.

PPE Suppliers Directory


Pausing commercial evictions

The government is temporarily stopping or reversing evictions of commercial tenants and protecting them from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19. This applies to businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance, for evictions from May 1, 2020.

Deferring contributions

If you're an employer who sponsors certain defined benefit pension plans, you can defer pension contributions due between October 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. You must file an application (called an "election") and pay deferred contributions, with interest and following a set schedule, by March 31, 2022.

Employer Health Tax Relief

The Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption has increased for 2020 from $490,000 to $1 million.If you have already filed a final or special return for 2020 the ministry will be reviewing all 2020 Employer Health Tax relief returns and correcting the returns for the new exemption level.

Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit

If your corporation is building, renovating or acquiring an eligible commercial or industrial building in a designated region in Ontario, you may be eligible to claim a tax credit of up to $45,000 in a year. The tax credit will be available to claim on your corporate income tax return.

Canada Wage Subsidy for Employers

As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations. To learn more, visit: canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html.

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Businesses

The Government of Ontario is making $8 million available to support small business and registered charities who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.

To apply for CEAP funding, customers should contact their energy provider. Electricity and natural gas utilities and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs) will begin accepting applications for CEAP-SB on August 31, 2020, delivering the program in accordance with rules laid out by the OEB. CEAP-SB funding is limited, with utilities and USMPs expected to process applications in the order in which they are received. Please note, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

For more information, including eligibility requirements and on-bill credit amounts, visit: oeb.ca/ceapa.

Masking Signage

Clear signs and messages can help promote safe behaviours, and Algoma Public Health has made available outward and indoor signage, along with staff related signs. To learn more, visit: algomapublichealth.com/disease-and-illness/infectious-diseases/novel-coronavirus/business-posters.

Recovery Benefits (Replacing CERB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks for those who are not employed or self-employed due to COVID-19 and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods

To learn more, visit: canada.ca/en/revenue agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit.html.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

To learn more, visit: canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-caregiving-benefit.html.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

To learn more, visit: canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit.html.

Canada Emergency Business Account

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 for eligible small businesses and not-for-profit organizations experiencing revenue reductions. The CEBA loan program was increased in December 2020 to $60,000 from an earlier cap of $40,000. New applicants may be eligible for the full amount while existing account holders can request the expansion of $20,000.

All applications for the program, new or expansion, are open until March 31, 2021. To learn more, visit: ceba-cuec.ca.

Reopening Business Reference Guide

To ensure the safety of our community and help you navigate the new normal, City staff have created a Reopening Business the “Smart, Safe and Responsible Way” document. The comprehensive protocols are from the Federal/Provincial governments and Algoma Public Health, and have been compiled in one document as the Province sets out its path in its re-opening efforts. The guidelines in this document will help you safely serve your customers and accommodate your employees. This resource will act as a living document that we will update as this fluid situation changes.

To access the document, visit: saultstemarie.ca/Cityweb/media/About-SSM/Reopening-Reference-Guide-SSM.pdf.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility

The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) provides bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing, in order to keep their operations going.

The LEEFF program is open to large Canadian employers who (a) have a significant impact on Canada’s economy, as demonstrated by (i) having significant operations in Canada or (ii) supporting a significant workforce in Canada; (b) can generally demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues; and (c) require a minimum loan size of about $60 million.

This program is delivered by the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Department of Finance. To learn more, visit: cdev.gc.ca/home-ceefc

Business Credit Availability Program

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is a standardized guarantee program offered by Export Development Canada (EDC) in response to COVID-19. Through the BCAP, Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This financing support is to be used for operational expenses and is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies.

This program is now available at various banks and credit unions. This support is available until June 2021. To learn more, visit: edc.ca/en/solutions/working-capital/bcap-guarantee.html.

Information for Reopening Ontario

A collection of links to assist businesses in reopening is available on the Sault Together website. The information will help businesses safely serve customers and accommodate employees. This resource will act as a living document that staff will update as this fluid situation changes.

Launch of #SaultTogether

The City of Sault Ste. Marie is supporting local businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic by creating the Sault Together website (www.saulttogether.ca) to profile businesses that remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the website to find business that remain open during this time.

Local business impact survey

The City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma Workforce Investment Corporation have designed a monthly survey to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and organizations during and beyond the COVID–19 crisis. Your feedback will help us communicate directly to municipal, provincial and federal governments your needs in a timely and coordinated manner, and help us as we plan for post-crisis recovery.

To review the Fall 2020 survey results, visit: the AWIC website.

Small business webinars

As we continue to navigate through our current situation, we recognize the importance of continuing to support small businesses with the resources they need to help them stabilize and grow.

Please keep up with available free webinars to keep you learning, growing, and adapting through this time of change by visiting: themillworks.ca/covid-19-small-business-support.

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99 Foster Drive
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
P6A 5X6