COVID-19: Help for businesses in Ontario

Learn about changes to government programs and available supports as your business recovers from covid 19.

Featured updates

Learn more about providing employees with up to three days of paid leave because of certain reasons related to COVID-19.

Learn about opening an onsite vaccination clinic if your business is in a hot spot community.

Read our most recent news releases on business and the economy.

Reopening and operating safely

We’ve provided resources to help you understand the requirements and best practices for workplace safety. These actions can help you comply with the rules and keep operating safely.

Workplace safety plan

All businesses that are operating must have a written covid 19 safety plan by law. Find other resources such as posters, tools and sector-specific guidance for Ontario workplaces.

Employer’s responsibilities

Understand employers’ responsibilities regarding safe workplaces, temporary layoffs and leaves of absence due to covid 19. Attend a webinar to learn more.

Region-specific rules

Check the recovery framework and your public health unit website to learn about the restrictions and rules that apply to your region.

PPE suppliers

Access the Workplace PPE Supplier Directory to find supplies for your business.

Skip to more guidance for employers

Rapid antigen testing

Your organization can now conduct rapid antigen testing as an additional screening method that can help stop the spread of covid 19. Free test kits are available through the Provincial Antigen Screening Program, which has expanded to include more essential sectors.

Learn about testing and program eligibility

In addition, the Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, has launched the covid 19 Rapid Screening Initiative for small and medium-sized businesses across the province.

To contact participating local chambers of commerce and boards of trade about the covid 19 Rapid Screening Initiative, visit the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

People working at a warehouse assembly line wearing masks, face shields and gloves

For businesses with fewer than 100 employees

Visit small business recovery resources for more tailored information, including:
  • Small Business Enterprise Centres near you
  • Taking your business digital
  • Learning opportunities and free advice
  • Support and resources from Canada and national organizations
Visit small business recovery resources

Financial relief

Tax relief

  • Employer Health Tax relief

    We increased the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption from $490,000 to $1 million starting in 2020.

    Along with doubling the exemption, we doubled the instalment threshold from $600,000 to $1.2 million starting with the 2021 tax year.

    What this means for you

    As an employer, this means additional EHT relief of up to $9,945 per year, for a total of up to $19,500 in annual EHT savings per eligible employer.

    The annual tax return form is not changing. Only the amount that you enter for the exemption claimed will change. Tax rates and eligibility criteria for the tax exemption remain the same.

    In 2021, all employers will begin remitting monthly instalments when their annual payroll exceeds $1.2 million.

    If your business no longer needs to make instalment payments or file an EHT return as a result of the increased exemption amount or instalment threshold, you do not need to notify the Ministry of Finance.

    Learn more about the EHT changes for 2021.

  • 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 $90,000 in a year.

    In the 2021 Budget, Ontario announced that it will temporarily enhance this tax credit by investing an additional $61 million, resulting in total tax credit support of about $155 million by 2022–23.

    The tax credit will be available to claim on your corporate income tax return.

    Learn more about the tax credit and if your project qualifies.

  • Jobs Training Tax Credit

    The temporary Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit will help workers get the training they need.

    It will provide up to $2,000 to individuals with eligible training expenses in 2021. This measure would provide about $260 million in support to 230,000 Ontario individuals.

    Learn more about the tax credit.

Guidance for employers

Help from the federal government

The Canadian government has made available supports for business during covid 19.

Mental health and addictions supports

If you or your employees are feeling anxious, experiencing other mental health or addiction challenges or you can’t access your regular in-person counselling support, there are services you can access online or by phone, including self-led support, peer support and internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy.

Find mental health support

If you are currently receiving mental health and addictions services and supports, please contact your current service provider, including community-based mental health and addictions agencies. Many of these providers are modifying their services to move towards virtual care, meeting clients by phone or secure video-conferencing.

How you can help

Cut red tape for your business

We want to hear from you on the issues you’re dealing with as a business owner or representative. Tell us how we can reduce the regulatory burden to help make your business more competitive and support your investment in Ontario.