Port Colborne Economic Development


A Message from the Economic Development Department

To Port Colborne residents and businesses,

The Ontario government is providing targeted relief for businesses and people impacted by the current public health measures aimed at blunting the spread of the Omicron variant.

As part of a comprehensive plan to support workers and businesses, the government is announcing an Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant for small businesses that are subject to closure under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen. It will provide eligible small businesses with a grant payment of $10,000.

Eligible small businesses include:

•             Restaurants and bars;

•             Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms);

•             Performing arts and cinemas;

•             Museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions;

•             Meeting or event spaces;

•             Tour and guide services;

•             Conference centres and convention centres;

•             Driving instruction for individuals; and

•             Before- and after-school programs.

Eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and are subject to closure under modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen will be pre-screened to verify eligibility and will not need to apply to the new program.

Newly established and newly eligible small businesses will need to apply once the application portal opens in the coming weeks. Small businesses that qualify can expect to receive their payment in February.


Electricity-rate relief

The Ontario government is also providing electricity-rate relief to support small businesses, as well as workers and families spending more time at home while the province is in modified Step Two.

For 21 days starting at 12:01 am on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, electricity prices will be set 24 hours a day at the current off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is less than half the cost of the current on-peak rate.

The off-peak rate will apply automatically to residential, small businesses and farms who pay regulated rates set by the Ontario Energy Board and get a bill from a utility and will benefit customers on both Time-of-Use and Tiered rate plans.

Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program

Online applications for the previously-announced Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program will open on January 18. This program will provide eligible businesses that are required to close or reduce capacity with rebate payments for up to 100 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to public health measures in response to the Omicron variant.

Eligible businesses required to close for indoor activities, such as restaurants and gyms, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 100 per cent of their costs. Those required to reduce capacity to 50 per cent, such as smaller retail stores, will receive a rebate payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their costs. A complete list of eligible businesses will be provided prior to the launch of the application portal.

 Application Portal (opens Jan. 18) 

Improving cash flows for Ontario businesses

The government is also improving cash flows for Ontario businesses by providing up to $7.5 billion through a six-month interest- and penalty-free period starting January 1, 2022, for Ontario businesses to make payments for most provincially administered taxes.

This supports businesses now and provides the flexibility they will need for long-term planning. Building on Ontario’s efforts to improve cash flows for businesses, the province continues to call on the federal government to match provincial tax deferral efforts by allowing small businesses impacted by public health restrictions to defer their HST remittances for a period of six months.

Businesses that have questions about public health and workplace safety measures can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1.888.444.3659.

Applications open for Reconnect Ontario

Applications are open for the Reconnect Ontario 2022 program for eligible festivals and events taking place between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023.

The Reconnect Ontario program supports festivals and events that have a tourism economic impact and motivate visitors to rediscover Ontario, reconnect people with local experiences and generate increased tourism spending.

For information on the program, please visit the Reconnect Ontario Application Guide.

For additional resources to help with the application process, please visit the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries’ Grants and Awards page.

For any program-related questions, you can consult with your regional advisor or email ReconnectOntario@ontario.ca.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at 5 p.m. (EST).

Application Portal

For up-to-date information about how the City is responding to COVID-19, including facility closures and service disruptions, visit our website

Questions for Port Colborne's Economic Development Officer?
Email Bram Cotton
Call 905-835-2900 x 504