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Ontario small business relief grant now open

The Government of Ontario is excited to announced that eligible small businesses that were required to close under the modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen can now apply for the Ontario COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant (OSBRG).

The application portal will be open from February 9 to March 11 for applications from:

  • Newly established businesses
  • Businesses that may not have previously applied to the Ontario Small Business Support Grant in 2021
  • Businesses that were previously deemed ineligible but are now eligible.

In order to be eligible, applicants will need to confirm that they:

  • Had fewer than 100 employees as of December 31, 2021
  • Were an active business as of January 14, 2022
  • Were required to close indoor operations on January 5, 2022.

Eligible small businesses for the OSBRG include:

  • Restaurants and bars
  • Facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities (including fitness centres and gyms)
  • Racing venues, casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments
  • Performing arts venues 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
  • Before- and after-school programs.

The OSBRG User Application Guide provides additional information about applying for the grant. The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade emailed eligible businesses that qualified for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant in 2021, and were subject to closure again on January 5, 2022, as they have been pre-screened and do not need to apply for the OSBRG. But they may be asked to confirm their continued eligibility.

For more information on available business supports, please visit: Businesses: Get help with COVID-19 costs | Ontario.ca

If you need help, our call centres are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding government and statutory holidays. The call centres are closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Toll-free: 1-855-216-3090 TTY: 416-325-3408 Toll-free TTY: 1-800-268-7095

New Ontario tax credits for workers, trainees, and childcare

A new suite of provincial tax credits and benefits includes, among others:

  • The Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit helps workers get training that may be needed for a career shift, re-training or to sharpen their skills. The credit provides up to $2,000 in relief for 50 per cent of a person’s eligible expense. The government is extending this tax credit to the 2022 tax year, to help more workers continue to upgrade their skills and transition back to the labour force.
  • The Low-Income Workers Tax Credit, known as Low-income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit, provides up to $850 each year in Ontario personal income tax relief to low-income workers, and can be used to reduce or eliminate an individual’s Ontario personal income tax, excluding the Ontario Health Premium.
  • The Ontario Child Care Tax Credit (known as Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) Tax Credit), which puts more money in the pockets of families and provides the flexibility they need to choose the child care options that work best for them. The government is providing a 20 per cent top‐up to this tax credit for 2021, increasing support from $1,250 to $1,500, on average.

Individuals and families should also save their receipts for local travel in 2022, to claim the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit next tax season.

For more on this and other tax credits, click here.

Grow Your Business by Joining Digital Main Street!

Get FREE one-on-one assistance with Google My Business, email marketing, social media, 360 photos and more. The Digital Service Squad (DSS) provides free digital assistance to help you grow your business by adopting and implementing digital tools and technologies. Book your digital assessment and consultation with our DSS member to get started! Contact our DSS member Tianna at qzf@qbjagbjajryynaq.pn if interested.

Media Release


Sidewalk snow-clearing the responsibility of all


February 7, 2022

Welland, ON – As Welland continues to scrape, shovel, and shuck snow from roads and sidewalks, the City would like to remind homeowners of their responsibilities in maintaining sidewalks adjacent to their property.

With recent heavy and significantly accumulated snowfall, shovelling residential driveways and sidewalks can be difficult, even with snowblowers. The City’s sidewalk plows required additional apparatuses, and as a result, were delayed in completing services throughout the community.

 “We know these lasts rounds of snowstorms have been difficult to get caught up on from a clearing perspective,” said CAO Steve Zorbas. “Our crews and community have done an outstanding job to date. We just want to remind everyone that we all have a role to play to ensure we have safe walkways and paths for people to get where they are going, whether that’s in their own neighbourhoods or on city streets.”

By-law 2008-185 regulates when homeowners are required to clear snow and ice from City sidewalks:

Every owner of property shall remove fallen snow and ice from the public

sidewalk adjacent to their property no later than 24 hours after the substantial

end of a snowfall or precipitation event, or the substantial end of a series of

consecutive snowfalls or precipitation.

In addition to sidewalks, residents are asked to keep the areas around fire hydrants clear for emergency services to access should the need arise. Keep at least one metre around the hydrant free of snow and buildup. Every second in an emergency is critical, and not having to dig out a hydrant could save a life.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Marc MacDonald

Corporate Communications Manager

905-735-1700 x2337


COVID-19 vaccination clinic locations added across Niagara

Niagara Region Public Health is now hosting clinics in a variety of locations in Niagara, replacing the mass vaccination clinic at the Niagara Falls (Scotiabank) Convention Centre. Walk-ins and appointments are now available. Eligible residents can walk-in, or book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination either online through the provincial portal at Ontario.ca/bookvaccine or by calling the provincial booking system at 1-833-943-3900.

Click here for locations and schedules.


Housing affordability task force releases report

Ontario has published the report from the Housing Affordability Task Force, which highlights expert recommendations for additional measures to increase the supply of market housing to address the housing crisis. The Task Force is part of Ontario’s ongoing three-part consultation with industry, municipalities, and the public to help the government identify and implement real solutions to address the housing supply crisis.

The Task Force report’s recommendations include five main areas to quickly increase the supply of market housing, to meet a goal of adding 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years:

  • Make changes to planning policies and zoning to allow for greater density and increase the variety of housing.
  • Reduce and streamline urban design rules to lower costs of development.
  • Depoliticize the approvals process to address NIMBYism and cut red tape to speed up housing.
  • Prevent abuse of the appeal process and address the backlog at the Ontario Land Tribunal by prioritizing cases that increase housing.
  • Align efforts between all levels of government to incentivize more housing.

Click here to learn more.

Best regards,

Alexis Higginbotham
Executive Director
60 East Main Street
Welland, ON
L3B 3X4
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Our mailing address is:
195 East Main Street Unit 4C
Welland, Ontario

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