Agri-Food Open for E-Business Initiative – Funding Intake:

The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products.

This targeted application intake features two funding streams:

1. Bring Your Business Online. Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. Funding under this stream will be quick and responsive for those needing immediate solutions.

2. Develop Online Business Opportunities. Eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.

Program information is available here: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/ebusiness.htm

En français: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/french/cap/ebusiness.htm

Addressing Labour Supply and Training Challenges – Funding Intake

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep the nation’s supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the federal and provincial governments will provide support that will help people connect with job opportunities in the sector quickly. This program would help primary agriculture, food processing companies and grocery retail to recruit and train workers who are important to keeping the essential food supply chain functioning.

Program information is available here: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/cap/labour_supply_training.htm

En français: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/french/cap/labour_supply_training.htm

Ontario Provides Urgent Relief for Small Businesses and Landlords

Rent Assistance in Addition to Billions in Measures to Support Business During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The Ontario government is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The province is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that would be provided is more than $900 million, helping to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen their doors when the emergency measures are lifted.

The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. To receive the loan, property owners will be required to reduce the rental costs of small business tenants for April to June 2020 by at least 75 per cent and commit to a moratorium on evictions for three months.

Full details: https://www.news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-provides-urgent-relief-for-small-businesses-and-landlords.html

En français: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/fr/2020/04/lontario-apporte-une-aide-durgence-aux-petites-entreprises-et-aux-proprietaires-dimmeubles-commercia.html

Emergency Order Amended to Allow Community Gardens – April 25

The government is amending an emergency order to help ensure food security for some individuals and families during the pandemic. The order will now permit the use of allotment gardens and community gardens across the province. These gardens are an essential source of fresh food for some individuals and families, including those who face food insecurity. Local medical officers of health will provide advice, recommendation and instructions that the gardens must meet in order to operate, such as physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting commonly used equipment and surfaces.

Full details: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/4/ontario-allows-the-redeployment-of-staff-to-better-care-for-vulnerable-people-during-covid-19.html
En français: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/fr/2020/04/lontario-autorise-la-reaffectation-du-personnel-pour-mieux-prendre-soin-des-populations-vulnerables.html