Toronto's Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program
Small retail businesses are essential to the vitality and success of Toronto’s main streets and neighbourhoods. The Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program was developed in support of the recovery and long-term success of local small businesses. The program offers matching funding of 50 per cent to commercial business operators and owners of vacant storefronts (or, in certain limited circumstances, at risk of becoming vacant) to undertake interior improvements. Applications are now open and will be accepted until February 28, 2022, or when funds are expended, whichever comes first, and are considered on a first received, first reviewed basis.
The program offers matching funding equal to 50 per cent of the cost of interior improvements to vacant commercial properties at street level.
- The maximum base grant under the program is $20,000 (based on a minimum of $40,000 of improvements).
- Further funding of up to $4,000, for a total maximum grant of $24,000, is available for upgrades to meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) design standards.
- Additional funding of up to $20,000 ($4,000 per additional unit, for up to five units) is available for multi-unit properties.
The Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program is available to owners and tenants of vacant properties or the risk of being vacant properties at street level, or properties at risk of becoming vacant (that have received funding from the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy program) within the city of Toronto, that are used for commercial purposes at street level, and that are locally owned and operated. A minimum of three eligible improvements must be made.
Tenants who apply for the program must have written permission from the property owner to make any improvements to the property and receive grants.
The following projects would be considered eligible for a Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant:
- Structural upgrades, interior light fixtures, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), plumbing, electrical, interior painting, flooring/ceiling/walls, permanently affixed counters, merchandise displays and accessibility improvements, among others.
- Architectural, engineering, certified Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) specialist and Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) registered designer fees may be covered to a maximum of $2,000 per application as part of the base grant.
- Multi-unit properties are eligible for additional grant funding of up to $4,000 per unit for each additional unit for which improvements are proposed, to a maximum of $20,000.
- Additional grant funding of up to $4,000 is available for interior accessibility improvements which meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) design standards.
- A minimum of three eligible improvements must be made to each unit.
The following projects would not be eligible for a Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant:
- Maintenance to fix broken windows, interior lighting or security systems, clean clogged plumbing, or replace ceiling panels.
- Only one application for a business chain or for any franchise organization is permitted.
- Applications for work totaling less than $5,000 are ineligible.
- The program is not to cover maintenance costs of existing interior property elements.
- Places of worship, institutional buildings, not-for-profit commercial buildings and residential buildings are ineligible for the program.
- Moveable furniture, window coverings, equipment, appliances, computers, IT expenses or elements such as tiling outside of the front door, are ineligible.
Digital Transformation Grant has been extended to November 30th
The program provides a one-time grant of $2,500 to small brick-and-mortar businesses and a comprehensive plan to guide their digital transformation.
Digital Main Street (DMS) is a program focused on assisting small businesses with their adoption of technologies. The Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) program will provide funding for training, advisory support, and grants to brick-and-mortar small businesses looking increase their capacity through digital transformation.
The grant is administered by the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA), and is not administered by Digital Main Street.
Applications will continue to be accepted until November 30, 2021 (or until grant funds are exhausted).
The objective of the Digital Transformation Grant is to provide small business owners with a comprehensive plan to guide their digital transformation and provide small businesses with the digital literacy skills they need to execute their digital transformation either through a do-it-yourself approach and/or being a smart consumer when purchasing these services.
If you are a small brick-and-mortar business looking to increase your capacity through digital transformation, we encourage you to apply.
Ontario Releasing Guidance to Support Proof of Vaccination Policy Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act
As of September 22, 2021, the government of Ontario will require patrons to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status and proof of ID to enter certain businesses and organizations, with a focus on higher-risk indoor public settings.
Businesses and organizations are responsible for ensuring they met the requirements to check for proof of vaccination and proof of identification from patrons.
Patrons are required to ensure that any information provided to the businesses or organization to demonstrate proof of vaccination or proof of identification is accurate.
In the event of harassment or threats of violence, law enforcement should be contacted.
Non-compliance by individuals and businesses can result in charges and fines, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, (ROA).
An enhanced vaccine certificate and verification app will be available by October 22, 2021. Ontario’s proof of vaccination guidance will be updated to reflect the new processes.
MarkeTo District Summer 2021 Newsletter
Want to know what’s been going on in the BIA this summer season? Check out our newsletter below for more information!