A new provincial program is expected to help businesses in Huntsville reopen safer, rehire faster and recover from COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the Ontario government announced a funding program called the Mainstreet Recovery Act – which is introducing legislation in support of small businesses and help them innovate to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

Mayor Karin Terziano says small businesses are an essential pillar within Huntsville and council will continue to advocate all levels of government to implement programs to help through this challenging time.

“The recent announcement yesterday regarding the Mainstreet Recovery Act is another example of all levels of government recognizing the difficulties that are currently being faced by small business owners and providing supports to help them overcome the obstacles they are encountering,” Terziano said.

The Mainstreet Recovery Act includes a one-time grant of up to $1,000 for eligible main street small businesses — in retail, food and accommodations, and other service sectors — with two to nine employees to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment.

It also includes Ontario’s Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network, which links 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres across the province as places where small businesses can access tailored advice and information on local, provincial and federal programs;

Other features include Digital Main Street Squads to help small businesses grow online, mental health supports for families, frontline workers, young people, children, and Indigenous communities Ontario’s Small Business Recovery Webpage to provide access to small business supports.

In addition to the program’s initiatives identified above the legislative changes will also include a commitment of exploring options to permanently allow licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order before the existing regulation expires;

It will also permanently allow 24/7 deliveries to businesses that include retail stores, restaurants, and distribution facilities and support the distribution of local food and food products by increasing the range of products sold at the Ontario Food Terminal.

For additional information on the programs available please click here.