June 24th, 2021

Horwath calls for new, vastly improved round of local business grants

BRANTFORD — With businesses and jobs on the line, Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling for a new and vastly improved round of grants for Ontario businesses, and other supports to keep workers on the payroll, and successfully open and stay open.

Horwath was in the Brantford Thursday, where entrepreneurs and workers have been fighting hard to keep local businesses alive, but haven’t caught up to the pre-pandemic numbers.

“Getting workers back at work is the foundation of the recovery. But without more help from the government, businesses owners are worried that they might not make it to their reopening day or much beyond that,” said Horwath. “Too many local businesses have already been forced to board up shop and walk away from their dream. It’s costing people their jobs. It’s taking families’ livelihoods away. And it’s crumbling cornerstone businesses in our neighbourhoods.”

The province’s first two rounds of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant have been too little help for some, and no help at all for many thousands of businesses it turned away. Now, Horwath said there should be a third round, open to more businesses.

“Doug Ford marched us into the third wave, then gave the big box stores an advantage over local business again and again, and refused to spend the money to help local businesses and their workers,” said Horwath.

“But we can give people the hope they deserve if we make different choices. We can protect good local jobs here in Brantford and Brant County and across the province. We can help businesses stock up, reopen safely, and stay open. It’s worth it.”

Horwath’s Reopen Stay Open plan includes:

  • A vastly improved third round of Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments The NDP is calling for a round of small business grants that’s open to any business that’s experienced revenue decline in the third wave, compared to pre-pandemic.
  • A $1,000 tourism and local restaurant tax credit The Travel Ontario Tax Credit bill from NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) gives families a $1,000 tax credit to travel in Ontario, including at restaurants, hotels, outfitters and attractions.
  • Targeted re-opening support for personal care and service-based businesses Personal care businesses like salons and service-industry businesses like restaurants need access to a Safe Reopening Grant to guarantee they can afford public health protections.
  • Access to forgivable loans Businesses may need access to capital to re-open and drive economic recovery.


Jeannine Webster, Owner of Wylde Rose Soaps

“Access to a grant would allow me to sleep at night not worrying about my staff, a grant that would allow us to carry on with a boost to get back to where we were before. So many businesses are not able to reopen their doors and that makes my heart hurt for them. I’m worried that we are going to see a worse trickle effect and more will be closing over the next six to 12 months without some kind of help.”