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Ontario announces lockdown support for businesses, hydro users, home learners


Ontario announces lockdown support for businesses, hydro users, home learners

In the wake of yesterday’s announced province-wide shutdown,  the Ontario Government announced some new measures to help ease the burden faced by Ontario residents. Premier Ford announced hydro rates will be fixed at the off-peak rate and parents of high schoolers are eligible for a one-time payment as the province prepares to enter lockdown due to rising coronavirus cases. “It’s just going to show up on your next bill,” Ford said, referring to the Hydro rate change.

Electricity prices will be on an off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt an hour for all time-of-use and tiered customers starting on Jan. 1, 2021. The rate will in place all day for the following 28 days. “The off-peak price will automatically be applied to bills of all residential, small business, and farm customers who pay regulated rates,” the government said.

For parents of high schoolers, starting in January those students aged 13 to Grade 12 will be eligible for a one-time payment of $200 per student.

In making yesterday’s announcement of the lockdown, Ford unveiled a major support measure for small businesses—an Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to eligible small business owners.

The grant applies to small businesses that have less than 100 employees and have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.

Essential businesses that are allowed to remain open will not be eligible for this grant. The government will release application details in January.

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