Toronto introduces new grants to boost small business recovery

26 January 2023 / by Daniel Centeno

Toronto Mayor John Tory and city partners are announcing plans for a $5.4 million grant to help small businesses this winter season.

“Toronto’s small businesses are vital to our city’s success,” Tory said to the media at Berkeley Castle investments building on the Esplanade. “As we continue to rebuild from the pandemic the City of Toronto is committed to supporting small businesses and ensuring we come back stronger than ever. I want to thank both the federal and provincial governments for their continued support for our small businesses and for funding for the Toronto Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative.”

The grant will be used for three programs. 

First, the new Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program will help mitigate the impacts of construction on local businesses. Toronto continues to see several construction sites geared towards expanding light rail train service along Eglinton Ave. and Finch Ave. In Scarborough, construction to replace the LRT with a subway extension has begun as well.

Second, the Main Street Innovation Fund will fund BIAs(Business Improvement Area) and not-for-profit organizations to help businesses navigate through challenges together. This grant is expected to help fund future projects to promote the businesses. 

Third, the Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant program offers matching funding of 50 per cent to commercial business operators and owners of storefronts that are vacant for interior improvements and to  assist businesses to re-lease space impacted by COVID-19. 

Tory said the grants come at a time when the city hopes to enter its post-COVID phase. 

Discussions on the budget continue during subcommittees across the Greater Toronto Area. 

Social services centered on housing and shelter, public transit and potential parking levies are the most prevalent topics. 

CJRU have contacted the Toronto Region Board of Trade for comment on the new grants. 

CJRU is awaiting a response. 

More details to come. 

Listen to CJRU’s coverage on the new small businesses grant: