OTTAWA — The Ontario government is providing up to $11.5 million to local businesses in Ottawa impacted by the nearly four-week long occupation near Parliament Hill in January and February 2022. This funding will also help Ottawa restore consumer confidence and welcome people back to the nation’s capital.
The funding includes a $10-million grant, which will be administered by Invest Ottawa, to help get money into the hands of businesses quickly. Eligible Ottawa businesses can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help pay for non-deferrable operating expenses incurred during the blockade. More information on the application process and eligibility criteria will be available soon on the Invest Ottawa website.
“The illegal blockades in downtown Ottawa this winter caused significant financial losses for local businesses,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “Our government is supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing the relief they need to recover quickly. Today’s announcement will help Ottawa — and the small businesses at the heart of our community — get ready to welcome visitors for the spring and summer tourist seasons.”
“For weeks, the city of Ottawa was under siege from an illegal blockade, impacting business owners and workers through no fault of their own,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “Our government has always stood with hard-working Ontario small business owners, and we have committed to supporting the City of Ottawa and to helping businesses recover.”
The government is also investing $1.5 million in Ottawa Tourism, helping Ottawa reinforce its brand as a world-class city while encouraging visitor and tourism spending in the National Capital Region. Ottawa Tourism will launch a campaign that inspires consumer confidence and encourages tourists and visitors to come to Ottawa to enjoy the peak spring and summer seasons.
“Ottawa is our country’s capital, and one of Ontario’s key tourism gateway cities. Many out-of-province visitors begin or end their visit to Ontario in the National Capital Region,” said Minister MacLeod. “We are sending a strong signal that the nation’s capital is open for business and ready to welcome the world to Ontario.”