Ontario will provide a $300 million support fund to help local restaurants and businesses to offset fixed costs, including property taxes, hydro and natural gas bills amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Doug Ford announced on Oct. 13.
The announcement was made in response to the “modified Stage 2” restrictions that prohibit indoor dining in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments for 28 days, which started on Oct. 10.
“Families and entrepreneurs across Ontario have poured their hearts into local restaurants and diners. They’ve been there for us, from donating to charities to sponsoring little league sports,” Ford said.
“To support them during these tough times, our government is making millions available to provide relief for fixed costs.”
Ford also urged Ontarians to rally around the local businesses to help them.
“Please shop local. Buy Ontario made. It’s never been more important to support our own. It is as simple as ordering take out. If each of us order takeout even at least once a week, that’s millions of dollars to support our mom-and-pop shops, restaurants and small businesses,” he said.
In his announcement, Ford also asked third-party food delivery services such as Uber Eats to consider cutting down on the commission rates they charge restaurants.
“We can’t have restaurants paying as much as 30 percent commission to have their food delivered right now,” Ford said. “Please do the right thing in these difficult times.”
Besides the $300 million support fund, the Ontario government says it will commit to helping small businesses through its Main Street Recovery Plan.