Province provides funding for small business financial advice

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The province is providing more than $2.2 million for free, tailored financial advice and online training for small businesses.

“Many small businesses across the province are being hit hard by COVID-19, and our government is doing everything it can to help them get back on their feet and recover, not just today, but every step of the way,” Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli said in a statement Thursday.

“By providing these entrepreneurs with financial advice and training we can arm them with the information they need to remain viable and contribute to Ontario’s economic recovery.”

The province will provide $2.04 million to 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres, led by the Business Advisory Centre Durham, to create a new Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network.

A central portal will be created where businesses can access digital tools and training, connect with mentors and industry experts, and get information on government programs to help them navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The province says up to 75,000 small businesses in Ontario can be reached through the network.

Another $131,000 will be provided to the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada to develop and deliver a four-part COVID-19-specific financial literacy tool kit for small businesses, which will include podcasts, webinars and online booklets focused on pandemic recovery, cash management, managing risks and information on small business tax.

Ontario also is providing $51,000 for the non-profit Financial Advisors Association of Canada to give pro bono professional financial advice for small companies through its online platform, Advocis Connect.

Eligible businesses may apply for the Main Street Relief Grant as well, and temporary property tax and energy cost rebates through a single, online application portal, the province says.

Many businesses should expect to receive their grants or rebate payments within a few weeks of finalizing and submitting their completed application.

The Main Street Relief Grant is available to small businesses with two to nine employees in retail, accommodations and food services, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services to help cover personal protective equipment costs, the province says.

For more information, call the Small Business Enterprise Centre in North Bay at 705-474-0400 ext. 2302.

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