OTTAWA — The Ontario government is providing up to $11.5 million to local businesses in Ottawa impacted by the nearly four-week long Freedom Convoy demonstrations. The government is also investing $1.5 million in Ottawa Tourism to inspire consumer confidence and encourage visitor and tourism spending in the National Capital Region.
The funding includes a $10-million grant, which will be administered by Invest Ottawa. Eligible businesses can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help pay for non-deferrable operating expenses incurred during the blockade. Information about eligibility criteria will be available on Invest Ottawa’s website soon.
“The illegal blockades in downtown Ottawa this winter caused significant financial losses for local businesses,” says 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. [This] 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,” says 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.”