Current COVID Funding Programs and Other Resources

Maple season is around the corner, and I hope everyone has been keeping well!

I’ve been hearing from producers that they are having difficulty finding and applying for COVID financial supports. Below is a (long, but not comprehensive) list of currently-available programs that cover funding, insurance and lending, and worker benefits. There is also some information on labour and COVID workplace safety. The list will be continually updated – please let me know of other initiatives you think should be included.

In the next blog post, I will be summarizing some of the excellent information Todd Leuty put out over the years on when and how to tap. Stay tuned!

Table of Contents/Quick Links

  1. Funding Programs
  2. Insurance and Lending Programs
  3. Worker Benefits Programs
  4. Resources for Workplace Safety


Enhanced Agri-Food Worker Protection Program

Deadline: February 26, 2021


The program provides funding in the following categories:

  • Preventative occupational health and safety measures
    • Example purchases: PPE, medical testing equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection
    • 70% of eligible expenses, up to $15,000
  • On-Farm Worker Safety Improvement Program
    • Example purchases: housing modifications, workspace adjustments, equipment to allow greater physical distancing for workers
    • 70% of eligible expenses, up to $100,000

A recorded webinar explaining the program and application will be uploaded to this website:


  • Cost must have been incurred on or after March 15, 2020
  • Ontario farm business under a valid Farm Business Registration Number or allowable exemption

How to apply:

Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Deadline: Not defined, applications currently open


Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant provides businesses with funding to a maximum of $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020.


  • be required to close or restrict services subject to the Provincewide Shutdown effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26
  • have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level
  • have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline comparing April 2020 to April 2019 revenues. New businesses established since April 2019 are also eligible provided they meet the other eligibility criteria

How to apply:

Ontario’s Main Street Relief Grant: PPE support

Deadline: ongoing


Eligible small businesses will get one-time grants of up to $1,000 to cover unexpected PPE costs.


  • Be in the following sectors:
    • Retail
    • Accommodation and food services
    • Repair and maintenance
  • Have 2-9 employees

How to apply:

Property tax and energy cost rebates

Deadline: ongoing


  • For businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures. Eligible businesses could get rebates for:
    • municipal and education property taxes
    • energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil)
  • Funding will cover the entire length of time that regionally targeted public health restrictions are in place.
  • Most businesses can expect to receive their rebate payments within a few weeks of submitting a complete application.


See the list here:

How to apply:

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund


  • The fund will help to mitigate the financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations to allow them to continue their operations, including paying their employees
  • The fund will help support projects by businesses, organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery
  • Businesses that are already receiving support from the RRRF could now receive up to $20,000 in additional funding if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility and how to apply:

Contact your local regional development agency or see the websites below.

Insurance and Lending

Advanced Payments Program

  • A federal loan guarantee program that helps producers meet their financial obligations and benefit from the best market conditions by improving their cash flow throughout the year
  • Provides up to $400 000 advance with the first $100 000 interest free and the following $300 000 at prime interest rate

For maple syrup:

  • Advance rate: $2.14/lb
  • Advance available date: April 1, 2021 – March 15, 2022
  • Repayment deadline: September 30, 2022 or December 31, 2021 if NOT stored

Click here fore a link to the 2021-2022 Product Rate List and Worksheets for Ontario


  • AgriStability is one of the business risk management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. It protects Canadian producers against large declines in farming income for reasons such as production loss, increased costs and market conditions.
  • AgriStability is a margin-based program designed to help producers manage large income declines.
  • Each year, you must enrol in the program, pay your fee and submit a form by the applicable deadlines.
  • You may receive a payment if your production margin in the current year falls below your historical reference margin by more than 30%.
  • Use the AgriStability Benefit Estimator to help you understand how the program works and to calculate an estimated benefit.
  • In Ontario, AgriStability is delivered by Agricorp. Click the link above for more information.

Farm Credit Canada Covid-19 support program

FCC is a lending organization. They do not provide grants or interest-free loans. Normal lending due diligence will be taken on all applications.

  • FCC has put in place:
    • a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or
    • a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months
    • term loans up to $2.5M, with no fees and an 18-month interest-only option available over a 10-year amortization. These funds can be used for working capital and to modify production due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Canada’s Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Deadline: June 2021

  • For small and medium-sized businesses
  • Covers payroll and operating costs caused by current economic situation
  • Repay over 5 years, with 6 month principal payment postponement

Worker Benefits

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

  • The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
  • If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.
  • If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again.
  • You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

  • The CRCB is for care givers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because of care giving responsibilities
  • $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household between now and September 25, 2021
  • If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again

More Resources

How to Cohort During an Outbreak of COVID-19 in a Congregate Living Setting

Food manufacturing and processing health and safety during COVID-19

Develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan

Labour/Workplace Safety Webinars

FEBRUARY 10, 2021 | 12 pm – 1 pm
WSIB and COVID-19: Here to Help in the Event of an Outbreak
Speaker: Kendra Holliday-Bryant, WSIB

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board understands that a COVID-19 outbreak can be an overwhelming experience for an agricultural business during these changing times. The WSIB is here to help. Please join Kendra Holliday-Bryant, Stakeholder Relations Manager for a session on how WSIB is able to work with you should you experience an outbreak. She will cover topics on reporting obligations, foreign agricultural worker policy, wage reimbursement, and the single point of contact process. The WSIB’s goal when an outbreak occurs is to get you back to what is important to you, running your business.
Live event. Advance registration required.
Click here to register
FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | 12 pm – 1 pm
Access to Labour in 2021: Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program &  HR Resources for Farm Employers
Speakers: Ken Forth, FARMS/LICC;  Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, CAHRC
Live event. Advance registration required. 
Click here to register

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