Federal government announces $20 million to support Ottawa businesses affected by downtown protests

Ottawa businesses impacted by the Freedom Convoy protest will be eligible for federal funding of $10,000 to help cover operating costs.

The federal government announced an investment of up to $20 million to provide “non-refundable contributions” to Ottawa businesses that suffered losses during the three-week blockade.

The Rideau Center and several small businesses and restaurants have been closed since Jan. 29, when vehicles began blocking downtown streets to protest COVID-19 vaccination mandates and other public health measures. The Retail Council of Canada estimated that the first seven days of the shutdown cost the Rideau Center $19.7 million in lost revenue.

Small businesses will need to apply for non-repayable contributions of up to $10,000 for non-deferrable operational costs not covered by other federal programs.

“We have heard the growing concerns and frustrations of many business improvement associations and small businesses in downtown Ottawa who have been forced to close or have seen their businesses severely impacted due to the illegal blockades in Ottawa. said Helena Jaczek, Federal Foreign Minister. Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, said.

“Our government’s investment of up to $20 million in Invest Ottawa will help local businesses get the support they need to recover.

Invest Ottawa will work with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Improvement Areas Coalition to provide business support. More information on the application process will be posted on the Invest Ottawa website in the “coming weeks”, according to the government.

“Drawing directly on our mission, we strive to help these businesses at the heart of our community overcome significant challenges, survive and thrive again,” said Michael Tremblay, President and CEO of Invest Ottawa.

“Together with the Ottawa Business Improvement Areas Coalition, the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and other partners, we look forward to helping business owners negatively impacted by recent events receive the support they need to continue to grow their business, our community and economy.”

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