On Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced that effective this coming Monday, November 23rd, 2020 Toronto and Peel region will be in lockdown.
The Premier also announced $600M in funding to help businesses with the cost of PPE and fixed costs, such as property taxes and energy bills.
In this post, we will explain how these grants and rebates work and how to apply.
What Is The Grant To Help Me Pay For PPE?
The “Ontario Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support” provides up to $1,000 to help with the PPE costs.
This grant does not have to be paid back.
To qualify, your pharmacy must:
- Have between 2 to 9 employees
- Be in one of the following sectors: retail, accommodation and food services, repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services
For the first condition, it is our interpretation that if you, as the owner, are on payroll, that you count towards the 2 to 9 employee requirements.
For the second condition, retail stores are those with NAICS classifications 44-45. Pharmacy is classified as retail since its classification code is 44-6110, so no problem meeting the second condition.
What Rebates Are There To Help Me Pay For Fixed Costs?
Businesses that are required to shut down or significantly restrict services to due provincial public health measures can apply for rebates to cover fixed costs.
Retail, including pharmacies, can apply for these rebates if your store is in a region in lockdown mode.
However, businesses are not eligible if they are not required to close or significantly restrict services.
What does “significantly restrict services” mean? This not clearly defined on the Ontario site and is open to interpretation.
That said, the following is our interpretation.
Pharmacy is considered an essential service, so you are not required to shutdown.
However, due to lockdown measures, capacity limit inside your store is now reduced to 50%.
Therefore, it is our interpretation, that this capacity restriction falls under the definition of “significantly restrict services.”
We recommend that you apply for these rebates anyway, the worst that can happen is that they turn down the application.
If successful, you will receive rebates to cover:
- Municipal and education property taxes
- Energy bills, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil)
While the definitions do not mention how much the rebates will be for, it is our interpretation that the Government will cover 100% of these fixed costs for the duration that your region is in lockdown.
Effective Monday, November 23rd, you can apply for these rebates to cover these fixed costs for the duration of the next 28 days that your region is in lockdown.
If your region continues to be in lockdown after that, you will have to apply again for the next period.
When your region moves out of lockdown, these rebates will stop.
What You Will Need To Apply
For the PPE grant, you will need to submit receipts or proof costs of PPE purchased since March 17, 2020, including:
- Gloves, gowns, face shields, eye protection, masks, sanitizer, sanitizing wipes
- Thermometers, temperature monitors or cameras
- Physical changes, including the installation of hand sanitizer stations and plexiglass dividers
- Signs to guide or inform customers and employees
For the rebates, you will be to submit proof of costs, including:
- Property tax bills (or proof of costs associated with property taxes).
- First energy bill (including electricity, natural gas, propane or other) you received on or after the day your region went into lockdown
Need Help Applying?
Schedule a free consultation to talk with us.
If your pharmacy is in Ontario, you can apply to get up to $1,000 in grants to help cover PPE expenses incurred since March 17, 2020.
If your pharmacy is in a region that has been placed in lockdown, you can also apply for rebates on your property tax and energy bills for the entire time that your region is in lockdown.
Since pharmacy is considered an essential service, it is our interpretation, that even though you are not required to shutdown, the capacity reduction to 50% falls under the “severely restrict services” definition required in order to receive these rebates.
Applying for both the grant and rebates are all done in one application.
Therefore, we recommend applying for both the grant and the rebates. You have nothing to lose in applying for both.
Worst case scenario is that you only get the PPE grant and in the best-case scenario you get the rebates as well.
If you need help applying, please schedule a time to chat with us here.
About the Author
Ricardo helps pharmacists like you pay less tax, grow your pharmacy, and grow your wealth.
Prior to starting Pharma Tax, Ricardo worked at another accounting & wealth management firm focused on dentists. Pharmacists were coming on as referrals and all said the same thing: what you guys are doing for dentists, we need that specialist for pharmacy. Hence, Pharma Tax was born.