March 11, 2021
Reading the below press release from the Ontario government today as it pertains to grants for northern businesses is dystopian at best. The business community has been decimated and further driven into the ground by the government’s “protective measures“ further taxing the profit line. In the real world prevention also includes natural immune system self care.
From discussions with many business owners it’s very obvious that they don’t want handouts but want to keep operating and growing their business without the fear of rolling lockdowns, inspectors looking to validate their employment, extra penalty fees, more protective measures, the list goes on. This normalization of promoting the restructuring evolvement of businesses to protect people from a virus but zero effort on the preventive health methods and the importance of them is perverse.
This week Stats Canada released a report indicating that more people are dying due to missed cancer screening appointments because of Covid instead of the virus itself. Yet the next day these smart people in our Ontario government public sector release a statement with this viral dystopian message: Take the money, this is your new normal for the foreseeable future as your neighbours to the south are pushing for a full re-opening.
Today‘s press release:
“Today, Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing, announced more than $2.9 million for 145 businesses across the Nipissing region to help support necessary upgrades and improvements to protect employees, customers and the community from the spread of COVID-19. The funding is being provided through the Northern Ontario Recovery Program (NORP).
"We need a healthy workforce to rebuild our economy and these grants will help keep businesses and their employees safe during the pandemic," said MPP Fedeli. "This funding, exclusively for northern businesses, is an example of the Ontario government's commitment to the North."
To date, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) has approved NORP funding for over 1,300 businesses throughout the north and counting. NORP grants have been delivered to businesses across a variety of sectors, including tourism, foodservice and retail. A running list of businesses in the Nipissing region that are in receipt of NORP funding can be found on the corporation's website.
The NOHFC accepted NORP applications until November 20, 2020. The funding is helping businesses adjust to the impacts of COVID-19, and includes projects such as:
Building renovations and new constructions
Customer and employee safety installations
Personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases
Marketing for new business initiatives
Restructuring of business operations
"As the province continues to respond to the ongoing challenge of the global pandemic, our government will continue to support our business owners, entrepreneurs and workers," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. "There is no denying that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on businesses throughout Northern Ontario and this program is delivering targeted funding so they can continue to serve their communities."
All other NOHFC programs closed on September 30, 2020, to allow the corporation to focus exclusively on NORP. The Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs on February 11, 2021.