Many small business owners in our region are all smiles today, following  news from the province regarding the creation of the Northern Ontario Recovery Program to help small businesses from the effects of COVID-19. Kapuskasing and District Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Phillipe Guertin says he is thrilled the province is stepping up, and adds that it’s the small local businesses that have taken the hardest hit.

“This money is a grant so providing that you meet the criteria,” he said. “It’s not a loan and not something that you will have to pay back or pay interest on. It’s definitely a big help knowing that you are taking on more debt and that’s a big bonus.”

Guertin says businesses can put that money to really good use.

“Providing PPE, or if you needed to do renovations, or construction to help your business to go through these difficult times,” he said. “As you know businesses have had to use a lot of PPE whether it be hand sanitizer. There is a whole bunch of different procedures, so it’s not easy.”

The application process will be open from October 1st to the end of December with the Northern Ontario Heritage fund Corporation administering the new program.