Although jobs increased in February, impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt

March 12, 2021

By: The Working Forest Staff

TORONTO — Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following statement in response to today’s monthly employment release by Statistics Canada:

“Employment in Ontario increased by over 100,000 in February. In the last nine months, Ontario has regained over 829,000 jobs overall, including 27,000 more men and women working in our manufacturing sector.  Despite these positive numbers, thousands of workers, families, and businesses — individual Ontarians, not simply numbers in a statistics report — continue to feel the impact of the global pandemic.

Our government understands the difficulty people are experiencing and that’s why we are providing unprecedented support during the pandemic to help businesses and their employees.

To-date we have provided more than $1 billion in Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments. Nearly 100,000 businesses have received a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 in support after having to close or significantly restrict their operations due to the Provincewide Shutdown. Applications remain open until March 31, 2021.

Our government is also providing $600 million for property tax and energy cost rebates to support businesses required to close or significantly reduce services because of public health restrictions.

In addition, we recently expanded the number of small businesses that can apply for the Main Street Relief Grant to help offset the costs of purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE). Small businesses with two to 19 employees in all eligible sectors — expanded from two to nine employees — including those in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, businesses can now apply for up to $1,000 in financial support.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. We are making steady progress executing our Vaccine Distribution Plan, and in fact, have now administered more than one million doses of the vaccine. Until vaccines are provided to every person who wants one, we will remain focused on keeping people safe, protecting jobs, and defeating the virus.

At the same time, we will continue to rely on our business owners to help pull us through these tough times with their innovation, strength, and resilience, demonstrating the best of the Ontario Spirit. By working together, we will defeat this terrible virus, restart the job creation engine of Canada, unleash the economic growth that will secure our recovery, and lay the foundation for a prosperous future.”

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