As Ontario enters its 4th lockdown in 21 months, businesses such as educational centres, performance institutions, eateries and gyms have been asked to close in provinces’ fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Heritage Music Academy (HMA) has been fortunate in that our school has the ability to move to online learning but it requires the full cooperation of the parents and students. Knowing that this modality is not a preferred model for some (and not feasible in some cases at all), this has resulted in the loss of business – in some cases permanently.
Music institutions such as ours have been blessed to have parents supporting us by transitioning online temporarily. In the first 3 lockdowns, we have had some level of support from provincial and federal governments (in form of CERS, CEWS, CEBA and Ontario Energy Rebate), but this one came as a surprise to businesses with little1,2 financial support or definitive end in sight. We realize and support public health initiatives to ensure the safety of Ontarians, but just like a hockey game, we have been playing this extremely long game with multiple OTs with the same line-up. You as parents and patrons need to cheer us on to give us the means to continue on with our mission of lifelong enjoyment of music to everyone. We ask for your help along with the other small business affected by:
- Continue utilizing our services: keep taking lessons, buy books (we curbside deliver), refer us to your friends and family
- Continue to use your other small businesses that are asked to close their doors too: buy takeout when you want to go out to eat, do virtual or outdoor exercise classes, buy a gift card, shop local
- Giving your local business extra tips.
Businesses have been innovating in this tough environment, but they ultimately need your patronage to succeed. Please help us!
1 Ontario has promised another energy and property tax rebate during this lockdown, resulting in a real-world subsidy of approximately $200-400 depending on the energy consumption of businesses with physical units. There are no rent or wage subsidies nor additional loans extended to businesses affected by lockdowns. Most small businesses do not own their units and do not benefit from property tax rebates. Source: https://www.ontario.ca/page/businesses-get-help-covid-19-costs
2 For completeness, the article was written on January 5, and the provincial government has extended some new relief that will help some businesses get through this month. Every little bit helps, but not all businesses will qualify for this relief grant.