Funding helps forest sector businesses offset cost of COVID-19 safety measures
New government funding is available for small and medium sized forest sector businesses to help offset the cost of COVID-19 safety measures.
The funding is to be used for initiatives such as setting up sanitizing stations, providing enhanced cleaning, worker safety training, measures to increase physical distancing, and to purchase personal protective equipment.
The forestry industry is considered an essential sector due to its vital role in supplying essential forest products for hygiene, medical supplies, food packaging and shipping materials.
Providing a financial investment through the Forest Sector Safety Measures Fund further supports the province's Sustainable Growth: Ontario's Forest Sector Strategy. Ontario's strategy will create jobs and encourage economic growth in the forestry industry, supporting the Indigenous, northern and rural communities that depend on the sector. It will also ensure the province's forests are managed sustainably for generations to come.
Applications for funding (up to $75,000) are due by Feb. 12, 2021.
For information on program eligibility and timelines, please visit ontario.ca/forestsafetyfund
For COVID-19 forestry safety resources, please visit workplacesafetynorth.ca/resources/covid-19-resources
- On July 10, 2020, the federal government announced the Forest Sector Safety Measures Fund, which is providing up to $30 million to offset costs of COVID-19 health and safety measures for small and medium businesses in the forest sector.
- Ontario has more than 1,900 small and medium sized businesses in the forest sector, directly employing close to 35,000 people.
- Earlier this year, the province provided immediate COVID-19 relief measures to the forestry industry, including deferring stumpage revenue collection for six months, making $3.5 million available to protect tree plant workers, expediting the forestry roads funding program, and revising the forest manuals and independent forest audits to modernize and streamline requirements and provide time savings for businesses.
- The forest sector generates over $18 billion in revenue and supports approximately 147,000 direct and indirect jobs across Ontario.
Small, medium and large size business can also earn rebates for addressing COVID-19 through the Health and Safety Excellence program from Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
Federal, provincial and municipal Governments have developed a series of supports for both business and employees/workers
Businesses (financial relief): https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-help-businesses-ontario
- Small business recovery resources: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/small-business-recovery-resources
- Sustainable Growth: Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy
- Forest Sector Safety Measures Fund
- Latest Ontario forestry health and safety statistics
- Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace
- Safe Driving on Forest Roads e-course - 70% off until Mar. 31, 2021
- Provincially approved forestry health and safety training – English and French
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