Northern Ontario Recovery Program Q&As

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Q1. What is the Northern Ontario Recovery Program (NORP)?


The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) is introducing a new, short-term Northern Ontario Recovery Program (NORP) that will help Northern Ontario businesses recover from the COVID-19 outbreak by assisting them to adapt their operations to meet public health guidelines, protect employees and customers, and rebuild consumer confidence.

Q2. Who is eligible for NORP funding?


Northern Ontario businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • At least one year of operations as of March 17, 2020
  • Were impacted by the Province of Ontario Emergency Order that closed in-person workplaces/worksites for all non-essential businesses on March 24, 2020
  • Experienced a loss of revenue or increase in expenses as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Applicants, and their related parties, are in good standing with NOHFC

Q3. Is my business still eligible for funding under NORP if my business did not close down completely over any period, but was still impacted by the Province of Ontario Emergency Order that closed in-person workplaces/worksites for all non-essential businesses on March 24, 2020?


Yes, provided that your business meets all the remaining eligibility criteria of the program.

Q4. What is eligible for NORP funding?


Eligible projects support the adaptation of business operations and practices to meet public health guidelines for operations under re-opening stages, and to support employee and consumer safety.

Eligible costs will be those incurred and paid after March 17, 2020, and include but are not limited to:

  • Capital construction
  • Leasehold improvements
  • New or used equipment
  • Restructuring of business operations (Does not include costs related to corporate restructuring)
  • Marketing for new business initiatives
  • Personal Protective Equipment and customer/employee safety installations
  • Other costs deemed necessary to complete the project at the discretion of the NOHFC

If you require assistance to understand what project costs may be considered eligible, please contact your local Regional Economic Development Branch Advisor at 1-866-711-8304.

Q5. What is not eligible for NORP funding?


Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:

  • Renovations not associated with meeting public health guidelines
  • Land
  • Refinancing
  • Business plans/strategic plans/feasibility studies etc.
  • Assets acquired through operating leases
  • Rolling stock
  • Project management costs/consulting costs/administration costs
  • Mineral exploration and mine development
  • Cost of inventory
  • Capital projects or leasehold improvements to residential or personal properties
  • Fixed cost expenses
  • Working capital
  • Direct employee costs

Q6. Will my business be reimbursed on the total cost of invoices which include HST?


NOHFC will only reimburse on the net cost, excluding any rebates, credits, refunds and tax (including HST).

Q7. How much funding could my business receive under NORP? What else do I need to know about how NORP funding works?


Funding will be in the form of a conditional contribution (which is a grant that is paid provided certain conditions are met). NOHFC will cover 100% of eligible costs up to $25,000. Funding is provided on a reimbursement basis and based on actual eligible costs incurred and paid. Funding is limited and will be on a first-come basis.

Applicants must demonstrate that the amount of funding requested from NOHFC does not duplicate funding from other government sources. If eligible costs for the proposed project are greater than $25,000, applicants will have to identify additional sources of funding on their applications.

Q8. How long will NORP run?


The application window will run from October 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020.

Q10. Are there supporting documents that need to be submitted during the application process?


Yes. Applicants must provide the following documentation to accompany the application:

  • Financial history for the previous year such as an income statement or income tax return
  • Documents showing the establishment or creation of the business
    • For corporations, articles of incorporation or letters patent
    • For sole proprietors, two pieces of valid identification (e.g. birth certificate, passport)
    • For partnerships, partnership registration together with copies of the following:
      • Articles of incorporation or letters patent for each corporate partner
      • Two pieces of valid identification (e.g. birth certificate, passport) for each individual partner (i.e. person)

Q11. How will I know if my business' application is approved?


If your business' application is approved for funding, NOHFC will contact you to provide you with a funding agreement for review and execution. If you have any questions about the funding agreement, please contact your local Regional Economic Development Branch Advisor at 1-866-711-8304.

Q12. Is there any additional information that will be required to be submitted to NOHFC with the signed funding agreement?


Yes, you will be required to:

  • Provide a certificate of insurance that shows that your business maintains all necessary and appropriate insurance required to run your business and carry out the project, including commercial general liability insurance to an inclusive limit of not less than $2,000,000 per occurrence (the funding contract may include additional insurance requirements)
  • Submit a completed Electronic Funds Transfer form and banking information to enable payment of the funding by electronic funds transfer

Q13. When will funding be disbursed?


After you return the signed funding agreement to NOHFC together with the additional information required, and provided you have met all the terms and conditions set out in the funding agreement, you may submit a request for reimbursement to NOHFC. The request for reimbursement must be submitted with all other forms and documents required and set out in the funding agreement to initiate reimbursement, including proof of eligible costs incurred and paid (e.g. copies of bank statements that indicate payments made). All eligible costs related to the project must be submitted on one request for reimbursement.

Q14. Does the project need to be completed prior to receiving funding?


Yes, the project must be completed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement before any funding will be disbursed.

Q15. Can my business access other government funding to support the same costs for which my business is requesting NOHFC funding under NORP?


Project costs that have or will be funded by other government sources are not eligible for funding under NORP.

Q16. Are there monitoring and reporting requirements?


Yes. NORP funding recipients will be required to submit a short final project report that outlines the impact of the project on their business when submitting a request for reimbursement.

Q17. I still have questions about the Northern Ontario Recovery Program. Who should I contact?


Your local Regional Economic Development Branch Advisor can be contacted for assistance by calling 1-866-711-8304.

Q18. Are not-for-profit organizations eligible to apply for funding under NORP?


Not-for-profit organizations are not eligible for funding under NORP. However, there may be other government programs available to your organization. For more information, please contact your local Northern Development Advisor.

Q19. What does NOHFC accept as valid identification for individuals


NOHFC requires two pieces of valid (i.e. not expired) identification for individuals, one of which must show the following 4 items:

  1. name
  2. date of birth
  3. photo
  4. signature

Examples include birth certificate, marriage licence, passport, driver’s licence, enhanced driver’s license, Ontario photo card and other government-issued identification (other than a provincial health card­).

Q20. If my business is approved for NOHFC funding under NORP, could this information be made public?


NOHFC’s disclosure of information is governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Ontario). As a result, information provided to NOHFC in connection with a project that has been approved for funding is subject to disclosure in accordance with that Act. The Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines may choose to publicly announce some or all of the approved projects under this program.