TORONTO ― To stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe, the Ontario government is launching a new $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses provide innovative solutions or retool their operations in order to manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment, including gowns, coveralls, masks, face shields, testing equipment and ventilators. This new Fund will support the development of proposals submitted by businesses and individuals through the Ontario Together web portal.
The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
“Ontario has an army of innovators, entrepreneurs, and the hardest-working people in the world ready to roll up their sleeves, support our frontline healthcare workers, and beat this virus,” said Premier Ford. “This mass mobilization of government, business, communities and private citizens to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe and healthy represents one of the largest and most ambitious efforts undertaken by Ontario in generations.”
In addition, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade have worked closely with businesses across Ontario and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association to ramp up production of ventilators to meet the need in Ontario and other parts of Canada. The government has recently placed an order with O-Two Medical Technologies who, with the support of Ontario’s world-class manufacturing sector, will produce 10,000 ventilator units.
“Our government is taking extraordinary measures to support businesses and organizations that are responding to COVID-19,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “It’s inspiring to see the Ontario business community respond to the call to action. Through the Ontario Together web portal and the Ontario Together Fund, we are making sure that companies have the resources and support they need to supply emergency products and innovative solutions quickly and efficiently to help address this challenging time together.”
The government will be looking for the most viable, innovative proposals that can quickly provide critical goods and services and the greatest benefit to the people of Ontario. The government is providing one-time funding of $50 million in 2020-21 during the COVID-19 outbreak. It is time-limited and will be available to companies and organizations across the province.
“The fight against COVID-19 presents significant challenges for small businesses, but their strength and ingenuity are key to weathering this storm,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “The Ontario Action Plan gives families and small businesses the supports they need. Ontario Together will link the resources of government with the capacity and #OntarioSpirit of our small businesses ― to manufacture the resources Ontario needs.”
“Only by working together and harnessing the full potential of Ontario’s innovators will we be able to confront the growing challenge of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The Ontario Together Fund will help enable our business community to provide the supplies and equipment our frontline heroes need as they continue to keep Ontarians safe.”