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Applications for COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Businesses opens today

Local small businesses who have had financial difficulty during the pandemic will be happy to hear that the Ontario government and North Bay Hydro is offering help.

North Bay Hyrdo Distribution Limited (NBHDL) is supporting the Ontario government’s launch of the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB). The government is providing $8 million, in addition to the previous $9 Million that was offered through the residential version of the program, to support eligible small business customers struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19.

It will be administered and delivered directly by NBDHL, on behalf of the government and the Ontario Energy Board. It provides one time, on-bill credit to eligible small business electricity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.

Applications are open beginning today (August 31, 2020).

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Eligibility Requirements 

Small businesses may be eligible for CEAP-SB funding if they meet the following criteria:

  1. The Small Business had no overdue amount on their bill in respect to electricity charges on March 17, 2020, and the account was not enrolled in payment plans for amounts owing for charges prior to March 17, 2020.
  2. The Small Business has, as of the day of the application, overdue amounts owing for electricity charges from at least 2 bills.
  3. The Small Business was required to close for at least fifteen business days as a result of a government order or an inability to adapt their business to comply with public health recommendations;

Examples of what closures might include, but are not limited to:

  • Personal services (e.g. hair salon, chiropractor) that had to fully close.
  • A restaurant or coffee shop that had to close regular dining operations and provided only takeaway or delivery service.
  • A small fashion retailer or pet store whose premises were closed to the public but were able to provide contactless curbside pick for customers.
  • A non-publicly funded registered charity whose premises were closed to the public but were able to adapt to provide limited services remotely.

How to apply 

NBHDL will provide the CEAP-SB application form on its website. They can also send the application by mail to any small business customer that requests it. Contact NBHDL if you require additional assistance obtaining an application form.

CEAP-SB funding is limited. Submitting an application for CEAP-SB does not guarantee funding.

Additional information regarding the CEAP program can be found on our website at

Questions regarding the CEAP-SB program can be sent by email or phone to our customer service department.

[email protected] or 7054748100



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