Supportive financial services for different situations, throughout Ontario
Self-employment can feel like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can be immensely freeing. You get to set your own hours, prioritize tasks as you like, and you get to be your own boss! On the other hand, it can be very stressful financially if it’s your only source of income. There may be instances that are out of your control where your source of income dries up. Illness, economic recession, and personal emergencies can all be detrimental to your earnings.
Although financial services can be difficult to navigate especially for the self-employed in Ontario, there is financial help available if you know where to look!
Navigating local resources can be frustrating. In Ontario, financial help for self-employed workers will typically involve government programs, community resources, and loans. Read on to learn everything from where you can get a loan in Toronto to how to collect emergency assistance.
The type of financial service you need will often depend on what you need the money for, and how urgent your request is. For example, if you were unable to work due to an illness or a family emergency, you could apply for emergency assistance. If your situation is not urgent, you might consider other avenues of government support or taking out a loan. Regardless of your circumstances, it is important to know what your options are so you’re prepared for whatever life throws your way.
There are national and provincial programs designed to offer social assistance to Canadian residents. Some of these programs are available to everyone, such as employment insurance, while others are tailored to specific groups, including but not limited to seniors, students, and newcomers to Canada.
Ontario Works is the broadest form of financial assistance. It is available to anyone who lives in Ontario, needs financial assistance to cover food or shelter, and is willing to participate in activities that will help you find a job. In addition to financial support, you may also get access to health benefits, including dental care or prescription eyewear.
If you’re self-employed in Ontario, you would most likely qualify for Ontario Works, but may still need to participate in job seeking activities in order to receive benefits. For example, if you’re a self-employed rideshare driver, you would most likely qualify for Ontario Works, but may have to participate in employment activities such as employment counselling, job training, or part time employment placements.
This can be a great option for people who are self-employed but are looking for stable employment. Ontario Works can help you expand your skillset, complete or localize your education, and give you resources to improve your English if you’re not a native speaker.
The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) helps Ontario residents afford a college or university education. This can be very helpful if you’re looking to go back to school, or are self-employed while already enrolled in higher education.
There are some restrictions for OSAP, and these are based on your income, credit history, and academic progress. OSAP is not available to international students.
Financial services for Ontario students provided through OSAP may be a grant (which does not have to be repaid) or a loan (which will have to be repaid). If you’re looking for support to invest in your education or your child’s education, OSAP is a good option for you.
The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is an income supplement for persons with significant medically diagnosed physical or mental impairment that affects their ability to work or care for themselves. This can be particularly helpful if you were injured on the job in the past, or if you’re coping with an injury that is likely to affect you for more than one year. The ODSP is only granted to people with a legitimate financial need to cover their food and shelter costs.
The amount you are eligible for will vary; however, it is important to note that your self-employment income can affect this number. When you apply for ODSP, you will be assigned a case worker who will help you calculate how much supplemental income you are eligible for.
Legal Aid provides free and low cost legal services to low income individuals and families in Ontario. Although they can’t help you with legal issues related to self-employment, they can help you navigate refugee and immigration law, family law, criminal charges, and applications to Ontario Works and ODSP. They may also be able to redirect you to other community services or lawyers who can help you with other legal matters.
Newcomers to Canada will find that the Ontario government offers all kind of services to immigrants, refugees, international students, and permanent residents to help them integrate with daily life. Most services for newcomers are focussed on helping new Canadians improve their language proficiency in English and French, and ensuring that skilled newcomers can get necessary local certifications for their profession. While these programs aren’t direct financial aid, they are usually free or low-cost and can help you improve your earnings potential.
If you are experiencing a crisis and need emergency financial support, you can apply for emergency assistance. This short-term financial support helps Ontario residents cover necessities like food and shelter. The office that administers emergency assistance is part of Ontario Works, which administers long-term financial support.
In addition to the above resources, there are is also financial help for self-employed workers available to all Canadians, even those outside Ontario.
Many people seeking financial help in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario assume that emergency financial services are the only way to go; however, there are many grant options and loans for freelancers options you can use to access capital.
For young entrepreneurs, the province of Ontario has special training and funding programs to help encourage young business owners. Most of the resources are for anyone between the ages of 15 – 29. There are all kinds of sectors who are eligible to receive investments, including special programs for women, Northern Ontario business owners, and tech entrepreneurs. Looking for more information on how to be self-employed in Ontario? Check out our comprehensive guide on the gig economy and the future of work!
Personal loans can help self-employed people cover a broad range of expenses, including those that don’t pertain directly to your business. Whether the loan covers a bill, or acts as a cash advance for a special purchase, personal loans can give you the versatility to overcome all kinds of financial barriers. If you’re an independent contractor, it may be difficult to secure a business loan for your one-person-operation, so personal loans are often the way to go. Even then, it can even be difficult finding personal loans for the self-employed in Canada from large banks. Luckily, there are lenders out there who specialize in helping independent contractors find financial freedom.
Moves is Toronto’s top source of personal loans for self-employed in Canada, serving freelancers across the country. With Moves, freelancers from gig economy platforms can access low-cost loans without being blocked by credit checks or big bank bureaucracy. Freelancers can apply for a loan from Moves and get approved within minutes, making it the top choice for busy business owners.
No longer do you need to ask, ‘Where can I get a loan in Toronto?’ Support for your personal business is everywhere when you know where to look! Whether you’re looking to invest some cash into your business or cover an unexpected bill, there are plenty of places for self-employed people to get financial support in Ontario.