Canadian Packaging

Ontario distillers receive Provincial Government funding

By Canadian Packaging staff   

General Ontario Small Cidery and Small Distillery Support Program Spirits Canada

The Ontario government has created a $4.9 million relief fund for small cider and spirit makers to get their products to consumers at markets. Spirits Canada says it's about time.

The Government of Ontario is providing eligible provincial distillers with funding up to $4.42 per liter of sales made to the LCBO up to $220,000 per producer, via the new Ontario Small Cidery and Small Distillery Support Program that purports to provide relief to the industry.

“Ontario’s cider and spirits industry is growing at an exciting pace,” explained Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa via a statement. “The Ontario Small Cidery and Small Distillery Support Program will provide small businesses with additional tools to help them succeed.”

The $4.9-million relief fund designed for small craft distillers is, however, being taken as a sign that government taxes and such are too high and are finally being recognized as such.

“Today’s announcement is a tacit admission that taxes, levies and mark-ups on Spirits in Ontario are excessive and constitute a significant barrier to entry,” says Spirits Canada president and chief executive officer Jan Westcott.

“Ontario’s tax load on distillers is twice that imposed on beer and four times greater than that imposed on wine,” he says.

The support program, according to the Ontario government, will help small distillers and cideries grow its businesses, help create jobs and boost economic growth across the province.

According to Spirits Canada, the returns available to distillers on sales in Canada are some of the lowest in the world and impose a significant challenge to fund necessary industry investment in innovation, facility improvement, promotion and market development.

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