There are new sources of funding for local tourism businesses and other small businesses that are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Provincewide Shutdown in Ontario.
Tourisme Prescott-Russell Tourism, the Prescott-Russell Community Development Corporation, Ottawa Tourism, and the Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization have announced a new funding program designed to help alleviate part of the current financial burden that COVID-19 has placed on francophone, Indigenous, rural, and semi-urban tourism businesses.
The Tourism Relief and Investment Program (TRIP) provides one-time, non-repayable grant support of up to $20,000 to eligible tourism businesses in Prescott and Russell counties, along with the City of Ottawa, and the counties of Lanark and Renfrew.
TRIP has been developed to ensure that the region’s vulnerable tourism businesses can effectively meet the evolving health, safety and experience needs of residents and visitors. It features a simple application and awarding process that aims to get relief funds into the hands of eligible businesses as quickly as possible. To verify if your business is eligible, please visit the TRIP webpage to see the list of eligibility requirements.
Applications for the Tourism Relief and Investment Program opened on Friday, January 15, 2021. Priority status will be given to eligible businesses who apply by Thursday, January 31, 2021.
Ontario Small Business Support Grant
Tourism businesses that are ineligible for TRIP, and other small businesses across the region, could be eligible for the Government of Ontario’s new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, as an alternative source of funding.
The Ontario government has opened applications for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The grant provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict their operations due to the Provincewide Shutdown.
Small businesses required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown will be able to apply for a one-time grant and use this funding in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business needs. For example, some businesses could need support paying employee wages, while others could need support with their rent.
Eligible small businesses include those that:
- Were required to close or significantly restrict services due to the Provincewide Shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020.
- Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level.
- Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019. New businesses established since April 2019 will also be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria.
Businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown are also eligible for additional supports, including the government’s program to provide rebates to offset fixed costs such as property tax and energy bills. These rebates will continue to be available for businesses impacted by the Provincewide Shutdown and earlier restrictions.
More information about the Ontario Small Business Support Grant and other rebates is available on Ontario.ca/COVIDsupport.