TORONTO – The Ontario government is providing one‐time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to support eligible small tourism and travel businesses struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through the new $100-million Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant.
The launch of the program was announced today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.
“Prior to the pandemic, Ontario’s tourism generated more than $36 billion in economic activity and supported more than 400,000 jobs across the province,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “Our government is working with small businesses to overcome the challenges of the past year – through programs like the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant – and help the tourism industry reclaim its place as an economic powerhouse and key job creator in our province.”
This grant will support eligible small tourism and travel businesses that did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG), such as travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts. To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 100 employees and demonstrate they have experienced a minimum 20 per cent revenue decline between 2019 and 2020.
“We know that tourism businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, as people and employers follow the necessary public health measures to keep people safe,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board. “That’s why our 2021 Budget included funding for the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant that will provide direct one-time payments to help thousands of businesses in Ontario.”
“Small businesses in Ontario’s tourism sector create jobs for families and economic growth for communities,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “With this grant, we’re supporting people, businesses, and communities across this province, so we can make it through these tough times together and come back stronger than ever.”
As announced in the 2021 Budget, Ontario is investing more than $400 million over the next three years in new initiatives to support tourism, hospitality, culture, sport and recreation sectors. This builds on investments of $225 million announced earlier, bringing the total support for these sectors to more than $625 million since the pandemic began.
“We are ready to deliver payments to the tourism businesses that have faced revenue loss, building on fee relief provided to travel agents and wholesalers earlier in the pandemic,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “This substantial grant will support their bottom line and help them keep Ontarians safe until we can once again enjoy travel with friends and family.”
“Ontario is a haven for recreation, and small businesses in the tourism sector play a key role in ensuring we remain a world class destination for enjoyment and travel,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “This grant will give hardworking small businesses the support they need to continue serving visitors and our local communities through this period and beyond.”
Small business owners can use the grant in whatever way makes the most sense for their business. Applications for this grant will close on Friday, June 25, 2021.