Saturday,  September 25, 2021  3:37 am

Ontario launches relief grant for travel agents, tourism businesses

  • Agency
  •   05-13-2021  10:20 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Ontario launches relief grant for travel agents, tourism businesses
Pax Global Media

The Ontario government has launched its grant for travel and tourism businesses and the fund includes support for travel advisors.

The province 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 its new $100-million Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant.

“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, on Thursday (May 13). “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.”

READ MORE: “A major win”: Industry reacts to Ontario’s new grant for travel agencies

This grant aims to support eligible small tourism and travel businesses that did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG).

The province lists travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts as qualifying sectors.

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.”

As announced in the 2021 Budget, Ontario is investing more than $400M over the next three years in new initiatives to support tourism, hospitality, culture, sport and recreation sectors.

"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.”

Small business owners can use the grant in “whatever way makes the most sense for their business,” the province says.

Applications for the grant will close on Friday, June 25, 2021.

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