The Region 9 Regional Tourism Organization (RTO9) has received $3-million from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to deliver this fund to tourism businesses in South Eastern Ontario.
Support is available for small businesses in the tourism sector to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and seize new market opportunities through enhanced or new products and services. All expenditures must be made for upgrades to facilities, services, or enhanced sustainability, inclusivity programming that will benefit the visiting tourist and / or tourism employees.
RTO9 will be administering non-repayable financial support ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. For-profit businesses can apply for non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible project costs. Not-for-profit organizations can apply for non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 for 100% of eligible costs.
The Tourism Relief Fund is available to SMEs Incorporated Private Sector Tourism Businesses, Indigenous, First Nation, Metis and Inuit owned Tourism Businesses, and Incorporated Not-For-Profits that service tourists on a regular basis, Indigenous Band Councils and Municipalities.
The Tourism Relief Fund projects will focus on:
Product development: for example, projects that enhance tourism experiences; help tourism businesses adapt to the “new normal”, to modernize their offerings; adopt more environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices.
Destination development: for example, projects that position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium- to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development prospects in line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.
Incorporated businesses that are owned, managed, led, or serviced by under-represented groups, Indigenous, Women, Francophone, Youth, Persons with Disabilities, Newcomers to Canada, Visible Minorities, and LGBTQ2+ communities are encouraged to apply.
For more information, or to apply, go to: rto9.ca/trf-application-process.