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Funding & Grant Opportunities for the Tourism Sector

Current Opportunities

Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant

About: The Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant from the Ontario Provincial Government that provides one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and travel sector.

Deadline for Submission:  June 25, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT

Eligibility:  To be eligible for this grant, your business:

  • did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant
  • operates a tourism or travel business in Ontario that:
    • opened before 2021, and
    • was still in operation on April 30, 2021.
  • had 99 or fewer employees on April 30, 2021.
  • has experienced a revenue decline of at least 20% if you began operating or acquired the business before July 2, 2019
    • Businesses that began operating or were acquired on or after July 2, 2019 and before January 1, 2021, will receive the $10,000 minimum grant if they meet all the eligibility criteria.
    • Businesses that began operating or were acquired in 2021 are not eligible for the grant.

The business is not eligible for the grant if it or any of its affiliated businesses received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant.

If your business was affiliated with one or more other businesses on April 30, 2021:

  • the business applying on behalf of the group of affiliated businesses (the primary business), must be carrying out an eligible tourism or travel business activity in Ontario that began operating before 2021
  • the primary business needs to provide a list of all affiliated businesses
  • the employee count on April 30, 2021 and the calculation of the revenue decline are determined using the total number of employees and revenues of the business and all affiliated businesses.

A business is affiliated with another business if:

  • one of the businesses controls the other business directly or indirectly, or
  • each business is controlled directly or indirectly by the same business, individual, or group of individuals or businesses.

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Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) 

About: The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free, partially forgivable, loans of up to $60,000, to small businesses and not-for-profits, that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19 but face ongoing non-deferrable costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and wages.

Deadline for Submission: June 30, 2021

Eligibility: Business owners that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19 but face ongoing non-deferrable costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and wages can apply for support through their banks and credit unions.

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FedDev Ontario’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

About: As part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the RRRF is assisting businesses and organizations across Canada to mitigate financial pressures caused by the pandemic. To help keep more people employed, and to sustain more employers for recovery, the Government of Canada is investing over $2 billion through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund – 25 percent of which is earmarked for the tourism sector. $536.4 million of RRRF funding has been allocated to southern Ontario. This expanded funding allows the RRRF to continue to be a backstop for eligible applicants, mirroring the support offered by other federal support programs as they evolve to meet the needs of businesses.

Deadline for Submission: Applications for RRRF loans are being accepted until June 30, 2021.

Eligibility: A Canadian or provincially-incorporated business, co-operative, partnership or an Indigenous-owned business with 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees; or organizations, including social enterprises, that are engaged in commercial activities as a significant portion of operations (i.e., the exchanging of goods or services); or chambers of commerce, business or sector associations and other economic development organizations that provide support to businesses that meet the following:

  • Located in southern Ontario;
  • Facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Have applied to other Government of Canada COVID-19 relief measures for which they are eligible, as outlined in the program guidelines;
  • Were operational prior to March 15, 2020;
  • Are financially viable;
  • Plan to continue to operate or resume operations; and
  • Have an active business chequing/operating account.

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FedNor Ontario's Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) 

About:  The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is a special relief fund established by the Government of Canada to support businesses and organizations economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will help to address gaps left by other measures as part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, and complement those already provided by other levels of government, as well as take into account regional needs and realities. In January 2021, the Government of Canada announced an additional $29 million in support of RRRF in Northern Ontario, raising the total of RRRF investments to more than $100 million in the region since the start of the pandemic.

Deadline for Submission: June 30th, 2021

Eligibility: Interested companies are encouraged to contact their local FedNor Officer as soon as possible to discuss program eligibility.

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Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund

AboutThe Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund (TEDRF) is an application-based, cost-sharing program designed to provide non-capital funding to projects that either:

  • encourage the development of innovative new tourism products
  • support tourism investment
  • build the capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry

The program also supports innovative tourism recovery projects aimed at increasing tourism within Ontario to address the reduction in global travel as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Deadline for Submission: Accepting applications on an ongoing basis

Eligibility: Eligible applicants include:

  • municipalities and destination marketing organizations (regional tourism organizations are not eligible)
  • Indigenous organizations
  • Ontario tourism industry associations
  • not-for-profit organizations (with a clearly defined tourism focus)
  • for-profit tourism organizations

In addition, to be eligible for the TEDRF program, your project must meet all the following eligibility requirements:

  • project must take place in the Province of Ontario
  • applicant organization must be a legal entity, incorporated in Canada and in existence for a minimum of one year, as of the date of submission
  • applicant must not be in default of the terms and conditions of any grant or loan agreement with any ministry or agency of the Government of Ontario (for example, Ontario Trillium Foundation)
  • information provided in the application must be true, correct and complete (as verified by an authorized official)

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Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)

About: The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) provides businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19, access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. The program is available at some participating financial institutions. Other participating financial institutions will deploy the program progressively over the days that follow.

Deadline for Submission: December 31, 2021

Eligibility: Your primary financial institution will determine whether you qualify for this program, based on the eligibility criteria established by the Government of Canada. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Your business is Canadian based.
  • Your business must have been financially stable and viable prior to the current economic situation.
  • You must have received payments either from the Canada Emergency Subsidy (CEWS) or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) by having demonstrated a minimum 50% revenue decline for at least three months (not necessarily consecutive) within the eight-month period prior to the date of the HASCAP Guarantee application.
  • If your business does not qualify for CEWS and CERS, but otherwise meets all HASCAP eligibility criteria, you must provide financial statements that reflect at least three months (not necessarily consecutive) in which monthly year-over-year revenue decreased by at least 50% within the eight-month period prior to the date of the HASCAP Guarantee application.
 

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COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program - Small Business (CEAP-SB)

About: In the summer of 2020, the Government of Ontario made $8 million available to support small business and registered charity customers who have overdue amounts on their energy bills as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. In March 2021, the government made an additional $23 million available to support both residential and small business customers.

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB) provides an on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Small business and registered charity customers may be eligible for up to $1,500 in support towards their electricity and natural gas bills, and can apply for on-bill credits for both electricity and natural gas separately. Customers who previously received CEAP-SB support that was less than the maximum amount of $1,500 and have additional arrears may apply again, but their total on-bill credits cannot exceed that amount.

Deadline for Submission: Currently no deadline, however, funding for the program is limited.

How to Apply: You must apply through your utility or USMP. Contact them directly about ways to apply – in addition to email and mail, other options like an online form may be available.

Eligibility: Small business and registered charity electricity or natural gas customers are now eligible for CEAP-SB if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • The customer has an active account with an electricity distributor, a USMP or a natural gas distributor. 
  • The customer’s account falls within the following class:
    • For customers of an electricity distributor, the General Service less than 50 kW rate class
    • For customers of a USMP, the relevant commercial class that uses less than 150,000 kWh of electricity annually
    • For customers of a natural gas distributor, is a non-residential customer that uses less than 50,000 cubic meters of gas annually
    • Customers can find information about their class on their bill, or they can contact their utility or USMP.  
  • The customer has a registered business number or charitable registration number for the small business or registered charity operating out of the premises.
  • The customer has overdue amounts owing on the day they apply from one or more electricity or gas bills since March 17, 2020.

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Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grants

About: Businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures (in areas with modified Stage 2 restrictions or categorized as control/red or lockdown/grey) can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, to cover municipal/education property taxes and energy costs (electricity/natural gas/propane/home heating oil).

Deadline for Submission: Currently no deadline. 

Eligibility: Varies with type of business. Please click the "Learn More" button below for details.

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Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund 

About: Providing up front working capital directed towards the applicant’s marketing and promotional costs, with the investment taking the form of a partially repayable loan. It has three aims: (1) to increase cultural tourism by providing investments to assist Ontario organizations to develop, promote and present one- off or first time events, or a significant expansion of existing activity, which are designed to attract new tourists and visitors to cultural events; (2) increase the earned revenue capability of the applicant organization; and (3) support events that foster economic growth and contribute to job creation.

Deadline for Submission: No deadlines for Stage one of the application process. Next Stage two deadline is September 10, 2021.

Eligibility:

  • The project must be distinct from ongoing programming or activity (this can be either a new event or a significant expansion or enhancement to existing programming)
  • The project must represent the single largest new programming initiative in the applicant’s business plan for that year
  • The project must run for a fixed or limited time period
  • The project must have a marketing plan targeting new tourists to the community
  • The project must anticipate that at least 10% of the project total revenues are secured from the private sector AND at least 40% of total revenues are achieved through the project’s earned revenue
  • The project must demonstrate clearly the capability of repayment to OCAF and with an aim to generate a surplus for the applicant
  • The Board typically considers projects with total attendance figures of at least 1,000 in rural areas and 10,000 in large urban centers. Special consideration will be given to projects with attendance between 7,500 and 10,000 in large urban centers or between 750 and 1,000 in rural and northern areas if there is a strong case for tourism potential.

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FCM: Green Municipal Fund

About: Helps Canadian cities and communities of all sizes pilot environmental projects that reduce GHG emissions and protect the air, water or land. This funding is designed to accommodate transformative, best-in-class municipal projects, meaning they’re highly innovative and impactful.

Deadline for Submission: As of April 1, 2020, GMF will accept capital project applications on a continuous, year-round basis. Eligible applicants with an application form will be contacted after April 1, 2020.

  • Grant: Up to $500,000 to cover up to 50% of eligible costs.
    • Municipalities and municipal partners with a population of 20,000 or under may qualify for a grant of up to 80 per cent of eligible project costs under certain conditions. Contact us to find out if your municipality is eligible.

Eligibility: Funding is available to Canadian municipalities and their partners for highly innovative and impactful environmental projects that improve municipal service delivery while reducing GHG emissions and protecting the air, water or land.

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Canadian Experiences Fund

About: As part of the $58.5 million Canadian Experiences Fund national initiative, FedDev Ontario will be administering $11 million to support Southern Ontario’s tourism sector. 

Deadline for Submission: Continuous. 

Eligibility:

  • Non-profits
  • For-profit businesses
  • Local governments
  • Local development agencies
  • Or any other organizations, provided they are in line with the relevant RDA's contribution programs and related terms and conditions.

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Canada-Ontario Job Grant:

About: The Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides direct financial support to individual employers or employer consortia who wish to purchase training for their employees.

Deadline for Submission: Continuous.

Eligibility:

  • You are licensed to operate your business in Ontario;
  • You are applying to train an Ontario resident you employ or will employ;
  • You are applying for training that will be delivered in Ontario and is related to a job that is also located in Ontario;
  • You are in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act;
  • You are in compliance with all applicable federal and provincial human rights legislation, regulations, and any other relevant standards;
  • You have adequate third-party liability insurance as advised by your insurance broker;
  • You have Workplace Safety Insurance coverage;
  • You are not a federal, provincial, or municipal government or agency;
  • You are not a designated broader public sector organization, as defined by the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act;
  • You are not a district social services administration board established under the District Social Services Administration Boards Act, notwithstanding their exclusion under the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act;
  • You are not an Employment Service or a Canada-Ontario Job Grant service provider;
  • You are not in receipt of other government funds related to the same skills training for the same individual(s); and
  • You must not use training participants to displace existing staff or replace staff currently on lay-off.

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