The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has hit certain industries harder than others, with tourism and travel among the hardest hit. The Ontario government is providing one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to support eligible small tourism and travel businesses that are struggling to adapt to the financial impacts of COVID-19.
The Ontario 2021 Budget allocated $100 million towards small business support for the tourism and travel industry.
It’s important to note that businesses that received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG) will be ineligible for funding through this program.
The intake period to apply for this program ends Friday, June 25, 2021. For assistance in applying to Canadian government grant or loan programs, contact the Mentor Works team for professional government grant application writing services.
Funding Program Snapshot: Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant
Amount of Funding:
Eligible businesses can receive one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000. The grant size will be determined by the amount of revenue a business has lost due to COVID-19.
Recipients can use their grant towards whatever expenses they see as making the most sense for their business. As an example, you may put this grant towards employee wages, while other businesses may use the money to invest in their recovery.
To be eligible for the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant, a business must:
- Not have received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG);
- Have 99 or fewer employees on April 30, 2021;
- Have a revenue decline of at least 20% if the business began operating or was acquired before July 2, 2019 (More info on this);
- Operate a tourism or travel business in Ontario from the list below that began operating before 2021 and was in operation on April 30, 2021:
- Amusement parks and waterparks;
- Bed and breakfasts that report their revenue as business income for income tax purposes;
- Cottages or cabins that report their revenue as business income for income tax purposes, and not as rental income;
- Fireworks display services;
- Hotels and motels;
- Hunting and fishing camps;
- Indoor attractions intended primarily for tourists (for example, haunted houses, funhouses and mazes);
- Mobile food services (for example, chip wagons, food trucks, ice cream trucks);
- Observation towers;
- Operators of rides, games and other activities that are operated on a concession basis at waterparks, amusement parks, carnivals, fairs and festivals;
- Outdoor adventure operations without accommodation;
- Recreational and vacation camps (for example, overnight summer camps);
- Recreational rental services (for example, bicycle rental, canoe/kayak rental, houseboat rental);
- Resorts; and
- Travel agents and wholesalers registered with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO).
If your business is affiliated with one or more other businesses on April 30, 2021, the following additional rules apply:
- The business is not eligible for the grant if it or any of its affiliated businesses received an Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG); and
- The employee count on April 30, 2021 and the calculation of the revenue loss are determined using the total number of employees and revenues of the business and all affiliated businesses.
A business is considered 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.
Businesses are not eligible for this grant if they:
- Received the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG);
- Began operating in 2021 or were acquired in 2021;
- Are owned, operated or maintained by the federal, provincial or a municipal government or any of their agencies; and
- Are owned by a person holding federal or provincial office or a provincial employee.
Apply for the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant
Those seeking to apply to this COVID-19 financial support grant program can do so on the Ontario.ca program page. Applicants can also check the status of their application through the online portal. The application will require photos or scans of official documents such as a void cheque of your business bank account, certificate of incorporation, and more. It will take an estimated 15 business days for applicants to hear from the program.
To learn more about other federal and provincial grant and loan funding programs, such as Hiring & Training, Business Expansion, or other forms of funding, download our free Types of Government Funding Guide to learn how you can position your business for successful funding applications.