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B.C. Commercial Recreation Businesses to Receive Pandemic Grants

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Eligible accommodation providers and tourism operators in British Columbia holding tenure and BC Parks permits will now have access to grants to alleviate pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release.

“The tourism industry in B.C. continues to be hit hard by the pandemic. From Day 1, our government has worked side by side with industry leaders on recovery initiatives so the industry can come back stronger than ever,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport. “This grant was a call to action by the Tourism Task Force to support these businesses with their bottom line and ensure they can thrive.”

As much as CA$15 million will be provided through the Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund through three streams: one for B.C.-owned large accommodation providers employing more than 150 people; the second for Indigenous-owned large accommodation properties employing more than 100 people and located on reserve; and the third for tenure and BC Parks permit holders that operate as tourism businesses.

“Accommodators across B.C. have suffered years of devastating losses while struggling to meet the demands of rising fixed costs,” said British Columbia Hotel Association President and CEO Ingrid Jarrett.

“I want to acknowledge the leadership, hard work, and commitment demonstrated by Minister Mark to support B.C.’s accommodation sector and make the Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund a reality. We are grateful that this funding will help alleviate hardship for large accommodation providers and better position our industry for recovery.”

The Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief grants will help eligible large accommodation operators with property taxes, hydro fees for Indigenous-owned accommodation, or support for tourism businesses operating on Crown land and in BC Parks with tenure and park permit fees incurred in 2021.

According to the release, eligible large accommodation providers can get up to 25% of property taxes up to a maximum of CA$500,000 in stream one.

In stream two, eligible Indigenous-owned large accommodation providers on reserve can get 100% of BC Hydro fees, up to a maximum of CA$200,000. Large accommodation providers include hotels, motels, resorts, and lodges, including strata hotels.

Eligible commercial recreation businesses can receive 100% of eligible tenure or park-use permits under stream three, to a maximum of CA$200,000.

Tourism businesses with tenures under the Land Act or permits under the Park Act include businesses such as wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, mountaineering, horseback riding, off-road vehicle touring, whitewater rafting, and heli-skiing; small destination resorts such as guest ranches or ecotourism lodges; campgrounds and outdoor recreation parks that offer activities such as waterslides and ziplines.
The application period is open from January 14 to February 14, 2022. Eligibility criteria and application information can be found online at www.gov.bc.ca/accommodation-commercial-recreation-fund.

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