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Ongoing Federal Relief Programs in Canada Aid Tourism Businesses

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Tourism businesses and organizations have suffered from the pandemic. Fortunately, help is underway with the federal government providing assistance to businesses within Canada’s travel and tourism industry.

Tourism Relief Fund aims to help tourism businesses and organizations create or enhance existing tourism experiences to attract more local and domestic visitors. The funding also helps the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors by offering the best Canadian tourism experience.

With a budget of CA$500 million over two years (ending March 31, 2023), including CA$50 million specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives, and CA$15 million for national initiatives, the fund supports businesses in adapting their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to boost their growth.

Another relief program is the Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy, a subsidy of up to 75 percent of eligible expenses until October 23, 2021. 

The Emergency Rent Subsidy also includes an additional Lockdown Support of 25 percent for businesses gravely affected by a public health order. Applications to this program can happen retroactively back six months. An extension to May 7, 2022, is currently proposed and is still pending.

Meanwhile, the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) seeks to aid sectors like tourism and hospitality, hotels, arts, and entertainment, heavily affected by COVID-19 by providing low-interest loans amounting to CA$25,000 to CA$1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. The application period is available until December 31, 2021.

Lastly, employers in Canada who experienced revenue drops during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover a portion of their employees’ wages. This subsidy will enable them re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease their business back into normal operations. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy covers part of employee wages retroactively from December 20, 2020 until October 23, 2021. The maximum subsidy is 75 percent. The application’s extension to May 7, 2022 is proposed and still pending decision.

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