Please note that this program has now closed.
About the program
The Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), a Government of Canada investment delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), provides one-time, non-repayable funding support of up to $100,000 to eligible tourism businesses and organizations in the Ottawa and Prescott-Russell (RTO 10) region.
This program supports costs related to product development and enhancement of tourism experiences to help tourism businesses adapt to the ‘new normal’, modernize tourism offerings, and encourage the adoption of more environmentally sustainable practices. In addition, funding will support destination development that would position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development in line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy and Ottawa Tourism’s development priorities.
For-Profit Businesses are eligible to receive funding of up to $100,000 (rate of assistance of 50% of eligible costs).
Not-For-Profit Businesses, Business Improvement Areas, charities, Chambers of Commerce, educational institutions, municipalities and Indigenous businesses are eligible to receive funding of up to $100,000 (rate of assistance of 100% of eligible costs).
Applicants must be a key supplier or operator in the visitor experience. Businesses/organizations that are in the following industries/sectors are eligible under this initiative:
- For-profit business
- Not-for-profit business
- Business Improvement Area
- Chambers of Commerce
- Educational institution
- Indigenous sole proprietor
Please note that Partnerships/sole proprietors, hotel chains, restaurant chains, retail sector businesses, and Crown corporations are ineligible for this funding. Indigenous sole proprietors are eligible.
The following activities are considered eligible under the terms of the Tourism Relief Fund:
- Creating, adapting, and enhancing protocols and permanent infrastructure to meet health and safety requirements to accommodate visitors.
- Modernizing operations, attractions, greening initiatives, and online sales services.
- Supporting businesses with the local promotion of tourism products, including digital and virtual reality experiences.
- Developing capacity for more inclusive tourism experiences (e.g., staff training to ensure welcoming, inclusive environments to diverse clientele, gender-neutral washroom facilities).
- Providing support to local communities to develop sustainable tourism plans based on research and market analysis, and designed to rebuild tourism confidence in communities.
- Supporting seasonal dispersion by equipping tourism SMEs to extend their product offering to increase visitation during the winter and shoulder seasons.
- Implementation of tourism plans that create or improve local assets, facilities, and planning for key infrastructure.
- Developing and enhancing tourism services and experiences.
- Implementing strategies to re-activate and animate downtown cores, main streets and business districts through activities, public art, and mixed use spaces.
Eligible costs include:
- Capital costs: capital/site-specific infrastructure, cost of equipment, including acquisition or rental of equipment, and other related capital costs directly related to, or necessary for, the completion of the project.
- Non-capital costs: costs involved in providing training to personnel, licences/software upgrades, project management costs (costs associated with the oversight and administration of the project such as the costs of coordinating a public announcement or required temporary or permanent signage), or costs related to intellectual property.
- Labour: incremental salaries and benefits for individuals employed for the project may be eligible should they meet the following conditions:
- The recipient confirms and substantiates that it is not economically feasible to tender a contract;
- Costs are for those employed directly in respect of the work that would have been the subject of the contract; or
- Labour hired to work exclusively on the project (i.e., not existing employees of the recipient)
- Expertise: incremental fees paid to professional and/or technical personnel, consultants, or contractors.
- Materials: costs of materials and supplies, including costs associated with production and distribution of promotional materials.
Other important eligibility information
- Only one application per business/organization is allowed to ensure we are able to reach as many businesses as possible with the available TRF funds.
- Applicants must be incorporated (not applicable for Indigenous businesses/organizations).
- Applicants must have and provide proof of commercial general liability insurance of at least $2,000,000.
- Applicants must be registered for HST.
- Applicants must submit financial statements for the past two years (in cases where applicants are a new business, all available financial statements and/or a solid business plan must be provided).
- Applicants must have evidence to support project costs.
- Applicants are able to make use of other funding towards the specified activities contained in their funding application, but these many not overlap with TRF funds (i.e. you cannot ‘double dip’).
- Applicants must be in full compliance with all applicable government laws, rules, regulations, guidelines, and other legally binding measures (Laws).
- Applicants must be financially viable and plan to continue to operate or resume seasonal operations.