South Georgian Bay COVID-19 Resources

Though our staff are taking precautions by working from home, we are here to assist the public by phone, messaging or email if you have any questions.  To learn more about the association please click  HERE.

LAST UPDATED: May 14th 

The Federal Budget has just been announced and the document is over 700 pages long and will require careful study; but here is a quick overview of some of the tourism related programs that TIAO has identified and will be seeking further details on.

Tourism: General*

  • Proposing supports that total to $1 billion over three years, starting in 2021-22

Major Festivals

  • $200 million through the regional development agencies to support major festivals.

Community Festivals and Events

  • $200 million through Canadian Heritage to support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sport events, and more.

Discovering Canada

  • $100 million to Destination Canada for marketing campaigns to help Canadians and other visitors discover and explore the country.

Support for Tourism Businesses

  • $500 million Tourism Relief Fund, administered by the regional development agencies to support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting to the pandemic

Indigenous Tourism

  • $2.4 million in 2021-22 to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to help the Indigenous tourism industry rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

  • Budget 2021 proposes to extend the wage subsidy until September 25, 2021. It also proposes to gradually decrease the subsidy rate, beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase-out of the program as vaccinations are completed and the economy reopens.

Canada Recovery Hiring Program

  • Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which will run from June to November and will provide $595 million to make it easier for businesses to hire back laid-off workers or to bring on new ones.

Supporting the Recovery of Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors

  • $300 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to Canadian Heritage to establish a Recovery Fund for Heritage, Arts, Culture, Heritage and Sport Sectors

More Tourism Related Support

  • $101 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to implement a program for the wine sector
  • Supporting Safe Air Travel
  • Continuing to Protect Air Travellers

*Note that the $1 billion over three years consists of the Major Festivals, Community Festivals and Events, Discovering Canada and Support for Tourism Businesses.

See the full budget here.

South Georgian Bay Tourism Organization Advocates for Local Tourism Operators

What You Need to Know Before Re-Opening Your Business After the Provincewide Shutdown

Businesses in public health unit regions that have returned to the COVID-19 Response Framework must implement active screening of patrons in certain zones. Please refer to What each zone means for information on how this may apply to your business or sector.

Workplaces were already required to screen all workers or visitors entering the work environment.

The following screening tools have been updated to further align with current advice as well as return to the Framework:

  • The COVID-19 worker and employee screening tool can be accessed online or downloaded as a PDF.
  • The COVID -19 customer and patron screening tool can be accessed online or downloaded as a PDF.

Additionally, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health has developed COVID-19 signage questions to support the new requirement for signage to be posted at all entrances for passive screening before entering a business or organization.

Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant
Now Open for Applications

Applications are open for the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant. The launch of the application portal was announced today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

Eligible small businesses in tourism and travel will receive a one-time payment of $10,000 to $20,000. This grant will support eligible small tourism and travel businesses that did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, such as amusement parks and water parks, hunting and fishing camps, mobile food services (for example, chip wagons, food trucks), outdoor adventure operations without accommodation, travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts. To qualify, businesses must have 99 or fewer employees and demonstrate that they have experienced a minimum 20 per cent revenue decline between 2019 and 2020. Small business owners can use the grant in whatever way makes the most sense for their business.

Support Local

Business Support

For support and programs, please click the links below:

COVID-19 Business Reopening Guidebook. – Download the Business Reopening Guidebook

The province has launched a toll-free line (1-888-444-3659) to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Did you know?

  • Google My Business is free
  • You can promote your Business Profile and business website on Google Search and Maps
  • You can see and connect with your customers
  • You can post updates to your Business Profile, including photos you choose to share
  • You can see how customers interact with your business on Google

Create or update your Google My Business profile now.

RTO7 is ready to go with its newest program, the Operations Implementation Program (OIP).  This program was created as part of RTO7’s 2020/21 COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan to assist and support the tourism operators in BruceGreySimcoe during recovery from the effects of COVID-19 on their business.

How does OIP work?  RTO7 will match an operator’s investment in operational expenses with $1,000 (includes HST) for a social media campaign to promote the tourism business.  Eligible operational expenses include mortgage payments, rent, insurance, inventory purchases, etc.  Proof of payment must be submitted with your final report and note that RTO7 covers the additional agency fees.

The setting up of the social media campaign will be actioned now to ensure your tourism business is ready to be advertised at the appropriate time.

For detailed information on the program, visit the Operations Implementation Program page on RTO7.ca.

Have questions? Contact Amanda, apausner@rto7.ca /  226-568-0242 or Kim, kclarke@rto7.ca / 519-379-2506

Free Resources

PPE COVID-19 Recovery Funds Round 2

Eligibility Requirements Expanded

FINANCIAL RESOURCES VIDEO SERIES

Cash Flow & Expense Management – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Municipal Provincial Federal Support – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Government Support – Wage Subsidy CEWS – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Government Support – CEBA – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Human Resources – HS ROE EI – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Human Resources – CERB – Covid 19 – Small Business 

Community: Webinars, Conference Calls, Surveys + More

Updates

The Province of Ontario has set up a website that is updated twice daily with information on COVID-19 in the province.

How to Help Prevent the Spread

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses. Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • avoid contact with people who are sick
  • stay home if you are sick

In addition, here are recommendations for communicating about the virus:

  • Disclose information honestly when questioned by visitors and customers
  • Share the above list with family, friends, your staff and visitors
  • Refer visitors to the Province of Ontario website for updates from the Ministry of Health
  • At this stage there are many unknowns about the virus and as such we recommend that your promotions, advertising and communications DO NOT promote that it is a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) safe region to travel to or that it is safer in BruceGreySimcoe than somewhere else.  Continue promoting all the positive attributes about your attractions, accommodation or activity.

IMPORTANT LINKS & PRIOR RTO7 COMMUNICATIONS

How To Help Support Local Businesses

We have created a resource for those looking to help support local businesses, especially during this time. Click here for the full list or visit our Instagram highlights.

Press Releases

Excited to Announce Four Season Digital Guide

Uncovering the magic of the Bay with Driftscape!

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SGBT COVID-19 UPDATES & RESOURCES