• Resources for Tourism

  • Tourism as an industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to provide our local businesses, non-profits and event organizers with all the tools they need we have compiled a list of resources. These resources range from financial support to helpful information. Please note that some of these opportunities are only available for a short period of time during COVID-19. Other resources are annual and can help you plan ahead for success. 

  • Bruce County Resources Bruce County Resources

    • Façade Improvement and Patio
      • The Façade Improvement and Patio grant encourages businesses to restore, upgrade, or otherwise improve their building facades and encourages restaurant owners to create patios that attract patrons.
    • Perpendicular Signage and Awnings
      • The Perpendicular Signage and Awning Grant encourages businesses to revamp their perpendicular signs and awnings. This grant supports the purchase and installation of perpendicular signs as well as awnings within the downtown cores.
    • Collaborative Marketing
      • Encourages local stakeholders to work together to develop collaborative marketing initiatives that stimulate the downtown economy. Come together with other local businesses to create experiences and itineraries in your community that will attract people back to your community, your downtown and your business.
    • Starter Company Plus
      • Access resources and guidance to launch into entrepreneurial success. Bruce County offers hands-on training, mentorship, and a $5,000 grant to help get you started through the Starter Company Plus program. Training and mentorship components and tie commitments are tailored to your needs.
    • Summer Company
      • Summer Company is for high school, college or university students looking to learn how to run their own business. Be your own boss, receive start up funds, and connect with local business leaders for mentorship.
    • Tourism Innovation Lab
      • Small tourism businesses in Bruce County are encouraged to submit an application with ideas on how they could “re-imagine” or “re-tool” their tourism operations, offerings and/or products to respond, pivot and adapt to the short – and medium-term tourism landscape and opportunities (e.g. upgrading facilities, buying equipment, creating new digital platforms, etc.).
    • Destination Infrastructure
      • Improving the destination infrastructure of our core attractions and secondary activities will contribute to visitor experiences and impressions. Positive experiences generate return trips, longer stays, and word-of-mouth advertising. The Destination Infrastructure Grant encourages local stakeholders, organizations, and municipalities to upgrade and invest in our destination infrastructure.
  • Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7)

    • Operations Implementation Program
      • RTO7 will match your investment in operational expenses (i.e. mortgage payments, rent, insurance, inventory purchases, etc.) with a $1,000 (including HST) social media advertising campaign. You must be able to prove these expenditures by providing proof (receipts) for the expenditure with the final report. RTO7 will cover additional agency fees.
    • BGS Tourism Service Excellence Training
      • RTO7 and the Counties of Bruce, Grey & Simcoe have partnered to bring an online customer service training program to the region.  Working in collaboration with OTEC (Ontario Tourism Education Corporation), the BGS Tourism Service Excellence Training is a one hour training that will provide the fundamentals of customer service for frontline tourism staff and other first impression individuals e.g. gas station attendants.
    • Experience Implementation Program
      • RTO7 can assist BruceGreySimcoe stakeholders to develop products and experiences that differentiate our region from other places in Ontario, plus benefit your business.  Experiences can help increase length of stay, increase yield per visitor and encourage visitors to return more frequently. Matching funds for marketing (1:1 with a minimum buy in of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000) to launch products and experiences.
    • Festival Implementation Program
      • If a festival can demonstrate a financial investment of at least $1,000 towards achieving at least one of the items listed above, they may be eligible to receive $1,000 - $5,000 from RTO7 towards a social media advertising campaign.  The festival partner must be able to match RTO7’s contribution through this investment in themselves.  The partner is required to provide receipts to prove their contribution. One organization can apply for up to five (5) in a single year.
  • Ontario Tourism Resources Ontario Tourism Resources

    • Celebrate Ontario
      • The Celebrate Ontario program grants support festival and event organizers with funding. Applications deadlines are generally in January.
    • Tourism Development Fund
      • The Tourism Development Fund supports projects that encourage three key streams: tourism investment, tourism product development and industry capacity building. The Tourism Development Fund Program provides non-capital, project-based funding. Applications are accepted on  an ongoing basis, and should be submitted a minimum of four months prior to the start of the project.
    • Marketing & the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund
      • Self-help marketing tool kit and funding opportunity though the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund.
    • Free listings for festivals and events
    • Grants Ontario
      • Grants Ontario provides you with one-window access to information about grants that are available to you, how to apply for grants and how to check the status of your application. Find grants available by industry and sector.
  • Federal Resources Federal Resources

    • Financial Supports Available During COVID-19
    • Indigenous Businesses
      • The Government of Canada provided $306.8 million in funding to help small- and medium-sized Indigenous businesses and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses. This relief measure for indigenous businesses will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services.
      • Through the regional development agencies, funds from the Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) are being re-purposed to alleviate pressures on Indigenous tourism businesses.
    • Large Employers
    • Tax Deferral
      • Deferral of all payments of GST/HST and import duties for all businesses, including individuals who are self-employed, until June 30
      • Canada Revenue Agency will defer tax payment obligations until August 31, 2020 to help businesses with cash flow
    • Payment Deferral
      • Parks Canada will work with tourism operators in national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas to defer payments on commercial leases and licences of occupation without interest until September 1, 2020.
      • A deferral of three months on all payments due to the government, as of April 1, 2020. This moratorium, applied by the RDAs, will defer payments and related interest charges to relieve some of the pressure businesses may be facing. RDAs are working with businesses that receive funding to formalize these deferrals into an amended repayment schedule.
    • Other Supports
      • Canada's six regional development agencies (RDA) are taking a leading role in implementing measures to help businesses and individuals within communities across the country. RDAs are providing as much flexibility as possible with their existing recipients while offering additional support through existing funding.
  • Tourism Trends and Data Tourism Trends and Data

    • Destination Canada
      • Destination Canada has been monitoring travel data and trends in Canada during COVID-19. Their reports explore a variety of topics like international, domestic and resident sentiment towards visitors. Their data and trends can help you to target visitors. 
    • Statistics Canada
      • Statistics Canada has data regarding international travel, domestic travel, tourism employment and other helpful information. 
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