More money is coming to help out people in businesses in B.C.’s tourism sector.
Province has committed $105 million in relief funding for the tourism sector. $100 million of that funding will be delivered through the existing Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program. In addition, the Province is also allocating $5 million to Indigenous Tourism BC to administer relief grant funding targeted for Indigenous businesses.
Amy Thacker, the CEO of Cariboo-Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, said that she’s not sure that will be enough money to help the tourism sector fully recover.
“It’s not quite enough yet,” she stated. “We will have to see how the next three, six, nine months go to determine whether there is going to be ongoing or more need to ensure that the fabric of our small businesses stays vibrant in our rural areas.”
The ministry also simplified the application process and streamlined the criteria, making it easier for all businesses to qualify for grants. Tourism businesses will be eligible for up to $45,000, an increase compared to the previous maximum of $40,000, due to a boost in the additional funds now available to help the sector recover.
Adjustments to the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Program have already been implemented, and the Indigenous tourism relief grant program is set to launch something this month.
Thacker said that she does appreciate how quickly the government responded to the tourism sector’s need for help.
“Our provincial government partners have been very responsive and moved much more quickly than we are accustomed to government moving to get supports out the door.”
The new relief fund more than doubles the $50 million announced in September 2020 in the StrongerBC economic recovery plan.