Niagara Region gets $2M from feds to support tourism industry

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Published July 29, 2021 at 7:18 pm

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The tourism industry in the Niagara Region just got two million reasons to smile.

Niagara Region announced today (July 29) that the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario was awarding $2 million to support Niagara’s tourism industry in its recovery from COVID-19.

The funding provided 167 Niagara tourism-dependent businesses with up to $20,000 in non-repayable contributions to support costs associated with adapting and eventually reopening, such as space renovations and retrofits, purchase of equipment and fixtures, personal protective equipment, and support for technology and digitization.

Regional Chair Jim Bradley was thrilled with the announcement, noting, “Our tourism operators are critical contributors to Niagara’s economy, and while they have been hit especially hard by this pandemic, they have also shown remarkable resiliency and innovation.”

He added the funding “will go a long way in helping the many small, medium and large tourism operators across Niagara continue to weather this storm and keep Niagara on the path to economic prosperity.”

The funding supports costs to equip businesses to meet Public Health guidelines and protocols, including:

  • Purchase of PPE and cleaning supplies for workers
  • Accommodation of social distancing (expansion of restaurant patio space, pick-up windows or curbside pick-ups for retailers, secondary entry/exit to allow physical distancing, and equipment to extend the outdoor dining season
  • Implementation of technology and digital tools to allow tourism operators to enable processes like virtual queues and timed entry ticketing

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Niagara’s Economic Development community has been working across municipal borders to aid and support the many Niagara businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

So to George Spezza, Director of Niagara Economic Development, this was definitely a good news day.

“As we look towards a hopeful exit from the pandemic, Niagara’s tourism industry is poised and ready to recover and thrive again, and Niagara’s economic development community is committed to supporting them throughout that process,” Spezza said.

He added, “This funding will open up doors for many of those businesses to find new and creative ways to do business in the coming years”

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