Province grants one-time Covid relief to wineries, cideries

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Published July 27, 2021 at 3:03 pm

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The Ontario government has provided a one-time $10 million grant to Ontario wineries and cideries with on-site stores whose businesses were impacted by Covid-10 safety measures.

The new Winery Agri-Tourism COVID-19 Relief Initiative came out of 2021 budget deliberations.

Eligible businesses that receive an application from Agricorp are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible, businesses that were in operation prior to March 17, 2020, will need to attest to either a revenue decline in at least one line item of business, such as decreased tourism, tours, events and tastings or increased expenses to comply with public health safety measures for COVID-19. They must also be licenced to sell wine or cider products at an on-site retail store.

Eligible wineries and cideries would receive a one-time payment based on their sale of wine in 2020-21 in their on-site store.

Agricorp sent out applications directly to eligible wineries/cideries on July 20, with a deadline to apply by August 6, 2021.

Grant payments will be issued in this fall.

“The Ontario Craft Cider Association is appreciative of the support from the Ontario government for the Ontario Craft Cider industry who have been adversely impacted in so many ways through COVID-19,” said Matt Dixon, Chair, Ontario Craft Cider Association. “This initiative will assist in mitigating the effects of the disastrous 2020 season, in addition to supporting COVID expenses necessary to meet Ontario public health guidelines. “

Other supports for the beverage alcohol industry announced in the 2021 Budget include:

  • The extension of Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs existing beverage alcohol support programs until 2022-23 and providing $15.7 million in funding to wineries, small cideries and small distilleries. Additionally, for 2021-22 only, the Small Distillery Program’s budget will be increased by $1.2 million to provide relief from the impacts of COVID-19.
  • The availability of beer sales at farmers’ markets starting in spring 2021.
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