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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​COVID-19 Partner Resources

​​​​​​​Please find below useful briefings and resources from outside organizations including the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Regional Tourism Organization 7, and Provincial and Federal government, Public Health Ontario, Chambers of Commerce and others.​


Financial Relief​​

  • Relief Within Reach​ is a one-stop shop for financial support available to small to medium businesses, divided by MPP riding.
  • Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) - offering new partnership programs to assist tourism business owners in Bruce, Grey and Simcoe Counties with PPE expenses, consumer sentiment videos and digital advertising. First come, first served.

  • Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund​ - a cost-sharing program designed to provide non-capital funding to projects that encourage the development of innovative new tourism products, support tourism investment and/or build the capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry. The program also supports innovative tourism recovery projects aimed at increasing tourism within Ontario to address the reduction in global travel as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).​ Ongoing funding.​​

  • NEW! Community Building Fund - The Ontario government is investing $105 million to support non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations. The funding will be used to help these non-profits recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of their communities. The fund will be administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The operating stream will open for applications on March 31, 2021, while the fund's capital stream will open later in 2021. ​

  • Reconnect Festival and Event Program​ - The Ontario government is investing $20 million through this program, to provide support to event organizers who are finding new, exciting and engaging ways to deliver local programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.​

  • Ontario Small Business Support Granthelps small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the new Provincewide Shutdown. Matched funding up to $20,000 to help cover decreased revenue expected as a result of the Provincewide Shutdown.
  • ​​The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund​ (RRRF) -  provides ongoing financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support fixed operating costs of SMEs, where business revenues have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Ontario's Main Street Relief Grant: PPE support​ - A one-time grant of up to $1,000 to cover the cost of PPE purchased since March 17, 2020. To be eligible, your business must have 2 to 19 employees and be in one of the following sectors:retail, accommodation, food services, repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, gyms and yoga studios, arts, entertainment, and recreation.​​​​​​

  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program​ (HASCAP) - provides financial support to businesses in all sectors, that have been hit hard by the pandemic, including those in the tourism and hospitality sectors, which rely on in-person service. Through HASCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million. Hard-hit businesses, like a chain of hotels or restaurants with multiple locations under one related entity, could be eligible for up to $6.25 million. Available until June 30, 2021.

  • Agricultural and Horticultural Support and Recovery Funding Initiative - provides $5 million in Provincial funding to support Agricultural and Horticultural Societies

  • Unison Benevolent Fund's COVID-19 Relief Program - provides direct emergency financial assistance to members of the entertainment industry to cover necessary costs so they can continue to enrich our communities through music. ​Unison Benevolent Fund will receive a one-time grant of up to $2 million from the Government of Ontario, to immediately support individual musicians and industry workers, many of whom have lost their sources of income during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Canadian Live Music Association​ will receive a one-time grant of up to $500,000 from the Government of Ontario, to support local communities that wish to develop and implement music city strategies in a post-COVID-19 economy. A music city is a community of any size with a vibrant music economy, where municipal governments, music stakeholders and community members work together to help artists and music businesses reach their full potential.​


Small Business Support Programs​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The County of Simcoe Economic Development Office works with partners to contin​uously​​ update COVID-19 business resources. Contact edo@simcoe.ca​ for individual support.

​Digital Main Street and Beyond​ - A program and service that helps businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and a Digital Service Squad; a team of highly trained professionals who help businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.​ This program is FREE thanks to funding provided by the County of Simcoe.​

ShopHERE - A program that offers businesses and artists the opportunity to build a digital presence by having an online store built at no-cost! Powered by Google, this program is a collaboration between Digital Main Street, Google, Shopify, Mastercard and Microsoft, to build and optimize online stores in a matter of days.​ This program is FREE thanks to funding provided by the County of Simcoe.

HeyLocal - HeyLocal is a simple way to find local products and services near you. It recognizes what town a shopper is in and displays only products and services within a 50km radius of that shopper! The best parts - It's FREE for 2020 and no extra work is required from you! This program is FREE thanks to funding provided by the County of Simcoe.

Ask an Expert Webinar Serieshelps businesses and individuals navigate information and get answers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This ongoing series feature experts on topics like Health and Safety, HR, Accounting, Marketing, Business Planning, Legal, and Mental Health, to name a few. It is a partnership between the County of Simcoe, the Small Business Centre of Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia, South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre, Orillia Area Community Development Corporation, Nottawasaga Futures, North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation and the Centre for Business and Economic Development. 


Tourism Simcoe County Industry Newsletter

To get the latest updates on partnership and funding opportunities, sign up for our tourism industry e-newsletter HERE


Stay Safe & ​Stay Healthy

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​​ If you know of any tourism business resources that are not listed, please email details directly to brianne.dubeau@simcoe.ca

For more information on Tourism Simcoe County, please click here.​