BC government offering $15M in COVID relief grants for tourism

More money for tourism

Tourism in B.C. is getting another financial shot in the arm from the provincial government.

Accommodations providers and tourism operators holding tenure and BC Parks permits will have access to grants if COVID-19 has hit them hard on the bottom line.

As much as $15 million will be provided through the Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund for three groups:

• B.C.-owned large accommodation providers employing more than 150 people, who will be eligible for up to 25% of property taxes to a maximum of $500,000.

• Indigenous-owned large accommodation properties employing more than 100 people and located on reserve, which will be eligible to receive 100% of BC Hydro fees up to maximum of $200,000.

• Tenure and BC Parks permit holders that operate as tourism businesses.

“The tourism industry in B.C. continues to be hit hard by the pandemic,” tourism, arts, culture and sport minister Melanie Mark said in a press release. “From day one, our government has worked side by side with industry leaders on recovery initiatives so the industry can come back stronger than ever.

“This grant was a call to action by the Tourism Task Force to support these businesses with their bottom line and ensure they can thrive.”

The grants, which are the latest in a long line of financial support for the tourism industry, can be applied for until Feb. 14.

“Accommodators across B.C. have suffered years of devastating losses while struggling to meet the demands of rising fixed costs,” BC Hotel Association president Ingrid Jarrett said. “I want to acknowledge the leadership, hard work and commitment demonstrated by Minister Mark to support B.C.’s accommodation sector and make the Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund a reality.

“We are grateful that this funding will help alleviate hardship for large accommodation providers and better position our industry for recovery.”

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