Ontario Small Business Support Grant
Ontario Small Business Support Grant
Applications are open for the new Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which helps small businesses that are required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020. This new program will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help small business owners during this challenging period.

Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support
This is a one-time grant of up to $1000 for eligible businesses with 2 to 9 employees. Sectors include retail, accommodation and food services, and more. 

Property Tax and Energy Cost Rebate Grants
This grant will cover the entire length of time that public health restrictions are in place for municipal and education property taxes and energy costs, including electricity and natural gas (or where natural gas is not available, propane and heating oil).
Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)
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. HASCAP will help businesses with their day-to-day operating costs during the COVID-19 crisis and enable them to invest in their longer-term prosperity.

This HASCAP Guarantee is available until June 30, 2021. Learn if this is the right financing for your business here.


Digital Main St. to Host Webinar for ShopHERE Program
Need a website? Join Digital Main St. for their free information sessions about the ShopHERE program to learn how you can get support!

Session 1 Date: February 11, 2021      Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm EST
Session 2 Date: February 18, 2021      Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm EST

Each session will cover the program details and how an online store can boost your business. ShopHERE provides independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away. The program creates and configures online stores; trains you how to manage it; provides support to get the store live; and helps with marketing your store. Some of the program benefits include:
  • Free one-on-one support with building and launching an online store
  • Advertising credits for Facebook and Google
  • Free .ca domain registration
  • and much more
To learn more, register for a webinar below & visit the ShopHERE webpage.


Ontario to Become Home to World’s Largest Indigenous Restaurant
‘World’s largest Indigenous restaurant’ part of Caldwell First Nation big plans
Fresh off the historic announcement of a new reserve after 230 years, Caldwell is poised to execute a series of monumental plans including the world’s “largest Indigenous restaurant.” Three Fires restaurant is at the heart of the economic development efforts as a job creator, tourism destination and cultural centrepiece. With a flexible design and room for up to 600 people, the restaurant can be used to create event spaces for tourism, education programs, conferences and weddings.

“The goal is to make the restaurant a community hub and a place where people want to come,” said Billy Alexander, the band’s culinary advisor and executive chef. “The idea is to really help us tell our thousands of years of stories and heritage and culture as Indigenous people through experiences.”

Restaurant construction will soon begin at 592 Bevel Line and is set to open in summer 2021. Read the full article here.
GLCC Announces New Remote Learning Program, “Amik and the Anishinaabeg”
Tourism operator and educator, Great Lakes Cultural Camps (GLCC), is bringing Anishinaabe cultural awareness to the classroom this winter. GLCC has announced a new Remote Learning Program with the students from the Superior-Greenstone District School Board called “Amik and the Anishinaabeg”. Using the land as their virtual classroom, GLCC hopes to inspire students and teachers to have fun while learning. The programs aim to spark curiosity, create Anishinaabe cultural awareness and improve the remote learning experience. Whether it’s in the classroom or through tourism, education is key. GLCC continues to break barriers and provide unique opportunities to learn about Indigenous culture; shining a spotlight on what our industry is all about. 

To view more educational content, visit GLCC’s 
YouTube channel.
ROMA 2021 Conference
ITO was amongst the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario’s (TIAO’s) delegation during last week’s Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference. The tourism delegation had the largest ever number of appointments with senior members of the provincial government across nineteen different ministries and senior members of the opposition. TIAO produced ministry specific briefs for each appointment which include key economic and policy recommendations. Together, TIAO’s delegation advocated for more inclusive policies for commercial insurance, re-opening frameworks and capacity limits, the Ontario Small Business Support Program, and more. 

Read the full brief here.


Indigenous Food Tourism in Canada Ahead of Post-Pandemic Trends
Indigenous Tourism Operators at the Forefront of Sustainable and Regenerative Tourism Models
With the pursuit of more sustainable options, Indigenous foodways provide a great opportunity to create a smaller carbon footprint in the tourism industry. ITO partner and Vice President of Destination Development at the Culinary Tourism Alliance, Trevor Jonas Benson, believes Indigenous peoples’ food tourism is the answer to ethical tourism and the desire for more locally sourced food amidst this pandemic and climate crisis.

The relationship between Indigenous Peoples, the land, and its natural resources can teach locals and visitors alike how to be better stewards of the land. At the onset of the pandemic, ITO continued to strategically advance the Indigenous Food tourism sector, and as such, Ontario is the first region in the world to develop an Indigenous Food Tourism Strategy. 

ITO President and CEO, Kevin Eshkawkogan and Charlie Greg Sark of Lennox Island First Nations spoke with Forbes Magazine to discuss how Indigenous food tourism is crucial to more environmentally friendly post-pandemic travel.

Read the Forbes article 

      Indigenous Tourism Ontario
      1300 Hwy 540
      4 directions Complex Unit 4
      Aundeck Omni Kaning, Ontario

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