New Ontario Small Business Support Grant
On December 21, 2020, The Ontario government announced a new support program for small businesses that are required to close or severely restrict their operations due to the necessary province-wide shutdown. The new Ontario Small Business Support Grant will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help small business owners during this challenging period.

Small businesses required to close or restrict services under the province-wide shutdown will be able to apply for this one-time grant to recover some of their lost revenue. Each small business will be able to use the support in whatever way makes the most sense for their individual business. For example, some businesses will need support paying employee wages or rent, while others will need support maintaining their inventory.

Eligible small businesses include those that:
  • Are required to close or significantly restrict services due to the province-wide shutdown being imposed across the province effective 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020;
  • Have fewer than 100 employees at the enterprise level; and
  • Have experienced a minimum of 20 per cent revenue decline in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
Stay tuned as further details, including how to apply, will be announced this month, January 2021.
COVID-19 Supports Quick Reference Guide
Regional Tourism Organization Explorers’ Edge (RTO12) have compiled an extensive list of COVID-19 supports for the private sector and non-profit sector. These quick reference guides highlight old and new funding programs; provide main details; and list important contacts and links. This tool can help you navigate supports in one place.


Last Chance to Register for ITO + ABM Virtual Networking Event
Collaborations and Partnerships in Tourism 2.0!

Date: Thursday, January 7, 2021
Time: 12pm – 4pm EST

ITO and Advanced Business Match (ABM) would like to invite you to join us for our second virtual networking event: Collaborations and Partnerships in Tourism 2.0! In times of social distancing, this event aims to accelerate connection between Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses and organizations through ten curated 20-minute online appointments. This networking event is a technology-facilitated trade show that will allow you to make valuable connections not only across Canada but across the world.

Learn more about the event offerings here.
New Opportunity for Indigenous Food Tourism Businesses
Destination Northern Ontario (DNO) and ITO are seeking participants for a product development & marketing program for Indigenous food tourism businesses in Northern Ontario. The selected businesses will be provided with self-assessment tools to identify strengths and opportunities, which they will complete with support from DNO & ITO.  Qualifying businesses will then be plugged into new and/or existing regional marketing campaigns, at no cost to the business. Businesses will also be provided with free access to Tourism Excellence North’s Fast Track to Success program, a one-on-one business consulting program ($300 value per business).

Benefits to participation:
  • Supported self-assessment exercises
  • One-on-one coaching
  • Inclusion in regional marketing initiatives
Participating businesses must:
  • Have a consumer-facing foodservice component
  • Be located in Northern Ontario (defined by RTO 13)
  • Be Indigenous owned and controlled
  • Be current ITO members
To apply, please complete the 5-10 minute form linked below by Sunday, January 10th. Successful applicants will be contacted the week of January 11th.  
Safe Travels Stamp
The future is unpredictable but as Ontario begins the rollout of vaccinations and the province opens up, we want you to be ready to operate and welcome guests safely. Get certified with the Safe Travels Stamp this year and provide travellers with the confidence that your business has the necessary measures in place for a safe visit.

The Safe Travels Stamp is an international symbol designed to allow travellers to recognize governments and businesses around the world, which have adopted health and hygiene, standardized protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’. The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) has been chosen by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to administer the Safe Travels Stamp in Canada. ITO highly encourages our members to strive for traveler confidence; one way to ensure your business is following safety standards and effectively communicating those standards to potential visitors is having a Safe Travel Stamp.

See full list of businesses with the Safe Travel Stamp
CCAB Covid-19 Indigenous Business Survey
Along with National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association (NACCA) and The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB), Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) is conducting this research to understand current impacts of the pandemic; impact of government supports; as well as crucial needs of Indigenous businesses. Complete the #C19IndigenousBizSurvey and your input could help shape policy decisions that will directly affect your business.


Indigenous Feast Boxes Fundraising Campaign Extended
The Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations (ICAN) has extended their Indigenous Feast Boxes fundraising campaign until January 10, 2021.

Due to overwhelming interest and the support of many generous donations across the country, ICAN is closer to reaching their goal of feeding up to 1,700 families (approximately 8,500 people) and they are confident they can reach their target of $60,000. The campaign aims to keep Indigenous chefs and their supporting staff working while preparing meal kits for Indigenous families in need. 100% of proceeds go directly to food, labour and distribution costs to feed as many families as possible.

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

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