Business briefs: Funds to assist pandemic-impacted tourism businesses available

WELLINGTON COUNTY – A new program to help tourism businesses, organizations and municipalities recover from the impacts of the pandemic is available through Regional Tourism Organization 4 (RTO4).

The April issue of the Wellington County economic development department’s In Business News newsletter notes that on April 6, RTO4 received a non-repayable contribution of $5 million from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), to deliver a Tourism Relief Fund to tourism businesses in in Waterloo, Wellington, Huron and Perth Counties. 

“This investment will help tourism businesses and communities safely welcome back visitors, recover from the impacts of the pandemic and prepare for future growth,” RTO4 officials state.

“I’m really hoping businesses become aware of how they can benefit from the fund,” said Wellington Place administrator – museum, archives and economic development Jana Burns. 

“County businesses, municipalities and not-for-profits can apply to get 50% of their costs covered for enhancing the tourist experience, keeping in mind that locals are experience seekers as well. Funds can go towards staff training, extending the season, renovating a washroom, or modernizing a payment system, for example,” Burns noted.

Through the program, RTO4 will provide non-repayable contributions between $20,000 to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible costs for for-profit businesses and up to 100% of eligible costs for not-for-profit organizations and municipalities.

For larger projects, the organization invites applications directly to FedDev Ontario.

More information, including eligibility, selection criteria and links to the application process can be found at

The application deadline is May 15.

Summer Company youth program

The Business Centre Guelph-Wellington is taking applications for a program to help young people between 15 and 29 years old start and run their own summer business by providing funding, advice and services. 

The Summer Company program provides workshops, training and advisory services from a business advisor and community mentors to help get the business up and running. 

Up to $3,000 in funding is available. Applicants get up to $1,500 up front to help with start-up costs and up to $1,500 when they successfully complete the program requirements.

For register to: Registration deadline is May 31.