TORONTO -- The Ontario Government is rolling out a new program that will provide one-time payments of up to $20,000 to eligible travel and tourism businesses through the new $100-million Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant.

On May 13, Lisa MacLeod, the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, announced the new support program, which will aim to support businesses that did not receive the Ontario Small Business Support Grant (OSBSG), such as travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts.

“Our government is working with small businesses to overcome the challenges of the past year – through programs like the Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant – and help the tourism industry reclaim its place as an economic powerhouse and key job creator in our province,” MacLeod said.

To qualify for the grant, businesses must have fewer than 100 employees and be able to demonstrate that they have experienced a minimum 20 per cent decline in revenue between 2019 and 2020.

The Ministry says that small business owners can use the grant in whatever way makes the most sense for their business.

"The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) is delighted at today’s announcement that $100 million will be flowing directly to tourism businesses, which have been so badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Carol Greenwood, Interim President and CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario said.

“This important investment will not only secure Ontarians' jobs and businesses in the tourism industry but also ensure that the tourism industry is best placed to lead our province's economic resurgence,” she continued.

Applications for this grant are open as of May 13, 2021 and will close on Friday, June 25, 2021.