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COVID-19 Tourism Business Supports

The federal and provincial governments have offered a range of programs to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Expand the columns below to learn about current and previous COVID-19 supports for the tourism industry. While we make every effort to provide up-to-date information, we encourage you to visit the program webpages to confirm details.

Tourism Nova Scotia also shares updates and program opportunities through our industry newsletter.

Current Federal Government Programs

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program 

What: Wage and hiring subsidy and rent subsidy

Who: Eligible businesses in tourism, hospitality, arts, entertainment, or recreation sectors or affected by a qualifying public health restriction

Effective: There are no claim periods for the wage and rent subsidies after May 7, 2022. However, you can still apply for open claim periods until their deadlines have passed.

More info: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/wage-rent-subsidies/tourism-hospitality-recovery-program.html 

Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP)

What: Subsidy to help cover wages (formerly the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) and rent (formerly the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy)

Who: Eligible organizations, regardless of their sector, may qualify for the HHBRP if they don’t qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP)

Effective: There are no claim periods for the wage and rent subsidies after May 7, 2022. However, you can still apply for open claim periods until their deadlines have passed.

More info: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/wage-rent-subsidies/hardest-hit-business-recovery-program.html

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) 

What: Commercial rent or property expenses (property taxes, property insurance and insurance on commercial mortgages) support of up to 65%. From March 13, 2022, to May 7, 2022, the subsidy rates will decrease by half.

Who: Qualifying businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply directly. Landlord participation is not required. 

Effective: There are no claim periods for the wage and rent subsidies after May 7, 2022. However, you can still apply for open claim periods until their deadlines have passed.

More info: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-rent-subsidy.html 

CERS Lockdown Support

What: Additional commercial rent or property expenses support of 25%. 

Application deadline: November 20, 2021. 

Who: Businesses significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more. 

Effective: There are no claim periods for the wage and rent subsidies after May 7, 2022. However, you can still apply for open claim periods until their deadlines have passed.

More info: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-rent-subsidy.html 

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)

What: Subsidy of up to 50% of employee salary/wages, available to eligible employers so they can hire more workers, increase workers’ hours, or increase wages.

Who: Businesses who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19. 

Claim period: There are no claim periods for the wage and rent subsidies after May 7, 2022. However, you can still apply for open claim periods until their deadlines have passed.

More info: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/wage-rent-subsidies/recovery-hiring-program.htm


Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund

What: Loans of up to $250,000 through the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund.

Who: Black business owners and entrepreneurs. 

Note: The Loan Fund is now accepting loan applications through the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE).

More info: https://facecoalition.com/en 

Tourism Relief Fund

What: Repayable contributions up to $500,000 and non-repayable contributions up to $100,000 for businesses and organizations to help them adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth.

Who: Tourism businesses, non-profit organizations such as tourism associations, band councils and other Indigenous organizations and cooperatives.

More info: https://www.canada.ca/en/atlantic-canada-opportunities/campaigns/covid19/trf.html 


Propel Student Work Placement Program

What: A wage subsidy of up to 75% of a qualifying student’s wages, to a maximum of $7,500.

Who: Students enrolled at a recognized post-secondary institution can apply for a paid position with tourism and hospitality businesses to fulfil the co-op or internship component of their program.

More info: www.propelcareers.ca

Current Provincial Government Programs

Digital Assistance Program for Small Business

What: Up to $5,000 in services from qualified digital consultants for website development, digital marketing strategies and e-commerce tools.

Who: Businesses that qualified for the Small Business Impact Grant Part 3 will be automatically eligible for the program. If capacity allows, the program will be expanded to other businesses.

More info: https://digitalnovascotia.com/portfolio-items/dapsb/


Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

What: Term loans, working capital and lines of credit up to $500,000

Who: All businesses except residential and commercial real estate, beverage rooms and taverns 

More info: http://www.novascotia.coop/programs/small-business-loan-guarantee-program/
 

Previous Provincial Government Programs

In addition to the ongoing programs listed above, the Province of Nova Scotia offered the following programs specifically to help tourism operators mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. These programs are now closed.

Small Tourism Operators Restart Program 

What: A one-time grant of $5,000 to help tourism businesses that were affected by COVID-19 restrictions with advertising or other restart expenses like personal protective equipment or cleaning supplies.

More info: https://tourismns.ca/storp 

Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program

What: A rebate for eligible tourist accommodations on commercial property taxes paid. Part 1 offered a one-time 25% rebate on the payment of 2020-21 commercial property taxes. Part 2 offered a one-time 50% rebate on the first six months of their commercial property taxes paid for 2021-2022.

More info: https://tourismns.ca/tourism-accommodations-real-property-tax-rebate-program

Tourism Accommodations Restart Customer Attraction Program

What: A one-time grant to help registered tourism accommodations with marketing activities to attract customers and bring tourism dollars to Nova Scotia businesses.

More info:https://tourismns.ca/tarcap

Tourism Marketing Assistance Program - Accommodations

What: A one-time grant to help registered tourism accommodations implement marketing activities and build demand in 2022. 

More info: https://tourismns.ca/tmap-accommodations

Tourism Marketing Assistance Program for Regional Marketing

What: A total of $1.8 million to support organizations responsible for promoting and marketing a recognized tourism region as they inspire travel to and around their specific areas of the province.

More infohttps://tourismns.ca/tmap-regional-marketing