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COVID-19 Tourism Business Supports

The federal and provincial governments have announced a range of programs to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Please note, many programs have recently changed their eligibility criteria or deadlines, and may now be applicable to your situation even if you inquired previously. Only programs currently accepting applications are included on this page. Please read on for details. 

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: October 24, 2021, to May 7, 2022

More info: 

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: October 24, 2021, to May 7, 2022

More info:

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. 

More info: 

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. 

More info: 

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: June 6 2021 - May 7, 2022

More info:  

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)

What: Loans between $25,000 and $1 million to   cover operational cash flow needs. The loans feature a 4% interest rate, a repayment term of up to 10 years, and up to a 12 month postponement of principal payments.

Who: Small & medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenues decrease by 50% or more due to COVID-19.

Application Deadline: December 31, 2021

More info:

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: 

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: 

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:

Provincial Government Programs

Tourism Marketing Assistance Program – Accommodations

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

Who: Eligible registered fixed roof accommodations

More info:

Deadline: Friday, Marcy 18, 2022

Tourism Marketing Assistance Program – Regional Marketing

What: Support for regional marketing organizations to promote travel in their specific areas of the province.

Who: Organizations responsible for promoting and marketing a recognized tourism region/within a recognized tourism region on behalf of communities/businesses/members.

More info:

Deadline: Friday, March 18, 2022

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:

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:


Sector Impact Support Program

What: A one-time grant of up to $7,500

Who: Small business owners in industries such as restaurants, bars, gyms, live performing arts facilities and recreation facilities

More info:

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Program

What: Employee wages, including wages of self-employed people, up to a maximum of $20 per hour or $160 per day for up to four days

Who: People who cannot work remotely and miss less than 50 per cent of their scheduled work time in a one-week period due to COVID-19

Application timeline: Applications open until March 31, 2022. The program is retroactive to include sick days starting from December 20, 2021

More info: