Tourism Business Support Program

Applications are closed!

Objective:

To provide a program that supports COVID-19 recovery expenses through financial support directly to tourism based businesses in the City of Kingston and Town of Gananoque.  Kingston Economic Development has received funding through Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario to facilitate a program that will provide funding to support business improvements required for health and safety measures due to COVID-19.

Business Eligibility:

  • Must be a small to medium sized business or not-for-profit who provides goods and/or services to tourists (including accommodations, recreation & entertainment, food & beverage services and retail). Please refer to definitions noted below;
  • Business or not-for-profit must have a registered business number;
  • Business or not-for-profit must be located in the City of Kingston and/or Town of Gananoque;
  • The business must demonstrate how their business is related to and/or dependent on tourism and that their business operations have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

Definitions:

Accommodations:
Accommodation is a group of rooms and/or a dedicated outdoor facility that pay commercial property taxes, which the customer pays to stay overnight. Eligible businesses include hotels, motels, resorts, inns, bed and breakfast establishments and campgrounds. Ineligible businesses include residential rental properties that do not pay commercial property taxes.

Recreation & Entertainment:
Recreation and entertainment businesses are those that provide a tourism experience and/or attraction for a fee. Eligible businesses include museums, theatres, sports facilities, amusement parks, outdoor recreation outfitters, sightseeing, transportation and tour operators. Ineligible businesses include fitness facilities.

Food & Beverage:
Food and beverage services include the process of preparing, presenting and serving of food and beverages to the customers. Eligible businesses include restaurants, bars, breweries, catering, cafés or food trucks. Ineligible businesses include grocery stores. 

Retail (Tourism):
Retail businesses are those that sell goods to the customer and a minimum of 80% of the overall business sales are generated through the sale of products. Eligible businesses include apparel & accessories, home furnishings, general merchandise, speciality stores. Ineligible businesses include, but is not limited to, personal services, professional services, grocery stores, hardware stores, car dealerships.

Grant Funding Available:

Kingston Economic Development Corporation/Town of Gananoque will provide matching grant funding in the amount of 80% of eligible costs (with a 20% contribution from businesses) as follows: 

  • Up to $2,400.00 for businesses with 1-5 FTE employees (for $3,000.00 in total eligible expenditures)
  • Up to $4,800.00 for businesses with more than 5 FTE employees (for $6,000.00 in total eligible expenditures)
  • Up to $10,000 for businesses with 20 or more FTE (for $12,500 in total eligible expenditures)

Timeframe of the program:

Applications will be accepted starting September 28, 2020 – November 15, 2020 (or when all funding has been allocated).

Projects must be completed by November 15 2020.

Expenses can retroactively be claimed from June 1, 2020.

Final Report and invoices must be submitted no later then December 7, 2020

Eligible Expenses:

Eligible COVID-Recovery improvements will include, but are not limited to the following:

1 - Implementation of Health and Safety Protocols

Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • 3rd party training costs related to re-opening 
  • Installation of shields and barriers for customer interaction;
  • Installation of new signage, or improvements to existing signage, including floors markers, directional flow signs, curbside pickup/delivery signage;

2 - Alterations to Accommodate Social Distancing

Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Expansion of patio space 
  • Outdoor components such as tables, chairs, barriers, shelving, outdoor heating
  • Structural changes to the building such as takeaway windows

3 - Purchase of PPE and Cleaning Supplies for Workers

Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Installation of sanitization stations for employees and/or customers;
  • Personal protection equipment; 
  • Cleaning supplies and/or professional cleaning costs

4 - Implementation of Digital Tools and Transformations for Tourism Operators

Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Online adaptation and costs including, but not limited to, virtual queue and timed entry ticketing 

Examples of ineligible expenses include:

  • Website development and e-commerce
  • Digital marketing
  • SEO, SEM, SMM
  • Social media
  • Regular operational costs

Get $2,500 for digital transformation through Digital Main Street.

General Terms of Funding Program:

  • Successful applicant is required to sign a funding agreement upon approval.
  • Works as set out in the fund agreement must be completed prior to the grant being distributed.
  • Payment of the grant is conditional upon submission of satisfactory proof of payment of all eligible costs.
  • Proof of the total costs incurred and paid will be required.  In the event that the actual eligible costs are less than the amounts submitted with the application, the matching grant will be limited to 80% of the total eligible costs. 
  • Costs in excess of the amount set out in the approval letter are the responsibility of the applicant.
  • Eligible costs include the amount of harmonized sales tax (HST).
  • Eligible costs do not include any labour costs for work performed by the applicant/owner.  All labour costs must be substantiated with proof of payment.
  • Only one application shall be received for each business number on a one-time basis.
  • Eligible expenses are retroactive to June 1, 2020.
  • Kingston Economic Development/Town of Gananoque reserves the right to request additional information and site audit as a condition of approval and payment of the program.
  • Works must be completed by November 15, 2020.
  • The Final Report and invoices must be submitted no later than November 30, 2020.  
  • Applications will be processed and approved on a first come first serve basis, subject to availability of funding.
  • The employee number is based on the business’s peak season in 2019.  If the business opened in 2020, then the employee number is based on date of application.  A Full-Time Employee (FTE) = the employment of one person full-time, or more than one person part-time, such that the total working time is equivalent to one person working full-time. Generally, full-time positions will involve between 35-40 hours in a regular work week. Kingston Economic Development/Town of Gananoque reserves the right to confirm employee numbers.
  • Where building, encroachment or work permits would be required for planned work, Kingston Economic Development/Town of Gananoque reserves the right to confirm compliance with City of Kingston/Town of Gananoque permitting prior to advance funding or approval of application.  
  • The applicant is required to contribute the 20% matching funds.  Stacking with other funding programs is not permitted. 

Application and Approval Process:

  • Applicants in the City of Kingston will apply through Kingston Economic Development Corporation. Applicants in the Town of Gananoque will apply through the Town of Gananoque Economic Development Department;
  • Applicants in the City of Kingston are required to complete the application form and submit it to Kingston Economic Development Corporation through the online intake portal or through consultation with one of the Business Advisors;
  • Applicants in the Town of Gananoque are required to complete the application form and submit it to the Town of Gananoque Economic Development Department.
  • If the application meets all criteria, Kingston Economic Development/Town of Gananoque will issue an email of approval confirming approved expenses within 5-10 business days;
  • Unsuccessful applicants will be notified within 5-10 business days of the rationale surrounding their ineligibility;
  • The applicant will be required to sign a funding agreement upon approval.
  • Upon completion of the works as set out in the funding agreement, and upon payment by the applicant for works performed, the applicant submits the final report and proof of payment to Kingston Economic Development/Town of Gananoque;
  • Staff will review the proof of payment and issue reimbursement.
     

Contact Information

Kingston Economic Development Corporation
366 King St. E., Suite 420, Kingston, ON, K7K 6Y3
Contact: Kirk Smallridge
[email protected]
613-544-2725 ext. 7223
 

Town of Gananoque                    
30 King St, Gananoque, ON, K7G 1E9            
www.gananoque.ca                    
Contact: Amanda Trafford                
[email protected]           
613-382-2149 ext. 1125    

Kingston Economic Development Corporation adheres to the privacy policy as set forth in the Operations Manual.

Download Guidelines  

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can the business owner be considered a full time employee?

Yes, the business owner can be considered a full time employee.

My employee numbers change depending on the season, how do I calculate the employee number?

The employee number is based on the business’s peak season in 2019.  If the business opened in 2020, then the employee number is based on date of application.  A Full-Time Employee (FTE) = the employment of one person full-time, or more than one person part-time, such that the total working time is equivalent to one person working full-time. Generally, full-time positions will involve between 35-40 hours in a regular work week. 

Our business has already received funding for PPE, are we still eligible?

The business can use invoices that have not already been used for other funding sources. The successful applicant is required to contribute the 20% matching funds. Stacking with other funding programs is not permitted.

Are not-for-profits organization eligible to apply?

Yes, tourism based not-for-profits with a registered business number are eligible for the program.

When is the deadline to apply?

October 31, 2020 or when all the funding has been allocated.  Please note the funds are limited so it is recommended to apply early.

What if my actual costs are lower then what I have put in the application?

Proof of the total costs incurred and paid will be required. In the event that the actual eligible costs are less than the amounts submitted with the application, the matching grant will be limited to 80% of the total eligible costs.

What if my actual costs are more than what are approved?

Costs in excess of the amount set out in the Funding Agreement are the responsibility of the applicant. 

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