July 21, 2021
Program adjustments to the recently introduced Pandemic Relief Extension Program (PREP) now mean that businesses who rely on tourism but do not have a Tourism Operators Licence (TOL) can apply to the Department of Industry Tourism and Investment to be exempted from this requirement.
After launching the program in June, ITI received feedback from businesses that are a part of the tourism industry in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and rely on out-of-territory travellers, but do not have TOLs.
While these businesses, such as restaurants, galleries and souvenir shops, have been impacted by the travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they do not have TOLs - an eligibility requirement to receive funding under the program.
The change, which takes effect immediately, will allow tourism-related businesses to be exempted in order to receive the short-term assistance they need to survive, recover and position for long term growth. It highlights the Department’s commitment to be flexible in its response to COVID-19 and all of its impacts.
Applicants will still need to demonstrate a need for financial support for eligible (NWT) fixed costs and that they rely on out-of-territory travellers for a significant portion of their income. They will be required to show that the amount of support being requested from this and any other federal, territorial, municipal or other COVID-19 relief program (e.g. Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada) will not result in profit for their business.
If a tourism-related business is approved to apply to the PREP as an exception, the minimum eligible amount for funding is $2,500 to a maximum of $25,000.
Additional minor adjustments made to the PREP today include more-precise language to clarify the nature of “eligible expenses” including a confirmation that eligible fixed costs funded under the PREP need to be NWT-based costs.