Pandemic Relief Extension Program (PREP)

The Pandemic Relief Extension Program (PREP) provides support to licensed tourism operators impacted by the economic disruptions associated with COVID-19 through short-term relief for operational costs.

The objective of the PREP is to provide short-term relief to those licensed tourism operators that have been impacted and are the most vulnerable to permanent closure as a result of the economic disruptions associated with COVID-19. Only those licensed tourism operators that have experienced an operating deficit on a monthly basis will be considered for funding.

The PREP has been designed to provide support to tourism operators with a demonstrated need for financial support for eligible NWT fixed costs. Applicants will be required to provide reporting that demonstrates 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 allow them to generate a profit.

Who is eligible?

Eligible applicants include: all licensed tourism operators including sole-proprietors, partnerships, and incorporated companies who meet the following criteria:

  • have a valid tourism operator licence (TOL);
  • have been in operation since April 1, 2020, at a minimum;
  • must not have filed for bankruptcy;
  • the business is operating, and will continue to operate, at a loss over the period of the program (e.g. to incur ongoing expenses that are higher than incoming revenues) as a direct result of travel restrictions; and,
  • licensed tourism services are the primary source of income for the household.

ITI reserves the right to make exceptions to these guidelines in order to account for special circumstances or where a doubt remains as to a business’ eligibility or need for relief funding.

  • Criteria for consideration for an exception, if a business:
    • is a sole-proprietor, partnership, or incorporated company; and
    • is not a TOL holder; and
    • can clearly demonstrate that it relies on out of territory travellers for a significant portion of their income; and
    • is operating, and will continue to operate, at a loss over the period of the program (e.g. to incur ongoing expenses that are higher than incoming revenues) as a direct result of border restrictions; and
    • has not filed for bankruptcy; and
    • has been in operation prior to April 1, 2020, at a minimum.
  • If a business is approved to apply to the PREP as an exception, the minimum eligible amount for funding is $2,500 and the maximum eligible amount for funding is $25,000

Ineligible applicants include:

  • territorial, municipal or other governments, agencies of government and crown corporations;
  • not-for-profit organizations, societies, co-operatives, unincorporated associations; and,
  • tourism operators that have defaulted on a GNWT repayment plan or BDIC loan that is owing at the time of applying to the PREP.


A total of $2,500,000 has been allocated under the PREP in order to help support tourism operators in the NWT.

The minimum amount that may be claimed through the PREP is $2,500, and the maximum amount eligible has been set at $100,000 between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022.

Applications received as part of the PREP will be treated on a first-come, first-served basis until such time as all of the funding has been exhausted. Payments will be issued in two installments: a first payment upon determination of eligibility and application approval of 75% of eligible costs, and a subsequent payment after the invoices and receipts for the first installment are reviewed.

The applicant will be responsible for informing the ITI regional office of any change in circumstances/financial situation that might affect their eligibility for the PREP funding over the course of the agreement period.

Applicants that are unable to clearly demonstrate that they meet all eligibility requirements will be declined.

Eligible Costs

The PREP will only support eligible fixed operating costs where these costs are not already covered by other federal, territorial or municipal programs. In conjunction with ITI, BDIC staff may provide support when reviewing applicant submissions and assist with analysis.

PREP contribution rate for NWT eligible fixed costs

Eligible NWT fixed costs

PREP contribution rate

Commercial Rent

Commercial Mortgage (interest only) for tourism operators

Mortgage (principal and interest) for home-based tourism operators*

Up to 100% of each eligible NWT fixed cost, to a maximum of $100,000;
provided the amount being requested does not allow the applicant to generate a profit from its participation in this relief program.

Utilities (heat; electric; water and sewer; phone and internet)*

Subscriptions (for example, financial or booking systems)


Financing or lease payments on tourism equipment (e.g. boats, snow machines, vehicles for tourism purposes) purchased before April 1, 2020 and not previously funded through a GNWT or federal program

Other NWT fixed costs as deemed reasonable at the sole discretion of ITI

*Note: For home-based businesses, ITI will consider reimbursement of a percentage of rent/mortgage and utilities equal to the proportion between personal and business uses at the same rate as used in the applicant’s 2019 tax return, provided the amount being requested does not allow the applicant to generate a profit from its participation in this relief program.

For applicants based outside the NWT, ITI will prioritize eligible fixed costs that are NWT-based. 

The exceptions: Applicants who have paid for a commercial land lease through the Department of Lands may submit a stand-alone receipt for a commercial land lease for 100% reimbursement. This receipt may also be included as part of a larger request for support through the PREP.

Applicants who require assistance from a bookkeeper or accountant to prepare their financials may apply to the PREP for those costs, to a maximum of $4,000, before making a full submission. These applications will be accepted if they are less than the minimum amount of $2,500 as it is anticipated that the full submission will be for more than the minimum amount.

How to Apply

Eligible tourism operators will be required to complete, sign and submit an Application Form and provide supporting documentation.

Applicants will need to ensure that they provide all required supporting documentation as indicated in the table below. Applications cannot be processed until deemed complete and all required documentation has been provided.

Once an application has been reviewed and an amount deemed eligible by the ITI regional office, the applicant will receive a contribution agreement for review and signature. The applicant will return a signed copy to the ITI regional office for the signature of the regional Superintendent. A signed copy of the contribution agreement will be returned to the applicant indicating the final amount that has been approved for funding as well as reporting requirements.

Required Documents

  1. Completed application form including:
    • business number
    • forecasted operating costs and revenues
    • declaration of accuracy of information provided (check box on the application form)
    • signature of the applicant
  2. Detailed General Ledger OR other documentation that can substantiate fixed costs being claimed (e.g. copies of March 2021 monthly invoices)
  3. 2019 Income Statement and 2019 General Ledger Summary, if applicable
  4. 2020 Income Statement and 2020 General Ledger Summary
  5. A copy of the funding agreement for Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) and/or Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), if applicable
  6. A copy of the funding agreement for the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), if applicable
  7. Certificate of incorporation or letter of good standing from Corporate Registries
  8. Lease/mortgage agreement for commercial space, where applicable