Supplement for Tourism Accommodation Relief (STAR) Program

The Supplement for Tourism Accommodation Relief (STAR) Program provides funding relief to accommodation providers offering three (3) or more rooms in the Northwest Territories (NWT) who have been and/or are being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Administered by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) with assistance from the NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC), the supplement will help ensure that accommodation providers in the NWT remain operational through to March 31, 2022.

The STAR Program provides accommodation providers with a contribution up to $400 per room per month up to the point of breaking even (e.g. not suffering a loss, but not making a profit).

Who is eligible?

This program is open to accommodation providers offering three (3) or more rooms in the NWT including sole-proprietors, partnerships, and incorporated companies, who meet all of the following criteria:

  • have been in operation prior to April 1, 2020, and is open to guests and operational during the entire time period for which support is being requested;
  • have not filed for bankruptcy;
  • are 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,
  • providing accommodations is the primary source of income for the owner.
  • Note: remote lodges with a valid tourism operator licence (TOL) are eligible for support under the Pandemic Relief Extension Program (PREP) only.

Ineligible applicants include:

  • franchisees or subsidiaries of larger corporations where financial support can be provided by the franchisor, parent or holding company or trust fund;
  • territorial, municipal or other governments, agencies of government and crown corporations;
  • not-for-profit organizations, societies, co-operatives, unincorporated associations;
  • accommodation providers that have defaulted on a GNWT repayment plan or BDIC loan; and,
  • unregulated accommodation providers  (e.g. Airbnb).

Funding

A total of $3,200,000 has been allocated under the STAR Program in order to help support accommodation providers offering three (3) or more rooms in the NWT.

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 STAR Program funding over the course of the agreement period.

Eligible Costs

The STAR Program will provide qualifying accommodation providers with support for eligible costs in the form of a contribution. The STAR Program will only support eligible 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.

Eligible costs under the STAR Program may include but are not limited to:

  • staff costs (e.g. employee wages/expenses, contractors, owner salary, administration, professional development, bookkeeping/accounting);
  • business expenses (e.g. rent, electricity, heating, fuel, phone, water/sewage, maintenance/repairs, banking fees); and,
  • debt servicing (e.g. mortgage, insurance, vehicle insurance/leasing, marketing, consumable suppliers, subscriptions).

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

How to Apply

Eligible accommodation providers 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.

Determining Break-even

Applicants must provide a forecast (or actuals) of monthly revenues and expenses for the period they are applying for funding. Revenues must include revenue from all sources including all COVID-19 funding programs, insurance companies and deposits. For the purpose of revenue calculation, payments from governments will be considered revenue in the month in which it is received.

All monthly expenses may be included with the exception of any expenses associated with capital assets purchased on or after April 1, 2021, debt servicing or marketing (e.g. purchase, payment on assets, interest charges and/or amortization/ depreciation). The expectation is that the business has done its best to reduce or eliminate any discretionary expenses. Eligible business costs will be pro-rated on a monthly basis if they are paid annually or quarterly (e.g., insurance).

For home-based accommodation providers, (e.g. bed and breakfasts with individual rooms, suites, or cabins), expenses must be proportioned between personal and business uses at the same rate as used in the applicant’s 2019 tax return.

Required Documents

  1. Completed application form including:

    • business number

    • number of rooms available to guests

    • forecasted revenues and expenses for the time period for which funding is requested

    • declaration of accuracy of information provided (check box on the application form)

    • signature of the applicant

  2. Complete profit and loss worksheet which shows break-even calculation by month (forecast or actual revenues and expenses by month for the period for which funding is requested)

  3. Detailed General Ledger OR other documentation that can substantiate expenses being claimed (e.g. copies of March 2021 monthly invoices)

  4. 2019 Income Statement or 2019 General Ledger Summary, if applicable

  5. 2020 Income Statement or 2020 General Ledger Summary

  6. A copy of the funding agreement for Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) and/or Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), if applicable

  7. A copy of the funding agreement for the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), if applicable

  8. Certificate of incorporation or letter of good standing from Corporate Registries

  9. Lease/mortgage agreement for commercial space, where applicable

  10. Franchise agreement, where applicable