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Sep. 21, 2020 | Monday
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Feds unveil $500K to boost NOTL tourism
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Shaw to get $400,000 to stage outdoor performances

 

The federal government has unveiled a $500,000 grant to support the tourism industry in Niagara-on-the-Lake in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government also announced plans to contribute up to $400,000 to the Shaw Festival to support outdoor theatre performances and visitor activities in NOTL.

With the $500,000 grant, the Town of NOTL will establish a fund to provide contributions of up to $20,000 to small- and medium-sized businesses in the tourism sector, said Mélanie Joly, minister of economic development, in announcing the contribution during a virtual news conference Tuesday afternoon.

The project is expected to support 50 businesses and maintain about 100 jobs, the government said. The money is being provided through FedDev Ontario, an economic development agency overseen by Joly.

"This funding from FedDev Ontario will help Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Shaw Festival continue welcoming visitors, adapt to the new reality and keep supporting the region’s visitor economy," Joly said in a statement.

The announcement follows news last week that the Ontario government is giving the Town of NOTL $500,000 to help with losses due to COVID-19.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero revealed the provincial contribution during the livestream broadcast of her monthly Coffee Chat.

Joly said her message to Niagara’s tourism sector is, "We’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help Niagara tourism come back strong.”

Shaw Festival CEO Tim Jennings said he was "thrilled" by the news and said the festival will use the money "to provide free and low-cost outdoor performance activities and purchase equipment to ensure the safest possible experience for everyone.”

Disero said the FedDev contribution will "serve as a life preserver for many local businesses, especially heading into the shoulder season."

The government noted that Niagara-on-the-Lake attracts more than 3 million visitors annually and about one-quarter of the town's population works in the tourism sector.

As well, the Shaw brings in more than 250,000 visitors in a normal year and generates over $220 million in economic activity, the government said.

 

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