Default Interior Background

Financial assistance for local tourism industry now available

Posted on Friday January 08, 2021

The City of Orillia, in collaboration with Grey County, Simcoe County, and the City of Barrie, and with guidance and oversite from the Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7), will be administering non-repayable financial support ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to small to medium sized tourism enterprises in Orillia, Barrie, and Grey and Simcoe counties affected by COVID-19. 

“Tourism is an important economic driver for our city and the region,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “This financial support will allow tourism operators to cover some of the unexpected costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and will also help them shift their business models to address the ever-changing tourism landscape.” 

Funding will help offset the high cost of keeping tourists and staff safe while adapting to the changing health and safety requirements within the tourism industry during COVID-19.  Examples include the addition or expansion of patios at restaurants, plexiglass barriers at counters or between tables, touchless payment systems, reservation systems, sanitization stations, COVID-19 sanitizer fogging equipment, etc. 

Small to medium sized enterprises (1 to 99 employees) and not-for-profit enterprises, which meet the tourism operator criteria, can apply for funding. Businesses that are owned, managed, led, or serviced by under-represented groups; Indigenous, Women, Francophone, Youth, Persons with Disabilities, Newcomers to Canada, Visible Minorities, and LGBTQ2+ are encouraged to apply. 

Tourism operators is defined as one of the following:

  • Accommodation (hotels, motels, resorts, campgrounds and recreational vehicle facilities)
  • Recreation and entertainment (zoos, museums, theatres, sports facilities, amusement parks, government parks, heritage sites, hunting, fishing or outdoor adventure outfitters, casinos)
  • Food and beverage services (restaurants from fast service to fine dining, as well as pubs, nightclubs, cruise ships and convention centres)
  • Travel service (retail travel agencies, wholesale tour companies, corporate offices with their own booking divisions)
  • Transportation (companies that provide transport by air, land or water, and include airlines, bus companies, taxi companies, ferry services and cruise ships)
  • Not-for-profit enterprises and Indigenous organizations/communities that support tourists
  • Retail stores heavily dependent on tourism may also be considered

Applications will be accepted until Jan. 31, 2021. RTO7, in collaboration with the counties of Grey and Simcoe and the cities of Barrie and Orillia, will evaluate all submissions.

Businesses can learn more about the eligibility requirements and download the application form on the RTO7 website at

The City of Orillia is a city of 31,000 people in the heart of Orillia & Lake Country on the shores of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. Visit our website at



Michael Ladouceur
Manager of Tourism and Special Events
705-330-7595 (cell)

Jennifer Ruff
Director of Business Development and Communications
705-238-9209 (cell)