COAST SALISH TERRITORY – Earlier this summer, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) launched the COVID-19 Stimulus Development Fund to help Indigenous entrepreneurs and their businesses stay afloat during the shutdown of the global tourism industry as a result of COVID-19. Later paired with additional federal funding of $16 million, ITAC is able to support many Indigenous tourism businesses in the form of up to $25,000 non-repayable grants.
Last week, ITAC announced phase four funding from intake one (April 2020) for the Stimulus Development Fund, allocating 235 businesses over $4.9 million in grants, including a number of Manitoulin First Nation businesses.
“We are thrilled to reach the next phase in our stimulus plan and have approval by Indigenous Services Canada to release funding for another 235 Indigenous tourism businesses,” says Keith Henry, president and CEO of ITAC. “We are proud to support those businesses struggling during the unexpected shutdown of the 2020 summer season and know this funding for phase four will support Indigenous entrepreneurs as they prepare for future tourism seasons.”
The grants are disbursed to Indigenous tourism businesses who are at various stages of their tourism development. The phase four recipients are defined as Doors Open Businesses, tourism-related services and experiences that are newly available, in start-up and that currently receive customers who are mostly locals and regionals.
The successful Manitoulin recipients are: Bayside Resort, Bayview Pizza, Debajehmujig Theatre Group, Dreamer’s Cove, Endaa-aang Tourism, Harbor Vue Marina Limited, Island Sunrise Cottages, J&G Marina and Confectionary, Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre, Mishibinijima Group, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, Paul’s Corner Store, Seasons Family Restaurant, Stillwater Marina and Campground, The Island Music Showcase, The Rainbow Lodge, Wasse-Giizhik Tours and Accommodations, Weengushk Film Institute and West Bay Lodge and Lillian’s Indian Crafts Woodland Cultural Centre.