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Adjustments made to pandemic relief extension program

New adjustments to the recently introduced Pandemic Relief Extension Program means that businesses who rely on tourism but do not have a Tourism Operators Licence can apply for an exemption.

After launching the program in June, Tourism Minister Caroline Wawzonek says ITI has received feedback from businesses that are a part of the tourism industry in the NWT and rely on out-of-territory travellers, but do not have TOLs.

Wawzonek says the change, which takes effect immediately, will allow tourism-related businesses to be exempted in order to receive the short-term assistance they need.

“Applicants will still need to demonstrate a need for financial support for eligible fixed costs and that they rely on out-of-territory travellers for a significant portion of their income,” she adds.

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Wawzonek says they will be required to show that the amount of support being requested from this and any other federal, territorial, municipal or other COVID-19 relief program will not result in profit for their business.

If a tourism-related business is approved to apply to the PREP as an exception, the minimum eligible amount for funding is $2,500 to a maximum of $25,000.

Another adjustment made to the PREP was to clarify the nature of “eligible expenses” including a confirmation that eligible fixed costs funded under the PREP need to be NWT-based costs.

Updated program guidelines are available online.

Those with questions about the program are encouraged to contact the tourism development officer in their regional ITI office.

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