City partners with regional municipalities to offer local small businesses funds to help cope with COVID-19

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Local restaurants are among businesses that can access financial support from the City through the COVID-19 Tourism Response Fund.
In a press release, the City says it is collaborating with the Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7), Grey County, Simcoe County and the City of Orillia to administer the fund, a non-repayable contribution ranging from $2,500 to $20,000, to tourism operators in Barrie and the surrounding regions of Grey and Simcoe counties. Eligibility extends to restaurants, accommodations, select retail and others.
The City recognizes that the tourism industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19. The intention of this fund is to help offset the high cost for tourism operators of adapting to changing health and safety requirements and prioritizing safety during the pandemic. Examples of adaptation are the addition or expansion of patios at restaurants, the plexiglass barriers at counters or between tables, touchless payment systems, reservation systems, sanitization stations, COVID sanitizer fogging equipment and others.
To be eligible, businesses must be a small-to medium-sized enterprise (1-99 employees) or a not-for-profit enterprise and/or Indigenous organization/community, and must qualify as one of the following types of tourism operators:
• 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. 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. To learn more about how the City is supporting businesses through the pandemic, and to find out about more financial assistance options, visit