Hard hit by the pandemic, organizations in the tourism, leisure and culture industries have had to revise their business plans and seek financial assistance.
A number of financial aid programs are available to help Quebec organizations get through the crisis and plan their reopening—and more relief measures are on the way from the government and regional agencies.
Where to start?
There are more than 20 programs available to help cultural, sports and tourism organizations stay afloat and plan for the future. Additional opportunities could surface in the coming months. But since each program has specific requirements and eligibility criteria, it can be hard to navigate them all.
How can you be sure you’re taking full advantage of available relief programs?
The key is to prepare a strong application so that government analysts can process your file quickly. You should:
- Provide a financial snapshot that lays out actual and future losses;
- Include a revised business plan that is both concise and convincing;
- Demonstrate that your business is viable.
How to prepare a good case?
Funding agencies are currently receiving 10 times more applications than available subsidies. This means businesses and organizations need a strong application if they want to be selected.
Before you start filling out forms, take the time to review the eligibility criteria. You want to have the right information on hand and provide the best possible answers to their questions. A carefully crafted application will increase your chances of receiving a fast response and getting approved.
Preparing applications for financial relief programs can be complicated and time-consuming for managers who are already busy dealing with the impact of COVID-19.
Our tourism, leisure and culture team is familiar with all currently available relief programs, as well as their specific eligibility criteria, and the key issues in various sectors and regions. Contact our experts. We’re here to help.
Here are some of the programs available to help you weather the pandemic and prepare your post-COVID plan.
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides assistance to Quebec businesses and organizations that need immediate assistance with their cashflow. The initiative is intended for all economic industries and has an envelope of more than $280 million for Quebec. Find out more about the RRRF on the Canada Economic Development website.
More than $10 million in capital is available to help women entrepreneurs in Quebec get the support they need to affirm their presence, grow their businesses and prepare for the future. Find out more about support for women on the Canada Economic Development website.
Ministère du Tourisme
Every year, more than $20 million is available in subsidies for the tourism industry. Read more about the subsidies.
This agreement helps small and medium-sized businesses in the tourism sector meet new health and safety criteria. It also provides support to joint initiatives aimed at adapting or revitalizing the tourist attractions in the wake of the pandemic. Read more about this program.
This agreement enables regional tourism associations to help local businesses develop digital sales and address related obstacles. Read more about the EDNET agreement.
This program was created to help the operators of tourist accommodations, tourist attractions, tourist information centres and other service providers to make their facilities accessible for people with disabilities. Read more about this program.
Investissement Québec programs
Known by the French acronym PACTE, this new relief program provides ad hoc financial support to businesses experiencing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some $446 million has been earmarked for accommodations and tourist attractions.
The program has also introduced special assistance for businesses located in red zones through a provision called Aide aux entreprises en régions en alerte maximale (AERAM). This aid is specifically for businesses that have been forced to close due to lockdown restrictions.
Read more about the eligibility criteria on the Investissement Québec page.
This program provides funds to ageing hotels so that they can update their facilities before the tourism industry reopens. Qualifying works can either be renovations or standard-compliance upgrades. Read more information about the PADAT program.
Joint Initiative with Tourisme Québec
This fund provides financing to projects that promise to enhance the tourism offer. Eligible projects must attract new customer segments and prolong business’ operating times or seasons. Loans of $50,000 to $500,000 are available to startups as well as existing small and medium-sized businesses. Read more about the fund.
Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)
This program provides ad hoc support for the maintenance of concert or variety show venues across Quebec. With a maximum budget of $6 million, the program was created as part of the Quebec government’s measures to revive live show activities.
Several financing programs are available for the recreation and leisure sector.
For more information, see the list of financing programs on the Association québécoise du loisir municipal website.
We also encourage you to read our support measures for businesses page. It summarizes the various COVID-19 relief programs available. This page is updated regularly.