Ontario’s Highlands Tourism Organization (OHTO) has released a new funding stream through its Tourism Recovery and Innovation Program (TRIP).

OHTO’s Executive Director Nicole Whiting explains TRIP was launched in September and this is its second funding stream. “It’s specifically for businesses,” she says. “It provides funds to businesses that have incurred costs or will incur costs to do modifications to adapt to COVID regulations.”

“It provides non-repayable funding up to 80-percent of eligible expenses incurred to modify operations to a maximum of $20,000,” OHTO officials explain.

Whiting says that means if you’re a business that relies on tourism to sustain your operation, you’re eligible. She explains that an eligible expanse would be if you had to expand your patio to allow for physical distancing, or added a window to make take-out possible.

The application process is open and will continue until December 31st, 2021, or until the available funds are depleted. Businesses that apply before January 31st will get “priority status” according to OHTO. Whiting says the process has been “streamlined” to make it easier for businesses to apply.

TRIP is done in partnership with OHTO’s six County partners.