May 21 2020 update from TIAC

TIAC continues to advocate for the tourism sector daily. We are committed to providing our members with the most up-to-date information to help businesses navigate this difficult time. 

May 21, 2020

Dear Tourism Stakeholders,

The TIAC Team continues to monitor and provide daily updates on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, including the steps government is taking to address the situation. We are working hard to make sure the industry’s voice is heard by government, and that you have the information you need to keep your business going in these uncertain times.

Please find the latest updates on official announcements and a recap of TIAC’s advocacy work on behalf of Canada’s Tourism Sector:

TIAC’s Advocacy Update

  • The TIAC Team has been busy working on materials for Tourism Week,
  • TIAC will be soon be launching a microsite full of tools your business/organization can use throughout tourism week – stay tuned for a special tourism week email tomorrow
  • TIAC will also be hosting virtual Tourism Town Halls in partnership with some of our provincial partners – find out more and register here

TIAC’s President and CEO and held discussion with the Chair of Meetings Means Business and Business Events Canada to discuss recovery measures to support Canada’s business meetings and event sector

Government Announcements

  • Today, the government is announcing $75 million in new funding for Indigenous organizations providing services to Indigenous peoples in urban centres and off reserve.
  • This additional funding will support community-based projects addressing the critical needs of the Indigenous population including food security, mental health support services, sanitation and protective equipment, transportation, educational materials and support for Elders.
  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has been extended until end of the summer.
  • For liquidity problems or expenses, businesses can receive a loan through the Canada Emergency Business Account.
  • If you are not eligible for these supports, the government recommends contacting your regional development agency who will be able to help navigate.

In a comment on airline refund questions, the Prime Minister stated the government is working closely with airlines looking at what other countries have done, to make sure Canadians are supported but balancing this with ensuring airlines are able to recover.

In Case You Missed It … 

  • Recently announced changes to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) mean more businesses – including sole proprietors – can access this support program, which gives small businesses interest-free loans of up to $40,000, of which 25% (up to $10,000) will be forgiven if the full sum is repaid by December 31, 2022
  • TIAC encourages those who have not applied due to concerns over eligibility to consider approaching their financial institution to see if these new terms apply
  • Applications for the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) are now open
  • To access funding through LEEFF, employers must have $300 million or more in annual revenues and must be seeking a loan over $60 million. The Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV) has created a new subsidiary, the Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEFC), to administer LEEFF in coordination with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and Finance Canada.
  • Tourism SMEs can now apply for assistance funding through their regional economic development agencies through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) program.
  • Details can be found here

As this is a new program, we urge members to contact TIAC and let us know if you are encountering difficulties accessing this new program.  As reported earlier, we are already in contact with government officials reporting on possible gaps.  Your feedback and information is very important to help us advocate for changes.

Resources for Businesses 

·     Go2HR has compiled a comprehensive list of resources for all types of sector businesses related to COVID-19.

·     For operators looking for information on how to prepare to safely reopen their operations in the coming weeks, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has a series of bilingual guidelines available to businesses regarding COVID-19.

·     Google for SMEs has also launched a page dedicated to supporting businesses during COVID-19 including practical steps and free digital skills training.

·     Our partners at Tourism HR Canada have opened their Emerit courses and created a resource hub for sector businesses

Looking Ahead – COVID-19 Recovery

Several provinces have begun announcing plans for reopening economies. Timelines and actions vary, but can provide businesses and workers with information on what to expect in the upcoming weeks and months. TIAC is following up on measures announced by British Columbia to limit gatherings of more than 50 people and seeking a coordinated approach between provinces in the recovery phase. We have reached out to our provincial counterparts to work together in an effort to create an orderly recovery strategy that will address health concerns and support tourism businesses. TIAC will continue to add links to provincial recovery plans as they become available:


TIAC Members: Making a difference

Thank you to the many TIAC Members who are helping during this difficult time.  From those offering support like temporary housing for essential service providers, to others who brought home stranded Canadians from around the world. You are making a difference.

Today, we are featuring Tiki Press based in Medicine Hat Alberta. Tiki Hat has launched an incredible and timely initiative for the community’s most at-risk food and beverage operators. The “Wish You Were Here” campaign has created a tangible way for locals to financially support their favourite local spots – even when closed – by buying a smartly branded t-shirt. 50% gross of every sale going directly to the local operator. The response has been overwhelming.

You can learn more about the initiative here.

Thanks to Jace from Tourism Medicine Hat for sharing this story with us!

Do you have a story to share about how tourism businesses are supporting communities during these challenging times? We want to hear from you whether you’re a TIAC member or not. We need to celebrate our industry and recognize your generosity during these trying times. Please share your stories with us at

Email Updates Archived
New information is being shared at a rapid pace and we know it can be overwhelming. If you think you may have missed something, head over here to see all our communications that we’ve released so far:


TIAC will continue to represent your interests with government officials and decision-makers throughout this crisis. Please stay safe and let us know what more we can do to help.