Originally announced in the provincial budget earlier this year, the Ontario government has officially launched the new Winery Agri-Tourism COVID-19 Relief Initiative.

The fund of $10 million will be distributed to Ontario wineries and cideries with on-site stores whose business were impacted by COVID-19 safety measures to stop the spread of the virus.

Businesses that saw a revenue decline in at least one area of their operations, such as decreased tourism, tours, events and tastings, or have faced increased expenses to comply with public health safety measures for COVID-19 will be eligible to receive support.

“Ontario’s wineries and cideries have told us their businesses are being hit hard by the economic impacts of this pandemic and the cancellation of large events and tours,” says Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “With this announcement, our government is taking
the necessary steps to provide these businesses with the support they need to continue operating, recover and to maintain these good jobs in the agri-food sector.”

The one-time grant will be administered through Agricorp. Agricorp will send applications for the program directly to eligible wineries and cideries on July 20, 2021.

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