The federal government is investing $500,000 in Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) to assist the region’s hard-hit tourism industry.
The funding, which comes from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), is supporting the PKED’s Tourism Resiliency Fund Program, delivered in partnership with the Community Futures Peterborough, the City of Peterborough, the eight townships of the County of Peterborough, and Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations.
The Tourism Resiliency Fund has already provided non-repayable financial support of up to $20,000 to more than 50 local tourism-oriented businesses and organizations, for costs associated with adapting to public health measures and safely reopening.
Eligible expenses under the program include space renovations and retrofits, the purchase of equipment, fixtures and personal protective equipment, as well as support for technology and digitization.
Showplace Performance Centre in downtown Peterborough is one of the local organizations that received support under the Tourism Resiliency Fund.
“Through this fund, we have been able to adjust parts of our facility to be ‘touch free’ as well as purchasing specialized cleaning equipment,” says Showplace’s general manager Emily Martin in a media release.
“Our industry has been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, being among the first to close and will be one of the last to reopen, so we’re so grateful to have this funding to do these kinds of projects so that when the day comes that we can gather again, Showplace Performance Centre will be ready to welcome everyone in.”
Escape Maze in Peterborough County is one of the local businesses supported through the Tourism Resiliency Fund. The company, which provides interactive adventures, was able to purchase digital equipment to adapt its core business with an online component. It is also now co-promoting and supporting other businesses.
“The PKED Tourism Resiliency Fund has enabled Escape Maze to adapt our business in a unique way to create a new revenue stream to continue to attract and serve our customers during COVID-19.” says Fred Preddy of Escape Maze.
According to the media release, around 100 jobs in the region have been protected through funding under the Tourism Resiliency Fund Program.