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Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean

Yukon government unveils more help for tourism industry

The Yukon government is introducing two new programs to act as safety nets to tide tourism-based businesses over the next few months of the pandemic.

By Whitehorse Star on November 30, 2020

The Yukon government is introducing two new programs to act as safety nets to tide tourism-based businesses over the next few months of the pandemic.

Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean announced the Tourism Non-Accommodation Sector Supplement and the Culture and Tourism Non-profit Sector Supplement during a media conference this morning.

The new programs are offering $1.3 million in funding.

The money is coming from a $15-million fund set aside by the government to support tourism-based businesses over the next three years.

The industry has been decimated by the pandemic and travel restrictions.

Four million dollars have been earmarked to be spent this fiscal year.

“The tourism sector continues to be hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19, and the closure of the B.C.-territory bubble is a reminder that the pandemic is not over yet,” McLean said.

“Our government recognizes that ongoing relief supports are essential and our priority is to ensure Yukon businesses and organizations survive and are in a position to rebound when the time is right.

“We will continue to work with stakeholders, Yukon First Nations governments, communities, the Government of Canada and other partners in a concerted effort to support this sector.”

McLean said she believed the industry could rebound from the disastrous effect of COVID-19, but said no one could predict when that might happen.

“To help ensure visitor-dependent businesses survive through winter 2020-21, $1 million is available through the Tourism Non- Accommodation Sector Supplement,” McLean said.

“Yukon tourism operators and food and beverage businesses that rely on visitors for at least 60 per cent of their revenues and have maximized their eligibility in the Yukon Business Relief Program and CanNor’s Northern Business Relief Fund will be able to apply for support to break even.

“A total of $300,000 is allocated for the Culture and Tourism Non-Profit Sector Supplement to provide support to culture and tourism non- profit organizations who have suffered revenue losses related to declines in tourism visitation,” McLean added.

Businesses such as bars and restaurants can receive up to $20,000 a month to a total of $60,000 under the Non-Accommodation program.

Under existing programs, businesses have been eligible for up to $100,000 in funding. The new funds are on top of that.

Non-profit organizations can receive up to $20,000 in funding.

Business that have already tapped into the existing programs, such as the Yukon Business Relief Program, should be able to transit directly into the new programs, McLean said.

Organizations projecting year-end deficits in excess of 10 per cent of their overall operating budget will be eligible to apply. This program is to be administered by a third party organization.

“Both of these relief programs are based on needs assessments and stem from information gathered through surveying the tourism and the non-profit sectors and through engaging with industry partners,” the minister said.

“It’s about breaking even,” McLean added.

“These programs are meant as a safety system. It will help them survive this winter. We are not through this yet.”

McLean said she believes about 60 businesses around the Yukon could be eligible to use the new programs.

Comments (8)

Up 15 Down 1

Charlie's Aunt on Dec 1, 2020 at 1:52 pm

@ Juniper; Yes I remember the housing scene of early 80s you mention. Many after paying years of mortgage realized they still only owned the front door knob so dropped their keys at banks. Some of those abandoned houses did not have water turned off & heating on for winter so they froze up. Come spring the pipes burst and banks were almost trying to give some houses away because of repair cost. I have recalled that scene often with recent housing cost & wondering when the bubble will burst. All it will take is very high interest rates again.

Up 15 Down 12

Jim on Dec 1, 2020 at 11:30 am

@JC Covid did not stop tourism in the Yukon... the government did. Places like Dubai, Mexico, Costa Rica are striving right now. Because they did not do lock downs and actually test people who are asymptotic.

Up 17 Down 8

JC on Dec 1, 2020 at 11:06 am

So, here we go again. There is no tourism because of covid and won't be until there is a vaccine - which by the way we're told could come in a few years from now. So, why put money into something that the government has shut down? That's two multi-million dollar checks Uncle Larry has cut this week in his dark blue striped cheque cutting suit.

Up 21 Down 7

Douglas Martens on Dec 1, 2020 at 10:40 am

In 1999 I began my business in Teslin. Wonderful memories... But the overlords have utterly decimated my business in the last year, in spite of all my efforts to comply with multiple regulations, licensing, insurance, taxation, permits, etc., etc., over my years in business. Any count on how many lives have been saved? Didn't think so. Meanwhile its been business as usual for all and sundry employed by the YTG, not a penny in wages or benefits lost, while small businesses are being crushed like blueberries under hiking boots. "We're all in this together" my assets! But now, a magnanimous gesture, money, which costs them nothing to print. Please keep mine where it is. I have not taken a penny of subsidy since this parade began and do not intend to. Thanks all the same!

Up 20 Down 4

Juniper Jackson on Dec 1, 2020 at 9:28 am

I keep asking, (in emails too) where is all this money coming from? (I KNOW who will have to pay it back..my grand kids will never have their own home and will be on the bus working 12 hr shifts) but, right now.. who are we borrowing this money from? Even a bank would have a lid on government lending. The Liberals, sneaky Sandy.. quietly increased their borrowing power by $800,000. Evidently, a drop in the bucket to this government.

Anyone remember 1982 in the Yukon? No one was paying their mortgage, but the banks couldn't foreclose because they did not have the staff to foreclose with! No one to run around with all that paper work. CIBC said..better to have someone in the house, we'll make arrangements to collect back payments later.. But, even that didn't help. People walked into the banks, put their house keys down and moved out. The old Yukon Inn had a sign up.. "Eat here or we'll both starve".

I guess there might not be very many left that remember that. But, I do. and I am here to tell you, it can all happen again. When too many people are sitting in the wagon, and no one is pushing the wagon..that wagon is not going anywhere. But, here's your welfare cheque, the pot shop is that a-way..your dealer is just at the bank waiting for you to cash it.. and don't forget to stop by the food bank for the kids. Good times eh?

Up 15 Down 16

Jim on Dec 1, 2020 at 4:13 am

Instead of giving away money.... open up the borders, do testing on arrivals and testing 5 days later... no need for self isolation, those who are vulnerable stay home.

Up 19 Down 9

Matthew on Nov 30, 2020 at 3:01 pm

Anyone else notice the new media agenda in recent days from all over the globe?
Making it through winter...
Going to be a dark winter..
Long cold winter is coming.. etc

Up 39 Down 6

TMYK on Nov 30, 2020 at 2:34 pm

So more tax dollars for NVD and First Nations.

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