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Indigenous Tourism Alberta to provide relief funding to businesses affected by COVID-19

An aerial view of Fort Chipewyan, Alta., on the boundary of Wood Buffalo National Park is shown on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. First Nations say creating a new wildland park in northern Alberta will go a long way toward ensuring Indigenous people can keep up their traditional pursuits.
An aerial view of Fort Chipewyan, Alta., on the boundary of Wood Buffalo National Park is shown on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. First Nations say creating a new wildland park in northern Alberta will go a long way toward ensuring Indigenous people can keep up their traditional pursuits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact businesses across the province, Indigenous Tourism Alberta is looking to help companies recover with stimulus relief funding.

The stimulus fund aims to help businesses by covering costs such as marketing overhead, business costs, health and safety standard improvements and staffing.

“Indigenous tourism businesses have been hit especially hard by COVID-19 and the travel restrictions that have necessarily been put in place,” ITA executive director Shae Bird said in a press release on Thursday.

Read more: Alberta tour operators prepare for a year of losses

“Our goal at ITA is to help these businesses, and our industry as a whole, remain competitive to accelerate our recovery and contribute to the diversification of our provincial economy.”

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The fund is open to all members of the ITA that are export, market and visitor ready and will provide up to $7,500 per business.

The stimulus fund works in conjunction with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada’s stimulus fund, meaning the total contribution of the two funds cannot exceed $25,000 per operator.

Read more: Canada giving another $650M in COVID-19 aid to Indigenous communities

“Alberta’s visitor economy will be an essential and growing component of many local and regional economies,” Bird said.

“Supporting our tourism businesses now is an important step in ensuring our industry thrives well into the future.”

As part of its one-year action plan to support its members throughout the pandemic, the ITA is also hosting a series of webinars for business owners across the province.

To apply for funding or sign up for webinars, click here.