The federal government is providing $500,000 to assist tourism-oriented businesses in the Peterborough region impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday morning, Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef announced the non-payable investment of $500,000 for the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) to support the region’s tourism industry’s recovery.
The EDC will provide non-repayable contributions of up to $20,000 to more than 50 area tourism-oriented businesses to support costs associated with adapting to public health measures (such as equipment, digitization, personal protective equipment) and safely reopening.
The government says the funding will protect about 100 tourism-related jobs.
The fund is being delivered in partnership with the Peterborough Community Futures Development Corporation, the City of Peterborough, the eight townships of Peterborough County, Hiawatha First Nation and Curve Lake First Nation. With First Nations collaborators, the partners are providing targeted support to Indigenous-led businesses within the community.
“The Greater Peterborough Region has long been known for its hospitality, and our local pride is evident in the tourism businesses that operate here,” stated Monsef. “Today’s investment is directly supporting more than 50 of our local tourism-oriented businesses and maintaining about 100 valuable jobs in our area.”
One recipient includes Showplace Performance Centre in Peterborough, which has been closed since the pandemic was declared in March 2020. General manager Emily Martin says they are “thrilled” to receive funding through the PKED’s Tourism Resiliency Project.
“Through this fund, we have been able to adjust parts of our facility to be touch-free as well as purchasing specialized cleaning equipment,” she said. “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.”
Another recipient of funding is Escape Maze Inc. on Cedar Bank Road south of Peterborough. The company, which offers maze escape rooms, purchased digital equipment to improve its online component.
“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,” said co-owner Fred Preddy.
Rhonda Keenan, president and CEO of PKED, says the region is “sought-after” by tourists and sees more than three million visitors annually.
“We are pleased to partner with Community Futures Peterborough to offer this much-needed funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario to assist our hard hit, tourism-dependent businesses during these difficult times,” she said.