Ontario is setting aside more than $10 million in a grant program targeting the province wineries and cideries that were hit hard amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new on-time Winery Agri-Tourism relief initiative is set to aid businesses with on-site stores impacted by decreased tours, events and tastings, or increased expenses due to public health safety measures.
“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,” Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said in a statement on Monday.
The relief program builds on the Ford government’s plans to protect jobs and support local producers, including extending the VQA Wine Support Program and the Small Cidery and Small Distillery Support Program.
“This one-time investment will provide grants to eligible wineries and cideries with on-site stores in 2021, to help them thrive following a tough year,” Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy said in a release on Monday.
Agricorp will send applications for the program directly to eligible wineries and cideries on Tuesday.