Premier Ford expected to update Niagara Region on COVID-19 supports

The premier and Ontario’s minister of heritage, sport, tourism, and culture will be in Niagara on Monday for a tour and are expected to update supports for the region’s hospitality industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pair will be joined by finance minister Peter Bethlenfalvy and West Niagara MPP Sam Oosterhoff for a presser to be live streamed on at 1:p.m

It’s anticipated the province will update its plan to prop up the region’s tourism industry which has struggling over the past year, particularly in Niagara Falls.

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In late 2020, the province targeted a number of Niagara entities reliant on revenue for one-time grants including Niagara Parks, which will receive $12.81 million from Ontario to ensure financial sustainability as it deals with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19.

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Niagara’s job numbers took a hit amid the pandemic in 2020 with the unemployment rate jumping between February and June of last year with 32,000 (15.6 per cent) residents affected by job losses.

Last week, the province revealed about 140,000 tourism and hospitality jobs were lost between February 2020 and February 2021.

During its budget announcement on Wednesday, the Ford government unveiled a $100-million tourism and hospitality small business grant program that would allow businesses one-time payments of up to $20,000, which includes supports for thousands of hotels, motels, travel agencies, water parks, and overnight summer camps.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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