Ontario Launches Winery Agri-Tourism Sector Relief Initiative


STONEY CREEK, Ont. — The Ontario government has launched a new Winery Agri-Tourism COVID-19 Relief Initiative to support agri-tourism businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ontario wineries and cideries with onsite stores whose businesses saw a revenue decline in at least one area of their operations, such as decreased tourism, tours, events and tastings, or have faced increased expenses to comply with public-health safety measures for COVID-19, will be eligible to receive support.

“Ontario’s wineries and cideries have told us their businesses are being hit hard by the economic impacts of this pandemic and the cancellation of large events and tours,” says Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “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.”

The 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, is committed to providing a one‑time $10-million grant to help wineries and cideries impacted by COVID-19 and to ensure that agricultural production and local jobs are maintained in Ontario’s rural communities. As the delivery agent, Agricorp sent applications for the program directly to eligible wineries and cideries on July 20, 2021.

The new relief initiative extends the VQA Wine Support Program, the Small Cidery and Small Distillery Support Program to 2022-23.

“Our government recognizes the significant impact of the agri-tourism sector on Ontario’s social and economic recovery,” says Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “The launch of a new Winery Agri-Tourism Relief Initiative will support and maintain the vital jobs of those who continue to fight to ensure this sector is able to come back stronger than before.”

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