TIABC Advocates for Immediate financial assistance
TIABC and a coalition of dozens of sector associations representing British Columbia’s more than 19,000 tourism and hospitality businesses have presented the Provincial government with a recovery stimulus proposal that would see the government allocate $680 million from its $1.5 billion recovery package as an initial investment to help mitigate the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on the B.C. visitor economy and its workforce.
The proposed recovery stimulus package proposed by the tourism and hospitality sector has three components:
· A Working Capital Recovery Grant ($475 million) to help sustain and maintain solvency for businesses that have prospects to return to profitability in the medium term (i.e. 18 months). This could include the provision of low or no-interest loans with an extended payback period. As the timing and magnitude of out-of-province visitors is uncertain, the immediate priority would be to sustain businesses that normally rely on these visitors and generate significant revenues for the visitor economy, as well as businesses that play central roles in attracting visitors to a community or a region.
· Support for Adaptation Costs ($190 million) that would provide funds to: help businesses adapt their operations to the health and safety requirements of COVID-19 and protect their workforce, visitors, residents and local communities; and develop innovative ways of delivering tourism experiences to augment and accelerate recovery.
· Support for Developing Resilient, B.C.-focused Supply Chains ($15 million). The goal would be to support industry sub-sectors (accommodation, attractions, transportation, food services, and retail) refocus their supply chains and forge new relationships with B.C. suppliers, to create supply chains that will not only promote recovery over the next 18 months, but also contribute to the industry’s resilience going forward.
The proposal also recommends a joint industry-government task force to work alongside existing industry organizations and networks to finalize funding parameters, application processes, and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. The task force would include participation by the B.C. Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, and the Ministry of Finance.