South Eastern Ontario Tourism Businesses Receive Federal Funding In Response To COVID-19 - RTO 9

South Eastern Ontario Tourism Businesses Receive Federal Funding In Response To COVID-19

RTO-9 distributed $500,000 in non-repayable grants to select counties 

Kingston, ON – (May 28, 2021) – With $500,000 in financial support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, the Regional Tourism Organization for South Eastern Ontario (RTO 9) distributed a one-time, non-repayable grant up to $20,000 to tourism-related businesses located within Leeds & Grenville County, Frontenac County, Lennox & Addington and Hastings County.

Through this funding, RTO 9 was able to support 65 businesses with expenses related to the purchase of PPE, e-commerce, and alterations to their business to ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff.

“We are so grateful as an organization to administer this funding and distribute grants to deserving local businesses who have been hard hit by the pandemic,” said Bonnie Ruddock, executive director of Region 9 Regional Tourism Organization. “We are thrilled to support our communities and provide important relief to these tourism operators. Our community partners rely heavily on revenue from tourism to the area every year to keep their doors open and food on the table for their families; these funds will help ensure their futures and offsets any added expenses they had to account for during the pandemic.”

“Canada’s tourism industry has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario. “We have been there for the tourism sector since the beginning of the crisis and are proud to be supporting businesses and communities in Eastern Ontario as they prepare to safely welcome visitors when they are able to do so.”

About RTO 9

RTO 9 is a regional tourism organization established in 2010 that is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries. RTO 9 actively promotes tourism for the South Eastern Ontario region and works to support and grow the tourism industry through marketing, product development, investment attraction, and workforce development initiatives. The regions of South Eastern Ontario are 1000 Islands Gananoque, Bay of Quinte, Brockville, Cornwall and Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Counties, Frontenac County, Kingston, Lennox and Addington, Prince Edward County and the Rideau Canal.

About FedDev Ontario

For more nearly 12 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The investment in RTO 9 is part of $5.35-million to support similar projects to help the tourism sector across Eastern Ontario, which are anticipated to support 480 businesses in the region.  

Media Contact

To arrange an interview with Bonnie Ruddock, Executive Director of Region 9 (South Eastern Ontario) Regional Tourism Organization, or to request high-res images please contact: 

Erin O’Driscoll
Account Specialist
Beattie Tartan
Direct: 647-232-6924

Nicole Amiel
Director – Eastern Canada
Beattie Tartan
Direct: 416-436-5185 / M: 514-983-3959