Funding, Grants, and Training

2021 is the year for opportunity and growth, but with so many options available where does one start? We've taken care of the guess work for you and short listed some of the key programming that can help you conquer COVID-19 and get your business back on track for 2021 and beyond.


Key Programs


Sector Specific Opportunities




First Peoples' Cultural Council Arts Program

Grants ranging from $3,000 to $20,000 for Indigenous B.C. residents open for the Spring 2021 intake. FPCC Grant funding supports our communities to revitalize their Indigenous languages, arts and cultural heritage in B.C. Current funding opportunities will display a submission deadline.




Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)

The Government of Canada has announced an additional $500 million in support through RRRF for small businesses that continue to suffer from COVID-19 related loses.

To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges resulting from COVID-19, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will provide eligible businesses with interest-free repayable funding up to $1,000,000.

What you need to know:

  • RRRF is intended to support all of Western Canada's economic sectors. Priority consideration will be given to businesses in the tourism sector in support of the Federal Government's announcement that 25% of RRRF funding would be used to support tourism businesses.
  • RRRF may support eligible operating costs up to a maximum of 12 consecutive months
  • RRRF is intended for businesses that do not qualify for funding resources such as CEBA, BCAP, HASCAP or other federal funding COVID-19 relief programs.


Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) - Community Futures Stream

This $2-billion Government of Canada fund is to support small and medium sized businesses that have been negitively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These businesses can now apply for loans of up to $60,000 through RRRF.

As the financing terms of RRRF and CEBA are similar, rural businesses can choose which program to apply for funding. Applicants can only apply for ONE of these federal programs.

What you need to know:

  • Community Futures offices are supporting rural businesses requesting $60,0000 or less. These businesses should apply through their local community futures office if they are eligible
  • If you are a rural business requesting more than $60,000, you should apply through Western Economic Diversification Canada


Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) - Women's Enterprise Initiative Stream

The RRFP was announced by the Government of Canada to provide financial support directly to small and medium sized women-owned or women-led businesses. Loans up to $60,000 are available through Women's Enterprise Initiative (WEI) organizations across Western Canada to address COVID-19 impacts on short-term stability.

This access to financing will support small enterprises that are unable to access larger federal relief funding programs, or unable to obtain a loan/credit from traditional institutions, and that are struggling with working capital needs.

Women-owned or women-led businesses requesting over $60,000 must apply through Western Economic Diversification Canada.


Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) Guarantee

Deadline to apply: December 31, 2021

Businesses heavily impacted by COVID-19 can access guaranteed, low-interest loans of $25,000 to $1 million to cover operational cash flow needs. These loans are for small and medium-sized businesses that have seen their revenue decrease by 50% or more as a result of COVID-19.

What you need to know:

  • Benefit of a 4% interest rate and a repayment tern of up to 10 years
  • Up to a 12-month postponement of principal payments at the start of the loan
  • Deadline to apply has been extended to December 31, 2021



Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until September 25, 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This subsidy will enable you to -rehire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations.


Tourism Relief Fun (TRF)

To help tourism businesses and organizations adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. The $500 million national initiative across Canada will be administered by Western Economic Diversification in Western Canada.


Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)

The new Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) is designed to encourage businesses to grow as the economy recovers, whether it’s due to hiring and re-hiring staff, increasing shifts, or increasing overall pay.

Note: Your business can only claim the CEWS OR CRHP - here is a comparison between the two programs


Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

$400 per week for 13 two-week periods between September 27, 2020, and October 23, 2021 for self-employed workers and those in the gig economy. Applications are handled through the Canada Revenue Agency. Hotline: 1-833-966-2099


Sector Specific Opportunities


Employment & Training 

BSAFE - Your Trust, Our Priority

Grown from a Tourism Task Force recommendation, BSAFE is a new online training course, created in partnership with tourism and hospitality stakeholders and go2HR, the tourism and hospitality industry health and safety authority. 

The training provided by this program aims to provide staff with a strong foundation in COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and to assist them in understanding ever-evolving best practices. Upon successful completion of the course, participants are awarded a certificate that demonstrates their knowledge of and commitment to COVID-19 health and safety.

Program Goal:

  • Ensure foundational health and safety knowledge across BC tourism and hospitality industry to increased worker, guest, and community confidence during recovery
  • Provide external visibility to BC tourism and hospitality employers participating in the program

Small Business BC - Business Advice Program

Small Business BC provides independent, expert and tailored small business advice for business owners in British Columbia. They offer a range of business advisory services in: business registration, business plan, market research, and import/export. Alternatively, get the answer to your specific business questions by talking to one of our experts in Accounting, Branding, Business Broker, Customers & Logistics, Lawyer, HR, Insurance, Technology, and Website.

What you need to know:

  • Through a partnership between Destination BC and Small Business BC, this program is currently being offered for FREE using the discount code: DBC3034


Small Business BC - Business Education

Small Business BC provides practical business seminars and online education to develop your business skills and strategy to run a successful business. Whether you need help starting your business, hiring employees, managing operations, or anything else, Small Business BC has a business education seminar for you.

What you need to know:

  • Through a partnership between Destination BC and Small Business BC, this program is currently being offered for FREE using the discount code: DBC3034
  • To see all available Education at Small Business BC from Jan-March 2021, download the catalogue.


TOTA - Digital Support & Literacy Services Program

The Digital Support & Literacy Services Program has been developed to provide tourism businesses with one-on-one guidance in determining where you currently are digitally and where your business needs to be.

As part of this program, a digital marketing expert will offer complimentary services to:

  • Make urgent updates to your website, such as changes to your operations and the addition of your COVID-19 Safety Plan
  • Claim your Google My Business listing
  • Set up your TripAdvisor listing (linked to the HelloBC listing)
  • Set up a social media account (Facebook, Instagram)
  • Provide recommendations on where your efforts should be focused now and into the coming weeks
  • Get support on onboarding onto an eCommerce platform and have fees covered for one year (up to a certain amount)

Now is the time to make sure your business is competitive and easily accessible to consumers as we move toward a time in the near future when our visitors are coming back.


Opportunities to Support Labour Force

Mentoring | Job Placement | Virtual Job Fair

TOTA is facilitating two virtual Tourism Skills Training Programs in order to support displaced employees and professionals transitioning to a career in the tourism industry. The curriculum prepares participants to work in various tourism and hospitality positions in the Thompson Okanagan region with a focus on serving domestic markets in 2021, ultimately increasing the labour pool for tourism companies. Curriculum topics were determined by TOTA through survey responses from tourism operators about labour needs, skills gaps, and general feedback.

Industry support is essential to help these up and coming tourism professionals achieve success as they journey down the path of their career.

TOTA is seeking tourism operators to provide mentoring during the program and job placements post-program for up to 75 job-ready participants.

 You may choose to participate with one or all of these opportunities. Please submit a form for each corresponding opportunity.


Student Work Placement Program

Work placements are a win-win for employers and students, Through the Student Work Placement program, employers can apply for wage subsidies to help them hire post-secondary students across Canada. You could get up to $5,000 for every student you hire through the program, and up to $7,000 for every student you hire that is in their first year or is from an under-represented group.


BC Employer Training Grant

The BC Employer Training Grant program (ETG) supports skills training to address provincial labour market needs. The program is delivered by the Province of British Columbia and is funded by the Government of Canada through the Workforce Development Agreement.

What you need to know:

  • Due to high demand for limited funds, applications are prioritized and not assessed solely on a first-come, first-serve basis. Priority is given to: first-time applicants, small businesses, applicants from disadvantaged regions, and applicants from industries facing the greatest challenges acquiring skilled workers


Digital Marketing Bootcamp

The Alacrity Canada Digital Marketing Bootcamp is a virtual skills-training program that aims to prepare you for the digital marketplace. This intensive Bootcamp involves daily experiential learning as well as mentorship sessions with marketing experts to help equip you with the knowledge, tools, and resources you need to thrive as a marketer. By the end of the Bootcamp, you will be ready to jump into a marketing role or help grow your business with a real understanding of how your work can contribute to and shape the marketing process.


Community Futures - Taking Care of Business Program

Taking Care of Business is a program offered through Community Futures providing funding for training and one-on-one support for businesses in the participating Community Futures regions thought Northern BC. With your FREE membership your business team will have to access to FREE online workshops, webinars, and professional business support.


Destination Canada - Marketing Tips & Tricks Video Series

This video series is designed to help Canadian tourism businesses get the most out of their marketing efforts, reach travelers and remain competitive. These quick tutorials feature Destination Canada team members sharing their expertise.

Episodes Include:

  • Creating Video for Youtube
  • On Page SEO
  • Instagram
  • Making Paid Media Work
  • Public Relations 101
  • Good Data Matters


TIABC & BC Hotel Association - BC Accommodations: Keeping Guests and Staff Safe During COVID-19

Recognizing that there is a demand for tourism and hospitality businesses to share steps taken to keep residents and visitors safe and healthy, as well as a need to inform visitors about what to expect when they are able to travel to BC, TIABC has invested in a series of videos that will act as public service announcements educating multiple audiences about the province's health and safety protocols, what businesses are doing to ensure their customers, guests, employees, and communities are safe, protected, and ready to reiterate the provincial tourism marketing messaging "Know Before You Go".


Destination BC - Self-Guided Tourism Digital Academy

The Tourism Digital Academy is a free, 8-week digital marketing program. The Self-Guided program is a condensed version of the in-class Tourism Digital Academy, designed for BC-based tourism businesses who prefer the freedom of working at their own pace.

This online program includes 6-months access to:

  • Eight 1-hour videos, each focusing on a different aspect of digital marketing
  • Resources, tools, and templates to support learning throughout the program
  • A marketing plan template with instructions and activities to guide development of your own plan

Not sure which program is right for you? Compare them HERE.


Marketing Tips & Tricks

Our Marketing Tips & Tricks series is designed to to help Canadian tourism business get the most out of their marketing efforts, reach travellers and remain competitive. The quick tutorials feature Destination Canada team members sharing their expertise. 

You can catch up on previous Marketing Tips & Tricks episodes below:  

Technology and Innovation 


Innovate BC

You need money to grow. Innovate BC can help. We provide funding and connections to ignite innovation in every corner of the province.

Programs include:

  • Digital Skills for Youth - up to $26,000 for digital skills training so youth can successfully transition to the workforce
  • Fast Pilot - up to $200,000 for regional SMEs to design, build, and operate a pilot plant or small demonstration of their technology in real-world conditions
  • Mitacs Innovate  - up to $15,000 to support a joint academic-industry research project at no cost to businesses
  • Tech Co-op Grants - up to $20,000 in funding to hire a co-op student through the program
  • Innovator Skills Initiative - up to $10,000 a year to hire a business or tech student


Kamloops Innovation

In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Innovate BC is pleased to offer the Digital Economy: Rapid Response + Resiliency Program (DER3) to support small-medium sized businesses, in any sector, to enter or expand in the digital economy.

The program will offer:

  • Personalized advisory services
  • Resource materials, best practices and tools needed to increase business capacity
  • Connections to vetted digital service providers and subject matter experts

Sports, Arts & Culture 


Emergency Funding - Culture, Heritage, and Sport

Learn about the immediate action the Government of Canada is taking to provide support measures and financial relief for the culture, heritage, and sport sectors.


City of Kamloops - Grants & Funding

Supporting sports, arts, and culture in our community continues to be a focus for the City of Kamloops. They currently offer numerous opportunities to apply for grants and funding for each of these sectors.

Additional Resources