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County suspends tourism grant program for 2020

More than 90 applications were received vying for $300,000 in funding
funding grants illustration

On Tuesday morning, Simcoe County council voted to recommend suspending the 2020 Tourism, Culture and Sport Grants, as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of many of the events that applied for funding.

The $300,000 that was expected to be distributed through the program will be held in reserves and used next year.

“We are in unprecedented times right now and we don’t know how it’s going to affect our taxation coming down the road. We’re deferring taxes. People are going to have a hard time paying their taxes,” said Adjala-Tororontio Township Mayor Floyd Pinto.

“I would also like to know how much we give out in grants for the whole year. We may have to look at all our grants again and how we are allocating money in the future,” he added.

As of the Feb. 28 deadline, 99 applications were received, seeking $1,089,446. Grants were due to be awarded in May 2020.

According to the staff report, due to the COVID-19 crisis, well over half of the recommended recipients will no longer be able to carry out their intended project and the county anticipates this to continue to decline even further in the coming weeks.

Committee of the whole voted to recommend suspending the program for this year while holding the $300,000 in reserves for 2021.

The decision will need to be ratified at the next meeting of council.


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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen is an experienced journalist working for Village Media since 2018, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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