Media Release – Tourism and wine delegations come to fruition in Ontario’s 2021 Budget

Media Release – Tourism and wine delegations come to fruition in Ontario’s 2021 Budget

Lincoln, ON – (March 25, 2021) – Thanks to consistent and ongoing advocacy by Mayor Easton, Lincoln Council members and staff, the Town of Lincoln is pleased to see a significant investment in the 2021 Provincial Budget for Ontario’s wine and tourism industry.

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognized that changes were needed to support our wine and tourism industry,” said Town of Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton. “We have been consistent in sharing the sector-specific challenges with the Province and are delighted to see that our efforts have been reflected in this year’s provincial budget.”

“We are pleased to see that our voices have been heard by the Province, and would like to thank the Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board, as well as our Local MPP for recognizing the need for this investment, especially here in Lincoln and Niagara,” said the Town’s Chair of the Planning and Economic Development Committee Mike Mikolic. “These investments by the Province are welcome news, and we are optimistic that they will lead to prosperity for Lincoln’s business community and overall economic growth.”

Ontario's Action Plan: Protecting People's Health and Our Economy (2021 Budget) builds on the government's investments in response to the global pandemic, outlining support to reform Ontario’s tourism and craft beverage industry. Here are some highlights from the Province’s 2021 budget that will have an impact on Lincoln’s wine and agri-tourism businesses:

  • To support the recovery and sustainability of Ontario’s wine and agri-tourism industry, the Ontario government is providing a one-time $10 million grant in 2021 to help wineries and cideries impacted by lockdown measures and help ensure that agricultural production and local jobs are maintained in Ontario’s rural communities.
  • Recognizing that there are many businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector that require support, the Ontario government is introducing the new Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant, which will provide an estimated $100 million in onetime payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses.
  • Ontario is introducing the Ontario Tourism Recovery Program, a new $100 million initiative for 2021–22 to help tourism operators, anchor businesses and attractions recover from the impacts of COVID‐19. This initiative will provide support for historically successful businesses that have helped to drive employment and visitation in their regions by assisting with costs related to restructuring, safe reopening, recalibrated marketing activities and partnership development.
  • To support Ontario's tourism, hospitality and culture industries that have been among the most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Ontario government is investing an additional $400 million over the next three years in new initiatives to support these sectors. This builds on previously announced investments of $225 million, bringing the total to more than $625 million since the pandemic began.
  • The Ontario government is also increasing funding for the Small Distillery Support Program by an additional $1.2 million in 2021–22 to help small distillers recover from the impacts of the COVID‐19 pandemic.  In addition, the government is extending the funding to 2022–23 for the following programs: 
    • VQA Wine Support Program ($7.5 million);
    • Small Cidery ($1.8 million) and Small Distillery Support Programs ($0.8 million); and
    • Marketing, Tourism and Export Development; Performance Measurement and Research and Innovation Development Initiatives ($5.3 million).
  • The Ontario government made several changes to support local beverage alcohol producers, including expanding made in Ontario options at the LCBO and changes to permit the sale of 100 per cent Ontario wine and eligible spirits at farmers’ markets. The government will also permit the sale of Ontario beer at farmers’ markets for the upcoming season.

“We will continue to work closely with our local business community to assist them in growth and recovery,” added Town of Lincoln CAO Mike Kirkopoulos. “This is very exciting news for the Town’s craft beverage and tourism industry, as we look to continue to build upon Lincoln as a top agri-tourism destination in Ontario”.

Since 2017, Mayor Sandra Easton, Council members, and Town of Lincoln staff have consistently advocated for ongoing support for our tourism and craft beverage industries through delegations at the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conferences.

In Lincoln, the wine and tourism industry have grown to represent a large part of our economy and significantly contribute to the overall GDP of the Town. The Town will continue to advocate on the behalf of these industries to further ensure continued growth and over-all prosperity in Lincoln.

This is a great first step in helping our small, family-owned businesses, remain competitive and viable to help create jobs and economic growth in Lincoln. 


Photo of food and wine from a local winery

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Paul Di Ianni

Director, Economic Development and Communications

Town of Lincoln

Direct: 905-563-2799 ext. 272

Cell: 289-407-1402

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