Eagle Wing Tours is one of 33 commercial tenants of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority whose April to August rent is being retroactively reduced to 25 per cent of normal, thanks to federal emergency funding. (Black Press Media file photo)

Federal rent help eases COVID sting for Victoria’s commercial waterfront businesses

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority played key role in securing emergency funding

The federal government has come through for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), and 33 of its struggling commercial tenants couldn’t be happier.

With a summer like no other winding down as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate local tourism and related businesses, the $358,000 in Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance funding provided to the harbour authority to help local businesses comes at a good time, says Nathan Bird, general manager of eco-tourism company Eagle Wing Tours.

“In a year filled with bad news, Eagle Wing Tours is pleased to receive this good news,” he said in a statement released Wednesday (Sept. 2). “The relief supplied to us through this program and GVHA’s efforts to secure the savings for its customers will assist us in navigating a terrible year and set us up for recovery in the upcoming years.”

The not-for-profit GVHA worked with tenants to apply for the retroactive funding, which allows for a 75-per-cent reduction in rent for approved businesses between April and August. The federal program covers 50 per cent of the rent, the tenant pays 25 per cent and GVHA will forgive the remaining 25 per cent.

RELATED STORY: Hard-hit Victoria harbour tenants get a hand from their landlord

The financial help provides a lifeline to these local businesses, many of which are small, family run operations.

“To say the impact of the pandemic has been significant is an understatement,” stated GVHA CEO Ian Robertson. “The support provided by the Government of Canada is much needed for our customers to remain solvent into the coming fall and winter months.”

Through the spring and summer GVHA staff also worked with commercial tenants in evaluating rents based on the service levels and business plan of each operation, and instituted a rent deferral program for tenants who signed leases extending to next June.

The harbour authority operates public, commercial and marine industrial facilities around Victoria’s Inner and Outer harbours. All are open, with operational changes having been made to accommodate provincial public health regulations designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Besides tenants’ difficulty paying rent, the GVHA itself has struggled in the wake of COVID. The 2020 cruise season was cancelled – the industry contributes more than $130 million annually to the region’s economy and is responsible for 800 direct and indirect jobs – resulting in staff layoffs and the deferral of major capital projects.

For more information about the harbour authority and activities at its various properties, visit gvha.ca.

ALSO READ: 2021 Victoria cruise ship season still uncertain, says harbour authority


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Business and IndustrialInner Harbour

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria byelection will take place in December

City council approves additional $350,000 in funding

Provincial police watchdog opens investigation after man found dead in Victoria cells

The man was arrested by North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP on Sept. 28

Light the City takes root in Greater Victoria as pandemic cancels holiday favourite parade, convoy

Five weeks of drive-thru events fill void of IEOA annual Truck Light Convoy, Santa Claus Parade

B.C. starts October with 82 more positive COVID-19 tests

10,899 tests a record for a single day, Bonnie Henry says

POLL: Have you requested a mail-in ballot for the B.C. provincial election?

British Columbians head to the polls on Oct. 24 but early indications… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. watchdog clears police, says injuries Island man suffered during arrest were not serious

Man became aggressive and was arrested following an interaction with police in July

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

BC Greens focus on long-term care reform in first platform promise

Greens have promised to move away from the for-profit care home model

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in B.C. farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

Most Read