KITCHENER -- Businesses in Guelph impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for funding under the city's economic recovery plan.

There is a total of $700,000 available for eligible businesses, organizations and individuals working to address community needs, city officials said in a Wednesday news release.

Half of the funding comes from the emergency fund, while the other comes from the tourism recovery fund designed to support local tourism businesses.

“We recognize that many not-for-profit organizations, unincorporated groups, and individuals are experiencing ongoing financial impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Danna Evans, general manager of Culture and Recreation, said in the release. “This funding will help local organizations and individuals continue to serve our community with much-needed services and programs.”

There will be $250,000 of the tourism funding awarded in May, while the rest will be handed out later in 2021 to address gaps in programming.

“With this new funding, the city is helping to recover and strengthen Guelph’s tourism industry and create long-term sustainability strategies for a post-pandemic environment,” John Regan general manager of Economic Development and Tourism, said in the release. “The tourism industry was the first to be hit and will likely be the last to recover. Theses targeted funds will be a catalyst for business and organizations to adapt and better position themselves towards sustainability and growth.”

More information can be found at Applications need to be submitted by May 6 for the emergency fund and April 26 for the tourism fund.

Officials said a panel from the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, Region Tourism Organization 4, Tourism Advisory Committee and the City of Guelph will decide who gets the funding.