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)

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

Just Posted

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Gorge skull fragment could bring closure to one Greater Victoria missing person case

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Victoria police worked to arrest as many people with active warrants as possible during #VicPDWarrantWednesday May 12. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria policemake over 20 arrests during #VicPDWarrantWednesday

Officers were working to locate people with active arrest warrants

Patrick OLeary won $1 million in the March 24 draw of the Lotto 6/49. (BCLC image)
Sooke man cashes $1-million lottery ticket

The excavator operator had to look twice to confirm the win

A partnership is looking to identify skeletal remains that were discovered by recreational divers in the Gorge Waterway this February. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Divers find partial human skull in Gorge Waterway

B.C. Coroner Service determines remains likely historical, not ancestral

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)
Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old Nanaimo bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read