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

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes delivers the inaugural address at council’s swearing-in ceremony in November 2018. The ceremony included blessings from representatives of two Christian churches. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes delivers the inaugural address at council’s swearing-in ceremony in November, 2018. The ceremony included blessings from representatives of two Christian churches – a fact highlighted in a report released by the BC Humanist Associaton on Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Christian-based prayer at inaugural Vancouver Island council meetings violates court ruling

Blessings violate Supreme Court decision that prayer in council is discriminatory

This large Spruce was one of several trees that came crashing down around CARE’s animal shelter during Nov. 17’s windstorm. (CARE Network photo)
Funding and fosters needed after storm destroys fencing at Tofino-Ucluelet animal shelter

The damage forced an evacuation of the facility, which was sheltering five animals at the time.

Bob Higgins pulls the gate across on the elevator built inside his home. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Crofton man’s expertise earns international award with home-built elevator

Experience put to use in winning contest entry for furniture and home projects

‘Homelessness’ means many things to people with no permanent place to sleep. For some, the challenge to find safe shelter is greater than for others. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni mother battles to find housing for her son

Mary Elles fears her middle-age son will die on the street before he will find safe housing

Kendra Thomas from Warmland Women’s Support Services invites Cowichan residents to find out more about youth sex trafficking with an online event Nov. 16, 2020. (File photo)
Love Bombing: Learn about how youths are lured into sex trafficking

Nov. 22-28 is Victims and Survivors of Crime Week

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

North Island College student research assistant Avalon Kline-Smith holds up a piece of dried Alaria marginata, also known as Pacific wakame or winged kelp. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College researching seaweed processing possibilities

New research partnership is between NIC and Cascadia Seaweed Corp.

The Sooke Santa Run will head out into the community with Christmas lights and holiday music on Dec. 12, but organizers are asking for donations online for 2020. (Contributed)
Sooke to move forward with Santa Run, decked out with lights and music

Event to take place on Dec. 12 around dusk, online donations accepted

Duncan’s Callum Davison is up for a bursary from the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. (Submitted)
Duncan golfer Callum Davison up for national bursary

20-year-old finished fifth in Canada Life Series this summer

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Bystanders attend to a cyclist who is knocked to the pavement of Oak Bay Avenue. Witnesses say the cyclist was knocked off their bike in a dooring incident on Oak Bay Avenue at Fell Street at around 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday. 
(Daniel Opden Dries Photo)
VicPD tickets driver for ‘dooring’ cyclist on Oak Bay Avenue

Incident occurred at Oak Bay Avenue and Fell Street

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Most Read