SASKATOON -- Saskatchewan hospitality and event attraction operators can soon apply for one-time non-repayable payment, the province announced Monday.

“For large facilities, payments will range from $10,000 to $50,000 depending on sales revenue. For event attraction operators with ongoing fixed costs, payments will range from $7,500 to $15,000,” Minister of Trade and Export Development Jeremy Harrison said.

The province says it will spend $35 million in the program, with $5 million slated for marketing.

Harrison said visitor spending is estimated to drop by at least $730 million this year. The tourism sector could take two years to fully recover, he said.

“This support will go so far with operators in helping them pay down some of their fixed costs, adapt processes and technologies, or invest in enhanced staff training to meet the new demands of consumers and of staff,” said Jim Bence, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association.

Bence discussed the recently-announced closure of the German Cultural Centre in Saskatoon which has been around for more than 60 years.

“I think this is exactly why this was designed, for those reasons,” Bence said 

“I think in cases like this, this could be just the thing. It’s not a fix all, there’s still difficulties that face us but this is that opportunity to apply for this funding to get them to the finish line.” 

 Additional program details including eligibility will be available Aug. 20.

Applications will be accepted Aug. 24 through Oct. 1.