Listening To Our Members: Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) Introduces the Indigenous Business Advisory (IBA) Program
ITO recognizes that all of our member businesses have been impacted by the pandemic in some way, some significantly. Building on last year’s Business Support Broker Program and in keeping with our Guiding Principle of utilizing an innovative grassroots approach, ITO has again commissioned a network of experts – Indigenous Business Advisors (IBAs) – to work directly with our members to provide resources, coaching, mentorship, and support.
The IBA Program aims to deliver one-on-one business support services to 100 eligible ITO members. IBAs are equipped with a customized toolkit of resources that will be updated on an ongoing basis. IBAs will help tourism operators access and navigate financial resources, business planning tools, training and skills programs, marketing opportunities and more, based on business’ identified needs.
During the initial four-month IBA Program period, participating businesses can expect
- A dedicated ITO Business Advisor and single point of contact
- A direct connection to what’s going on in the industry, news, resources, and opportunities
- Access to training for operators and their employees
- Access to a comprehensive and up-to-date library of resources
- Assistance locating, navigating, and understanding those resources
- Support in utilizing business planning tools and application writing
- Access to ITO & partner marketing initiatives
- One-on-one coaching and mentorship
- A customized summary of recommendations and action plans developed together through the program
IBA Program services will be provided free of charge. We invite our members to complete the online survey to apply to join the IBA Program and access our services.
Businesses will be selected in part based on the following criteria:
- Minimum 51% Indigenous owned and operated
- Tourism business (serves visitors to a particular region)
- Is currently open or will be open in 2021
- Is a member of ITO (if not, businesses can sign up for a complimentary membership)
ITO is with you during these challenging times and we are here to support you.