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OTTAWA Canadian government is rolling out a wave of new funding for pandemic-battered industries including tourism, the arts, and regional aviation, with smaller companies top of mind — and large airlines notably absent.

The Liberal government's fiscal update sketches out a program that will provide low-interest loans of up to $1 million for badly hurt entrepreneurs.
The aid dubbed the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP), comes on top of a newly expanded emergency loan program already in place for small businesses, and technically is not limited to certain industries.

Meanwhile, the devastated tourism sector will have access to one-quarter of the more than $2 billion that Ottawa is doling out to regional development agencies through June 2021, including a $500-million top-up announced Monday.
The move aims to bolster an industry made up largely of small and medium-sized businesses and that accounts for roughly 750,000 jobs and two percent of GDP, according to the government.
Another $181.5 million will flow to show business and performers via the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts, the fall economic statement says.

Rent relief and nearly $700 million in capital investments are en route to airports over six years. About $206 million in further support is bound for regional aviation, including smaller airlines, via a new "regional air transportation initiative" overseen by development agencies.
But an aid package targeting big players such as Air Canada and WestJet Airlines remains in the works as talks with Ottawa drag on, with the lack of specifics in the fiscal update frustrating industry leaders.#

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