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Thunder Bay makes grants available again for downtown improvement

 The Community Improvement Plan (CIP) program was renewed for funding at a recent city council meeting with an annual budget of $200k for the year (half the funding from the CEDC). Building owners in the identified community improvement zones can apply for grants up to $25,000 per building from a variety of different eligible activities:
Recent posts

City's Patio Pilot gets extended for another year (April 30 deadline)

 The very popular patio pilot in town is slated to continue.  During the pandemic the city had waived fees for patios and even allowed applicants to borrow some barriers if needed. Council approved the decision to extend for another year. Council extends well received Patio Program for 2022 A popular program allowing outdoor dining in Thunder Bay will continue in 2022, after being approved by City Council. The temporary patio program allows eligible bars, restaurants, and retail businesses to use a portion of a sidewalk, roadway, public property or private parking lot to operate if the City’s criteria are met. “The City is offering the ability again for businesses to expand their space outdoors during our warmer months,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “With little to no cost to businesses, this program may help some of the financial severity associated with the pandemic.” In 2021, there were 63 temporary patios approved on city streets and sidewalks, along with those in parking lots. That was

Province announces grants for visible minority entrepreneurs (RAISE)

 The Province has invested to provide training, mentoring and grant funding for up to 400 entrepreneurs across the province. The RAISE program (Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs) is open for applications from the folks at Digital Main Street, partnering with the Parkdale Centre for Innovation. Applicants can apply now for their chance to accelerate their start up, or grow and receive up to $10,000

Ontario ending mask mandate in most settings March 21

  Just when the kids get back from March Break they can return to school and not wear their mask. The Premier and Chief Medical Officer announced yesterday that the changes come as a way to have a 'balanced response to the pandemic' and 'live with and manage COVID-19 for the long term'. They are quick to remark that people may still choose to wear a mask (and the NACI recommends still for the next month) Already, businesses no longer are requiring vaccine passports and capacity limits are gone.  Recently, they also have changed the isolation guidelines to a "just monitor" level.

$4 billion Canadian Digital Adoption Program launched

 Many businesses have had to learn how to better reach their clients through digital means or find ways to automate their processes efficiently during the pandemic.  Whether that was booking appointments online, eCommerce sales or even just using better communication options with clients and staff... it's been an uphill learning for many. There have been tools out there to assist, just prior to the pandemic the Digital Main Street (DMS) program had come out and it's been running ever since (now in its 3rd iteration). The Federal Government just launched the new Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) to e very similar to the DMS program; whereas with the DMS it was only Ontario and was more tied to the learning aspect, the CDAP is across the whole country and although will have access to 'digital advisors' to help with businesses adopt, it seems to be pretty focus on helping them get the tools they need with a $2,400 grant. Application

Ontario Proof of Vaccination ending March 1st

 Also in the recent release the province has announced lifting the requirement for proof of vaccination as of March 1st, 2022. Masks will still be required. Effective March 1, 2022 Ontario intends to take additional steps to ease public health measures if public health and health system indicators continue to improve. This includes lifting capacity limits in all remaining indoor public settings. Ontario will also lift proof of vaccination requirements for all settings at this time. Businesses and other settings may choose to continue to require proof of vaccination. Masking requirements will remain in place at this time, with a specific timeline to lift this measure to be communicated at a later date. Source:

Ontario's Next Phase of reopening now Feb 17

 Originally planned for 21 days in between phases, the province has said that indicators are positive and allowing to move to the next phase now on the 17th (was to be the 21st). Effective February 17, 2022 Ontario will further ease public health measures, including, but not limited to: Increasing social gathering limits to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors Increasing organized public event limits to 50 people indoors, with no limit outdoors Removing capacity limits in the following indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required, including but not limited to: Restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments without dance facilities Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms Cinemas Meeting and event spaces, including conference centres or convention centres Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments Indoor areas of settings that choose to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements. Allowing 50 per cent of