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Digital Main Street grant goes live June 21, 2022

 The 4th iteration of the Digital Transformation Grant goes live on June 21st. Owners of a main street business can apply for up to $2,500 to help improve their online presence Now, if your business had received the grant in the past year (the 3.0) you would be ineligible to receive this year's. But, remember, you can still apply for either the CDAP  or the BTIF  as well!
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FedNor making opportunities at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

 If you're an agri-food business in Northern Ontario, FedNor is providing booth costs and travel allowances to be a part of the Northern Pavilion at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. This century old event attracts over 300k attendees and is a chance to bring your product to a wider audience.

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:

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