Program Guidelines



To provide Chamber members direct financial assistance toward specific initiatives that support the growth or strengthening of small businesses in Thunder Bay.


he amount donated by the membership in 1997 ($14,075) to Development Thunder Bay, as approved by the membership at the January 28, 1998 Annual General Meeting, serves as the initial deposit in the Development Fund. Further funds collected from the membership for economic development, as outlined on the membership fee schedule, during 1998 and into the future, will be allocated to this economic development fund.

Program Objective

To assist economic development in Thunder Bay and area.

Eligible Applicants

Preference will be given to organizations that are members in good standing of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce. Successful recipients of funding that are not members of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce (ie: new entity), must register as a member prior to the disbursement of funds, and make a commitment to retain their membership for a minimum of three years.

Eligible applicants:

  • Private sector businesses and individuals
  • Non-Profit/Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Community Groups
  • The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce when leveraged with other funders for one-time projects (ie: CEDC, NOHFC, FEDNOR,

Successful applicants must effectively demonstrate how their project will support growth or strengthen the City’s economy beyond the scope of their organization.

Applications will be considered utilizing one of the following streams and associated criteria.

Project Support Stream

The fund may provide up to a maximum of 50% of the project costs to a maximum of $10,000 for any single project. Leveraging is mandatory. Use of the funds is to take place within 12 months of allotment. The funding is to be provided for new initiatives. The fund will not consider ongoing or multiple year commitments. The Economic Development Fund Project Support Stream is designed primarily for projects that accomplish these goals:

  • Enhance economic benefits and opportunities
  • Provide infrastructure to support future economic activity within the city
  • Attract new investment
  • Create long-term employment opportunities
  • In addition to these specific goals, applicants will be asked to provide a business plan that demonstrates how the project will support the growth or strengthening of the City’s economy through economic development.

Event Support Stream

The fund may provide up to $2,000 in one-time support for new events or enhancement of existing events through changes in programming and activities that lead to improved quality and/or sustainability of the event, such as increased participant numbers, increased tourism expenditure (additional overnight stays, more local spending); raising the event profile/quality, and promoting sustainability of future events.

The Economic Development Fund Event Support Stream is designed primarily for events that accomplish these goals:

  • Enhance economic benefits and opportunities
  • Create/Enhance partnerships between businesses and/or not-forprofit organizations
  • Exhibit financial and in-kind support of Chamber Member businesses

The Event Support Stream is not applicable to charitable fundraising events/activities.

Timeline for Submissions

Funds will be allocated on a project by project basis. Funds should be available each quarter to support initiatives. The fund should not be depleted to less than $5,000 at any time.

Application Components

Applicants will be asked to complete an application which outlines the objectives of the project, the expected benefits to Thunder Bay and area business community, timing of the project and budget. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to target the goals of the fund. All funding sources for the project must be listed in the application.

Approval Process

The Executive Committee will review project applications and bring forward proposals that clearly demonstrate the ability to achieve the goals of the fund to the Board of Directors for discussion and approval. Projects that demonstrate the ability to meet multiple goals will have greater ability to access funding than proposals that meet the minimum criteria.

Reporting to the Chamber of Commerce Membership

Funding recipients are required to provide a report within 6 months of receipt of funds, outlining the progress of the project. A final report is due within one year of receipt of funds. Receipts for use of funds must be available upon request.

A report outlining the benefits achieved from the disbursement of the funds the previous year will be provided to the membership at the following Annual General Meeting.

Board Policy June 1998 Updated: October 2003, October 2007, June 2017, November 2019

Our Mission:

Together, we are the catalyst for a stronger business community.

Our Vision:

To position business to grow and prosper together.

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