Hello Spring!

Although the winter season is coming to an end, opportunities blossom as we welcome the warmer months here in The Blue Mountains. There's plenty of buzz happening at Town Hall on key projects and initiatives, from the recently completed Community Sustainability Plan Phase 3 survey, to the launch of our first annual Blue Means Business survey and the Official Plan Review project and survey, there's plenty of opportunity for you to share your feedback, ideas and thoughts.

We hope the resources and information included within this edition will assist you through Spring 2022 and as always, we welcome your feedback to consistently improve and adapt this e-newsletter to meet your needs through each bi-monthly edition. If you'd like to connect with us, please email the team using the link located at the bottom of the e-newsletter. 

In this edition we cover:

  • Town News
  • Government Support & News
  • Local Support & Program Opportunities
  • Upcoming Events & Training Opportunities
  • Featured News Articles & Resources


Your Economic Development Team

Tim Hendry, Manager of Communications & Economic Development

Carling Fee, Communications & Economic Development Coordinator

Town News

The Town has launched its first annual Blue Means Business Survey and invites The Blue Mountains business owners and operators to provide their input and feedback. As the Town and South Georgian Bay region continue to see significant growth, and Ontario enters a period of economic recovery from the challenges faced through the COVID-19 pandemic, this survey will be used to gain insight into current local challenges and opportunities facing our business community. The results will serve as a benchmark for the identified tactics included in the 2021-2025 Economic Development Strategy and will ensure action items remain relevant and continue to meet the needs of businesses while supporting the overal economic development goals of the Town. To complete the survey, click here

The Town has launched a public survey to gain community insight for Phase 1 of the Official Plan Review project. The survey will help the Town understand key priorities and themes to consider within the next phases of the project, where the updated vision statement and strategic direction will be confirmed. Known as 'The Blue Print,' the Official Plan Review will set the vision and direction that shapes the Town's growth, development, and protection to 2046. To learn more and complete the survey, click here

On April 13, 2022, Committee of the Whole reviewed applications for the 2022 Local Business Association Funding program. The Economic Development Advisory Committee endorsed the applications and the funding requests for a total of $25,000 to five local business associations in the Town, including:

  • Thornbury Business Improvement Area: $5,000
  • Blue Mountain Village Association: $5,000
  • Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce: $5,000
  • South Georgian Bay Tourism: $5,000
  • Clarksburg Village Association: $5,000

If approved by Council, funding will support various local initiatives and events throughout the community with projects including Thornbury's Love Local campaign, BMVA's Apple Pie Trail, The Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce AGM with a theme focused on Women in Business, South Georgian Bay's marketing and tourism attraction, and the revitalization of Clarksburg's Art Wall and an installation of a community board. 

The Town would like to advise members of the business community of the upcoming online Public Information Centre (PIC) 2 for the Transportation Master Plan. The second PIC will be available to review and provide input from Monday, April 18th until Saturday, May 7th. The second PIC is intended to present and gather feedback on proposed travel mode targets (i.e. via transit, active transportation, and cars), identified deficiencies in the transportation network, proposed improvements to the transportation network, preliminary policy recommendations, and next steps in the study process. To learn more, click here

Government Support & News

Through the Canada Digital Adoption Program, Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to assess their digital readiness and apply for grants and loans online. This funding helps businesses leverage e-commerce opportunities, upgrade or adopt digital technologies, and digitize operations to stay competitive and meet customers' needs in the digital marketplace. To learn more, click here

Depending on your business size, specific needs, and goals, there are two different streams you can access for support: 

  • Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online, will assist business in e-commerce opportunities
  • Stream 2: Boost Your Business Technology, will assist businesses with the development and implementation of digital adoption strategies 

The Ontario government recently announced a $5 million investment over two years in a targeted program to help Indigenous, Black and other racialized entrepreneurs start or grow their business. Delivered through the Digital Mainstreet program, the Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (RAISE) program is a comprehensive grant initiative to support the start or scale of business through business development training, culturally responsive support services and access to grant funding. To learn more, click here

The Government of Canada recently announced a total investment of $68.5 million through the Tourism Relief Fund for Indigenous Tourism Ontario and 11 Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs) across southern Ontario. As part of this investment, 11 RTOs across southern Ontario will receive a combined investment of $65 million to distribute funding through non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 to southern Ontario tourism-oriented businesses and organizations to innovate and invest in new and enhanced tourism experiences to attract visitors from within Canada and around the world. 

With a $3.5 million direct investment to Indigenous tourism in Southern Ontario, ITO will provide non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 to Indigenous businesses, not-for-profit organizations, Band Councils, and Indigenous communities to invest in new or enhanced tourism experiences, upgrade tourism assets, and attract domestic and international tourists. If your business or organization is 51% or more Indigenous-owned and controlled, visit ITO's Tourism Relief Fund webpage to learn more.

The governments of Canada and Ontario announced that Production Insurance coverage for on-farm labour disruptions due to COVID-19 has been extended for 2022, with the application deadline set to close on May 16, 2022. Introduced in 2020 to help farmers manage risks beyond their control, the coverage for 2022 will be the same as the coverage provided in the 2021 program year. To learn more, click here

Local Support & Program Opportunities

Are you a student and aspiring entrepreneur between the ages of 15 and 29 years old, looking to start and run your own business this summer? If yes, the Summer Company program migh be right for you. You’ll get to be your own boss while learning what it takes to manage a business. All approved participants will receive the following:

  • An award of up to $3,000
  • A first payment of up to $1,500 for start-up costs
  • A second payment of up to $1,500 once you’ve successfully completed the program
  • Advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running

To learn more and book a consultation, click here

The Digital Main Street programming has assisted over 800 local businesses thus far and we expect DMS 4.0 to be coming soon with more support + digital marketing tips and tricks. To stay in the know and sign up for South Georgian Bay SBEC's newsletter, click here.

Upcoming Training & Event Opportunities

The Big Cheese: Sammie Smackdown

Learn more


South Georgian Bay Staycation Webinar

Learn more

Are You Having Hiring Issues?

Learn more


Connect with Our Team

We're available to assist with any questions you may have regarding your business development and operations. We're also always seeking new ideas and feedback for our newsletter and economic development initiatives.

Have a question or an idea?
Connect with us by email or call (519) 599-3131 ext. 269.

Email Us