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Ontario supports businesses in Thunder Bay region

Funding helps business owners adapt to health and safety guidelines during COVID-19
Greg Rickford desk
(Greg Rickford Twitter photo)

THUNDER BAY – July 9, 2021: The Ontario government is providing more than $3.8 million to help 215 businesses in the Thunder Bay region adapt to COVID-19 public health guidelines and protect employees and customers.

The funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Recovery Program (NORP) and will support the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), installation of safety equipment, renovations and new construction.

"During the ongoing pandemic period, our government is standing shoulder to shoulder with northern business owners, entrepreneurs and workers across the Thunder Bay region," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.

"COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our day-to-day lives and how we do business. That's why our government is supporting small and medium businesses as we safely and gradually reopen.”

Examples of funding include the following:

$25,000 for Best Western Plus Nor’Wester Hotel & Conference Centre to buy PPE, install safety equipment such as plexiglass barriers and floor markings, and purchase equipment such as computer hardware and software to facilitate virtual meetings and conferences

$23,130 for Canada West Maple Products to develop a marketing strategy, purchase PPE, renovate and install safety equipment such as sanitizer stations.

$13,722 for Thunder Bay Hydraulics to purchase PPE and safety equipment such as air purifiers, install plexiglass partitions in its retail space, and develop a digital marketing campaign.

NORP was established as a short-term program to help businesses across northern Ontario adjust to the impacts of COVID-19.

Applications were accepted until November 20, 2020 and a total of 1,384 businesses received funding. A running list of NORP funding recipients is available on the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) website.

On February 11, 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.