Ontario Government Program Continues to Move Forward, 15 Grants for Local Entrepreneurs

Monday April 06, 2020 – The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre (EC) is pleased to announce the successful entrepreneurs who will receive a $5,000 grant through the 2020 Starter Company Plus program. The 2020 Starter Company Plus program, originally known as the Starter Company, is in its 6th year of operation and has been helping local entrepreneurs start up, expand, or buy their business. 

“This grant from the CEDC will assist us in scaling our business in preparation for the busy summer season,” said Derek Lankinen, Owner, Beefcake Burger Factory. “We will be slightly renovating our kitchen to assist us in maintaining quality while seeing a rise in business. We will also be installing new technology assisted systems to our ordering process; and renovation updates in our dining room to better serve our guests at Beefcake’s Burger Factory.”

The program is funded by the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and is lead locally by the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre. The goal of the program is to mentor and train local entrepreneurs who are looking to start up, expand or purchase an existing business. Once participants complete the 4-6 week program they are eligible to apply for a $5,000 grant. Participants that are successful in receiving the grant are then paired with a mentor for three months.

“Since 2014, the Entrepreneur Centre has been running the Starter Company / Starter Company Plus program,” said Ryan Moore, Development Officer for Thunder Bay CEDC & Entrepreneur Centre. “In that time, almost 150 entrepreneurs have gone through the training and assistance of the program with over 100 participants receiving the grant. This is a great sign that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our community and we are committed to helping foster that spirit as we continue to run the first round of the 2020 Program.”

The successful participants for the first round of the 2020 Starter Company Plus are:

  • Babylon Lounge
  • Beefcake Burger Factory
  • Eat Local Pizza
  • Groggy Toad Coffee House
  • Ignite Behaviour Consulting
  • Lakehead Brewing Co
  • Lullaby’s Boutique
  • Sweet North Bakery
  • Border Giant Inc.
  • Dawson Trail Brewery
  • Lynac Lithium Technology
  • Morgan School of Highland Dancing
  • Retail Loss Prevention and Security Services
  • Swell Bakery
  • The Creative

For more information about the program, visit https://www.thunderbay.ca/en/starter-company-plus-program.aspx


Contact: Kirsten Kabernick, Program Coordinator, Thunder Bay CEDC, kkabernick@thunderbay.ca

Ryan More, Development Officer, Thunder Bay CEDC, (807) 625-3972, rmoore@thunderbay.ca

About CEDC: The CEDC is responsible for business development, retention and expansion, entrepreneurial support, opportunity promotion, and the collection and assessment of key business data. The CEDC receives formal proposals for projects that will contribute to economic development. It responds quickly to new opportunities and initiatives to attract direct financial involvement from the government and private sectors. For more information, visit www.ThunderBayCEDC.ca.

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