Thunder Bay CEDC continues to support small business

Wednesday September 23, 2020 – The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) is pleased to announce another group of successful entrepreneurs who participated in the Starter Company Plus program. The third round of the 2020 program saw a total of ten small business owners go through the six week program. Over the past year there has been a total of thirty two local entrepreneurs to successfully complete the program and receive the $5000 grant, totaling $160,000, the highest in the program’s history. 

“The Thunder Bay CEDC sees huge value in supporting our local entrepreneurs and small business owners,” says Eric Zakrewski, CEO, Thunder Bay CEDC. “The CEDC Board of Directors approved a $75,000 boost to the program in the spring of this year in response to the pandemic and my staff have continued to administer the program virtually.  The fact that we have so many applicants for the program serves to illustrate how critical it is to support new and expanding small business in our local economy.”

The program is supported by the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and is lead locally by the Thunder Bay and 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. Participants complete workshops relating to labour and employment law, small business accounting, business law and marketing. Upon being approved for the grant the participants will begin their mentorship with a local professional.

“I’m super excited to have received this grant! Going into business can be scary and going through the Starter Plus Program provided a lot of knowledge that I know I’m going to use in my business in the future!” says Jessie McLure, Owner, Jessie Hair Play. “This grant means I can invest into my business buying some required equipment and supplies allowing me to offer more services for my clients! After a very hard year this program and grant really helped make me feel confident going forward!”

The ten successful participants for the third round of the Starter Company Plus program are as follows:

  • BioNorth Solutions
  • Goods & Co Market
  • Industrial Athletics
  • La Poutine
  • Northern Vinter Winery
  • Pie.ology
  • Ethnic Beauty Supply
  • Jessie Hair Play
  • Tok Tok
  • Wild Thyme

Participants include five start-ups and five expansion projects.

With the last round under way for the year of 2020, there is still time to apply for the first round in 2021. Visit: for more information about the program and to apply


Kirsten Kabernick, Program Coordinator, Thunder Bay CEDC, (807)625-3963,

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

Translate »
Skip to content