Special Edition “Spark” grants and mentorships help tourism businesses

On May 12, Bruce County Council endorsed a $1.75 million investment in grants and a loan to support local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. As part of the Support the Bruce: Business Sustainability Fund, a special edition of the Bruce County Tourism Innovation Lab’s “Spark” program was launched to help tourism businesses.

Tourism businesses in Bruce County were encouraged to submit applications with ideas on how they could “reimagine” or “re-tool” their tourism operations, offerings and/or products to respond, pivot and adapt to the short- and medium-term tourism market landscape and emerging opportunities. Thirty-five applications were received from across the County, and 11 were selected by a Review Jury comprised of local, regional and provincial tourism leaders.

The winning applicants are:

Ascent Aerial Park
Cape Croker Park Cedar Grove Cottages
Duffy’s Fish & Chips
The Fitz Hostel
Folmer Gardens
Surfs Up EcoShop
Tamarac Island Inn
Thorncrest Outfitters
Tomboi Artisan Ice Cream
West Shore Clothing + Surf Shoppe

Each of the selected applicants will receive grants between $3,000 and $10,000, tourism mentorship, and digital advertising support to help them develop and implement their new business ideas, plans and offerings.

Bruce County Warden, Mitch Twolan commented, “On behalf of Bruce County Council, we want to congratulate all of the successful applicants and look forward to seeing their projects advance in support of growing the local tourism economy critically impacted from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead of the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab, comments: “We congratulate the selected applicants and are pleased to help these Bruce County tourism businesses pivot by providing grants, tourism mentorships, digital advertising and other support”.

The Special Edition Bruce County “Spark” Program is offered as a partnership between Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab, Regional Tourism Organization 7, and Bruce County.