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Tourism Funding and Grant Opportunities

The Ontario and Federal governments offer a variety of funding opportunities that your organization may be eligible for. Below are current opportunities. Please pay attention to deadlines and click on the web links to access more information for each program. Should you have any questions about any of the following programs, please email Chatham-Kent Tourism.


Starter Company Plus 

The Starter Company Plus Initiative provides free training, consultation and advice from our team of experts to help you get your tourism business started and on the road to success in Chatham-Kent! 

If you're starting, expanding or buying an existing business, you can apply for Starter Company Plus and receive free training, mentorship and the opportunity to apply for a business grant up to $5000.

Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street funding and assistance is now available. Apply now at the Digital Main Street Website.

The program assists Chatham-Kent brick and mortar businesses with expanding their digital footprint. This updated program is now available for any registered business in Chatham-Kent that is paying commercial taxes or rent to an entity that is, has between 1 and 50 employees, has not received the grant in the past, and has a permanent brick-and-mortar establishment.

The three components of the Digital Transformation Grant include support for small businesses to help them assess their digital needs, an online training course that equips business owners with the digital literacy skills needed to develop a Digital Transformation Plan, and the opportunity to receive a $2500 grant to assist with the execution of their plan.

If you need assistance or have questions, contact the Small Business Centre team at 1-866-542-5994 or email


Tourism Growth Program 

Deadline: February 29, 2024, 8:59 pm Eastern Time

The Tourism Growth Program is a key part of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. FedDev Ontario is delivering this program with our regional development agency (RDA) colleagues across Canada.

The program provides $108 million over three years to help Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, small- and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations to grow and develop local tourism products and experiences that will position Canada as a destination of choice for domestic and international visitors.

Over $30 million is available to businesses and organizations in southern Ontario to develop tourism attractions and experiences that will draw people to our communities. About 15% of the investment will support Indigenous-led tourism initiatives. Learn more about eligibility by visiting the Tourism Growth Program in southern Ontario.

The first intake is now open, and applications will be accepted until February 29, 2024, 8:59 pm Eastern Time. Indigenous applicants may submit their applications anytime by contacting them directly. 

We invite you to review the detailed application guide to learn more about eligibility requirements. Questions can be directed to our contact centre via telephone (1-866-593-5505) or email (

Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants include:

  • incorporated small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the tourism industry
  • Indigenous-owned businesses (including Indigenous sole proprietors) or Indigenous tourism organizations
  • not-for-profit organizations (including tourism associations and economic development organizations)
  • governments (municipal/provincial/territorial and related entities)

Eligible activities

Eligible projects should provide added value to existing activities in the tourism industry and focus on business and economic growth. Priority may be given to projects that:

  • support the Indigenous tourism industry
  • increase tourism benefits for communities by driving visitation from urban areas to rural areas
  • support economic, environmental and cultural sustainability
  • support active outdoor experiences
  • extend the tourism season (e.g., new or expanded tourism offerings outside of the traditional high season)
  • complement support provided through provincial programs

Financial assistance

  • For small- and medium-sized enterprises
    • contributions will normally be repayable
    • For not-for-profit organizations
    • contributions will normally be non-repayable

Other activities could be eligible. Please contact the team directly / consult How funding works for additional information on the types of project activities that could be supported and the program's funding parameters.

Experience Ontario

Closed for 2024

Experience Ontario Marquee Event Fund 

Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

Deadline: Applications are accepted on an on-going basis, but must be submitted at least four months before the event start date.

Description: The Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster program supports costs related to hosting:

  • major one-time events in Ontario
  • events that do not recur annually or biennially in Ontario
  • national or international events in Ontario