Business Funding Grants for Convention Business

The Convention Development Fund (CDF) offers small business funding grants that help eligible cities located in Ontario offset critical costs when attracting increased convention business and visitor spending.

Ontario Government Funding Program Overview

The ministry offers these business funding grants as a cost share up to 50% of total eligible project costs to a maximum of $250,000 per convention.

This funding for small business program is designed to:

  • Support eligible cities currently in the business of pursuing international and national city-wide conventions in order to secure new business
  • Sustain jobs in tourism
  • Develop Ontario to its full potential as a destination for major conventions
  • Encourage repeat visitation and visitor spending
  • Encourage private sector investment in tourism development

The anticipated deadline for the next Convention Development Fund (CDF) application cycle will be November 2012.

Who is eligible for these small business government grants?

To be eligible for these Ontario business grants, cities must be in the business of pursuing international and national citywide conventions. They must be prepared to implement a convention development fund partnership between:

  • Regional tourism organization or
  • Destination marketing organization
  • City convention centre
  • Minimum of three convention hotels and possibly non-traditional partners.

Eligible initiatives for these Ontario government grants may include the use in bidding on new international and national conventions, not local, provincial or already-secured conventions. These international and national conventions must be citywide and at least three different local convention hotels must participate with a total of at least 400 peak room nights.

Funding for Small Business Eligible Activities

Appropriate costs these business funding grants can be used for includes the following:

  • Public transportation passes for convention delegates
  • Ground transportation or shuttle service for delegates
  • Convention or conference centre space rental
  • Accommodation and meals for convention site selection committees
  • Scholarships and funding for student o other delegate attendance
  • Hosting and sponsoring convention industry events
  • Rental of unique off-site venues for delegate events

Ineligible costs may include:

  • Capital purchases
  • Long term leases
  • General operating expenses
  • Sales and marketing expenses
  • Costs deemed inappropriate to the provincial government

Learn More About Grant Funding for Business

To receive additional support and guidance on the various government funding programs available, please contact one of our Canadian Government Funding Experts. In addition, be sure to follow us on Twitter or sign-up for our Weekly Funding for Small Business E-Newsletter.

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