Recovery Project/Plan

CR Grant Assist

Submitted ByCity of Campbell River Economic Development


EDAC 2022 Marketing Canada Awards
Submission from the City of Campbell River Economic Development
Category: Recovery Project or Plan

City of Campbell River Economic Development


Project Overview

Launched by the City of Campbell River Economic Development in February 2021, CR Grant Assist is a resource to help Campbell River businesses apply for grant funding.

At the time, many businesses were seeking financial support to alleviate challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. But our team heard from local businesses that they didn’t just need financial support—they also needed assistance accessing that support.

CR Grant Assist offers participants the opportunity to receive up to five hours of free consultation with a grant writer (a contractor). Participants may then decide if they would like to contract the grant writer for additional, paid support.

Our department contracts the grant writer to provide individual businesses with up to five hours of free grant-writing assistance, provides the contractor with a set budget, sets the eligibility criteria to participate and promotes the program. Interested businesses apply directly to the contractor by completing the application form on our TECHatchery website ( The contractor vets the applications to determine whether they meet the eligibility criteria and decides whether or not to work with each applicant. Economic development staff do not see the applications.

Purpose of Project

Initially, CR Grant Assist offered Campbell River businesses an opportunity to connect with grant-writing expertise and support during the pandemic. Our ongoing aim is to continue connecting businesses and other organizations with support to help them build their capacity for resiliency and recovery over the long term—thereby bolstering the local economy as a whole.


Target Audience

When it was launched, CR Grant Assist targetted for-profit businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs within Campbell River’s city limits; applicants needed to be applying for COVID-19 financial supports.

Although it was initially developed to assist with pandemic-related recovery and rebuilding, CR Grant Assist can be tailored to meet other economic needs and challenges. We plan to adjust the program as needed, expanding its scope and eligibility criteria.

Challenges & Changes Made

A program that provides grant-writing services to for-profit entities is unusual at a municipal level. Our team worked carefully to develop a program that allowed us to offer this grant-writing assistance within the bounds of the Community Charter.

Lessons our team learnt early in the program are that it’s important to allow room in the contractor’s budget for time spent tracking outcomes and reporting results, and to clearly communicate expectations for record-keeping.

Effectiveness / Meeting Objectives

CR Grant Assist has offered an outstanding return on investment. The City has paid less than $3,000 to the contract provider for their services since the program’s launch, while businesses participating the program have collectively received more than $1 million in funding.

A business group representing local tour operators, for example, secured a grant for more than $760,000 for a significant remediation project. One of Campbell River’s attraction advantages is its spectacular natural setting. The clean-up endeavour offered both environmental and economic benefits, creating employment and protecting the natural environment that businesses such as local tourism operators depend upon. It generated positive media attention for the area and the businesses involved with the project.