Looking at Starting or Growing a Business? Here is some information and helpful resources on getting you started with your new small business adventure. 

Visit the Small Business Enterprise Centre

The Niagara Falls Small Business Enterprise Centre is your first stop for information on starting and growing your small business.

Resources available include:

  • One-on-one business consultations (by appointment)
  • Business name search and registration assistance
  • Assistance with various licensing and registration needs
  • Market research assistance
  • How to Prepare a Business Plan
  • Business seminars, workshops and events
  • Summer Company, Starter Company Plus and Future Entrepreneur Program access
  • Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) mixed-use incubation services

You can check out current listings of events and register online: Listing of Business Seminars, Workshops and Events.  

Business Improvement Areas - Supporting Local Businesses

The Downtown BIA and Main Street BIA represent a variety of our local businesses that are located within each BIA’s geographic area. 

Contact one of the BIAs to learn more about providing guidance for your new or growing business.

What is a Business Improvement Area (BIA)?

It is an organized group of property owners and businesses within a specified geographic area that join together, upon approval of the municipality, to organize, finance and carry out physical improvements and promote economic development in their designated area.

Each BIA has a board of management which is an organization set up to provide business promotion and improvement functions.

To learn more about the organizations, visit:

Port Colborne Downtown BIA 

Port Colborne Main Street BIA

 Chamber of Commerce - Supporting Businesses in South Niagara

Port Colborne-Wainfleet Chamber of Commerce

The Port Colborne-Wainfleet Chamber of Commerce exists to promote and enhance the business community and serve as an advocate for business members.

Services and resources include:

  • Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance
  • Better Business Service
  • Business Recognition
  • Discounts
  • Advertising Opportunities
  • Member Referral
  • Chamber News
  • Special Events
  • Networking

Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to helping businesses and organizations succeed in order to ensure the long-term economic and social prosperity of the Niagara Region.

City of Port Colborne Business Regulations

Check with the various departments listed below for any regulations affecting your business.

Business Licenses

The City of Port Colborne requires municipal business licenses for the following businesses:

  • Garages
  • Hawkers and Peddlers
  • Kennels
  • Lodging Houses
  • Trailer Camps

Visit our Business Licence page for these types of licenses.


Whitney Gilliland, Licensing Clerk

By email: whitney.gilliland@portcolborne.ca

By phone: 905-835-2900 Ext. 121

Building Services

If you are installing or erecting a sign for your business, or making renovations to your business premise, contact our Building Department for any required building permits and inspections.

Building Services is responsible to ensure that all building construction governed by a building permit meets the minimum acceptable standard as required by statutory authority under the Building Code Act. This is accomplished through the processing of all building permits, the review of applications for compliance with the Ontario Building Code, and the site inspection of all construction projects.

Building Services is also responsible to ensure that minimum standards of property maintenance are enforced through the Property Standards By-law in order to protect the members of the public from situations that may be unsafe or aesthetically unacceptable. The Department responds to complaints from members of the public. Inspections are then required to confirm a by-law violation. In addition, the Building Division is responsible for the issuance of Sign Permits.


Matt Roy, Building Clerk

By email: matt.roy@portcolborne.ca

By phone: 905-835-2900 ext. 229

Zoning and Planning 

To ensure that the building, land or establishment where you will be operating your business is properly zoned, contact our Planning Department. 


Taya Taraba, Planning Technician

By email: taya.taraba@portcolborne.ca

By phone: 905-835-2900 ext. 205 

Starting a Home Business?
If you are inquiring about starting a business in your home or a residence, please contact the Planning Department for further information. 

Fire Department

As part of the building, zoning and licensing requirements, you may require an inspection from our Fire Department to ensure you meet the required Fire Code regulations. Contact our Fire Prevention Officer to see if you require an inspection.


Charles Turpin, Fire Prevention Officer

By email: charles.turpin@portcolborne.ca

By phone: 905-834-4512  

Niagara Region Business Licensing and Regulations

The Niagara Region Business Licensing Department provides licensing, inspections and enforcement.

Visit Niagara Region Business Licensing for a complete list of the business types. 

If you're planning to open a new business in Niagara, Public Health can provide information and resources to new business owners on:

  • Services Niagara Region offers
  • Education and consultation
  • Guidance on meeting Public Health standards

Visit Public Health for New Businesses to request a consultation.

Provincial Regulations and Licensing in Ontario

For entrepreneurs who want to start and run a business in Ontario, visit the Government of Ontario - Business, Workplace and Economy.

Learn how to:

  • Start a business
    • choose your business structure
    • register your business name in Ontario
    • set up a business number for business tax purposes
    • Permits and Licenses
  • Find out what permits and licenses are required for your business, based on your location, industry and business activities at BizPal.
  • Payroll and Employee Benefits
  • Taxes
    • H.S.T.
    • Employer Health Tax
    • Tax Credits and Refunds
    • File taxes for free
  • Basic Insurance Coverage for:
    • Fire
    • Liability
    • Theft 
    • Dishonesty
  • Workplace Rules and Regulations
    • Employment Standards Act
    • Occupational Health and Safety Act
    • Accessibility Laws
  • Apply for funding opportunities that are available from the Ontario Government and to see if you are eligible.
  • Export and Trade Outside of Ontario - Learn how to grow your business by selling products outside of Ontario.

Small Business Incentives and Grants

The City of Port Colborne and the governments of Ontario and Canada offer a range incentive and grant programs for new or expanding businesses. Below are just a few currently being offered. 

Community Improvement Plan Program

Provincial legislation allows municipalities to prepare and adopt Community Improvement Plans (CIPs) so that the municipality can offer financial incentive programs to encourage community improvement, revitalization and development projects in strategic areas of the municipality. The City of Port Colborne has had in place a number of CIPs for several years, and these have recently been replaced by a new Comprehensive Community Improvement Plan (CIP), except for the Gateway Economic Zone and Centre CIP, which continue to be offered.

Visit our Incentives & Grants page to learn more.

Digital Main Street Program

The Digital Transformation Grant program is designed to assist brick-and-mortar small businesses that are looking to increase capacity through digital transformation and technologies.

Visit Digital Main Street to sign up and see if your business is eligible.

Canada Digital Adoption Program

As part of the Canada Digital Adoption Program, the Government of Canada has partnered with Digital Main Street and their ShopHERE powered by Google program to deliver the Grow Your Business Online grant to small businesses across the country. 

Visit Canada Digital Adoption Program to sign up and see if your business is eligible.


ShopHERE Creates online stores for independent small businesses and artists at no cost.

What does the Program Do?

  • Helps you create and configure your online store
  • Trains you on how to manage it
  • Provides support to get your online store live
  • Helps with marketing the store.

Visit ShopHere for more information.

Venture Niagara

Where do you go when your business needs funds to grow?

Venture Niagara is a not-for-profit corporation that helps new business start-ups and existing businesses expand their operations so our community can thrive in today’s economy.

To learn more, contact Volker Loetfering, Business Loans Officer, at volker@ventureniagara.com. 

Resources for Your Small Business

Port Colborne Public Library

Perhaps you’re just starting out and need access to a computer, the internet, photocopying and scanning, or a quiet space to write your business plan? The library and all of its knowledgeable and kind staff is waiting to help you. 

Stop by today at 310 King Street, reach them by phone 905-834-6512, or visit the Port Colborne Library in person.

PC Employment Works

PC Employment Works offers a variety of free recruitment services for employers and job seekers in the Niagara region to help develop lasting professional connections. Their recruitment services for employers include:

  • Job Board to advertise your current openings
  • On-site and Virtual Job Fairs hosted by us to connect Employers and Job Seekers
  • Training and Placement Financial Incentives for Employers who hire PC Works Job Seekers
  • Grant money for skills and training upgrading for your employees through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant

Contact them at 905-834-3629 to learn more or visit PC Works Employment.

Resources you can download:

Small Business Tools

How to Start a Business in Port Colborne 2023 Edition

Port Colborne Community Logo

The City of Port Colborne proudly unveils its new community logo, a symbol that embodies our vibrant city and its rich marine heritage. Designed to foster unity and belonging, residents and visitors are encouraged to wear the logo with pride, both locally and beyond.

This logo is available for public and business use, free of charge. However, the City's corporate logo remains trademarked and can only be used by authorized individuals, such as City staff.

To obtain the logo files for your business, please complete the application below.


Port Colborne Community Logo Application