Funding Available to Increase Competitiveness and Improve Processes
The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program offers funding of up to 50% to a maximum of $100,000 for Ontario automotive suppliers to adopt information technology (IT) hardware/software or to contract an industry expert to increase competitiveness, improve processes, and/or develop lean manufacturing practices. Eligible expenditures include:
- Salaries and benefits
- Travel and accommodation
- Software and hardware
- Sub-contractor and consultant fees as well as professional services
- Development and maintenance of web-based information
- Materials and supplies
Please note that capital costs are ineligible, however the program offers funding to cover the depreciation and cost of using capital assets (such as equipment) for project activities. Priority will be given to small and medium sized enterprises (less than 500 employees; up to $1 billion annual revenue); larger firms may apply, but are required to partner with at least one small or medium enterprise. Projects must last no longer than 2 years. The deadline to apply is November 28,2018.
Program Supports Job Creation and Economic Growth
The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) offers up to $5 million in grants and interest-free loans to support investments that lead to job creation and economic growth. Eligible expenditures include, but are not limited to, equipment, consulting services, facility retrofits and expansions, as well as employee training and other project-related costs incurred over a two to four-year period.
Businesses must be, or planning to be located in a Southwestern Ontario county i.e. Brant, Bruce, Chatham-Kent, Dufferin, Elgin, Essex, Grey, Haldimand, Huron, Lambton, Middlesex, Niagara, Norfolk, Oxford, Perth, Simcoe, Waterloo and Wellington. Additionally, applicants are required to have 3 years of financial statements and represent one of the following sectors: manufacturing, processing, information or communication technology, life sciences, tourism or the cultural industry.
Investments under $10 million are eligible for grants of 15% up to $1.5 million. Investments over $10 million that lead to the creation of at least 50 jobs are eligible for grants of up to $1.5 million, plus interest free loans of up to $3.5 million for a maximum of 4 years.
Applicants located in Southwestern Ontario municipalities with populations that exceed 20,000, or have more than 100 persons per square kilometer, must invest a minimum of $500,000, have at least 10 employees, and commit to creating no less than 10 jobs. Companies located in smaller communities with 5-10 employees are required to invest a minimum of $200,000, and increase their workforce by 50%.
Costs associated with business acquisitions, debt financing, ongoing operational costs, construction as well as vehicle and land purchases are not eligible for funding.
The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Career Focus program will contribute 50% up to $14,000 towards employing a graduate of a Canadian university, college, CEGEP or provincially certified program*. To receive funding, employees must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or have refugee status, and be between 15 and 30 years old. Support will be provided for full-time positions (30 hours or more/week) that last from four months to one year and provide meaningful job experience towards increasing the graduate’s chance of securing long-term employment or self-employment in the agriculture sector. New employees may begin their work-placements after April 1, 2019. The deadline to apply for funding is November 30, 2019.
*Please note that Indigenous participants are not required to have graduated from a post-secondary program to be eligible for funding.
Next Deadline to Submit an Application is October 22
The Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP): Organizations and Collaborations program offers up to 75% in grant funding to a maximum of $1 million (typically less than $100,000) towards initiatives focused on:
- Environmental Stewardship (Soil health and water quality improvements)
- Economic Development (Market development, business analysis, technological solutions)
- Protection and Assurance (Food safety and traceability, animal/plant health)
Eligible organizations include Ontario-based associations, marketing boards, municipalities, economic development offices, aboriginal groups, and other legally recognized, not-for-profit organizations related to the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sector. Eligible collaborations are combinations of two or more Ontario-based legally recognized businesses, not-for-profit associations/organizations, and/or academic/research institutions in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sector. Funding is provided for the following:
- Communication/education/training materials (design, printing, translation, etc)
- Land and facility rentals
- Supplies, including shipping and transportation
- Equipment, construction, software, and retrofits
- Travel and accommodation
- Audits and assessments
- R&D, pilots, and demonstrations
- Skills development and training
- Salaries, contracted services, and consultants
Expenditures must be directly related to the project and incurred after receiving approval. Projects funded under this program are ineligible to receive additional support from other CAP programs. Please note that the next deadline to submit an application is October 22, 2018. Applicants wishing to receive feedback/suggestions on project ideas before submitting an application are encouraged to submit a pre-proposal by October 9 (although submission of a pre-proposal is not required to receive funding).
Grant Supports Export Market Development
The Ontario Export Market Access program offers 50% funding up to $50,000/application towards export market development activities. Funding is available under the following categories:
- Market Research: Funding for consulting fees towards carrying out market intelligence or research on market size, segmentation, growth, trends, buying attitudes, regulatory requirements, product requirements, distribution channels, and competitor activity strategy and performance, etc. as well as towards developing an international marketing/market entry plan.
- Marketing Tools: Funding for out of pocket costs in developing, producing, or procuring export marketing materials such as: display panels, pavilions, information booths (not to be used for retail activities) and translation of existing materials.
- Direct Contacts: Funding to participate in trade shows/events and technical seminars, as well as in government or association sanctioned incoming and outgoing trade missions. Eligible costs include: booth rental and related exhibition expenditures; on-site and local translation services; pre-show and show mail-out, advertising; foreign travel for up to two company or potential client representatives; out of pocket expenses for prearranging and on-site meetings; foreign product testing for market certification; and follow-up activities.
Please note that the per diem travel allowance for all eligible export activities is $125/person to a maximum of $250/day. Additionally, funding is not provided for software purchases, product sample shipping other than for trade show purposes; hired consultant travel to Canada; company officials’ travel within Canada; hosting or developing web sites, e-newsletters, online journals, or e-commerce portal content; applicant salaries, commissions, recoverable taxes, or capital costs such as office equipment, computers, office space; entertainment and hospitality expenses; postage and courier fees; modifications of existing products, product documentation or packaging to meet foreign standards, consumer preferences, etc.
Applicants must have five to five hundred employees, minimum annual sales of $500,000, be established and operating in Ontario, and have been incorporated for at least 2 years. Preference will be given to companies who have developed an international marketing/market entry plan, which demonstrates that the promoted products or services are accepted into the target market. Although companies may not request more than $50,000/application, Export Market Access may provide companies up to $250,000 over the life of the program
Grant Supports Electricity Conservation
The IESO Conservation Fund offers grants of up to $1 million to pilot and/or develop innovative conservation programs, practices, and technologies. Funding is available to private business as well as not-for-profit organizations. Eligible expenses include:
- Equipment and products, including diagnostic and testing tools, instruments, and software
- Professional, engineering, scientific, technical, management and contracting services, including training, permitting and licensing fees
- Salaries and benefits directly involved in project (max $800/day)
- Marketing, communications, and workshops directly related to project activities
- Monitoring, verification and evaluation project impacts, including data collection, processing, analysis and management
Eligible projects must lead to/promote the conservation of electricity; the IESO Conservation Fund supports the following project outcomes:
- The creation and/or development of a new conservation program (up to 75%; maximum $500,000)
- Development and assessment of new energy management tools such as mapping tools or policies (up to 75%; maximum $500,000)
- Piloting new training programs (up to 75%; maximum $250,000)
- Creation of a Community of Practice, a network to share information and best practices (up to 75%; maximum $250,000)
- Strategic research that leads to pilot projects (up to 100%; maximum $100,000)
- Development and demonstration of near-commercial, emerging technologies or processes (up to 75%; maximum $500,000)
- Strategic Opportunities: 50% up to $1 million will be provided for large scale energy reduction initiatives, such as the development of incentive programs to encourage energy reductions, i.e., pay-per-performance energy reduction programs to be implemented across a franchise, service providers creation of energy use monitoring software and programs to encourage conservation.
Projects to research, develop or demonstrate transmission, distribution, or electricity generation technologies (e.g. wind, hydro, bioenergy) are ineligible. Approved projects must be longer than 3 years, and cannot receive any additional IESO funding. The next intake window to submit applications is July 1 to 31, 2018.