Fiancial Support Available to Food Leaders Across Ontario
The Local Food Investment Fund (LFIF) will provide funding of up to 50% of costs to $150,000 to provide financial support to local food leaders across Ontario, with the common goal of increasing the amount of local food consumed within the province. The program will provide support under three distinct grant streams: Broader Public Sector, Market Access, and Local Food Literacy. Eligible costs may include:
- Project Management costs, consultant fees, business planning development, professional fees;
- Capital costs such as equipment, structural modifications, technology upgrades and production expansion to increase food sales to local markets; and
- Training, marketing, promotion, studies and research, and incremental administrative
To qualify for funding, a grant applicant must be a community or NFP organization, farmers, producers, processors, distributors, foodservice, retail, etc. Except for municipal government, commodity association, or network, projects must be based upon a joint application from two or more legal entities. Applicants must complete an eligibility quiz, and provide information such as project goals and rationale. The remaining 50% of costs must be covered by the recipient in cash only. In-kind contributions can be documented to demonstrate commitment on the part of the applicant to the project. To apply for funding from the Local Food Investment Fund, applicants must submit an LOI by Thursday, August 3, 2017. If approved for funding, the project must be completed by May 15, 2018.
ECO Canada: Funding to Hire Environmental Graduate Interns
The ECO Canada Internship Program offers 50% grant funding up to $15,000 towards hiring a college or university science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), or natural resources graduate. Eligible employment positions include but are not limited to:
- Research assistant, environmental coordinator, or lab technician;
- Creating smart grid tech, or GIS analyst;
- Development of monitoring equipment for greenhouse gas;
- Improvements in high energy using equipment; and
- Conducting geological or oceanographic surveys
Employers are required to offer one year internships leading to future full-time employment. Canadian businesses as well as municipal and provincial government can apply. Interns must be under 30 years old, with Canadian citizenship, landed immigrant or refugee status plus eligible to work in Canada. This program will run until all funding has been allocated, so it is recommended that applicants wishing to apply do so ASAP.
Innovation Superclusters Initiative: Funding for Innovative Canadian-led Growth and Development
The Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI) will provide funding of up to 75% to a maximum of $200 million over five years time to five superclusters within Canada. The purpose of ISI is to help accelerate the growth and development of business-led innovation within Canada. The ISI will contribute to not-for-profit entities led by an industry undergoing the following activities:
- Building a shared competitive advantage for their cluster that attracts cutting-edge research, investment and talent leading to a position of a world-leading innovation hotbed;
- Increasing business expenditures on R&D, and advancing a range of innovations and technological leadership activities leading to strong Canadian sectors of economic strength;
- Generating new companies, commercializing new products, processes and services which position firms to scale, integrate into global value chains, and lead to becoming global market leaders; and
- Fostering growth-oriented firms, bolstering collaboration between private, public and academic organizations pursuing private-sector led innovation to enhance the cluster’s pool of resources, capabilities and knowledge.
Funded eligible costs include costs to which ISI will make a financial contribution as established by the agreement with the applicant. These costs include administration and operating costs that support the day-to-day operations of the applicant entities. Such expenses include: salaries for staff, marketing costs, travel costs, recruitment and networking costs, and general operational costs such as maintenance, purchasing materials and supplies. Costs incurred which directly relate to the activities undertaken to execute a Supercluster strategy are also eligible for funding. These costs include: portion of gross wage, salaries or contracts incurred, equipment, facility and supplies (purchase, rental, operation, and maintenance costs), room or facility rentals, materials, and travel costs. The ISI is intended to be a partnership between government and industry. Therefore, any funding allocated by the Supercluster toward completion of projects must be matched 1:1 overall by industry contributions. The remaining eligible administration and operating costs (minimum 25%) can be met by industry, other levels of government, and/or not-for-profit contributions. Up to 25% of the industry match may be in-kind contributions. To apply for funding from ISI, applicants must form a consortium consisting of 2 large businesses, 1 medium business, 1 small business, and 1 post-secondary institution. Participants in the consortium must be organizations incorporated in Canada and active in Canada. Superclusters may be partnered anywhere in Canada; however, the lead applicant is required to define a region, and reason for partnership. To apply for funding through ISI, applicants are required to undergo a two-phase application process. Phase 1 of the process involves all applicants writing a letter of commitment which will be reviewed by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). Successful applicants will then be invited to partake in phase 2 of the application process, which involves a full Innovation Superclusters Initiative application. The deadline for phase 1 is July 21, 2017 12pm Eastern Daylight Time.
Career Focus: Funding to Hire Canadian Youth
The Career Focus program offers government funding of up to 80% to a maximum of $20,000/new employee to hire youth aged 15 to 30. Employers are to provide new employees with work experience that is related to their field of studies and/or career goals. To receive funding, employers must hire a minimum of 8 youth for no less than 24 weeks. New hires must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons who have been granted refugee status that are not currently receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. Eligible costs include but are not limited to participant wages and expenses, third-party trainer fees, plus instructional materials and equipment purchases. Wages of applicant-employed trainers, mentors or coaches are not eligible for funding nor are the purchase of golf memberships or illegal substances.
Agricultural Youth Green Jobs – The Green Internships Stream
The Green Internships Stream provides 50% up to $16,000 in government funding for businesses to hire post-secondary graduates to undertake work in the agricultural sector that will benefit the natural environment. Eligible employers include private businesses, not-for-profit organizations, provincial and municipal governments, associations, boards, councils, and universities. Subsidized employees must be under 30 years of age, have graduated from a college, university or CEGEP, have not previously received funding from Youth Employment Strategy programs, and be a Canadian citizen/permanent resident. Internships are to be at least 4 months long, ending no later than March 31st, 2019. Not-for-profit organizations may be eligible for government funding of up to 80% on a case-by-case basis. There is no deadline to apply to this program, however INAC urges any interested organizations to apply for funding as soon as possible.
Grant Supports Purchase of Local Food by Public Institutions
The Broader Public Sector Grant Stream provides government funding of up to 50% towards partnered activities that will increase the purchase and sale of Ontario agri-food products by public institutions, such as hospitals or schools. Program areas of focus include innovation and product development, value chain collaboration, organizational and policy change, and skills development. Funding can be requested provided for research, training, business plan development, marketing, professional/consultant fees, software upgrades, travel in Ontario, salaries for time spent on the project, as well as essential equipment purchases (e.g. freezers, packaging, labellers) to specifically address barriers in accessing the public sector marketplace. Partnerships must include at least one provincial private sector food business and one public sector institutions e.g. school, government facility, hospital, etc. The deadline to apply for the Broader Public Sector Grant is Thursday, May 18 2017. Please note that the demand for funding far exceeds this program’s budget.