Funding for Southwestern Ontario
The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SODF) contributes 15% up to $5 million in grants and four-year interest-free loans towards investments that create jobs and lead to economic growth. Eligible expenditures include equipment, consulting services, facility retrofits and expansions, as well as employee training and other project-related costs incurred over a 3 to 4 year period. Businesses are required to have 3 years of financial statements and be (or plan to be) located in one of the following Southwestern Ontario counties: (Brant, Bruce, Chatham-Kent, Dufferin, Elgin, Essex, Grey, Haldimand, Huron, Lambton, Middlesex, Niagara, Norfolk, Oxford, Perth, Simcoe, Waterloo and Wellington)
Applicants in rural communities (populations under 100,000) must have at least 5 employees and may receive up to $500,000 as a grant. Rural businesses are required to make investments of no less than $200,000.
Applicants based in communities with populations of over 100,000 may receive 15% up to $5 million as an interest-free loan. These businesses must have 10 or more employees and plan to invest at least $500,000. Up to 30% of the loan is forgivable to a maximum of $500,000 if the applicant achieves its hiring and investment targets.
Strategic new investments to Ontario (companies without a presence in Ontario), or companies whose investment plans (including new mandates, expansions or re-shoring/relocation) are subject to significant risk due to incentives offered from other jurisdictions, are eligible to receive 15% up to $1.5 million as a grant.
Businesses with 15 or more employees must create 5 jobs by project completion. Companies with fewer employees are required to increase their workforce by 30%. Only costs incurred after approval are eligible for funding. Next application intake opens December 2, 2019 with a deadline of January 22, 2020.
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