July 14th, 2015
Food and beverage processing is one of Canada’s largest manufacturing sectors, providing a crucial channel for Canadian agricultural products. Many food-processing companies are finding high levels of success, but there are some challenges the sector faces.
There are a variety of government-funded initiatives designed to help food processors address any issues and provide opportunities to help this sector maintain future growth and competitiveness down the line.
The Waterloo-Guelph-Toronto corridor represents Canada’s largest food manufacturing region, and the third largest in all of North America. There are over 100 food and beverage processors and distributors located in this area with an extensive infrastructure of transportation and logistics to support them.
As a central hub in North America, this ideally situated area services consumers across the market. The Canadian Government has a vested interest in assisting food processors in this area. Amongst other areas of the Canadian economy, the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund provides funding for food processors or specific regions looking to develop their assets and increase their market share.
How does it work?
The design of the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund provides opportunities for farmers and food processors in this crucial region. It generates new jobs, encourages improvement and collaboration, and generates investments from the private sector.
Who is eligible?
The two options for funding are broken down into business and regional categories. Accepted food processing applications come from the following eighteen geographic areas in Southwestern Ontario:
Eligible food processing applicants for the business stream include businesses that employ at least ten people with the hope of employing at least ten additional employees. Prospective applicants need to provide three years of operations or financial statements for relating to their business. These businesses also need to invest a minimum of CAD $500,000 into their venture.
Naturally, Southwestern Ontario includes several small towns, which this funding package addresses. Businesses composed of five to ten employees can also receive funding under the Small Community Pilot initiative. A “small community” covers municipalities with populations below 20,000 individuals, or an area with a population density below 100 persons per square kilometer.
The funding investment is not as large for Small Community Pilot applicants. They need to make a minimum investment of CAD $200,000 over a four year period while also doubling their number of employees.
The regional stream focuses on a wider perspective. Applicants for these grants work to generate economic and business development, as well as job creation, within a specific area. These initiatives should be in line with wider provincial and regional expectations, such as the creation of innovative processes or techniques, or any other existing provincial government initiatives.
These regional initiatives need at least CAD $100,000 in investments, and they need private sector support. For organizations, any proposed activities should be outside the scope of activities they already perform.
How much funding can you receive?
Under the business stream, provided funds cover up to 15% of qualified costs to a total amount of CAD $1.5 million. For investments greater than CAD $10 million that might generate over fifty new jobs, loans of up to CAD $5 million are possible. You need to cover at least half of your overall costs using your own funds or through private financing.
For the regional stream, funding covers up to 50% of qualified costs up to a total amount of CAD $1.5 million. You must cover at least 35% of overall costs, or provide this amount through private investment.
You cannot combine the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund from either stream with any other provincial programs.
Successful funding applications for food processors meets the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund’s goals of investment and job creation in the process. Economic benefits to the company and to the region are necessary, and the project above all else should be achievable. Get in touch with North America’s oldest grant writing firm to give your company and your project the competitive advantage.Click here to view more information on this program.