Ontario Grant For Rural Business Expansion
The Rural Economic Development (RED) program will contribute 50% towards the planning and implementation of initiatives that will retain or create employment/economic growth in communities with populations of 100,000 or less. Funding is available for creating/undertaking: strategies, research, studies, plans or analysis related to but not limited to economic development, business retention and development, marketing, downtown revitalization, employment creation and training, as well as global competitiveness. Support can also be requested for implementation of initiatives related to yet not exclusive of:
- Business/sector development and diversification. Business fairs, mentoring, training, diversification, supply chains and best practices sharing, rehabilitation of cultural, heritage or tourist attractions, etc.
- Regional marketing, promotional and/or branding activities. Website development, branding strategies, marketing, etc.
- Human capital and skills development, attraction and retention. Youth, newcomer and labour attraction/retention, programs for leadership development, entrepreneurship, mentorship, as well as industry and sector training, etc.
Eligible costs include consulting and professional fees (e.g. legal, architectural, engineering) as well as minor capital purchases (e.g. renovations, retrofitting, software), administration, and travel expenses. RED does not support capital items such as land, buildings, major infrastructure and equipment. Although there is no limit to the support that can be requested, awarded funding will be determined by the amount of stakeholder financial investment, identified/resulting economic and employment benefits to rural Ontario, as well as, the demand for the program’s $12.5 million three-year budget. For a limited number of exemplary initiatives, RED may contribute up to 90%. The program is currently under review and is not accepting applications, however, they are expected to be accepting applications soon.
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