Program Supports Business Expansion in Southern Ontario
The Investing in Business Growth and Productivity (IBGP) program offers interest-free loans of up to 25% to a maximum of $20 million for activities that will result in increased business growth and/or ability to participate in global markets. Possible activities include but not limited to adopting new technologies, processes and related skills development, pursuing new business opportunities, market development, facility improvement and expansion, growth and integration of global value chains, and/or business expansion to support greater economic diversification. Projects must encourage economic growth and/or job creation in Southern Ontario. Eligible expenses include equipment purchases and installation, facility retrofits, consulting fees, marketing, as well as project-related employee wages and other expenses. Building and land purchases are not eligible. Interest-free loans are up to 6 years. Applicants must have between 15 and 1,000 employees. Please note that the program has little to no money left. However, we believe that the program will be re-invigorated by April 1, 2018. Therefore, companies with projects occurring after April 1, 2018 should provide a summary of future planned activities.
Revised Program Expected in 2018
The AgriInnovation Enabling Commercialization and Adoption program contributed 50% up to $10 million in interest-free loans towards the demonstration, market introduction, or adoption of new agri-food and agri-based products and solutions. Innovations were to be within two years of market readiness, with testing and piloting already completed.
Eligible activities included the production of samples, creation of demonstration site, commercialization, and adoption or adaptation of recent innovations to existing operations. The following costs were supported:
- Building purchase
- Renovation and construction
- Equipment purchase and installation
- Salaries and benefits
- Contracted services
- Professional fees
For-profit corporations (including cooperatives) were eligible to apply. It is expected that a revised program will be running for April 1, 2018. However, companies planning to invest in “game-changing” products, processes or technologies should present their project to the program as soon as possible.
Grants and Loans Available for Investments Over $10 Million
Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Fund: New Economy Stream will contribute up to 40% in grants and interest-free subordinate loans to businesses wanting to build innovation capacity, improve productivity, performance and competitiveness, exploit export and trade opportunities and/or create/retain jobs. Project expenses must be $10 million or more. Eligible costs include facility modifications, equipment and machinery, materials, one-time labour expenses, research and development, training, and new market access. Ineligible cost categories include ongoing production and labour costs, land and buildings, overhead, and business plan preparation. Applicants must be in advanced manufacturing, life science, or information and communication technology, and/or wanting to undertake a project which will draw additional investments key to increasing Ontario’s next generation of talent, innovation and productivity. Additionally, applicants are required and will be evaluated on having a proven record of business success, generally for 3 years or more, as well as having sufficient financing, resources and expertise to undertake the project. While projects deemed to have exceptional benefits for Ontario may receive funding of up to 40%, successful applicants will likely be offered a significantly lower level of support.
Wage Subsidy to Benefit Canadian Mining Sector
The MiHR Green Internship Program provides 50% up to $12,000 in government funding for businesses to hire post-secondary graduates to undertake work in the Canadian mining or mineral exploration sector that will benefit the natural environment. Subsidized employees must be between 18 and 30 years of age, have graduated from a post-secondary program, have not previously received funding from the Youth Employment Strategy, and be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or have been granted refugee status. Internships are to be full time positions, 6-12 months long, and be in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. INAC urges any interested organizations to apply for funding as soon as possible as the deadline to apply to this program is October 13 2017.
PROGRAM SUPPORTS COMPETITIVENESS AND GROWTH
The Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative will reimburse up to 90% of expenditures to a maximum of $168,000 to commercial greenhouses in Ontario with at least 20,000 square feet of production area. Funding is being offered to help increase competitiveness, access new markets, and/or expand current markets. Eligible activities include but are not limited to increasing energy efficiency (using renewable energy, upgrading greenhouse cover materials, etc.), improving growing systems and infrastructure, improving waste management, first time implementation of a sales and marketing plan, or research on first-time crop production in Ontario. The program will not pay for ongoing operating expenses, construction and land acquisition costs or any regulatory compliance expenses. Maximum funding is calculated at $0.14 per square foot of applicant production area (e.g. a greenhouse with 60,000 square feet is eligible to receive up to $8,400). Expenses may be claimed for costs incurred between March 23, 2017 and September 30, 2019. The final deadline for submission is September 28, 2018 or until all funds have been allocated. Regrettably, this program does not support the growing of marijuana.
Program Supports Innovation in the Forestry Sector
The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program offers grant funding of up to 50% to a maximum of $20 million to Canadian forestry sector businesses towards demonstrating innovative technologies at pilot or commercial scale levels. Funding for companies with less than 100 employees and under $50 million in annual sales is limited to $2 million. Projects should lead to new or increased production of bioenergy, biomaterials, biochemicals or next generation building products, the adoption of first-in-Canada technologies or new applications of existing technologies, and/or the creation of non-traditional partnerships. Eligible recipients are companies that manufacture forest products (e.g. pulp, paper and lumber mills, furniture and cabinet manufacturers, biofuel producers). Eligible expenditures include:
- Capital expenses (including equipment), material and supplies
- Technical/environmental audits and assessments, licensing and permit fees
- Sub-contractors and consultants
- Salaries, benefits and training for employees involved in project implementation
- Travel, meals and accommodation
Please note that costs associated with the production or exports of softwood lumber products are ineligible for funding. Project costs must be incurred after a contribution agreement has been made, and before March 31, 2020. Interested companies must submit an expression of interest no later than October 12, 2017.