Up to $500,000 Grant for Rural Southwestern Ontario Processors
Applicants Should Submit Eligibility Checklist By April 7, 2022
The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) advertises 15% up to $5 million in grants and four-year interest-free loans towards investments that create jobs and lead to economic growth. Up to 30% of the loan is forgivable (i.e., becomes a grant) to a maximum of $500,000 if the applicant achieves its job creation and investment targets.
Eligible expenditures include equipment, consulting services, facility retrofits and expansions, as well as employee training and other project-related costs incurred over 3 to 4 years. Only expenses incurred after receiving approval will be eligible for reimbursement.
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 with populations under 100,000 or density less than 100 people/square mile, must have at least 5 employees yet can receive up to $500,000 of the funding as a grant. Rural businesses are required to make investments of no less than $200,000. Applicants in communities with populations 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.
Strategic new investments to Ontario (companies without a presence in Ontario), or companies whose investment plans (including new mandates, expansion, 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. There is also 50% grants funding up to $1.5 million for community economic development. Next application deadline is April 21, 2022 (eligibility checklist to be submitted by April 7, 2022)
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