CME-FedNor Assessments Ontario Government Funding for Manufacturers

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor) provides federally sourced funds to businesses, organizations, and communities within the province’s northern regions. The agency supports the development and competitiveness of businesses to ensure the north grows and contributes toward the country’s economy.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) also provides support to growing businesses across the country. One of the association’s primary functions is to administer business expansion funding programs, such as CME-FedNor Operational Assessment grants, to manufacturers who are upscaling their operations.

Northern Ontario manufacturers may access up to 50% of project costs to a maximum $15,000 to receive operational assessments from a CME Qualified Service Provider. Through this program, businesses can receive expert consultation on ways to expand their business while reducing total project costs.

Why Your Northern Ontario Business Should Apply

Manufacturers in northern Ontario regularly face barriers to growth, one of which is the ability to purchase and implement innovative technologies. This failure to keep pace with growing businesses across Canada and worldwide is a problem that poses a significant threat to the long-term sustainability of these manufacturers.

By receiving an operational assessment with CME, manufacturers could save up to 50% of costs to hire a business consultant who is highly trained at recognizing manufacturing opportunities. Up to $15,000 is available through these assessments, and upon completion, the manufacturer may become eligible for project implementation funding through the Northern Ontario Development Fund (NODP).

Manufacturers Eligible for CME-FedNor Assessments

To become eligible to CME-FedNor operational assessment grants, businesses should ensure that they:

  • Are based in a northern Ontario community (see map);
  • Have been incorporated for the last two years;
  • Are financially stable and can provide financial statements to prove their position;
  • Maintain fewer than 500 employees within northern Ontario; and
  • Are not receiving additional government funding support towards the assessment.

Projects Eligible for CME-FedNor Operational Assessments

All operational assessments funded through the CME-FedNor program must be completed by a CME Qualified Service Provider upon approval into the program. Companies who complete assessments prior to program approval will not be eligible to receive retroactive funding contributions.

Typical operational assessments will identify business expansion opportunities in areas such as:

  • Productivity;
  • Waste reduction;
  • Lean manufacturing/ Six Sigma/5D principles;
  • Management systems;
  • Market analysis;
  • Process flow;
  • Quality certification (such as ISO); and
  • Environmental impacts of projects.

How to Get Started with Business Expansion Funding

Businesses can get started on the application process by contacting a CME Qualified Service Provider (QSP) and informing them of your business’ project. Your QSP will prepare a proposal and quote for their assessment, at which point manufacturers will be directed to CME’s online portal where they can fill out a full application.

Full applications will allow your organization to receive up to 50% of eligible project costs during the assessment. It’s critical that these applications are filled out in a complete and detailed way that complements the program’s objectives.

Businesses will receive a final decision on their application within 45 days of application submission. Manufacturers should begin the application process soon to ensure that they can begin their projects on time.

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Written by

Jeff Shepherd holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Guelph. He is passionate about Canadian business, economics, and politics. As Marketing Coordinator for Mentor Works, Jeff educates business leaders about proactive funding strategies.

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