Jobs and Prosperity Fund: Ontario Business Funding

Ontario is Canada’s economic powerhouse. Data from 20152017 shows the province contributed nearly 40% of the country’s GDP, while also providing job opportunities for nearly 40% of Canada’s population. Keeping Ontario-based businesses profitable and able to expand employment is essential for the continued success of Canada’s economy; this is one of the reasons why the Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF) was created.

The Jobs and Prosperity Fund is an Ontario government funding program for businesses investing in innovative products and processes. There are four streams of funding in the program; each stream provides up to 40% of project expenses, however, this funding can be awarded either as a grant or repayable loan. JPF funding is also commonly stacked with other federal government funding programs, such as the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF).

JPF applicants should demonstrate a clear connection to how the funding will be used, how it will make the business more competitive, and how it will lead to the creation of sustainable, well-paying jobs.

Jobs and Prosperity Fund – Streams of Funding Support

The Jobs and Prosperity Fund is a 10-year (2015-2025) program designed to attract large-scale business investments in Ontario. It offers varying contribution amounts, depending on the type of project completed. It supports the development/adoption of new technologies so that businesses can grow and create new jobs for Ontario residents.

There are four streams of Jobs and Prosperity Funding Ontario businesses may apply for. These include:

New Economy Stream

  • Focus: Innovative projects building productivity and international competitiveness.
  • Amount: Up to 20% in government grants; or up to 40% in repayable funding; or up to 40% in a combination of grants and loans.
  • Eligibility: At least $10 million in eligible project costs, and a member of Ontario’s key economic sectors (such as advanced manufacturing or ICT).

The New Economy Stream supports business investments that will lead to long-term economic benefit for the company and province alike. Projects will focus on the research and development, or adoption, of technologies to improve productivity and create new jobs.

Food and Beverage Growth Fund

  • Focus: Innovative food and beverage technology projects.
  • Amount: Up to 20% in government grants; or up to 40% in repayable funding; or up to 40% in a combination of grants and loans.
  • Eligibility: At least $5 million in eligible project costs, and a member of Ontario’s food and beverage industry.

This stream of the Jobs and Prosperity Fund is specific to processing food, beverage, and bio-products. Outcomes a successful project are similar to the New Economy Stream; including creation of sustainable jobs, enhanced productivity, innovation, and exports, and the strengthening of supply chains.

Strategic Partnerships Stream

  • Focus: Development of enabling technologies with the potential to transform multiple industries.
  • Amount: Up to 66% in government grants to a total contribution ranging from $5M to $25M.
  • Eligibility: At least $10 million in eligible project costs and a member of Ontario’s priority sectors.

The Strategic Partnerships Stream encourages open innovation partnerships between a business and at least one other company, research institution, supplier, investor, or customer. Technology development should focus on enabling technologies (those with the potential to transform a range of industries).

Forestry Growth Fund

  • Focus: Improving the productivity, innovation, and competitiveness of Ontario’s forestry sector.
  • Amount: Up to 20% in government grants; or up to 40% in repayable funding; or up to 40% in a combination of grants and loans.
  • Eligibility: At least $5 million in eligible project costs and a member of Ontario’s wood and forest biomass processing/manufacturing sectors.

The Forestry Growth Fund was recently added to the umbrella of JPF’s funding support. The stream is uniquely devoted to supporting forestry processing, including the expansion of saw mills, paper mills, secondary wood manufacturers, and bio-economy projects.

Jobs and Prosperity Fund Success Stories

Because of the investment required to participate in the program, there are not as many businesses funded through JPF as some more typical government grants and loans. Still, there have been incredible successes through the program, including:

How to Apply for the Jobs and Prosperity Fund

There is a two-stage application process for the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, including:

  1. Statement of Intent: A preliminary application used to start the government’s due diligence process. This can take 3-5 months; successful SOIs will be invited to submit a full application.
  2. Full Application: Can take upwards of 2+ months to write and another 5 months to review by government agencies.

This is a lengthy process, but is incredibly worthwhile when raising significant capital for new business expansion projects.

Contact Mentor Works to learn more about if your project is eligible. Our team of Government Funding Planners can clarify program details and accelerate the process through comprehensive application support.

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Learn More About the Jobs and Prosperity Fund

Get Started     Program Overview     Eligibility Criteria

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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.