The region of northern Ontario covers nearly 90% of the province, however its population of 786,000 represents just over 6% of the provincial population according to the 2006 Statistics Canada Census. As a result, the Ontario provincial government has released a number of small business funding grants and loans specifically for northern Ontario SMEs, including several provided through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and FedNor. The aim of these programs is to establish and migrate businesses to northern Ontario by supporting innovation, expansion activities, and key strategic initiatives. The Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) association and FedNor have partnered on a program specific to northern Ontario manufacturers who wish to assess new production technologies with the help of third parties. That program is called CME FedNor Targeted Manufacturing Initiative Northern Ontario Productivity Assessments (SMART).
Eligible Businesses & Expenses: CME-FedNor Targeted Manufacturing Initiative
In order to be eligible for this northern Ontario business grant program, the applicant must be a manufacturer residing in northern Ontario (please refer to the map). Applicants can apply for up to one assessment that has not already been carried out. Assessments can be provided by an approved CME Qualified Service Provider (QSP). Please note that assessments conducted by internal staff will not be eligible or funding.
The assessments eligible for this northern Ontario business grant should improve and modernize the applicant’s manufacturing process, resulting in improved productivity and competitiveness. Other expected impacts include job creation, economic growth in Northern Ontario, and projected economic and environmental benefits to Ontario. FedNor announced just under $1.1M will be dedicated to CME’s implementation of this program, providing up to $15,000 for each assessment.
As part of the application process, the CME QSP will need to provide a copy of the assessment proposal when applying and a final copy of the report must be submitted to CME for approval and final reimbursement payment.
How to apply for CME-FedNor Northern Ontario Productivity Assessments Grant
This business funding program requires the applicant to select a CME QSP and fill out an application form in order to be considered for funding. Applications will be replied to within three business days; a CME SMART rep will then reach out for additional details or to announce the approval of the application. CME has noted that a final decision on the application will be provided within 45 business days of submission. Remember to hold off on your project start until approval.
To learn more about this and other programs, feel free to register for a free educational funding event and discover the details and answers to your questions.