Update: In response to COVID-19, the second intake of EODF has been extended to May 29, 2020.
Attracting business investment to Eastern Ontario has historically been a challenge for economic developers. Although there are many high-potential companies operating in the region, these organizations typically do not invest and grow at the same rate as other businesses across Ontario or Canada. For this reason, Eastern Ontario companies often struggle to become globally-competitive.
Fortunately, government funding programs such as the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) provide the support needed to boost investment and help companies scale operations. Through the program, eligible applicants may reduce common expansion costs such as infrastructure development and technology purchases.
EODF funding provides up to 15% of project expenses to a maximum of $500k-$5M depending on whether businesses are applying for a grant or a loan.
To access the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, companies must develop a competitive application that details the project’s purpose, budget, timelines, and expected outcomes. Applications can be submitted year-round; review typically takes four months, upon which time successful applicants can begin incurring project expenses. The next intake period is March 5, 2020 – May 29, 2020.
Eastern Ontario Development Fund: Capital Investment Grants
The Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) is an Ontario government funding program designed to support capital investment projects. By offsetting a portion of project costs, companies can develop new production space, integrate advanced technologies, and hire more highly-qualified personnel. Projects must provide long-term economic benefits to Eastern Ontario and lead the company to greater global competitiveness.
Through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, businesses may leverage up to 15% of project expenses to a maximum $5M in Ontario government funding.
EODF offers businesses with multiple levels of support to incentivize projects of all sizes. Most applicants tend to receive 15% of project expenses to a maximum $500k in Ontario business grants (non-repayable), while others will opt to receive an additional non-interest-bearing loan of up to $5 million.
EODF Business Grants Ontario: Company Eligibility
To be a competitive applicant for Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) grants and loans, companies must:
- Have 10 or more FTEs or, if in a rural community, 5 FTEs;
- Have been in operation for at least 3 years;
- Commit to creating at least 5 new jobs (or 30% increase for companies with fewer than 15 employees);
- Be located in, or plan to locate in, a community in southwestern or eastern Ontario; and
- Have a project budget greater than $500,000 (or $200,000 if in a rural community).
Priority Sectors: Advanced manufacturing, information and communications technology (ICT), primary resources processing, life sciences, tourism, and cultural industries.
Eligibility of Business Regions
The Eastern Ontario Development Fund supports businesses with operations in 15 regions, including:
- Kawartha Lakes
- Leeds and Grenville
- Lennox and Addington
- Prescott and Russell
- Prince Edward
- Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
Eligibility of Business Sectors
To qualify for the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, companies should also operate in a high-priority sector, including:
- Advanced manufacturing;
- Information and communications technology (ICT);
- Life sciences;
- Resources processing;
- Tourism; and
- Cultural industries.
Projects Eligible: Eastern Ontario Development Fund Grants & Loans
The Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) provides capital investment grants to support the development of innovative facilities and equipment. Projects must start a minimum 60 days after submission and can have a duration of three to four years. Projects well-suited for EODF business grants will:
- Invest in new operations in eastern or southwestern Ontario;
- Invest in operations that improve productivity, innovation, the potential to export goods, and competitiveness; and
- Create high-value, sustainable jobs in Ontario.
- Project facilities & infrastructure – project facility modifications;
- Equipment and machinery – CNC machines, robots, etc.;
- Specialized expertise – third-party engineering services;
- Materials – materials for configurations and testing;
- Labour – set up/commissioning of new equipment, incremental R&D for a max of two years;
- Training and talent costs – employer-provided training (trainer hours are eligible), training infrastructure; and
- Permits and fees – building permits.
Apply for the Eastern Ontario Development Fund
To access EODF funding, eligible Ontario-based businesses must complete a three-stage application process that includes:
- Completing an eligibility checklist to ensure suitability for the EODF program;
- Discussing the proposed project with a EODF representative; and
- Submitting a full application.
If you’re evaluating whether EODF is a good fit for your business’ upcoming project, or would like to simplify the application process, please contact Mentor Works.
Posted: August 3, 2018. Updated April 28, 2020.