FedDev Ontario Community Economic Development & Diversification Program

FedDev Ontario is the Regional Development Agency for southern Ontario and delivers funding for businesses, not-for-profits, and communities. Over the last 10 years, FedDev Ontario has invested over $2B in southern Ontario’s economy, with a recent $1B in additional federal funding received to continue its programs. FedDev’s headquarters are in Waterloo, and it has offices in Toronto, Peterborough, and Ottawa, so it can serve organizations across the region.

In addition to administering national programs for the region, FedDev also offers unique programs, such as the Community Economic Development & Diversification (CEDD) program.

The CEDD program aims to create sustainable economic growth in small and rural communities in southern Ontario. Applicants can be businesses or not-for-profit organizations who are working to diversify and transform their local economies. Successful applicants to CEDD can receive up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $5M. There is an ongoing intake for the FedDev Ontario Community Economic Development and Diversification Program. The program has indicated which areas are defined as rural regions. 

FedDev Ontario CEDD For-Profit Stream

The FedDev Ontario Community Economic Development and Diversification Program is dedicated to generating sustainable, inclusive growth and help small and rural communities in southern Ontario to fully participate in and benefit from economic opportunities.

Via the for-profit stream, business may receive up to 50% of eligible expenses and a max loan of $5 million.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants for this stream are to be legally incorporated businesses, including indigenous-owned businesses with operations in rural areas of Eastern and Western Ontario and who demonstrate:

  • Evidence of project funding;
  • Evidence of market opportunities;
  • Capacity to achieve the project’s stated objectives;
  • A viable project plan with achieve outcomes and verifiable cost estimate; and
  • How the project addresses a gap, including evidence of economic opportunities for community growth and transformation.

Project Eligibility

Projects for FedDev Ontario funding must foster economic diversification and transformation and improve productivity, capacity, and competitiveness of businesses to increase employment and growth opportunities that foster resilience in their communities. Examples of eligible project activities include:

  • Adoption of new equipment;
  • Market development, diversification, and expansion; and
  • Facility improvement or expansion to support greater economic diversification.

Eligible Expenses

  • Labour;
  • Expertise;

  • Non-Capital; and
  • Capital.

FedDev Ontario CEDD Not-For-Profit Stream

Like the for-profit stream, the FedDev Ontario Community Economic Development and Diversification Program not-for-profit stream supports community economic development in rural southern Ontario.

Successful applicants may receive up to 50% of eligible expenses. This stream offers grant funding, with a max of $5 million.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants for the CEDD not-for-profit stream must operate in rural areas of Eastern and Western Ontario and can be:

  • Co-operatives;
  • Indigenous organizations;
  • Business accelerators and incubators;
  • Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs);
  • Municipalities and other municipal-type organizations;
  • A group or an alliance such as an industry association or consortium that is a legal entity capable of entering into a contribution agreement; and
  • Other not-for-profit organizations, as determined on a case-by-case basis.

Project Eligibility

Example projects include:

  • Improving the availability of risk capital in the region, including by establishing or capitalizing an investment fund;
  • Developing and/or expanding collaborations that connect smaller communities with larger firms or supply chains in urban centres;
  • The implementation of community and/or regional action plans;
  • Development of new technology, processes, prototypes, and/or commercially relevant technology platforms;
  • Business attraction, growth, and retention programs and services, including supply chain development and succession planning;
  • Business incubators and accelerators addressing needs at a sub-regional or community level; and
  • Supporting business through programs and services, including training and mentorship.

Looking for more government funding support? Here’s additional programs available to businesses in rural Ontario. 

Eligible Expenses

  • Labour;
  • Expertise;

  • Non-Capital; and
  • Capital.

Apply: Community Economic Development and Diversification

To have a strong application for CEDD FedDev Ontario funding, interested applicants for either the profit or not-for-profit stream ultimately need to have initiatives that:

  • Develop and expand collaborative efforts that strengthen regional competitiveness;
  • Enhance business attraction, investment, retention, and employment opportunities in southern Ontario communities; and
  • Support regional businesses, hubs, and communities with the goal of economic diversification, integration, and transformation.

There is an ongoing application intake until funding is depleted. All project costs must be incurred by December 31, 2023.

To confirm your eligibility and review your project for CEDD, please contact Mentor Works for the discussion of next steps.

 Apply for Canadian Government Funding

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Written by

As Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, an organization that helps optimize the funding discovery and application process, Myra educates and inspires leaders on ways to enhance their business’ growth projects through blog and web publication, social media, and event management. To read more of Myra’s government funding content, view Mentor Works’ blog.

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