bigstock-irrigation-system-working-on-a-28933574Growing Forward 2 Ontario government funding is a joint program funded by the Canadian federal and provincial government for Ontario agriculture industries.  The aim of the program is to support the growth and development of agriculture and agriculture industries in Ontario through business grants Ontario programs.

What Not-for-profit and Small Business Grants and Loans Programs are offered through Growing Forward 2?

Growing Forward 2 supports the Canadian agriculture and agriculture industries through two programs at the federal level: AgriInnovation and Agri-Marketing.  At the provincial level in Ontario Growing Forward 2 supports businesses through two streams of funding:  Capacity Building and Project Implementation.  These funding streams are open to Ontario small business grants for Producers, Ontario business grants for Processors and Ontario government funding for Organizations and Collaborations.

Who is Eligible for Ontario Government Grants through the Organizations and Collaboration stream?

Qualified Lead Applicants will be not-for-profit organizations. Collaborations can be made up of any 2 or more organizations made up of for-profit businesses, not-for-profit organizations, or academic institutions.

What are the Lead Applicant’s Responsibilities within a Qualified Collaboration?

The Lead Applicant of the government funding Ontario application is responsible for the following:

  • Be an organization located in Ontario and the primary point of contact with the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC)
  • Enter a legal agreement on behalf of the other collaboration members with the AAC
  • Manage the project and cash flow all project expenditures
  • Provide required documentation to AAC for reimbursement funding
  • Prepare both progress and final reports to AAC
  • Receive all Ontario government funding for the collaboration and receive a T4A for the total funds issued
  • Demonstrate the capacity to share project information with all collaboration members

What are the Responsibilities of a Collaboration Member?

A member of a Growing Forward 2 collaboration project is responsible for the following:

  • Have only an arm’s length relationship from the lead applicant and any other members of the collaboration project
  • Engage actively and directly with project
  • Have a vested interest in the project (this can be financial investment, resources, etc.)
  • Sign and submit an attestation form –this is a part of the application process

What Projects Are Eligible for Ontario Government Funding under the Project Implementation Stream?

Projects that qualify for funding under the project implementation stream include implementation of plans and applied research projects. Eligible project will fit into one of the 6 areas of focus established by the Growing Forward 2 Program:

  • Environment & Climate Change
  • Plant & Animal Health
  • Market Development
  • Assurance Systems (Food Safety, Traceability, Animal Welfare)
  • Labour Productivity Enhancement
  • Business and Leadership Development

What Project Expenses will be reimbursed under these Ontario Small Business Grants?

What expenses are eligible for reimbursement under the Ontario government grants Project Implementation funding stream? Costs specific to the project that are eligible for reimbursement include:

  • Services, supplies, as well as all related shipping/ transportation costs
  • Salaries (contract), benefits, and specific per diem fees (this is not applicable for full-time staff of the applicant or collaboration members)
  • Land rentals that are needed for research purposes
  • Rental of any required facilities, equipment or machinery
  • Administrative costs
  • Communications materials such as design, printing, translation, etc.
  • Travel, meal and hospitality costs that agree with guidelines set forth by the Government of Ontario
  • Capital items that include but are not limited to computers, office equipment, the costs incurred to construct buildings, on-farm and further processing infrastructure as well as plant upgrades.  (Contact a Canadian government funding expert for further details)

Are in-kind contributions eligible as part of the applicant’s contribution towards the project costs?

In-kind contributions are eligible under the Project Implementation stream of funding when they meet the following criteria:

  • Are from the lead applicant or a collaboration member
  • Are essential to the project’s success
  • Reflect fair market value
  • Do not exceed 15% of the total eligible project cost
  • Have a defined rate (per hour, per day, per item, etc.)
  • Are auditable

What Expenses Are Not Eligible for Coverage under the Project Implementation Stream?

  • Normal costs that include the establishing of a commercial operation or operating a business
  • Minor capital and asset expenses items not specifically required for execution of a project
  • The purchase or lease of land or buildings
  • Direct income support related to direct payments to producers to offset their loss of income due to fluctuations in production
  • Financing charges and loan interest payments
  • Costs incurred prior to April 1, 2013
  • Expenses incurred for other approved GF2 projects

What Amount of Ontario Government Funding is available under the Project Implementation Stream?

Ontario government grants cover 50-75% of eligible project costs. The amount of organizational or small business grants funding depends on the innovativeness of the project. Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate industry contributed funds. Note:  In-kind contributions are eligible for up to 15% of the projects total costs, under this stream.

What Constitutes an Innovative Project?

An innovative project is one that is:

  • Offers something new that has the potential to significantly benefits Ontario
  • Has a level of risk  that hasn’t yet been widely proven or implemented on a large scale
  • The project contains a plan to communicate the new knowledge to the Ontario industry community in a useful way that engages & implements the project knowledge.
  • The project positions Ontario as a potential global leader

Is there a Maximum Ontario or Canadian Small Business Grants Established?

Yes.  During the 5-year term of the Growing Forward 2 Program, a specific Organization or Collaboration can access a maximum of $3 million dollars total under the Growing Forward 2 programs.

What is involved in Ontario Funding for Small Business & Organizations Application Process?

There is a two-stage application process for the Project Implementation Stream. The first stage, “Pre-proposal” is received on an on-going basis and has an approximate turn-around of 5-10 business days. Upon acceptance of the pre-proposal, “Full proposals” will be accepted on an on-going basis for projects of less than $20,000. For those projects costing more than $20,000 the full proposal will need to be submitted on one of the following due dates for 2013: September 5th, October 24th and December 12th. The evaluation of these larger proposals will take approximately 6-8 weeks.

Contact an Ontario Small Business Grants Expert to Get Started

If your business would like to submit a proposal for Ontario business grants for agricultural programs, please contact a Canadian government funding expert. If you require more information please choose from one of the following:

Get-StartedEligibility-CriteriaProgram-OverviewOPA Business Funding Grants Update

Learn More about Ontario Business Grants and Loans for Agriculture and Agriculture Industries

If you would like to keep up to date on happenings in the world of Canadian small business grants and small business loans connect with Canadian government funding experts on LinkedIn and Twitter, and sign up for our Canadian government funding weekly e-newsletter.

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Ryan has a BA in economics, an MSc in management, and several published works including two books. As Marketing Analyst at Mentor Works, Ryan enjoys communicating with business owners & executives about government grants and funding available to help overcome obstacles to growth.

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