In 2012, Statistics Canada compared Canadian business’ commitment to introducing new innovations within their organization between 2007-2009 and 2010-2012. When comparing these time periods, trends can be seen towards an increased focus on organizational innovation, as well as a dedication towards product innovation. These two metrics relate to productivity improvements throughout the organization, often carried out through the adoption of advanced technologies, and striving for innovation in their product offerings through internal R&D.
The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI) supports these two focuses through the recently launched the 10-year, $2.5 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF). This new Ontario business funding program will help advance innovation, productivity, and grow Ontario export activity while creating jobs. The JPF small business funding program was formed to stimulate global competitiveness of Ontario-based businesses in key industries.
Ontario Business Grants & Loans Available through Jobs and Prosperity Fund
The Jobs and Prosperity Fund launched in January 2015 and has already supported Ontario businesses through the program. Linamar has received approximately $50 million in Ontario business grants from the Jobs and Prosperity Initiative on top of a $50.7 million repayable Canadian government loan through the Automotive Innovation Fund to support the development of a lightweight automotive transmission, which will create 1,200 new employment opportunities in Ontario.
The Ontario government funding conditions do vary from project to project. Depending on the stream of Jobs and Prosperity Fund that businesses apply for, they could receive small business loans or grants. If applicable, the repayment conditions will be determined by the government body and the applying business upon review of their proposal. Applicants apply for this program as a two-stage process; they submit a proposal and chosen applicants are invited to submit a full application.
Ontario Government Funding Streams
The Jobs and Prosperity Fund will distribute their small business loans and grants under the following three streams:
New Economy Stream
The main objective of this stream is to improve capacity for in-house research & development, improve productivity in the private sector, and foster innovative businesses in expanding their market reach through improved performance and competitiveness. Projects must have at least $10 million in eligible project expenses in order to apply and MEDEI will focus on Ontario’s key sectors, including advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and information and communications technologies (ICT).
Food and Beverage Growth Fund
This stream of the Jobs and Prosperity Fund is specific to food, beverage, and bio-product processing projects in Ontario that help create sustainable jobs, enhance innovation/productivity/market access, and strengthen agri processing supply chains. Projects must have more than $5 million in eligible costs in order to be considered for funding.
Strategic Partnerships Stream
The final stream of the Jobs and Prosperity Fund is designed to help industry partners develop enabling technologies for Ontario’s key sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and ICT. The Strategic Partnerships Stream will support projects with at least $10 million in eligible costs.
Canadian Government Funding for Innovation & Expansion
If you are interested in learning more about the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, please be sure to contact a Mentor Works funding expert. Alternatively, if you have a smaller project than the minimum threshold of Jobs and Prosperity Fund projects, register for an upcoming free Funding Event to discover alternative small business funding sources.