The Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII) is a new Canadian government funding program that was released yesterday. FedDev Ontario announced that this $20M investment funded by their Prosperity Initiative would support SME’s across Southern Ontario. There was a strong realization that innovation is critical to creating high-value job opportunities and creating a prosperous economic future. SOFII will provide a $12M fund in the West and an $8M fund in the East. Southern Ontario’s two regional Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) will administer these two funds.
Southern Ontario Government Funding Overview
The primary initiative of this loan funding for business is to support the growth of knowledge-based industry SMEs through loans addressing all aspects of innovative business challenges. This Canadian government funding program’s objective is to:
- Foster creation of jobs
- Improve competitiveness
- Increase market penetration
- Ensure stability in participating companies
Eligible Industry Sectors:
- Health biotech
- New materials
- Information technology
- Medical equipment
These repayable loans are intended to help finance:
- Late stage commercialization;
- New product or service development;
- New applications or markets; or
- Development or implementation of new processes or technologies
During the project’s first two years, this Canadian government funding program will provide loans from $150,000 to $500,000. These loans are expected to help grow 80 Southern Ontario SMEs and create or maintain over 700 full-time jobs. By administering a risk assessment, the appropriate interest rate will be decided and will range from 8%-12%. Additionally, amortization periods will range from 3-10 years with average term estimated at 6 years. This funding for small business will help increase the competitiveness of Southern Ontario businesses, the economic diversification of communities and create more jobs.
SOFII Ontario Government Funding Eligibility
Eligible applicants for this government funding for business must be of the private sector knowledge-based industry SMEs operating in Southern Ontario. Approved projects must result in the adaptation or adoption of new technologies, processes and development of skills that enhances business productivity or commercialization of a new product or service. This loan product focuses on commercialization and business expansion efforts and is not intended for research and development projects. Eligible organizations will meet the following criteria:
- Employ 50-500 employees or strong chance of reaching 50 employees within term of loan
- Operate in Southern Ontario
- Unable to obtain financing from other sources
- Project demonstrates job creation
- Establish expectation of economic viability
- Demonstrate ability to repay loan
- Secured participation of other financial support
- Demonstrates projects will provide either late stage commercialization, new product or service development, development or implementation of new processes or technologies, or new applications or markets
If you are a federal or provincial government department, agency, board, corporation, post-secondary institution or not-for-profit company you are ineligible for this government funding.
The Western Region (WOCFDCA) services the following census defined areas:
- Barrie, Brant, Bruce, Chatham-Kent, Dufferin, Elgin, Essex, Grey, Haldimand-Norfolk, Halton, Hamilton, Huron, Lambton, London, Middlesex, Niagara, Oxford, Peel, Perth, Simcoe, Waterloo and Wellington
The Eastern Region (EOCFDC) services the following census defined areas:
- Durham, Frontenac, Haliburton, Hastings, Kawartha Lakes, Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, Lennox and Addington, Northumberland, Ottawa, Peterborough, Prescott and Russell, Prince Edward, Renfrew, Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, Toronto and York.
SOFII Funding for Small Business Application
There is a two-stage process to apply for the Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation. Firstly, your company will need to fill out the preliminary questionnaire that includes project and business details. Secondly, all qualified applicants must complete a Business Loan application that may include a business plan, 3 years of financial statements, business and bank credit information, disclosure and release statements and list of business assets.
SOFII and other Canadian Government Funding Support
For more information regarding the SOFII Ontario Government Funding Program and the eligibility and application process please choose from one of the following:
If you are interested in gaining support on writing these applications, I encourage you to contact one of our Canadian Government Funding Experts. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter to receive frequent updates on these Canadian government funding programs.