Ontario Business Grants – Eastern Ontario Development Fund

The Eastern Ontario Development Fund was announced in 2008, as a four year program ending in March 2012, and is still accepting applications.  Previously, we profiled this fund in our July 2011 Blog and based on the near closing date, Mentor Works has researched the key eligibility factors and project criteria to contribute growth and diversification to the Eastern Ontario’s economic region.

One of the primary purposes of this fund is investment in Eastern Ontario’s business stream of manufacturers, technology (i.e. ICT and green), tourism, cultural industries, digital media, and processing such as agricultural, food and forestry sectors by encouraging the introduction of new innovative approaches and technologies. Overall, the objective is to strengthen Eastern Ontario’s competitive positioning and support job creation.

Types of Projects for Funding– New Technologies and Innovation

The development efforts are to promote the expansion and attraction of investment for businesses in Eastern Ontario through support for capital spending, skills development and infrastructure needs. Examples of economic development initiatives include:

  • Introduction of new products or services including market research projects or feasibility studies to assess the long-term viability of the perceived business opportunity
  • Quality improvement to meet new markets or clients
  • Quality improvements to meet new service standards or product standards
  • Productivity or efficiency improvements to re-position for growth
  • Expansion and retrofitting of existing business facility
  • Software development projects to support business operations and integration advancements
  • Skills training for human resources development
  • Engineering/consulting fees to commission new equipment, technology or systems.
  • New high performance equipment and machinery and new upgrades

Projects are not intended to support restructuring, capital replacement, land, building or refinancing purposes. Ongoing operational labour costs, general marketing costs and working capital costs that are associated with regular operations of your business or those, which cannot be directly linked to a project to advance your business, are ineligible for EODF funding.

Small Business Funding Grants – Key Funding Conditions

Supporting economic development and job creation (i.e. 10 new net jobs by the end of your project or a 50% increase of workforce if between 10-20 FTEs), the EODF is a grant contribution of up to 15% of your project costs and will be assessed on:

  • The businesses ability to contribute at least 50 per cent of total project costs from their own operating  resources or through private financing. Of the remaining 50 per cent, 35 per cent can come from other public sector funding sources (examples: federal, provincial or municipal programs or other public institutions).
  • Strength of business planning to address environment, prospects and potential for growth of new business activity
  • Viability of market-related project based on technical strengths and level of innovation
  • New investment in local economy with job creation and/or retained FTEs and enhance the skills of the existing workforce
  • Business expansion plans with total eligible project costs of >$500,000 (i.e. up to five years)
  • Current management expertise to carry out project

Eastern Region Focus for Ontario Business Expansion

It serves the following 13 Ontario counties: Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, Northumberland, Price Edward, Lennox & Addington, Frontenac, Lanark, Leeds &Grenville,  Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry, Prescott & Russell, Renfrew and Rural Ottawa (i.e. excluding urban Ottawa).

To get started, fill out the Checklist Form and email to eodf@ontario.ca. Upon approval, you will proceed to submit a full application where project expenses are defined in detail with an action plan. The project can advance up to a 5 year period.

For our other Rural Ontario government grants, consider other programs listed on our site for Government Funding for Business such as the Community Futures Development programs. As Canadian government funding experts, Mentor Works, provides assistance to selecting and writing small business funding grants to help you accelerate your growth and solve innovation challenges. We look forward to supporting your financing design challenges.

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