bigstock-Business-woman-standing-in-ful-45093079Ontario has established itself as one of Canada’s most attractive regions to invest or start a new business. The area’s access to skilled talent and the availability to receive financial support through Ontario Government Grants for Small Business are some of the province’s most attractive attributes. These features are intended to attract and support the growth small businesses while increasing job creation and prosperity within the province.

Canadian Small Business Startup Grants and Loans

Find out what you need to do in order to qualify for small business grants for new business.  Start by downloading a Free Funding for Small Businesses and Start-ups Checklist and we will send you additional information on how to infuse tens of thousands of dollars into your strategic growth plan.


Business Startup Grants for Small Business Hiring and Training

Small business owners are attracted to Ontario’s close proximity to a large talent pool of skilled graduates from Ontario’s post-secondary institutions. The Ontario Government also provides several opportunities to subsidize the costs of hiring these graduates through lucrative wage subsidy programs as well as small business funding grants for post-secondary collaboration.

Ontario Small Business Grants for Hiring: Eligibility Requirements

While additional eligibility criteria exists for each specific program, the following are general requirements for most small business hiring grants programs:

  • Employees must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or have been granted refugee status,
  • Employees must be 15-29 years of age,
  • Must provide eligible work experience
  • For the majority of programs employees must be a recent graduate of a post-secondary institution (within past 5 years).

The employment period must be a between a minimum of 3 months, and a maximum of 12 months. Learn more about hiring through Ontario small business grants programs, or select “Find Hiring Grants” in order to submit your hiring plans for review by a Canadian government funding expert that can inform you of your eligibility and next steps.

Hiring Grants for Business Canada

Canadian Government Funding for Research and Development

Once a small business has secured a team of skilled individuals, their next step would be to develop or commercialize their product or service.  The Ontario Government provides several business funding grants for the development and commercialization of innovative products or technologies. Some of these would include:

  • MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF): Entrepreneurs can receive up to $500K in a fully-repayable business grant for the early stage development and commercialization of an innovative product or technology. Businesses would be expected to repay the full amount within three years at an interest rate one above prime with a 5% equity position.
  • IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP): The ARP program provides up to $50K in non-repayable business funding grants; covering 80% of the direct labour and 50% of the sub-contractors or a technical reseabigstock-touch-pad-concept-31114436rch and development project. Funding could apply to product design, marketing, productivity, improvements, and software implementation.

Next Steps for Government Small Business Grants

Start-ups and young businesses can access additional information on the Small Business Grants in Ontario mentioned in this article by signing up for our Free 60 Minute Canadian Government Funding Workshop or contacting one of our Small Business Funding Consultants. Businesses can also receive the latest news regarding government funding Canada by subscribing to our Weekly E-Newsletter or following us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Canadian Small Business Funding News

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Written by

Mike is a Business Development Intern with Mentor Works. He is currently in the midst of receiving his Undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo’s Environment & Business Co-op Program. He plans to specialize his degree in Economics and Environmental Finance.

  • Vicki

    Very good initiative from the government and lets give credit to that, hope that there will be more programs that will help not only in business sector but also for individuals.

  • Adam

    Hi! I am trying to open a new business in general contracting. I would really like to hear more about government grants to assist small business owners on their start up. Could you please email me some information on grant opportunities that might help me in my endeavors?

    • Hello Adam,
      Thank you for visiting our blog!
      I believe you should begin by downloading our government funding for start-ups checklist ( )-to see what you need to do on your end in order to qualify. Keep in mind, for startups, with no employees you are likely to have few options aside from loans, and grants for hiring. However, mind you that some of the grants for hiring are as much as $20K or more.

      Thanks again for stopping by, and best of luck to you!

  • Steph Lobsinger

    I am a young person wanting to open up a boarding kennel for dogs. I am wondering what government funding there is available for young business owners to start up their business. Could you please give me some advice?

  • I have been running a mail order business for the past 10 years and am now ready to make it into a brick and mortar store. Can someone point me in the right direction to find any grants that I may be entitled to try for. I really need to find out so I can this launched sooner than later. I just need some guidance. thanks in advance. Mark Fisher

  • Kim Woodside

    I wish to open a business devoted to the preservation of a historical mining site. The business involves scientific research as well as the historical documentation. Which grants should I expect some level of success?

  • Hi Mark,

    Thank you very much for visiting our blog, and for leaving a comment. Unfortunately, government funding does not cover retail expansion – unless in a few cases of which the recipient must either manufacture and/or perform R&D in Canada. However, your non-sales positions may qualify for funding for hiring – I would check out some of the programs listed here: and sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already. Best of luck to you!

  • Hi Kim,
    Thanks for your comment. Wow, sounds interesting. I am quite sure I haven’t yet heard of a business quite like yours. It depends. If you are primarily in tourism and/or retail then I am afraid there is not much available. However, seeing as you are in Northern, ON (If I am not mistaken!) definitely check out funding programs offered through NOHFC, in particular their funding for start-ups: