Attracting investments are a key component of any government funding program, and are especially a focus within the Province of Ontario. The Ontario government leverages Ontario government grants to support businesses’ strategic priorities, such as making capital investments, and for good reason: attracting investment is a long-term strategy that helps competitive, innovative businesses grow domestically.
Economic development is a key concern for all levels of government within Canada. Especially as world economies become increasingly globalized, governments must promote investments however possible. Business investments create jobs, expand productivity and innovative capacity, and encourage exporting to global consumers. All of these benefits of business investment solidify Canada’s international competitiveness.
Business expansion funding is plentiful in Ontario; companies making large-scale operational investments may access three main programs to support their project spends. These programs include the Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF), the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF), and the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF).
Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF) Business Expansion Funding
The Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF) is a 10-year (2015-2025) initiative that was provided with $2.5 billion in funding from the provincial government. The fund was created to support corporations who are relocating to Ontario and businesses who are implementing large-scale business expansion projects that position the business to become more competitive among global competitors.
Eligible applicants may receive up to 20-40% of project expenses in Ontario government grants, depending on how the project will impact the business, their industry, and the economy as a whole. Projects must include a minimum budget of $5-10 million in order to be considered as a JPF recipient, since the program focuses exclusively on attracting large-scale business investment.
As of April 2016, $784 million has been awarded through Jobs and Prosperity funding. These contributions have helped secure $7.32 billion in private-sector investment and created or retained jobs for 37,296 Ontarians.
Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF)
The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) is a provincial funding program designed to assist small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) overcome financial growth barriers. Projects including capital equipment purchase, workforce training programs, facility expansions, and product/process enhancements are all well suited for the program.
Successful SWODF applicants may receive up to 10-15% of eligible project expenses to a maximum $1.5 million in Ontario government grants. An additional $3.5 million in repayable funding (government loans) may be requested for large projects.
At the time of this article’s posting, SWODF has committed $91 million in Ontario small business grants to businesses. These investments have stimulated more than $949 million in spending by Ontario businesses and have also meant 24,879 full-time positions have been retained or created.
Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF)
The Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) was designed to provide a pool of economic development funding for companies located in eastern Ontario. The fund’s priorities are similar to other small business funding programs: creating jobs, producing more products, and expanding international sales. Integrating as much of these three elements as possible will help strengthen EODF applications.
Similar to SWODF, EODF provides up to 10-15% of a company’s investments to a maximum $1.5 million in small business grants, while projects with sizeable budgets may receive up to $3.5 million in additional loans to extend the company’s cash flow.
From the program’s launch until April 2016, the Government of Ontario has awarded $33 million in funding to businesses through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund. This spending has helped secure over $308 million in strategic investments by private businesses. Overall, EODF has assisted to create and retain 6,326 full-time positions for Ontarian workers.
Access Ontario Government Grants for Your Business Expansion Projects
Small business grants are a smart, proactive way to ensure your company has the resources it needs to accomplish strategic projects. Businesses may access a range of government funding programs to reduce the cost of capital investments, workforce development, research and development, and business expansion projects.
To learn more about Canadian government grants and loans, please download the Canadian Small Business Funding Guide. Included in this free white paper, you will learn how programs receive funding, what types of projects they seek to fund, and how you can begin the application process.