Ontario has established itself as one of Canada’s most attractive regions to 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.
Yet for many startups and early-stage businesses, it can be difficult to access funding to support growth. Canadian government funding is available for startups, but it can take considerable effort to search for these programs, learn how to develop a competitive application, then submit a request for startup grants or loans. Fortunately, resources exist to support entrepreneurs and startups to navigate this process and access funding more easily.
Canadian Small Business Startup Grants and Loans
For startups, there are two main types of government funding that are accessible without being incorporated, without having many employees, or past revenues to show. These include startup funding for hiring and training, and startup funding for research and development. Through these programs, startups can begin infusing tens of thousands of dollars into their strategic growth plans.
To find out what you need to do in order to qualify for additional small business grants, download a free funding checklist.
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;
- The employment period must be between 3-12 months;
- 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).
Discover Grants to Support Your Upcoming Hires: Use the Wage Subsidy Identifier contact form to tell us more about your ideal candidates, and we’ll identify small business grants to help offset their wages.
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 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 research and development project. Funding could apply to product design, marketing, productivity, improvements, and software implementation.
Next Steps for Government Small Business Grants
Startups and young businesses can access additional information on how to qualify for Canadian government funding programs by downloading the free Startup Funding Checklist.