There’s a reason that Ontario currently has the highest number of active small businesses (1-99 employees) as compared to any other province in Canada. Ontario’s high growth in small businesses is present in every sector due to continued support from government funding programs towards the economic wellbeing and success of the province’s business owners and entrepreneurs. The government funding initiatives outlined in this blog exist to boost Ontario’s job creation and provide space for businesses to succeed in innovative projects.
To learn more about what your business can do in order to qualify for small business government grants, download our free Funding Checklist.
Despite the multitude of funding support available, it can be difficult for small businesses to access grants to support their growth. Canadian government funding is primarily available for established small businesses such as those that have been incorporated for more than three years and have a steady revenue stream, but financial support is also available for startups and entrepreneurs.
For businesses looking for funding opportunities, it can take significant effort to search through available programs, learn how to develop a competitive application, and then submit a request for grants and/or loans. Fortunately, our resources exist to support small business owners as they navigate the process and access funding.
Government Grants for Ontario Small Business Support
Small business support in the form of government funding comes in many shapes and sizes, but arguably the most important grants that are currently available are those that support the recovery from impacts caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. These are grants that offset costs associated with employee wages, protective personal equipment (PPE), and adjustments to abide by physical distancing guidelines. Here are a few available grant programs for Ontario small businesses to take advantage of:
- Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): Eligible Ontario businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply to offset up to 75% of employee wages.
- Ontario Resilience Fund: Eligible municipalities and non-profit organizations can receive between $5,000 to $150,000 in COVID-19 government funding grants.
- Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF): Not-for-profit businesses can receive grants of up to $75,000 and 100% of costs for community-based projects, and $200,000 for National/Provincial projects.
For a full list of government funding support for Ontario small businesses during the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Support Page.
Ontario Grants for Small Business Hiring and Training
Small business owners in Ontario have access to a large talent pool of skilled graduates from Ontario’s top-class post-secondary institutions. The Ontario Government provides several opportunities to subsidize the costs of hiring and training graduates through lucrative wage subsidy programs as well as small business funding grants for post-secondary collaboration.
Hiring and Training Grants: Eligibility Requirements
While additional eligibility criteria do exist for each specific program, the following are general requirements for the majority of 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 government grants to support your new and incoming 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.
Ontario Business Grants 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 provincial government of Ontario provides several business grants for the development and commercialization of innovative products or technologies. Some of these current programs include:
- Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC): Canadian innovators can access grants and procurement contracts to research and develop solutions for government COVID-19 challenges.
- Mitacs Offering 3-to-1 Investment Ratio for COVID-19 R&D Projects: Mitacs offers a 3-to-1 investment ratio to support Canadian researchers to develop solutions to COVID-19.
Next Steps for Accessing Ontario Small Business Grants
Small business owners in Ontario can access additional information on how to qualify for federal and provincial government funding programs by downloading our free Funding Checklist.
Download the Government Funding Checklist from Mentor Works to set your startup or entrepreneur business up for successful funding applications down the road.