20 wineries from across Ontario were announced as recipients of government funding during Ontario Wine Week 2016. These 20 growing businesses will receive a total of $856,000 to continue their growth and contribution to the local economy. This investment provided through Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Ontario renews the province’s commitment to aiding the expansion and profitability of agricultural processors.
The funding will help to support the explosive growth happening in Ontario’s wine industry and ensure wineries are able to maintain sufficient production that meets global demand. Between 2010 and 2014, Canadian wine exports increased by 332% in volume, however Canadian production levels still represent less than 1% of global wine production. Ontario is Canada’s top contributor of wine exports and shipped $26.6 million worth of product in 2014.
Food and beverage processing is being targeted as a high-priority sector and companies may access government business grants through Growing Forward 2 Ontario. The program offers small business funding for a range of productivity and business expansion projects. Eligible agri-food processors may receive up to 35-50% of project costs to a maximum of $350,000 in Ontario government grants, $100,000 of which can support capital equipment adoption.
GF2 Ontario Funding in Action: Norman Hardie Winery
One of the 20 awarded businesses was Hardie Wines Limited, also known as Norman Hardie Winery. The company received over $43,000 through Growing Forward 2 Ontario to purchase a state-of-the-art wine press with specialized oak barrels, as well as a stackable wine tank system. Both investments will help the business to expand production, grow their brand recognition domestically and internationally, and leverage new economic opportunities.
“We welcome the government support to increase the efficiency of our winery and contribute to its growth… This investment will help us to continue to craft high quality wines straight from Prince Edward County to the glasses of wine lovers.”
– Norman Hardie, Owner of Hardie Wines Limited
How Growing Forward 2 Ontario Assists Small Business Growth
Growing Forward 2 Ontario is a federal-provincial initiative that utilizes a combination of funding to support agricultural producers, processors, and organizations. The 5-year program (available until 2018) supports agri-food industry projects that modernize and innovate a business’ operations and enable higher productivity.
Projects that increase a business’ competitiveness, both domestically and internationally, may be considered for Ontario government grants valued up to $350,000. Businesses applying to the Growing Forward 2 Ontario program should have a project that fits one of the 6 program focus areas, including:
- Productivity and Labour Enhancement;
- Market Development;
- Leadership and Business Development;
- Plant and Animal Health;
- Environment and Climate Change Adaptation; and
- Assurance Systems.
Apply for Growing Forward 2 Ontario Government Grants
A wide range of agricultural producers and processors, including wineries, may apply for Growing Forward 2 Ontario. Businesses should note that GF2 Ontario applications are accepted during a limited intake period. Applicants need to plan their submission ahead of time to ensure that they submit while the program is actively accepting applications.
Agricultural Producers Stream
Agricultural producers may submit Growing Forward 2 Ontario government funding applications on the following intake periods:
- June 17 – July 7, 2016
- October 14 – November 3, 2016
Agricultural Processors Stream
Agricultural processors (such as wineries) may submit Growing Forward 2 Ontario government funding applications on the following intake periods:
- June 23 – July 14, 2016
- October 14 – November 3, 2016
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