Those of you familiar with the CME Smart grant for capital expenditures have probably noticed a note on their online application login page. This note refers to the impending change to CME Smart, which will now be called CME SMART Prosperity Now.

The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) have recently received a new round of funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario’s) Prosperity Initiative funding allocation of $18.9M, which will recreate the eligibility, funding specifications, and objectives of the CME Smart program under the title CME SMART Prosperity Now. This funding grant will provide small business funding grants for companies in the manufacturing industry with a focus on global exporting, capital equipment, and green technology.  The funds will apply to expenditures that relate to the adoption of new and innovative technologies and processes as well as international expansion. CME is looking to provide Canadian SME’s in the manufacturing industry with a competitive advantage in the global export market through the improvement of productivity and reduction of waste.

New Ontario Government Funding Details – Out with the Old, In with the New

The CME has transferred their FedDev Ontario funding from the SMART Program into the new SMART Prosperity Now program.  The previous SMART Program has been discontinued and slightly adjusted to form the new SMART Prosperity Now program. The influences behind these changes were to allow the new program to not only focus on productivity improvements but also business expansion. Some of the major updates have been applied to:

Old: SMART Program New: SMART Prosperity Now
● $50,000 maximum ● $75,000 maximum
● 50% of eligible expenses covered ● 33.3% of eligible expenses covered (excluding land, building, and materials)
● 10-500 employees ● 15-1000 employees
● 4-month projects ● up to 12-month projects
● No marketing expenses ● Marketing expenses not covered, but need to be proven to support new global expansion activities (ie. trade shows, marketing plans, marketing materials, country product regulations, press releases, foreign website expansion)
● Training and direct labour covered ● Training, project management, and direct labour no longer covered
● 5-7 day application window ● Constantly accepting applications until mid-2013 or when all funding is allocated. All application submitted after March 31, 2013  must complete their spend by March 31, 2014.

CME SMART Prosperity Now Ontario Business Grant: Opening Soon

A full list of eligible expenses is available on the SMART Prosperity Now Eligible Costs Page. This program was officially announced on January 10, 2012 and the online application system will not be open until early February 2012. Businesses that have already begun their applications for the old CME SMART fund should cease and wait for the new application process to become available. Expenses incurred prior to application submission will not be considered eligible.

Be advised you will be required to wait until your application is submitted before starting your expense purchases. This Ontario government funding program is available to Southern Ontario companies. To find out if you are in an eligible area, please consult the Census Map.

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Chris holds an Honours B.Comm at the University of Guelph, Majoring in Marketing Management. As Director of Client Management & Development at Mentor Works, Chris specializes in strategic planning through customized funding strategies. Add to your Google+ Circles and follow @ChrisCasemore on Twitter.

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