The late-stage commercialization stage is both an exciting and stressful time for any company; as final steps are taken to finally bring a new product to market. While your feelings at this point can likely be described as a mix of joy and relief considering you have made it this far and have decided to forge ahead, you also know that late-stage commercialization is often the most expensive phase of a firm’s commercialization efforts. Whether or not your funding strategy has gone as planned thus far, many small and medium-sized businesses will find the late-stage commercialization stage of product development an inopportune time to endure restrictions due to inadequate levels of cash. This moves many SME owners to investigate alternative funding sources.
SOFII and SWODF Small Business Loans Ontario Offer Assistance to Ontario SMEs
Fortunately, for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in Southern Ontario, there are options available to help your business overcome this final obstacle leading up to commercial-success. Ontario government sponsored small business loans programs include SOFII and SWODF. The Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII) is a funding option available to SMEs that have not secured Angel or venture capital investments and continue to foster the generation of early revenue stability. Additionally, another opportunity exists for SMEs in the process of late-stage commercialization, the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) business funding grant/loan program.
SOFII Ontario Small Business Loans Details
Small business loans offered through SOFII supports the growth of knowledge-based industry SMEs through loans addressing all aspects of innovative business challenges. Objectives are to foster creation of jobs, increase market penetration, improve competitiveness and ensure stability in participating organizations.
Amount: Loans from $150,000-$500,000 at an interest rate ranging approximately from 8%-12%.
Timeline: Open and accepting applications.
Eligibility: Employ 30-500 employees, operate in Southern Ontario, ability to repay loan, project demonstrates job creation and will provide either late stage commercialization, new product or service.
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SWODF Business Development and Regional Streams of Ontario Small Business Loans
The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) offers small business loans Ontario through two separate streams. The “Business Stream” described below is the program of interest to for-profit enterprises.
SWODF Business Stream Loan Details
The SWODF “Business Stream” is for business development and the expansion of SMEs located in the Southwestern Ontario region, with a focus on creating jobs, attracting new investments and facilitating new business initiatives.
Amount: Up to 15% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $1.5 million in non-repayable grant funding for projects with budgets up to $10 million. Projects with budgets that exceed this amount may be eligible to receive a repayable government loan of up to $5 million.
Timeline: Open, accepting applications.
Eligibility: Applicants must have been established for at least 3 years, have 10 or more full-time
employees, and be located in Southwestern Ontario. Projects must be completed within a 2-4 year timeline and create at least 10 new full-time positions depending upon project size and company size.
Learn More about SWODF Business Stream Small Business Loans
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