Canadian Fall Leaves

The wind is cooling, the leaves are falling, and the sun is slowly dimming. In the coming months, Canadians will pack up their canoes, winterize their cottages, and spend more time indoors, not unlike the initial quarantine we had just months ago. As the seasons change and adapt to new circumstances, so do the government funding programs available for businesses.

In this blog post, you will discover our top choices for government grant programs, government loan programs, and government funding programs for COVID-19 support.

As the Government of Canada works tirelessly to support the economic instability resulting from the pandemic, the continuous success and growth of our country’s small business operations is more important than ever. From hiring and training grants, to low-interest loans for tech adoption and innovation, to funding support to help businesses combat COVID-19, there are a wide array of government funding programs available this fall.

Top 5 Government Grant Programs for Fall 2020

Canada Job Grant (CJG)

The Canada Job Grant is a Canadian government funding program designed to reduce the costs of providing third-party skills training to new and existing employees. It is available across Canada, with each province and territory responsible for co-branding and developing a system that’s suited towards its workforce and business makeup.

  • Amount: Non-repayable grant contributions of 50-100% of training costs (e.g., course, exams, textbooks, software resources, etc.) to a maximum $5,000 to $15,000 per trainee.
  • Eligibility: Canadian SME with $2M liability insurance. Trainees must be a permanent Canadian citizen or granted refugee status.

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund provides SMEs with grants to cover expenses related to purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), renovations required for physical space guidelines, and for developing and/or improving e-commerce capabilities.

  • Amount: Non-repayable grant contributions of up to $5,000 towards pandemic recovery efforts such as PPE purchases, e-commerce capabilities, and physical space changes and/or renovations.
  • Eligibility: Canadian SME from all sectors and regions of Canada with at least $2M in liability insurance. Must be an incorporated SME as of March 1, 2020.

FedDev Ontario RRRF RE3 Program

The FedDev Ontario total investment of $4 million via the RRRF will support over 700 women-led businesses across southern Ontario through the newly established Rebuild Reopen Revive (RE3) Initiative.

  • Amount: Non-repayable grant contributions of up to $5,000 to support eligible women entrepreneurs with the reopening of their businesses.
  • Eligibility: A woman, or women, who drive the direction of a business (for a minimum of one year) with majority ownership (at least 51% equity stake) and located in western or eastern Ontario.

Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC)

ISC provides government grants and procurement contracts to stimulate technology research, development, and commercialization. The program helps startups and small/medium-sized businesses (SMEs) overcome technology development hurdles so that they can produce globally-demanded products and services, while also improving government operations.

  • Amount: Phase 1: Grants up to $150k; Phase 2: Grants up to $1M; Phase 3: Government procurement contracts with no fixed maximum.
  • Eligibility: For-profit, privately held Canadian businesses with fewer than 499 FTE employees.

OCE Customer Demonstration Program

The OCE Customer Demonstration Program provides Ontario government grants to support technology demonstrations between two or more Ontario-based businesses to demonstrate the value of smart computing products/services.

  • Amount: Up to 50% coverage of eligible expenses to a maximum $50k.
  • Eligibility: Partnership: For-profit Ontario SME with a validated innovative product/service, and a commercial partner/strategic client for the product/service.

Top 5 Government Loan Programs for Fall 2020

Business Scale-up and Productivity Program (BSP) Southern Ontario

The BSP Program accelerates company growth and helps businesses adopt/adapt innovative technologies that support productivity. Funding supports early adoption or adaptation of innovative technologies and processes, commercializing/producing new products or processes, expanding management capacity, and researching/developing export markets.

  • Amount: Repayable contribution (no-interest loan) of up to 35% of eligible project expenses to a maximum $10 million. Minimum ask of $500k.
  • Eligibility: Southern Ontario businesses, incorporated and profitable for three or more years. Must have five or more employees. Pre-revenue companies and those with fewer than five employees require proof of scale-up potential.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP)

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is a $3 billion investment to be allocated over a five-year span. Contributed by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments across Canada, CAP provides a framework for agri-food industry funding and is the primary system used to disburse repayable grant funding contributions to SMEs, non-profits, and other major industry stakeholders.

  • Amount: The CAP Program provides several streams of federal and provincial funding opportunities ranging from grants and loans for a maximum of up to $10M.
  • Eligibility: Specific criteria varies for each stream. Base eligibility includes: Southern Ontario businesses, incorporated and profitable for three or more years. Must have five or more employees.

Green Municipal Fund (GMF)

The Green Municipal Fund (GMF) is a Canadian government grant program that provides financial support to municipalities displaying an innovative solution to environmental issues. As administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the GMF supports all stages of environmental projects, including planning, conducting feasibility studies, investing in capital projects, and leading pilot projects.

  • Amount: GMF provides several streams funding opportunities ranging from grants and loans for a maximum of up to $500k.
  • Eligibility: Specific criteria varies for each stream. Base eligibility includes: Southern Ontario businesses, incorporated and profitable for three or more years. Must have five or more employees.

Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)

The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) is a federal government funding program directed at Canada’s technology and industrial sectors. SIF provides financial grants and loans of up to 50% of a project’s costs with the intent of promoting venture into the types of activities which drive continuous productivity and economic advantages.

  • Amount: Minimum funding contribution of $10 million per project. Type of financial support awarded is at the discretion of the program; this can consist of a combination of repayable financial support and/or financial reimbursements up to 50% of project costs.
  • Eligibility: Incorporated Canadian businesses with high growth potential and the ability to drive innovation.

Southwestern/Eastern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF/EODF)

The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) and the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) are business expansion funding programs that encourage businesses to invest in innovative facilities and equipment. The programs attract SME and large-scale projects that provide a substantial impact on business productivity and create new employment openings within a company. Through the programs, successful applicants will receive grants or a combination of grants and repayable loans to offset project costs.

  • Amount: Up to 15% of project expenses to a maximum of $500,000-$5,000,000.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must have been established for at least 3 years, have 10 or more full-time employees (5 FTE in rural communities), commit to creating at least 5 new jobs, and be located in southwestern/eastern Ontario.

Government Funding Programs for COVID-19 Support

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) funds up to 75% of employee wages while businesses recover from novel coronavirus impacts.

  • Amount: Up to 75% of the first $58,700 earned per employee. This equates to a subsidy of up to $847/week per employee.
  • Eligibility: Be an eligible employer, have a reduction in revenue related to COVID-19, and have a CRA payroll account on or before March 15, 2020.

Regional Relief & Recovery Fund (RRRF)

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was created to provide financial contributions (interest-free loans) to help support the fixed operating costs of Ontario SMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Amount: Repayable contribution (no-interest loan) of up to 35% of eligible project expenses to a maximum $10 million. Minimum ask of $500k.
  • Eligibility: Southern Ontario businesses, incorporated and profitable for three or more years. Must have five or more employees. Pre-revenue companies and those with fewer than five employees require proof of scale-up potential.

Hiring Grants

To help offset costs associated with new hires, there are also various hiring grants available across Canada. Funding is typically quantified by the type of candidate hired and how long the contract will be; less funding is available to hire interns while more funding is available to support recent graduates.

  • Amount: Depends on candidate type. Interns/Co-op students may help a business leverage an incentive of $5,000 to $7,000 per incremental new hire. Recent graduates may help a business leverage an incentive of $12,000 to $15,000 per new hire.
  • Eligibility: Canadian for-profits and non-profits with the capacity to provide meaningful work experiences in an industry field. Candidates should be in (or recently graduated from) a business or educational program.

Learn More About Grants and Loans for Your Business

The Canadian government grant and loan programs listed above are intended for small to medium-sized businesses that have been incorporated for at least 3 years, generate at least $500,000 in annual revenue, and have 15 or more employees.  If you do not meet these qualifications, please visit our source for Canadian Startup Business Resources.

Looking to get started on accessing government funding opportunities? Connect with the Mentor Works team to learn which funding program could fit for your business, and make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Funding Newsletter to stay notified of the latest government funding news and updates.

Canadian Small Business Funding News

Share with friends   

Written by

Alena Barreca has worked in a variety of media communications roles in numerous industries. As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Alena enjoys utilizing her creative and analytical mind to help strengthen ongoing marketing strategies.

Comments 0

Leave a Reply