Top Government Funding Programs for Fall 2022

As 2022 nears its finish line and fall begins to turn to winter, Canadians are spending more time indoors and beginning to prepare for a new year of change and adaptation. During these times, the Government of Canada has also begun to adapt to changing circumstances with the announcement of numerous new funding programs and initiatives available for business growth, innovation, and overall development.

In this post, you will discover our top choices for government grant programs and government loan programs. Additionally, we would also like to bring your attention to tax incentive programs. Take a moment to learn more about these programs in our free SR&ED vs. IRAP resource.

As the Canadian government continues to work on solutions to economic instability, the continued success and growth of our country’s small business operations are more important than ever. From hiring and training grants, to low-interest loans for tech adoption and innovation, to funding support to help businesses tackle the labour market shortage, there are a wide array of government funding programs available this fall.

Top Government Grant Programs for Fall 2022

Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness (AMIC)

The Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness (AMIC) Stream, a new addition to the Regional Development Program (RDP), is designed to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ontario that are operating in the advanced manufacturing industry with grant and loan support. AMIC is focused on companies looking to invest in capital equipment, adopting technology, and developing employee skills.

  • Amount: Successful applicants may receive grants up to 15% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $500,000 for small companies or $1.5 million for strategic projects involving other jurisdictions and foreign direct investments; and/or access loan funding up to 15% of eligible project costs to a maximum of an interest-free $5 million loan (up to four years).
  • Eligibility: Eligible applicants must be in an advanced manufacturing sector such as aerospace, automotive, chemical, ICT, steel, or life sciences. Applicants must also be investing a minimum of $500K in the project and be in, or plan to locate in, a community in Ontario.

Skills Development Fund (SDF)

The Skills Development Fund (SDF) seeks to invest in projects that address labour shortages and stimulate growth in key sectors of Ontario’s economy, increase Ontario’s long-term economic competitive advantage by creating a sustainable and resilient workforce, and help those facing barriers to employment such as people with disabilities, Ukrainian newcomers, people coming out of the criminal justice system, and at-risk youth.

  • Amount: There are no maximum or minimum funding amounts. Projects with $150K+ budget will be prioritized.
  • Eligibility: Applicants may be eligible for funding if they meet the following criteria: Ontario Non-Profits or For-Profits including industry associations and unions; Training Delivery Agents (Colleges and Universities who are publicly assisted may only apply as a co-applicant with a group from another one of the eligible categories); Municipalities, Trade unions / union-affiliated organizations; and Consortiums are also eligible.

Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC)

ISC provides government grants and procurement contracts to stimulate technology research, development, and commercialization. The program helps startups and 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.

Women in Skilled Trades Initiative

The Women in Skilled Trades Initiative focuses specifically on breaking barriers for Canadian women to access a career in skilled trades jobs such as technicians, construction workers, electricians, and more. The program provides eligible organizations with up to $3 million to recruit, retain, and help women succeed in one of the official 39 Red Seals trades.

  • Amount: Eligible organizations can apply for up to 90% of costs to a maximum of $3M per eligible project that is up to 48 months in duration. 
  • Eligibility: Eligible organizations that may apply for this government funding program are Unions;​ Not-for-profit and for-profit organizations; or​ Municipal governments, indigenous organizations, and provincial governments.

Top 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 $10M. 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.

Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) Programs

The Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) has officially announced intakes for the second round of their key research and development programs. These automotive grants encourage Canadian companies to generate new and innovative technologies and systems to advance the automotive industry and place Canada as a leader among global competitors.

  • Amount: A maximum of $1,000,000 in funding can be provided over a maximum 24-month period through this stream. The applicant and/or the private sector are required to match each other’s funds by a minimum of 2:1.
  • Eligibility: Applicants are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) defined as having fewer than 500 global, full-time employees and are required to have operations in Ontario, as well as carry out their project in Ontario.

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 investment in the types of activities which drive continuous productivity and economic advantages.

  • Amount: Minimum funding contribution of $10M 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 these 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 $500K -$5M.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must have been established for at least three years, have 10 or more full-time employees (five FTEs if located in rural communities), commit to creating at least five new jobs, and be located in southwestern/eastern Ontario.

Additional 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 $5K to $7K per incremental new hire. Recent graduates may help a business leverage an incentive of $12K to $15K 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 three years, generate at least $500K 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.

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