Top Small Business Grants and Loans for Manufacturing

Bottle industryMentor Works recently revised our list of the Top 5 Small business grants and loans programs for manufacturers in light of program changes. Among the countless small business grants and loans programs offered both provincially and on a federal level, small and medium-sized businesses in the manufacturing space qualify for a greater proportion than nearly any other sector.   Mentor Works has profiled the Top 5 small business grants and small business loans for the manufacturing sector.

(For more information on each individual program please click on the program’s title to access greater detail regarding the program, eligibility factors and updates on recent releases of funding.  If you believe that you qualify for these programs Contact a Canadian government funding expert to get the application process started.)

IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) Funding for Research and Development

If your firm has qualified for SR&ED and has been incorporated for at least 2 years then IRAP funding is likely a fit for your firm.   IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) Canadian small business grants can help fund a variety of projects that aim to solve a technical challenge and covers up to 80% of direct labor costs and 50% of subcontractor fees, up to $50,000.  A few of the many projects that our clients have leveraged IRAP government grants for small business to support include:

  • Technology Adoption, Assessment, and Feasibility Studies
  • Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Projects
  • Product Development & Commercialization
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Web Presence Optimization Strategies

IRAP Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP)

Government funding for research and development through IRAP Digital Technology Pilot Project (DTAPP) provides Canadian companies with between 15 to 500 employees Canadian business grants to help them increase internal efficiencies by adopting new forms of technology.   This Canada small business grants program offers organizations as much as $100,000 which covers up to 80% of direct labour and 75% of subcontractor costs associated with eligible projects.   One of the most popular uses of this particular program is for includes funding for ERP System Implementation and Upgrading.    Other projects typically covered through this small business funding grants program include:

  • Adoption of digital systems, including barcoding systems and RFID infrastructures
  • Extension of ERP modules for sales/AR, multi-product configurator and financial reporting
  • Implementation of new software and order entry configurator for order placement a& confirmation

iSTEM Small Business Grants for Hiring

There are several small business grants for hiring programs that manufacturers can look to take advantage of, for companies from Ontario one of our favorites is iSTEM or GEI Ontario business grants.  “STEM” stands for science, technology, engineering and math, and this program helps small and medium-sized businesses to hire some of the brightest young talents from these fields through Ontario grants for small business amounting to as much as 50% of their wage.   This Ontario small business grants program is offered through a number of top-rated post-secondary schools throughout Ontario, including:  The University of Waterloo, Ryerson, the University of Toronto, and more.    This government funding for business program will cover 50% of a graduates wages over a period of six months, up to $10,000 for a Bachelor’s graduate and $15,000 for a Master’s or PhD graduate.   This program has fit in very nicely with clients that have received funding for technical projects through an IRAP program.

SOFII Unsecured Small Business Loans Ontario

The Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII) is a $20 million Ontario business loans program funded through FedDev Ontario as a part of their Prosperity Initiative.

This government funding for business program offers small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario unsecured loans of $150,000 to $500,000.   Additional small business loans Ontario details:

  • The interest rate will depend on an individual firm’s risk profile (between 5-12%)
  • 10 year amortization, 4-10 year term loan agreements
  • May allow up to 6 months of interest only payments at the beginning of the loan
  • This Ontario small business loans program is divided into two regions, Eastern Ontario and Western Ontario

Connect with Small Business Grants and Loans Experts from Mentor Works

Looking to stay in the know regarding Canadian small business grants and loans opportunities available to your business?  Sign up for our Canadian government funding weekly e-newsletter for regular updates.  If your Ontario business has at least 15 employees and has been incorporated for a minimum of 2 years, sign up a free Canadian government funding workshop today.   You can also follow us on your favorite social media network, including LinkedIn!


  1. I’m looking to see what Grants or Funding are available through your organization in regards to Health and Safety Training, Policy/Procedure Development etc.

    If there are Grants/Funding available here is the information I would need:

    1.) Start Date
    2.) End Date
    3.) Requirements (Location, what needs to be submited, type of company that would qualify etc)

    4.)Who the Grants are appropriate for

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Best Regards,

    Shawna Loucks

    1. Hello Shawna,
      Unfortunately health and safety training would be considered “orientation” and so there are not any programs that we know of that will cover such training. Government grants are widely available for advanced training, particularly how to use new capital equipment or software, etc.

      Best Regards,

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