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Growing Northern Ontario Businesses – $800k Rural Economic Development Program (RED) Investment

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, job retention and the creation of new jobs has become an even larger priority for the Ontario provincial government. Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen the Canadian government shift their funding focus towards programs that help create and retain new jobs across all provinces. One of the programs that has recently gained momentum is the Rural Economic Development (RED) program.

Sixteen economic diversification projects have received a combined total of $800,000 through the Rural Economic Development (RED) program.

These 16 projects will create new skilled jobs and retain workers in local communities, thanks to the $800k investment.

What Will This Rural Funding Investment Be Used For?

The RED investment funding is supporting projects that will help diversify local economies such as:

  • Creating northern Ontario mentoring, coaching, and youth help services for job searches, hiring, and starting businesses.
  • Support for business attraction, expansion, and retention in rural communities.
  • Developing industry partnerships.
  • Recruiting and coaching Indigenous women into skilled trades.
  • Introducing asset management strategies to 30 economic development officers to better operationalize potential investments and build economic development capacity.

What the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Had to Say

When Ernie Hardeman, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, announced the 16 local projects that were selected, he said:

“This new targeted funding is just one of the many ways our government is supporting job creation and economic development across the province. We’re encouraging local economic growth by supporting projects that help expand businesses and provide skills development and training for employees. These kinds of investments are particularly important as we lay the foundation for our recovery from COVID-19.”

Are You Eligible for Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Funding?

The RED program supports projects that help to diversify the economies of rural communities and retain/create jobs. The Rural Economic Development (RED) Program is not currently accepting applicants at the time of writing, but you can subscribe to the Mentor Works Weekly Funding Update to hear about future RED intakes and other business funding programs, like Hiring & Training programs, or Business Expansion programs.

Want to know more about when your business should plan to apply for funding? Download our free When to Apply for Government Funding slide deck to learn how your business can take advantage of federal and provincial grant, loan, and wage subsidy programs.

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