The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) offers funding 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. Funding can be used to support projects that involve investing in new capital equipment, developing skills, enhancing productivity, and developing new infrastructure. These sectors are eligible for funding through SWODF: Advanced Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Processing (primary and secondary), Tourism, Information and Communication Technology and Cultural Industries.
- 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; up to 1.5M of the loan and interest can be forgiven if project performance targets are hit. Can be stacked with federal programs but does not provide stacking with other provincial funds.
- 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 15 new full-time positions depending upon project size and company size.
Small Community Pilot Stream: Small businesses with 5-10 employees in communities with a population of 20K or less who meet the eligibility requirements of SWODF with the following exceptions: Investment of $200K over 4 years and 50% increase in number of employees.
SWODF Regional Stream
The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund’s Regional Stream of funding supports projects initiated by communities to develop new economic opportunities through encouraging collaboration and clustering, attracting new businesses, and creating and sustaining jobs. Sectors eligible for funding under this stream are: Advanced Manufacturing, Processing (primary and secondary), Life Sciences, Information and Communication Technology, Tourism and Cultural Industries.
- Amount: Up to 50% of project costs to a maximum of $1.5 million as a conditional grant. Projects must have a minimum budget of $100,000 to be considered for funding.
- Timeline: Open
- Eligibility: Incorporated community or industry organizations with a minimum of 3 years of business. Organizations must be located in and execute their projects in Southwestern Ontario. Projects must be completed within 4 years.
Top SWODF Resources:
- SWODF Overview Blog: Here you will find an overview of what the program is all about. The purpose, basic eligibility factors and more all broken down into an easy to read chart.
- SWODF Eligibility Criteria Blog: Find out whether you are eligible for these government grants for small business.
- SWODF FAQ Blog: Still have questions about SWODF government business grants? Browse our answers to our most frequently asked questions.
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