Canadians are preparing for another year of change to new circumstances with 2022 underway. The government must also begin to adapt to circumstances with new government funding support and programs available for businesses.

In this post, you’ll read our top choices for Canadian government grant and loan programs. However, we would also like to remind you about tax incentive programs. Take a moment to learn more in our free SR&ED vs. IRAP resource.

While the Canadian government works to support the economic instability from the COVID-19 pandemic, the success and growth of our country’s SME business operations is more important than ever. From hiring and training grants, to loans for technology adoption, to funding for businesses to combat the omicron variant, there are a wide array of government funding programs available this winter.

Government Grants for Canada in Winter 2022

Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program – Research and Innovation Stream

The Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program – Research and Innovation Stream supports research, development, and adoption for clean tech. These improvements are made possible by innovations in precision agriculture and agri-based bioproducts. Technologies will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable growth to be eligible.

  • Amount: Successful applicants can get up to 50-75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $2M per project or $5M per applicant with multiple projects.
  • Eligibility: Applicants can be provincial/territorial governments in Canada, for-profit agri-businesses, and not-for-profit agri-organizations to be eligible.

Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ)

The Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program is dedicated to help employers offer youth employees supervised, career-related, work experience. With the CSJ, it is a requirement that the work experience gained through the summer placement further develops the skills and knowledge for employees and prepares them for real world work.

  • Amount: Successful applicants can get up to 50% of minimum hourly rates for employees. Some non-profits can receive up to 100% of minimum wage. Funding through CSJ is capped at $300K per employer/province or territory. 
  • Eligibility: For-profit SMEs, non-profits, and public sector organizations are eligible if they have less than 50 employees. Placements for youth employees should be full-time (30-40 hours/week) and last between 6-16 weeks.

Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) – Booster stream

The Canadian Food Innovation Network’s (CFIN) program helps food and beverage organizations in Canada that bring innovation to the food industry. This stream funds the research and development for tech readiness level initiatives one-seven. CFIN’s intent is to make Canada a food and beverage leader in the world.

  • Amount: Applicants can get up to 50% of costs for projects ranging from $20K-$200K. Costs incurred prior to approval will not be eligible. All approved projects are subject to a 5% fee (by CFIN) according to total costs. 
  • Eligibility: Must be incorporated for more than one year, less than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and less than $50M in taxed revenues per year. Lastly, successful applicants must be CFIN members upon approval.

Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC)

ISC offers grants and procurement contracts to stoke innovations in technology research and development for commercialization in Canada. ISC supports startups and SMEs surpass technology development obstacles in producing 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.

Top Government Loan Programs for Winter 2020

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

The BSP Program helps Canadian organizations adapt technologies to improve their productivity. Funding stimulates early adoption or adaptation of innovative tech and processes, commercializing/producing new products or processes, expanding management capacity, and researching/developing export markets.  

  • Amount: This is a contribution (no-interest loan) that is repayable and offers up to 35% of eligible expenses to a max of $10M. Minimum ask of $500K allowed.
  • Eligibility: Southern Ontario SMEs, incorporated and profitable for more than three years. Must have a minimum of five 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 contributed by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments across Canada. This program provides a funding for agri-food industry businesses and is the pillar organization responsible for repayable grant funding contributions to SMEs, non-profits, and other major industry stakeholders. 

  • Amount: The CAP Program offers various streams of federal and provincial funding opportunities ranging from grants and loans for a maximum of up to $10M.
  • Eligibility: Eligibility varies from stream to stream. Base eligibility includes: Canadian 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 government funding program at the federal level that supports Canada’s technology and industrial sectors. SIF offers 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 $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) programs encourage businesses to invest in facilities and equipment that can create innovation for the industry. The programs attract SME and large-scale projects that provide a substantial impact on business productivity and create new employment openings within a company. Successful applicants receive grants or a combination of grants and repayable loans to offset project costs.

  • Amount: Successful applicants can get up to 15% of project expenses to a maximum of $500K -$5M.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be at least three years incorporated, have more than 10 full-time employees (five FTE in rural communities), commit to creating at least five new jobs, and be located in southwestern/eastern Ontario. 

Learn More About Grants and Loans for Your Business

The programs 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.

Mentor Works is a business support organization specializing in Canadian government funding. The Ontario-based business has helped hundreds of businesses build and execute their funding strategy through a mix of federal and provincial government grants, loans, and tax credits. Mentor Works offers free online resources, funding webinars, and news via their website at www.mentorworks.ca.

Author: Nathan Chick

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