Fall has turned into winter and Canadians spend more time inside preparing for a new year of change and adaptation as 2022 draws to a close. Several new funding programs and initiatives have been announced by the Government of Canada during these times in an effort to adapt to changing circumstances.

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.

Our country’s small businesses need to continue to thrive and grow as the government seeks solutions to economic instability. 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)

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that operate in the advanced manufacturing industry can receive grant and loan assistance from the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness (AMIC) Stream, a new addition to the Regional Development Program (RDP). In AMIC, companies are encouraged to invest in capital equipment, adopt technology, and develop their employees.

  • Amount: Receive up to 15% grant of eligible project costs to a maximum of $500,000 for small companies or $1.5 million for strategic projects; and/or access loan funding up to 15% of eligible project costs to a maximum of an interest-free $5 million loan.
  • 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 $500,000 in the project and be in, or plan to locate in, a community in Ontario.

Skills Development Fun (SDF)

In order to increase Ontario’s long-term economic competitiveness, the Skills Development Fund (SDF) invests in projects that address labour shortages and stimulate growth in key sectors of its economy. As well as providing assistance to those who face employment barriers such as people with disabilities, Ukrainian newcomers, criminal justice system inmates, and at-risk youth, we aim to increase Ontario’s long-term economic competitive advantage by creating a sustainable and resilient workforce.

  • Funding amounts: Priority projects with budgets over $150,000.
  • 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)

Research, development, and commercialization are stimulated through government grants and procurement contracts provided by ISC. Startups and SMEs can benefit from the program by overcoming technology development obstacles globally-demanded products and services, while also improving government operations.

  • Amount: Phase 1: Grants up to $150,000; Phase 2: Grants up to $1 million; 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

Canadian women can access skilled trades careers through the Women in Skilled Trades Initiative, which aims to eliminate barriers to careers in technicians, construction workers, and electricians. 

  • Amount: Eligible organizations can apply for up to 90% of costs to a maximum of $3 million 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 2022

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

The BSP Program accelerates businesses looking to innovative technologies for productivity. Supports early adoption of innovative technologies and processes, commercializing new products or processes, expanding capacity, and researching/developing export markets. 

  • Amount: Repayable contribution (no-interest loan) of up to 35% of eligible project expenses to a maximum $10 million. Minimum ask of $500,000.
  • 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 $10 million 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 $500,000 – $5 million.
  • 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

Various hiring grants are also available across Canada to help offset hiring costs. The amount of funding available depends on the type of candidate hired and the duration of the contract; interns receive less funding than recent graduates.

  • Amount: Depends on candidate type. Interns/Co-op students may help a business leverage an incentive of $5,000 to $7,000 per incremental new hire. Recent graduates may help a business leverage an incentive of $12,000 to $15,000 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

Listed above are the government grant and loan programs available to small to medium-sized businesses with at least 15 employees and a minimum revenue of $500,000.  Please visit our Canadian Startup Business Resources if you do not meet these qualifications.

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: Alena Barreca

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