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Ontario Business Loans & Grants

If you run a business in Ontario, Canada and are in need of financing there are many Government loan and grant opportunities.  Here is a look at just some of the Ontario programs that are available and how you can apply for them.

Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy Program

This Ontario program is a $500 million repayable loan designed for companies in leading edge technologies.  Its goal is to increase economic growth by developing these technologies.

You can apply for this program here.

Canada Ontario Research and Development Program

This program is designed to increase the diversity of the Ontario food sector by increasing industry self-reliance and decreasing the need for government support.  Eligible applicants have benefits that exceed the costs, focus on the agri-food sector, have private sector support and demonstrate cost sharing, and are market oriented.  The Ontario program cannot be used to support commercial expansion or as direct income support.  The cost of land or equipment construction, normal business activities, and domestic travel costs are not covered.

You can apply for this program here.

Canadian Television Fund

This Ontario fund is dedicated to improving the quality of Canadian programming.  Its objective is to increase the amount of programming available, enhance the industry’s ability to create new programs, maintain Canada’s presence in the industry, and create growth and employment opportunities.  $200 million per year is available.

You can apply for this program here.

Canadvance Program

The objective of this Ontario program is to expand the capacity to respond to issues and allow it to capture market opportunities in the agriculture industry.  Eligible recipients must be legal entities and Canadian.  Funding includes grants and loans, and fair cost sharing is required.  Priority is given to Ontario projects with direct industry support.  Applicants must show economic viability and self-sufficiency and demonstrate how their project contributes to the general good.

You can apply for this program here.

CME Smart Program

This Ontario program helps small and medium manufacturers invest in improvements.  Eligible products include lean manufacturing and design, quality improvement, energy efficiency, and more.  The primary focus must be on improving operational efficiency.  Projects must start within two months of selection and be completed within 6 months.  Funding is available up to 50% of costs, but not more than $50,000.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

Eastern Ontario Development Fund

This fund is designed to attract investment in eastern Ontario and is a grant program.  Eligible for-profit Ontario businesses can receive up to 15% of total costs, while non-profit businesses can receive up to 50% of total project costs.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

Emerging Technology

This Ontario program is designed to encourage the development of new technologies and is split into the public and the private sector.  In the public sector, eligible applicants include partnerships, private sector businesses, and government agencies.  The projects must also be located in Northern Ontario.  Covered costs include communications infrastructure, film development, value-added products, and life sciences, among others.  In the private sector, eligible applicants include private sector Ontario companies that have been incorporated prior to receiving assistance.

You can apply for the Ontario public sector program here.

You can apply for the Ontario private sector program here.

Enterprises North Job Creation

This is a repayable loan that gives assistance to those creating new jobs in Northern Ontario.  Anyone creating new jobs in the region is eligible.  Eligible costs include capital construction, improving leaseholds, purchase of equipment, and others.  Funding is a repayable loan not to exceed 50% or $1 million.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

Export Guarantee Program

This Ontario program assists business with gaining financial support for projects related to exports and foreign investment.  It can provide guarantees on loans designed to finance work and products in this industry, to create working capital, to purchase equipment, and to help expand businesses.  Coverage ranges from 75-100% and can cover as much as $10 million.  To qualify, you must be a company that works in exports or foreign investments and have a creditor willing to establish credit.

You can apply for this program here.

Infrastructure and Community Development Program

This program helps northern communities to invest in infrastructure that will improve economic prospects in Northern Ontario.  Eligible applicants include Ontario partnerships, private sector businesses, and federal government agencies.  Loans can cover infrastructure, economic development, creation of industrial parks, development of waterfront properties, and more.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

The Medical and Assistive Technology R&D Program

This Ontario program gives funding on a competitive basis for the development of assistive and medical technologies.  If fosters partnerships among researchers and entrepreneurs, as well as provides information resources.  Its Early Researcher Award Program is a $51 million investment in new research.  The Innovation Demonstration Fund helps companies with commercialization efforts, with a preference given to alternative energy, bio-based, and environmental technologies.  The Ontario fund supports up to 50% of eligible costs up to $4,000,000 per project.  Eligible projects must take place in Ontario and result in commercialization in the province.  The money can cover costs incurred after the date of the application, but will not include land, fees, consulting services; equipment used offsite, debt consolidation, or taxes, among other limitations.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

Northern Energy Program

This Ontario program is designed to help organizations capitalize on energy.  There are four distinct elements, including:  renewable energy planning, renewable energy capital assistance, new internal energy generation, and energy conservation.  Funding is given in the form of forgivable performance loans not to exceed 50% of the project costs.  Caps on the funding vary by project.

You can apply for Renewable Energy Planning here.

You can apply for Renewable Energy Capital Assistance here.

You can apply for New Internal Energy Generation Projects here.

You can apply for Energy Conservation Pilot Projects here.

Ontario Fuel Cell Innovation Program

This Ontario program focuses on the commercialization of fuel cells and is designed to assist with the development of new technologies and jobs, increase the performance of fuel cell technology, and increase consumer awareness of the technology.  Activities must take place in Ontario.  The Ontario project can receive a maximum of 1/3 total project costs up to $500,000 if it receives government funding.  Without government funding, the project can receive up to 50% total project costs up to $500,000.  Corporations or groups with project proposals are welcome to apply, though individuals may not apply.  Eligible costs include development and design, equipment purchases, management costs, labor costs, and others.  The Ontario program will not cover the cost of land or building purchases.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit

This is a refundable tax credit on digital media, and is equal to 20% of the labor, marketing, and distribution expenditures.  Eligible companies include a Canadian corporation that has a permanent Ontario establishment that creates an eligible product and does not have annual gross revenue over $20 million.  The company must also file an Ontario corporate tax return.  Eligible products include digital media that has at least two ways of presenting information, including text, sound, and images.  Operating system software is not eligible.  Eligible expenditures include labor costs and marketing and distribution.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

The Ontario Production Services Tax Credit

This is a refundable tax credit based on labor expenditures of a qualifying corporation.  It is equal to 18% of the eligible costs with no limit to the amount.  It can also be combined with other tax credits.  Any corporation that does film or video production in Ontario, files a corporate tax return, and owns the copyright is eligible.  The production must cost at least $1 million for a series and not be in the genre of news, current events, public affairs, contests, sports, reality TV, pornography, advertising, or others.  Eligible expenditures include salaries, wages and remuneration that are a direct result of production.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

Ontario Sound Recording Tax Credit

This is a refundable tax credit based on the production costs of an eligible sound recording.  It is equal to 20% of the qualifying expenditures.  Eligible companies include any Canadian-controlled corporation that has been in business for at least two years and did work in the sound recording industry.  At least 50% of its taxable income must have been earned in Ontario, and the company must have implemented a distribution plan, entered into contracts with artists, and born financial risks.  Eligible expenditures include production costs, direct marketing expenditures, but not touring, manufacturing, or distribution costs.  Eligible sound recordings include those written by qualified Canadians, have a playing time of at least 40 minutes, are under the control of the sound recording company for at least five years, are not of spoken word or wildlife sounds, and are not capable of inciting hatred against a particular group.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

Security Compliance Loan

This Ontario loan allows you to make security upgrades so that your company will meet U.S. border security requirements.  Abiding by these requirements will allow you to reduce border clearance times.  Loans can cover up to 85% of the costs and be in amounts up to $150,000.  You must have at least three years of operating history to apply, as well as be willing to work with an advisory service to analyze your security.

You can apply for this program here.

Summer Company

This company provides training and mentoring to young people who wish to start their own summer business.  Applicants receive an award of $1500 for startup costs, along with a $1500 reward upon completion of the business and proof of return to school.  They also receive at least 12 hours of business training and the opportunity to meet biweekly with a mentoring group for support and advice.

You can apply for this program here.

Targeted Wage Subsidy Program

This program is designed to give employers a subsidy for hiring HRSDC clients.  Employers can receive up to 60% of the wage rate for a total of 78 weeks.  Employers pay the wages themselves and then receive reimbursement on a monthly basis.

You can apply for this program here.

Young Entrepreneur Program

This program is available for residents ages 18 to 29 that are planning on starting their own business.  This does not included expansions of similar businesses already owned by the entrepreneur or relatives.  Qualifying costs include furniture, fixtures, and equipment for a new business, but do not include financing existing debts or costs already incurred.  Funding does not have to be repaid and covers up to 85% of the costs with a maximum of $25,000.  The investor must make an investment equal to 10% of the contribution, and the business must operate full time in Northern Ontario.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

Youth Internship and Co-op Program

This program gives youth access to internships to further their careers.  Both public and private sectors are eligible in the fields of health care, social services, manufacturing, environmental sciences, and other activities.  The candidate must be a graduate of a Northern Ontario secondary school and attending a college or university and be under the age of 29.  For co-op placements, the employer will receive a contribution of up to 50% of the wage to a maximum of $6 per hour.  For internships, the employer will receive up to 50% of the salary up to a maximum of $27,500 per year in the private sector and up to 90% of the salary up to a maximum of $27,500 per year in the public sector.

You can apply for this Ontario program here.

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