Government grants, loans, tax credits and support services for Ontario businesses

We make it easy to grow your business in Ontario, Canada. We offer an array of government incentive programs and services that can lower your corporate taxes and help your business save on labour costs, R&D, and expansion activities.

General funding and incentives for growing Ontario businesses

Financing, government grants and support for exporters

Foreign Buyer Financing from Export Development Canada (EDC) provides financing to international customers, so that the agency takes on the risk of non-payment. Your customer receives extended payment terms and you receive payment according to your contract's terms and conditions, so your business reaps the benefits of a cash sale.

Export Market Access (EMA) and CanExport offer combined funding of up to $130,000 to cover as much as 50% of eligible expenses, including activities such as business travel to target markets, participation at trade fairs and trade missions, registration fees and booth expenses.

Government grants to cover the cost of hiring and training

Government grants for hiring and training abound for businesses operating in Ontario, with both federal and provincial programs offering as much as $20,000 or more to companies that hire and/or train workers. Here are just a few opportunities your business can cash in on when you hire in Ontario:

  • Access Mitacs funding programs to benefit from research collaborations with skilled graduate and post-graduate students; funding begins at $15,000.
  • The Ontario Exporters Fund provides small and medium-sized businesses with up to $80,000 (up to 50% of salary) in the form of a non-repayable grant to hire a dedicated Export Manager.
  • The Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides funding to individuals identified by employers in need of skill improvement. The grant covers up to two-thirds of eligible training costs, up to a maximum of $10,000 per individual.

Additional programs include, but are not limited to, the Career Focus wage subsidy program, Canada Summer Jobs and the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) Youth Employment Program.

Region-specific funding for businesses in Ontario

Depending on which region of Ontario you are based in, your business may be eligible for a region-specific funding to support business expansion.

Funding for businesses in Southwestern Ontario

  • As of 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2019, the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund is no longer accepting applications while we work to modernize the province’s business support programs to better support regional economic development.
  • Please check back here for updates.

Funding for businesses in Eastern Ontario

  • As of 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2019, the Eastern Ontario Development Fund is no longer accepting applications while we work to modernize the province’s business support programs to better support regional economic development.
  • Please check back here for updates.

Funding for businesses in rural and Northern Ontario

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation programs (NOHFC) offers the opportunity to invest in northern businesses and municipalities through conditional contributions, forgivable performance loans, incentive term loans and loan guarantees.

The Rural Economic Development Fund (RED) program helps remove barriers to economic development for communities in rural Ontario. With the support of the RED program, rural communities are better positioned to attract investment, create jobs and enhance economic growth.

Grants and incentives for innovation and R&D

Ontario-based businesses can benefit from a number of government grant and tax incentive programs that drastically reduce the cost of performing research and development activities. Opportunities include:

Sector-specific grants, loans and support programs for Ontario businesses

Funding for food processing companies

The provincial and federal governments provide more than $3 billion in funding and support to Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector through a variety of grant and loan programs offered through Growing Forward 2 (GF2). In addition to free workshops and resources, GF2 funds activities that encourage innovation, competitiveness and market development.

Funding for Ontario's life sciences sector

In addition to an ecosystem made up of industry-leading research centres and hospitals, Ontario's life sciences sector benefits from a variety of lucrative funding and support programs:

  • Ontario businesses focused on big data and predictive analytics in healthcare can take advantage of programs and services offered by IBM and the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Centre (SOSCIP) to access advanced computing platforms, technical expertise and funding for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. And the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION)'s modern, ultra high-speed network helps businesses transmit massive amounts of data to collaborate with other innovators without experiencing bottlenecks.

Government grants, loans and support for start-ups

Start-ups in Ontario can access funding and support services from the province and the federal government. Some of the opportunities include:

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