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Business Development Grants You Can Get in Ontario

In the dynamic landscape of Ontario's economy, businesses from startups to established enterprises are continually looking for ways to innovate, expand, and enhance their operations.

One of the most effective resources available to these businesses is the array of development grants offered by various levels of government and private sectors.

Understanding what grants are available, who qualifies, and how to apply can set a business on the path to growth and sustainability.

Here's a comprehensive look into the business development grants you can access in Ontario.

Overview of Business Development Grants

Business development grants are funds provided to businesses for specific purposes such as research and development, expansion into new markets, upgrading technology, or enhancing workforce skills.

Unlike loans, these grants do not require repayment, making them highly attractive funding sources.

The Ontario government, along with federal entities and some private organizations, offer these grants to stimulate economic growth, foster innovations, and create jobs.

Key Grants Available in Ontario

FedDev Ontario Grants: The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) offers several grants aimed at fostering a competitive and diversified Southern Ontario economy.

Programs under this agency support the scale-up of businesses, innovation through research and development, and the commercialization of new products and technologies.

 Read more about FedDev grants

Ontario Creates: Focused on the province’s cultural media sectors, Ontario Creates provides financial support to film and television production, book and magazine publishing, and music recordings.

These grants are intended to promote employment and growth within Ontario’s vibrant cultural sector.

Read more about Ontario Creates

Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive: To boost investment within the province, this initiative allows businesses to immediately write off a significant portion of costs associated with manufacturing and processing machinery and equipment, as well as specified clean energy equipment.

Digital Main Street Grant: Aimed at small businesses, this program helps brick-and-mortar stores increase their online presence and sales. Grants can be used for purchasing new software, digital training, and enhancing online customer service.

Read more about the Digital Main Street Grant

Ontario Research Fund: This grant supports research institutions by providing funding for operational costs and large-scale projects. It’s particularly aimed at projects that involve collaboration between academia, industry, and government.

Read more about the Ontario Research Fund

Who Qualifies for These Grants?

Eligibility criteria vary widely depending on the specific grant program. However, common qualifications include:

Business Size and Type: Many grants target small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but there are also programs available for larger corporations, particularly in sectors like manufacturing and technology.

Project Scope: Applicants must demonstrate how their project fits within the goals of the grant program, whether it's promoting innovation, expanding into new markets, or creating jobs.

Financial Health: Businesses generally need to prove financial stability to qualify for funding, ensuring that they can complete the project with the grant's help.

Location: For most provincial grants, the business must be based in Ontario or planning to implement the project within the province.

Industry Sector: Some grants are specific to certain industries, such as technology, agriculture, or cultural media.

How to Apply for Grants

The application process for business development grants can be detailed and demanding.

Here’s a step-by-step approach to help you navigate this process:

Identify the Right Grant: Start by researching which grants are most aligned with your business goals and projects. Resources like the Government of Ontario’s website, industry associations, and business advisors can provide comprehensive information.

Review the Requirements: Carefully read through the eligibility requirements and application guidelines. Make sure your business and project align with these guidelines.

Prepare Your Application: This often involves writing a detailed project description, preparing financial statements, and outlining expected outcomes. It's essential to present a clear, concise, and compelling case for why your project should be funded.

Submit Required Documentation: This may include business registration documents, licenses, detailed project budgets, and timelines. Ensure all documents are up-to-date and accurately reflect your business.

Follow Up: After submitting your application, keep track of the progress and respond promptly to any requests for additional information.

Tips for Successful Applications

Be Precise: Clearly define your project goals, expected outcomes, and how the grant will help achieve these outcomes.

Focus on Impact: Highlight how your project will benefit not just your business but also the community or industry.

Seek Professional Help: Consider consulting with grant writers or financial advisors to strengthen your application.

Stay Organized: Keep detailed records and documentation to make the application process smoother.


Navigating the world of business development grants in Ontario can seem daunting, but with the right approach and preparation, it can be a lucrative opportunity to propel your business forward.

By leveraging these grants, businesses can enhance their competitive edge, innovate, and contribute to Ontario’s economy.

Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, there’s likely a grant that can help your business achieve new heights.

Remember, the key to success is thorough preparation and a strong application that clearly communicates the value of your project.

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