Funding Programs

Canada Job Grant

Canada-Ontario Job Grant (the Job Grant) provides an opportunity for employers to invest in their workforce, with help from the government. The Job Grant will provide direct financial support to individual employers who wish to purchase training for their employees. It will be available to small, medium and large businesses with a plan to deliver short-term training to existing and new employees, and will:

  • Provide up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs.
  • Require employers to contribute one-third of the total costs. There will be additional flexibility for small businesses to provide an in-kind contribution towards their share of the costs.
  • Require training to be delivered by an eligible, third-party trainer.

 Here are just a couple that would be of interest to food processors looking to expand into international markets: 

  • Programs and courses for industry in technology, supervision, sanitation and food safety like those offered through the Institute of Food Processing Technology at Conestoga College.
  • International trade training courses including those which count toward an internationally recognized designations (like “CITP”) offered through Forum of International Trade Training (FITT).

If you're an employer with a particular skills demand, the Canada-Ontario Job Grant might be right for you. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

For further information, please contact the Employment Ontario Contact Centre. Call toll-free (no charge): 1-800-387-5656 or through the TTY number: 1-866-533-6339 or email at

 Legacy Fund

Hiring funding is a hot topic with many of our members and the business community in general right now. The University of Guelph is now offering an award-type funding opportunity to employers who hire co-op students from an agriculture segment of their co-operative education program. This award, branded the Legacy Fund, goes directly to the employer, providing $2500 in bursaries and can be used on top of the Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit, which provides another $3000 to the employee as a tax incentive.

You do not need to fill out an application if you use RecruitGuelph to post your co-op job and hire a University of Guelph co-op student for one of their work terms as you are automatically enrolled.

Youth Employment Fund: Government Grants for Hiring Youth

Youth who are unskilled and under the age of 29 often have difficulty finding a job. The government now offers a wage subsidy to employers who can commit to hiring and training these youth.

Amount: Up to $6,800 to offset training and wage costs linked with a job placement plus an additional $1000 for training per new hire.  

Employer Eligibility: No limitations on industry sector; must offer meaningful on-the-job training for youth; mandatory work site visit to verify work site legitimacy. 

Youth Eligibility: between 15 and 29 years old; unemployed; not enrolled in full-time school; resident of Ontario; no limit on the number of applications per company. Cannot be a co-op or summer student returning to school.

Timeline: 4-6 month placement commitment. 

To learn more or to discuss opportunities, apply online to Employment Ontario's Employment Service to work with a service provider on matching you with a suitable youth.

Growing Forward 2

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) delivers Growing Forward 2 (GF2) funding assistance for processors across the province to grow profits, expand markets and manage shared risks. Funding assistance supports six areas of focus where individual businesses can apply for cost-share for Capacity Building activities and Project Implementation. Innovation is a key component present throughout all areas of focus. 

The GF2 cost-share funding cap for a single processing business covering both Capacity Building activities and Project Implementation is $350,000 over the 5-years timeframe of the program (April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018).

Implementation application intakes are now closed for 2014-2015.  For more information on intake dates for 2015-2016, please check back in February 2015. Contact OMAFRA

Advanced Manufacturing Fund

The Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF) is a $200 million, five year federally funded program which supports investments in activities that create new and innovative products or production methods such as prototyping, demonstration projects and advanced product testing.

    Repayable funding is available for manufacturing companies that are either undertaking manufacturing activities or conducting research and development in Ontario. Non-repayable funding is available for post-secondary institutions and not-for-profit organizations that are collaborating with Ontario manufacturers.

    Southwestern Ontario Development Fund and Eastern Ontario Development Fund

    Southwestern Ontario Development Fund

    The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund supports regional economic development by creating jobs, attracting private sector investment and promoting innovation, collaboration and cluster development in Southwestern Ontario.

    The fund is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. There are two funding streams, one for established businesses and a regional stream for economic development organisations including municipalities.

    Under the business stream, the fund may provide up to 15% of eligible project costs to a maximum grant of $1.5 million. For project investments of $10+ million that create 50+ jobs, funding may be available in the form of a secured repayable loan, to a maximum of $5 million in provincial support.

    Under the regional stream, the fund may provide up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum grant of $1.5 million. Stacking with other provincial programs is not permitted under either funding streams.

    Eastern Ontario Development Fund

    The Eastern Ontario Economic Development Fund is a four year, $80 million fund designed to help businesses create new jobs, and invest in new technologies, equipment or skills training for workers. It will also support economic development projects that will attract or retain investment in Ontario-based industries and communities.

    Individual businesses can receive up to fifteen per cent (15%) of total eligible expenditures to a maximum grant of $1.5 million. Also, up to 35% of total project costs may come from other public sector funding sources. Examples of eligible items: new technologies, equipment, skills training.

    Aime Global Initiative - Yves Landry

    The Yves Landry Foundation (YLF) is making available up to $50,000 per company in the form of a grant to foster training that will lead to advancements in innovation within the manufacturing sector in Ontario. All projects for consideration must lead to new global export opportunities or create new global markets.

    In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Yves Landry Foundation is making available up to $50,000 per company in the form of a grant to foster training that will lead to advancements in innovation within the manufacturing sector in Ontario. All projects for consideration must lead to new global export opportunities or create new global markets. If you have received federally supported AIME funding from the Yves Landry Foundation in the past three years, you are not eligible to participate in this new round of funding. Please check with YLF staff to confirm your eligibility.

    Fed/dev ontario program - Investing in business growth and productivity (igbp)

    IBGP focuses on established businesses that have the potential to be global players with innovative and unique opportunities to accelerate growth and support job creation. This initiative supports economic growth and job creation by helping businesses to expand their markets and facilities, adopt new technologies and processes to improve productivity, and increase business capacity to participate in global markets and integrate into global value chains.


    cme SMART - Advanced Technologies for Global Growth program 

    SMART Advanced Technologies for Global Growth is a program built around two components; an assessment component and project funding component.

    The assessment component will further help companies assess the current state of operations and understand the barriers they face in the global competitive market by working with a qualified expert and tools available through the assessment program to develop a vision and strategy. The assessment component will cover 50% of the costs up to $15,000 per assessment. The findings from this assessment will allow companies to implement a project under the SMART ATGG project funding component. 

    It is not a requirement for companies to complete an assessment first.  If you have a project ready to start, you may submit an application for the project funding program only. 

    Through the project funding component, companies will receive a contribution of 35% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $100,000, whichever is less.

    Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program

    The SR&ED program is a federal tax incentive program, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), that encourages Canadian businesses of all sizes, and in all sectors to conduct research and development (R&D) in Canada. It is the largest single source of federal government support for industrial R&D.

    The SR&ED program gives claimants cash refunds and/or tax credits for their expenditures on eligible R&D work done in Canada. 

    Small Project Accelerated Review Process (ARP)
    National Research Council – Industrial Research and Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)

    Support of up to $50,000 will help your business grow by addressing a wide range of technology, business and market-oriented needs, covering 75% of consulting costs and 100% of internal labour costs.

    Eligible firms must be: incorporated and for-profit with 500 or less full-time employees; have a separate legal status and operate in Canada; and have the objective to grow and generate profits through the adoption, development and commercialization of innovative or technology-driven products, services or processes.

    A partial list of eligible projects include: assessment of technology needs for adoption of technology; product design, engineering design, design for manufacture; productivity enhancement studies; development of business, sales and marketing plans, and image creation (branding); development of e-commerce enabled website (or website upgrading); competitive market research studies; and feasibility assessment for new service or product ventures.

    For a full list of eligible projects or to apply, contact your local Industrial Technology Advisor, or contact NRC-IRAP at 1-877-994-4727.