Funding Programs and Support

Where to Get Funding and Support:

In Ontario, Growing Forward 2 (GF2) offers cost-share funding assistance for producers, processors, organizations and collaborations to help business grow profits, expand markets and manage risks.

Individual businesses may be eligible to receive up to $350,000 over the life of the program.

Review the program guide and submit an application.

Food companies don't always know where to find funding and other types of service and support that is relevant to them. So we've pulled together some of the key programs that may be of interest to you. Our list includes federal, provincial and municipal programs as well as some programs offered by utilities providers. Contact information is included for each of the programs. Please contact them directly for program details and/or clarification.

OMAFRA's Business Development Branch can help you grow your food and beverage processing business. Contact a Business Development Consultant for assistance.

Workforce Development

Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit Ontario: Companies that hire and train apprentices in certain skilled trades, including millwrights and process operators can receive a tax credit from the Ontario government

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit Federal: This is a federal incentive program designed to help employers offset the cost of hiring and training employees who have entered into an apprenticeship contract.

Career Edge: an innovative program for employers seeking qualified workers and for recent immigrants seeking professional level positions in their fields of expertise.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP): an immigration program whch is designed in part to assist employers who are having difficulty recruiting qualified, skilled workers in Ontario.

Ontario Co-op Education Tax Credit (CETC): The Co-operative Education Tax Credit (CETC) is a refundable tax credit available to employers who hire students enrolled in a recognized Ontario university or college co-operative education program.

Sector Initiatives Fund (SIF) : The Sector Initatives Fund is a funding program designed to encourage sector groups and organizations to improve competitiveness, support skills acquisition, and provide general benefit to companies within a particular sector.

Youth Employment Strategy (part of Industrial Research Assistance Program): food manufacturing companies that are looking to develop new products or improve their technical production processes may qualify for funding to hire an intern through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). This program provides financial assistance to innovative Canadian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME's) to hire post-secondary graduates to work on innovation projects.

Business Development

Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) : The AAC is a not-for-profit organization made up of 67 Ontario agricultural, agri-food and rural organizations. The AAC administers the GF2 funding program, Organizations and Collaborations stream in Ontario

Canadian Dairy Commission's Matching Investment Fund (MIF): The CDC has committed $500,000 over a two year period (August 1, 2014 to July 31, 2016) to support product development initiatives under the MIF. Each eligible project can receive up to $150,000. Projects that use milk protein concentrate or skim milk powder may qualify for higher levels of funding.

Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF): The EODF program gives money to businesses, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations for economic development in eastern Ontario. The fund supports projects that create jobs, encourage innovation, collaboration and cluster development, and attract private sector investment

The Ontario Exporters Fund: The Ontario Exporters Fund has been established to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become export ready and help them gain/increase access to international export markets. The fund will be administered by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) with the support and funding from the Ontario government.

Food Safety and Traceability: We are helping the sector respond to heightened consumer awareness of food safety by supporting the adoption of practices that enhance food safety on farms and in the food and beverage processing industry.

Growing Forward 2: The GF2 Program offers funding assistance to established producers, processors, organizations and collaborations 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.

Saveonenergy - High Performance New Construction : initiative provides design assistance and incentives for building owners and planners who design and implement energy efficient equipment within their new space.

The Jobs and Prosperity Fund: Businesses, business associations and entrepreneurs can get funding for projects to enhance productivity and help them compete in the global marketplace.

Rural Economic Development Program (RED) (Program Guidelines PDF): A financial support program committed to working with rural stakeholders to build strong, vibrant rural communities and regions. RED will continue working with rural communities to strengthen and diversify their economies.

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF): The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund gives money to businesses, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations for economic development in southwestern Ontario. The fund supports projects that create jobs, encourage innovation, collaboration and cluster development attract private sector investment.

Research and Development Programs

The Ontario Business Research Institute Tax Credit (OBRITC): a refundable tax credit that is available to a qualifying corporation that performs scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) in Ontario under a contract with an eligible research institute (ERI).

Scientific Research & Experimental Development Seminars: Learn about the SR&ED incentives in Ontario. Attend a joint seminar offered by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

For more funding programs visit Invest in Ontario website.

Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 06 October 2014
Last Reviewed: 29 October 2015