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The fund supports projects that:

  • create jobs and build talent
  • attract and encourage private sector investment
  • lead to business growth and broad positive economic impacts
  • encourage innovation, collaboration and cluster development

Business Projects

To be eligible, businesses need to:

  • invest at least $500,000 in their project (or $200,000 if you are in rural Ontario)
  • employ at least 10 people (or 5 if you are in rural Ontario)
  • commit to creating at least 5 new jobs (or 30% increase for companies with fewer than 15 employees)
  • be able to provide 3 years of operations/financial statements
  • be located in, or plan to locate in, a community in southwestern Ontario
Funding Amount

Up to 15% of eligible project costs.

Loans

Up to 15% funding to a maximum of $5M, interest free during the project period (up to 4 years). If you achieve your investment and job targets, up to 30% of the loan (to a maximum of $500,000) may be forgiven.

Grants

Grants are available only for specific circumstances, up to 15% to a maximum:

  • Of $500,000 if your company has fewer than 100 employees and is based in rural Ontario (population of your community is less than 100,000 or population density is less than 100 people per square kilometre)
  • Of $1,500,000 for strategic projects that are foreign direct investments or from companies competing against other jurisdictions

Community Economic Development Projects

To be eligible, projects need to:

  • be led by municipalities, economic development organizations (including sector groups) or consortia
  • focus on economic and business development and job creation in the community or region by investing in infrastructure or implementing strategies to advance regional economic development priorities
  • lead to measurable outcomes including private sector investment, growth and job creation
  • invest more than $100,000
  • have private sector support
  • be used for activities that are new to the organization
Funding Amount

Up to 50% of eligible project costs for a maximum grant of up to $1.5 million.

Restrictions

You are not allowed to combine (or “stack”) Southwestern Ontario Development funding with other provincial programs.

Application Period 13 2023

Application opening:
April 27, 2023 – June 15, 2023

Eligibility checklists (recommend submission for this intake period before):
June 1, 2023

*Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their eligibility checklist a minimum of 10 business days in advance of the application deadline so that they have enough time to register and complete their full applications, if deemed eligible.

Application deadline:
June 15, 2023

Application assessment period
(60 business days):

June 19, 2023 – August 30, 2023

Notification date
(last day to notify applicants):

September 14, 2023

Application Period 12 2023

Application opening:
Jan 12, 2023 – Feb 23, 2023

Eligibility checklists (recommend submission for this intake period before):
Feb 9, 2023

*Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their eligibility checklist a minimum of 10 business days in advance of the application deadline so that they have enough time to register and complete their full applications, if deemed eligible.

Application deadline:
Feb 23, 2023

Application assessment period
(60 business days):

Feb 27, 2023 – May 25, 2023

Notification date
(last day to notify applicants):

May 25, 2023

Application Period 11 2022

Application opening:
October 6, 2022 – November 17, 2022

Eligibility checklists (recommend submission for this intake period before):
November 3, 2022

*Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their eligibility checklist a minimum of 10 business days in advance of the application deadline so that they have enough time to register and complete their full applications, if deemed eligible.

Application deadline:
November 17, 2022

Application assessment period
(60 business days):

November 21, 2022 – February 16, 2023

Notification date
(last day to notify applicants):

February 16, 2023