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.


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 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.


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

Application Period Two

Application opening:
March 5, 2020-April 20, 2020

Application deadline:
April 20, 2020

Application assessment period:
(60 business days)

April 21, 2020-July 15, 2020

Notification date:
(last day to notify applicants)

July 15, 2020

Application Period Three

Application opening:
June 5, 2020-July 20, 2020

Application deadline:
July 20, 2020

Application assessment period:
(60 business days)

July 21, 2020-October 15, 2020

Notification date:
(last day to notify applicants)

October 15, 2020