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.
Loans of 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
Eligible projects involve investment in existing operations to improve competitiveness, productivity and pursue new markets or business expansions involving the introduction of new products or services, e.g., infrastructure, project facility modifications/upgrades, equipment and machinery, one time internal labour, one time material, specialized expertise, skills training, project-related permits or fees.
Eligible businesses meet the following criteria:
- For profit companies, registered to carry out business in Ontario
- Be located in, or plan to locate in, an eligible region in Southwestern Ontario
- Minimum 10 employees (or 5 if you are in rural Ontario)
- Minimum 3 years operating experience; able to provide 3 years of financial statements
- Planning a 3-4 year project that involves a minimum investment of $500,000 in eligible project costs (or $200,000 if you are in rural Ontario)
- If you have more than 15 FTEs at time of application, you must commit to create at least 5 new FTEs by the end of the project.