This week we expected the launch of the next intake of the provincial stream of Canadian Agricultural Partnership program. The program was supposed to contribute government funding to the capital and non-capital projects of Ontario-based farms and food & beverage manufacturers. However, the program hasn’t opened its doors in the end of January as it had originally promised. We proactively called Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and were told the program was audited and no date of intake was set.
We all in Ontario know how bad the provincial budget deficit is. Should we start worrying about the provincial grants?
The answer is definitely yes. But for now, most of the provincial funding programs still accept the applications. Also, for the most of the provincial programs there is a duplicate Federal one which may be funded better.
What else can you do? Reach out to your local MPP and tell him or her how important the funding is for your business and request the provincial funding programs to be renewed in the next fiscal year. The provincial programs include Canada-Ontario Job Grant, Export Market Access, regional development funds in Western, Eastern and Northern Ontario to name a few.
In the meantime, check eligibility of your business now and start applying for funding. This may be your last opportunity as nobody will know until late March what happens to the provincial funding in the upcoming Ontario budget.