What’s in the 2024 Ontario budget for you?

The Ontario government released its 2024 fiscal year budget. Our team was pleasantly surprised by the continuity of key provincial funding programs for Ontario businesses. But we have also noticed several new opportunities.

Equipment & Building Purchase – Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit

Even though the intake start date for the Ontario Made Tax Credit is still unknown, the budget for this program is allocated. Any Ontario manufacturer that spends money on equipment, building or leasehold improvements can claim 10% of these expenses retroactively to March 2023. Stay tuned as we will announce the program the minute it becomes available.

Skills Training Grants

Skills Development Fund will have several intakes this fiscal year. There was no specific word on the Canada-Ontario Job Grant in the budget, but the program accepts applications, so we don’t expect any issues. Applicants can get 50%-83% of their skills training costs from the program.

Business Expansion Grants & Loans

Advanced Manufacturing & Innovation Competitiveness (AMIC) will be continued! The next intake start date is unknown, but all Ontario advanced manufacturers that want to scale up will have a chance to apply.

Similarly, the Southwestern Ontario and Eastern Ontario development funds will be continued.

The Invest in Ontario Fund will support large-scale investment projects in Ontario.

Mining Grants

The mining sector will get a boost through the Critical Minerals Innovation Fund.

Other Tax Credits

Other tax credits that are worth mentioning are:

OVIN R&D Partnership Fund – Advanced Charging & Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Stream

Amount: co-investment of up to $1,000,000.

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Ontario Grant for Automotive Parts Suppliers is open

We’re excited to inform you that Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (OAMP) is now open for applications.

The program partners with small- and medium-sized automotive parts suppliers in Ontario to help modernize Ontario’s automotive supply chain to make it more competitive and responsive to the changing needs of its customers.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Small- and medium-sized Ontario-based enterprises (firms with fewer than 500 employees globally AND global revenues of less than $1 billion) with a Business Number (BN).
  • Larger companies are eligible; however, they must partner with at least one Ontario-based small- or medium-sized enterprise.
  • Must be in the automotive supply chain to original equipment manufacturers.
  • At least 50% of the company’s total sales revenue must come from the automotive supply sector.
  • Must be a for-profit business (legal entity) registered to carry out business in Ontario.
  • Must have a manufacturing location in Ontario by the time the project starts.
  • Must have a minimum of two (2) years of financial statements.
  • Must be in substantial compliance with all applicable laws.
  • Must be free and clear of any fees, levies, charges or taxes owed to Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario or any of her agencies.
  • Must be in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Eligible Projects

  • Technology adoption – e.g. using advanced manufacturing equipment, hardware, software and/or training to improve processes and competitiveness. This might include using logistical systems and investing in production hardware or software that digitize production tracking
  • Lean manufacturing – e.g. improving operational efficiency and competitiveness by using lean manufacturing techniques or hiring the services of a mentor/consultant to help with lean implementation.

Eligible Costs

  • Salaries and benefits: incremental salary and benefits for employees of the company working on the project activities.
  • Capital Costs: hardware and software implementation, installation, and setup costs; cost of direct materials, necessary for specifically identified activities and measured as having been used for, the completion of the project; materials used for configuring, testing production processes, systems, and training employees.
  • Training Costs: cost involved in providing personnel with training and/or development in novel techniques required for the project for their role(s); sub-contractor and consultant fees (must be associated with LEAN Mentorship).
  • Travel and Living: travel costs are explicitly project related, represent the most economical option (economy fare, and standard hotel room).

Amount

The program provides 50% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $150 K.

Deadline

The application intake closes on May 2, 2024.

Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative

Through the Critical Industrial Technologies initiative Ontario industry will converge with innovative SMEs to amplify Ontario’s rich critical technology capabilities and propel four key sectors of Ontario’s economy to the forefront of this transformation.

Four key sectors:

  • Mining
  • Advanced Manufacturing (non-auto)
  • Agri-Food
  • Construction

Critical technology areas:

  • 5G & advanced networks
  • AI
  • Blockchain
  • Robotics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Quantum

The Critical Industrial Technologies (CIT) initiative will support Ontario SMEs to develop new IP faster and at a greater scale for the benefit of the province and beyond. The Critical Industrial Technologies initiative is a Government of Ontario initiative led by OCI.

Goal of the CIT Initiative

The initiative will bring together key stakeholders at all levels to build an ecosystem that connects large companies and industry needs with SME solutions.

The initiative is committed to achieving the following 4 goals:

  • Building an Ontario critical technology ecosystem that propels Ontario’s mining, advanced manufacturing, construction, and agri-food sectors forward to be leaders in the global economy.
  • Supporting critical technology education and awareness to help SMEs understand the benefits of creating, commercializing, and adopting critical technologies.
  • Accelerating the growth of Ontario companies through the development and commercialization of Made-in-Ontario technologies and expanding critical technology talent.
  • Fueling significant advances within and between the four sectors by supporting the adoption, demonstration and integration of critical technologies.

Technology Development Sites

Technology Development Sites (TDS) are where SMEs can come to develop, test, and showcase their critical technology products and services, so they can hit the market faster.

TDSs are established by industry incumbents, vendors, and associations in their respective technology and/or sector domains. As part of the CIT program, OCI has partnered with these organizations to extend these capabilities for SMEs to utilize and integrate learnings, assets, and/or new IP into their product/service suites.

Small-and-Medium-Sized-Enterprises (SMEs) can access a Technology Development Site by:

  • Contacting the Critical Industrial Technologies team to apply for access
  • Applying to the Development and Commercialization Program for Technology Development Site Access with funding support for your project

CIT Programs

The Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative has a series of programs to drive the commercialization and adoption of critical technologies in the mining, advanced manufacturing, construction and agri- food sectors.

1. Development and Commercialization Program (DC)

Eligible SMEs can access a Technology Development Site to integrate, develop, test, and showcase their critical technologies solution with $50-200k of support from OCI.

Eligibility: 

SMEs interested in adopting, integrating, or demonstrating critical technologies and developing new IP-rich products and services.

2. Technology Access Program (TA)

Eligible SMEs can access a Technology Development Site to integrate, develop, test, and showcase their critical technologies solution.

Eligibility: 

SMEs interested in adopting, integrating, or demonstrating critical technologies and developing new IP-rich products and services.

3. Sector Adoption Program (SA)

Sector Adoption Program supports a consortium of partners working together to address a set challenge statement and catalyze impactful change for the whole sector. Up to $1 million available for a multi- partner consortium with a minimum of 1 SME.

Eligibility: 

Industry leaders seeking to collaborate on province-wide innovations that move the needle on critical technology challenges across the four key sectors.

4. Talent Development Program (TD)

Eligible SMEs can invest in critical technology training and support for employees.

Steam 1:
Internships for new, young talent creating the workforce of tomorrow

Stream 2: Upskilling/reskilling existing employees for the challenges of today

Eligibility: 

SMEs invested in modernizing their workforce to thrive in the dynamic future of critical technologies.

Sustainable Manufacturing Challenge

Amount: maximum of $5.25 million with up to 35% of total eligible costs

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Battery Industry Acceleration Call

Amount: contributions of up to $3,000,000 and $5,000,000 for R&D and demonstration projects respectively.

Get Started

Foreign Exchange Losses? Forget it

At Fair Grant Writing, we go through hundreds of financial statements every year. We have noticed how many businesses have Foreign Exchange Losses. There is no surprise in why this is the case. Most businesses are involved in international trade one way or the other (export or import), and very few international partners accept Canadian dollars. Traditionally, very few currency risk management options were available on the market.

We always strive to improve our clients’ businesses outside grant funding. We’re happy to introduce our partner, Ebury, a fintech firm backed by Santander Bank that provides various foreign currency management services for Canadian exporters and importers. Ebury provides:

  • Foreign exchange risk management.
  • Dedicated experts whose main focus is to protect bottom line.
  • Competitive exchange rates compared to the Big 5 Banks and alternative companies.
  • Foreign currency accounts in over 30 countries, allowing clients to have a local international presence.
  • Unsecured Lending Facility and have access to over 140 currency pairs.

Not happy with Foreign Exchange Losses? No problem. Let experts in Ebury help you find the right solution for your business.

Contact Ebury: ZanPiranditta, 647-952-0529, zane.piranditta@ebury.com

If you are a Canadian exporter, remember that CanExport grant program is available for a limited time to help you enter new export markets. Its deadline is May 31, 2024. It provides 50% of your international marketing, consulting and compliance costs up to a maximum of $50K.

Government-Backed Loans for Women Entrepreneurs

On International Women’s Day, we are happy to share an initiative that empowers women entrepreneurs across Canada to pursue their dreams and ambitions.

The Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, backed by the Government of Canada, aims to provide vital financial support to women-led businesses, enabling them to thrive and succeed in their endeavors.

Within the Initiative, the Government of Canada has selected several delivery organizations to provide loans to women entrepreneurs. The selected delivery organizations are now accepting loan applications from women entrepreneurs:

  • The Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC)
  • The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA)
  • The Northumberland Business Development Assistance Corp
  • Coralus, formerly SheEO
  • Evol

To apply for the available loans, applicants must prepare their business plans. This ensures that recipients have a clear roadmap for success and helps set them up for long-term sustainability. With a profound background in business planning, our team is here to support you every step of the way, from crafting your business plan to navigating the loan application process.

We’d also like to remind you that women entrepreneurs qualify for a variety of regular grants and loans beyond the Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund. So, we encourage you to explore all available resources to maximize your business’s potential for success.

32.3M provided in funding for Manufacturing Projects

As we’re always committed to keeping our customers informed about funding news and opportunities, we’d like to share with you great news – Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) announced over $32.3M in funding for 15 new advanced manufacturing projects.

These investments are a part of Canadian Supercluster Grant  Funding under  Innovation Supercluster Initiative which is open for applications. The purpose of the Superclusters is to advance the competitiveness of Canadian companies in 5 key global sectors: manufacturing, protein, artificial intelligence, digital technology and ocean technology.

Who eligible for Canadian Supercluster Grant Funding?

For-profit organizations, or not-for-profit organizations that facilitate and fund research and development, and whose funding is received primarily from private-sector organizations.

The funding program is collaborative and the application must involve at least three or four industry partners in project consortia (number varies per Supercluster).

CanExport grant is coming back!

We’re happy to inform you that CanExport Grant Funding Program is opening its intake on February 29, 2024.

CanExport Marketing Grant provides government funding to small and medium-sized Canadian businesses for exporting their business marketing (digital including) and reimburses 50% of selected export marketing cost to a maximum of $50K.

Eligible Costs

  • Applying for certification in international markets
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Digital and online advertising to foreign audiences
  • Business travel (airfare & ground transportation; per diem up to $400; visa fee)
  • Participation at trade fairs, trade shows, conferences, trade missions, including virtual trade shows and conferences
    • Booth cost
    • Trade show space/floor rental, design and construction services, etc.
    • Registration fees, trade show registration, seminar fees, including room fees, audio-visual equipment rental, etc.
    • Shipping and handling costs related to the participation
    • Translation & interpretation costs
  • Market research;
  • Adaptation of marketing tools for a new market; and
  • Legal fees associated with a distribution/representation agreement.

Eligible requirements

  • Be a for-profit company;
  • Be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP);
  • Have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business identifier number;
  • Have less than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees;
  • Must target up to 5 export markets where the applicant hasn’t exported or hasn’t substantially exported within the last 24 months.
  • All sectors except agriculture, food and beverages qualify for CanExport grant. Other industries qualify for AgriMarketing or Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs.

Intake for Canada Digital Adoption Program is closing

We would like to inform you that the Canada Digital Adoption Program will be closing its intake soonOver the last year, demand for the Program has been unprecedented. The Canada Digital Adoption Program has received over 21,000 claims since it began and another 10,000 businesses are currently working with their advisors.

Due to this incredible demand and success, CDAP’s Boost Your Business Technology grant is almost fully subscribed, and intake for new applications will be closing in the coming days.

For CDAP applicants:

  • All clients who have an existing valid grant agreement, or who apply before the application intake closes, will continue to be eligible for reimbursement once they submit their claim.
  • BDC will continue to offer its 0% interest loan to eligible businesses beyond Boost Your Business Technology’s closing date.
  • Applicants can continue to get implementation support through the youth wage subsidy component.

The case of the Canada Digital Adoption Program closing its intake earlier this year clearly demonstrates why it’s so crucial not to wait and apply for the grant opportunities right now while they are still available.

Agri-Tech Innovation Initiative: Ontario Grant for Agri-food Sector

Amount: up to $100,000 of total Eligible Costs per Project.

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Client Success Story: 2.1M Interest-Free Loan

We’re thrilled to share an exciting update from one of our clients, a steel manufacturer in the Toronto area, which secured significant funding – a 2.1M government interest-free loan with a forgivable portion of 500K.

This boost has empowered the company to embark on an ambitious expansion project to revolutionize its operations through advanced automation and robotics.

The funding also enabled the manufacturer to achieve the following results:

  • Creation of 36 new full-time positions, contributing to job creation and upskilling within the workforce.
  • Targeted aim to reach 5% in export sales, aligning with the company’s vision of market expansion and revenue diversification.
  • Projected a 60% increase in output efficiency, demonstrating the company’s dedication to operational excellence and market competitiveness.
  • Expected increase in production capacity up to 80% per week, resulting in an additional revenue growth.

So, while more funding programs are opening their intakes this year, you should consider applying for relevant government loans and grants, as they might significantly boost your business growth.

NGen Cancelled our Booth at the Summit

In business, you must be flexible and prepared to adjust to constant changes in events and circumstances. As we’ve mentioned earlier, we registered as exhibitors at the N3 NGen Manufacturing Summit on February 8 in Toronto, paid the fees, and invited our clients to attend.

Regrettably, NGen canceled our registration as an exhibitor due to oversubscription of exhibitor spaces. They quoted the venue’s Fire Marshall’s order.

However, our Business Funding Expert, Igor Chigrin, will still attend the event as a regular attendee. We won’t have a booth there. So feel free to register, and we hope to connect at the event for a side conversation.

Why to attend?

N3 NGen Manufacturing Summit is the premier forum for advanced manufacturing in Canada. Join the event for unmissable showcases, countless networking opportunities, industry roundtables, and keynotes that chart Canada’s future in strategic advanced manufacturing.

Exclusive Discount for You

Use the discount code N3Summit40 during registration to enjoy a price reduction on your attendee pass.

Event Details

Date: February 8
Location: Toronto Congress Centre
Event Website and Registration: N3 NGen Manufacturing Summit

Connect with Igor in the Event App

When you register as an attendee, the organizer will send you an event app where you can find Igor Chigrin and even book time for a 1-on-1 meeting.

Don’t miss the chance to be part of an industry-leading event. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Discover Our New Services at the N3 NGen Manufacturing Summit

We would like to remind you about the upcoming N3 NGen Manufacturing Summit, which will take place on February 8 in Toronto. Make sure to stop by our booth at the event and use a special discount code N3Summit40 to get your attendee pass for a reduced price.

As we gear up for this special event, we’re excited to unveil our two new services which help businesses leverage their available and potential financial resources:

Cost Reduction & Recovery Service

Even if your business is profitable, which it should be, it can still benefit from controlling and reducing its expenses. Within our Cost Reduction & Recovery Service, you get a custom expense reduction strategy in up to 3 weeks to help your business:

  • minimize losses
  • prevent losing more money than expected
  • get your expenses in control

Capital Injection Service

Capital Injection Service is a right and must-have solution for your business if:

  • you are struggling to find financing for your business or project
  • you are not getting the best deal on financing from your existing funder
  • interest on existing debts went out of control

To find the best financial deal for your company, we will analyze financing and cash needs beyond government funding, search for the best financing options leveraging our network of traditional and non-traditional financial services providers, develop budgets, cash flow and business plans.

Interested in any of these services? Fill out the form below.

Implement Lean Practices with Canada-Ontario Job Grant

We’d like to remind you that Canada Ontario Job Grant (COJG) program is still open for applications and provides great opportunities for Ontario businesses to invest in skill training and embrace the latest best practices and approaches for efficient operation and smooth process setup.

One of the innovative approaches coming under spotlight recently is Lean Methodology which, when integrated properly, can streamline business operations, boost their efficiency, and address lack of resources.

It’s crucial for businesses to understand how they can leverage Lean Practices to their full potential, so our partners at CTM have prepared an insightful overview about application of Lean methodology in the company management. The article also dwells on:

  • why Lean principles are essential for automation investment;
  • Critical Lean Starting Points for any company;
  • Value Stream Mapping and Automation Rollouts methods;
  • Inevitability of Industry 4.0 and its tools (cloud computing, IoT, simulation etc).

Read the article

As Lean practices is becoming an indispensable part of business management, do not miss opportunity to integrate them into your organization with Canada Ontario Job Grant and get funding of up to $10K per trainee. Get Started

Dairy Processing Modernization Initiative – Funding for equipment upgrade

Amount: 50% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $200,000 in funding.

Get Started

Join Us at N3 NGen Manufacturing Summit on February 8

We are excited to share with you that we will be exhibiting at the N3 NGen Manufacturing Summit on February 8 in Toronto, and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on this event!

Why to attend?

N3 NGen Manufacturing Summit is the premier forum for advanced manufacturing in Canada. Join the event for unmissable showcases, countless networking opportunities, industry roundtables, and keynotes that chart Canada’s future in strategic advanced manufacturing.

Exclusive Discount for You

Use the discount code N3Summit40 during registration to enjoy a price reduction on your attendee pass.

Event Details

Visit Our Booth

Stop by our booth to connect with our team offline, explore the latest funding opportunities, get a copy of our book and discover how we can shape the future of your business together.

Don’t miss the chance to be part of an industry-leading event. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program

Amount: grants worth 12% of a project’s eligible capital costs.

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Alberta Agri-processing Investment Tax Credit

Amount: 12% non-refundable tax credit up to $175 million

Get Started

Don’t miss out: $20k CEBA loan forgiveness

We are always committed to providing our valued small business customers with tools and resources to thrive in their financial endeavors. Today, we are excited to bring to your attention a special opportunity in collaboration with business funding experts – Swoop.

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) was a lifeline for many businesses during the pandemic. Now, through our partnership with Swoop, we are thrilled to offer you a streamlined and user-friendly solution to navigate the CEBA Loan Forgiveness process seamlessly.

What is CEBA Loan Forgiveness?

CEBA loan forgiveness offers the opportunity to have up to $20K of your CEBA loan balance forgiven, provided specific conditions are met.

How does Loan Forgiveness work?

Depending on your loan amount, forgiveness can be 25% to 50%.

To qualify, you need to repay your CEBA loan by January 18th, 2024 or submit an application to refinance by that date. Should you have any questions or require assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out and book a meeting with a funding specialist here.book now

State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) – Maine Export Marketing Grant

Amount: 75% of eligible costs up to $20,000.

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Trade Show Assistance Grants – Vermont Business Export Funding

Amount: up to $5,000 in eligible reimbursements.

Get Started

Vermont the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) – Export Marketing Grant

Amount: reimbursements for up to 75% up to a maximum of $20,000 per year.

Get Started

Massachusetts State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) – Export Marketing Grant

Amount: up to $15,000 of reimbursed costs.
Get Started

Upskill: NJ Incumbent Worker Training Grant Program

Amount: up to $200K in reimbursement.

Get Started

New Jersey Small Business Improvement Grant – Building and Equipment Upgrade Program

Amount: up to $50K in reimbursements.

Get Started

Food Retail Innovation Delivery Grant (FRIDG) – New Jersey Food Delivery Program

Amount: 30-50% of total project costs covered up to $250,000.

Get Started

New Jersey State Trade Expansion Program (NJ STEP) – Business Export Grant

The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) offers STEP grants that can help businesses export their goods and services from the Garden State to foreign markets.  Through the SBA, the New Jersey Business Action Center received funding for the NJ STEP to provide financial awards on a first come, first served competitive basis, to domestic New Jersey eligible small businesses that are new to export, as well as those businesses who currently sell their goods and services to other countries.

Within the program, reimbursement can be received for eligible business expenses, including costs of participating in international and U.S. trade events and designing international marketing materials.

Eligibility Requirements

Here are some of the general requirements for this grant:

    • Be a small business registered in, and domestic to, New Jersey
    • Have at least one year of active business experience
    • Be compliant with your N.J. taxes
    • Manufacture goods or produce services that contain at least 51% U.S. content
    • Be registered with NJSTART

Eligible Requirements

Eligible businesses for the New Jersey State Trade Expansion Program will be considered to receive financial awards to partially offset export promotion costs such as the following:

  • Website and e-commerce fees to attract international buyers
  • Design of international marketing media
  • Participation in international trade missions
  • Participation in international and U.S. trade events
  • Participation in Department of Commerce organized trade missions
  • Fees for services provided by the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS)

Budget of the Program

The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) awarded $850,000 in federal funds for the New Jersey State Trade Expansion Program (NJSTEP) to support businesses in underserved communities throughout the state.

Pennsylvania’s Global Access Program (GAP) – Export Business Grant

Amount: up to $10,000 of 75% eligible expenses.

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