Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC) – Northern Business Opportunity Program

Amount: $400,000 – $1,000,000.


Goal of Northern Business Opportunity Program – Business Expansion Projects

The Northern Business Opportunity Program supports the vision of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario by encouraging business productivity and expansion, and global investment in northern communities.

Eligibility Criteria: Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC)

  • Existing businesses in Ontario that intend to expand and/or retain their operations within Northern Ontario to improve competitiveness, grow revenues and create jobs in the following sectors identified and further described in the Growth Plan:
    • Advanced manufacturing
    • Agriculture, aquaculture and food processing
    • Arts, culture and creative industries
    • Digital economy
    • Forestry and value-added forestry-related industries
    • Health sciences
    • Minerals sector and mining supply and services
    • Renewable energy and services
    • Tourism
    • Transportation, aviation and aerospace
    • Water technologies and services
  • Must be located in Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, or Timiskaming district.

Eligible Cost: Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC)

  • Capital construction
  • Leasehold improvements
  • New or used equipment
  • Training costs incurred with third parties
  • Land servicing costs
  • Commercialization and technology demonstration cost:
    • Direct internal technical labour costs for up to one year of the project’s duration
    • Building or renovation costs
    • Demonstration prototype costs (engineering and design services and equipment purchase, fabrication and installation costs)
    • Material costs
    • Product certification costs
    • Marketing costs (trade show assistance and marketing material design costs)
  • Research and development cost:
    • Direct internal technical labour costs for up to one year of the project’s duration
    • Prototyping costs (engineering and design services and component purchase, fabrication and installation costs)
    • Product testing
    • Intellectual property protection costs

Amount of the Government Grant

  • The NOHFC holds four application intake rounds during the year for the Grow a Business Stream.
  • Funding can be provided through three options:
    • Funding in the form of a conditional contribution only of up to 20% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $400,000.
    • Funding in the form of a conditional contribution of up to 20% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $400,000, plus a term loan of up to 30% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $600,000.
    • Funding in the form of term loan only of up to 50% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $1,000,000.

Funding for each project is determined by the NOHFC Board of Directors, and limited funding is available. Not all projects meeting the criteria will necessarily receive funding.

Eligibility Timeline

Applications under the NOHFC’s Invest North – Grow stream will be evaluated in competitive rounds.

Round 1: Detailed business plan submission deadline April 30.

Round 2: Detailed business plan submission deadline July 31.

Round 3: Detailed business plan submission deadline October 31.

Round 4: Detailed business plan submission deadline January 31.

Review Timeline

Up to 6-8 months.

Reimbursement Schedule

Reimbursement is provided on a quarterly or annual basis depending on the terms of the contribution agreement. The applicant must submit claims for NOHFC in order to get reimbursement of the eligible costs incurred in the previous year or quarter.

Program’s Budget

$100 million annually.

Selection Criteria

NOHFC conducts thorough assessment of each application based on the benefits & risks scoring model. Once the initial review is completed, each application is presented to the NOHFC Board for final review and approval.

How to Start My Application

Start by verifying your eligibility through our eligibility check form.

Northern Ontario Map

Northern Ontario Map

Our Focus:

  • Writing the application package for Northern Ontario Heritage Fund
  • Profitability analysis of the proposed project
  • Preparing project financial calculations
  • Assisting in report writing once NOHF application is approved.

Examples of Projects Funded by Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC)

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund (NOHFC)When German born Gerhard Latka arrived in Parry Sound in 1989 to start a natural jam and juice manufacturing company, not even he could have predicted what a success it would become. “We were on the cusp of the organic wave,” says the founder of Crofter’s Organic. That first year, sales were $90,000. By the end of 1990, they had more than quadrupled. By 2000, the organic market had developed to a point where Crofter’s was supplying major supermarket chains in Canada and the U.S., including Loblaws and Safeway, as well as natural retailers such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s. A decade later, Crofter’s had become the leading brand in North America for certified organic spreads and preserves, and business was booming. But Latka knew that if Crofter’s was to keep growing, he needed a larger facility. With help from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the family owned business opened a state-of-the-art plant in nearby Seguin in 2016. “The NOHFC support was absolutely critical, both from a financial point of view and by demonstrating confidence in the company’s future success.” Source.