Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF)

The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) supports projects and investments to businesses, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations for economic development in southwestern Ontario. The fund supports projects that create jobs, encourage innovation, collaboration and cluster development, and attract private sector investment.

Eligibility Criteria: Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF)

  • Be located in Southwestern Ontario: Brant; Bruce; Chatham-Kent; Dufferin; Elgin; Essex; Grey; Haldimand; Huron; Lambton; Middlesex; Niagara; Norfolk; Oxford; Perth; Simcoe; Waterloo; Wellington.
  • Business Projects
    • 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
  • Community Economic Development Projects
    • 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
  • Eligible industries
    • advanced manufacturing (automotive, aerospace, plastics, clean technologies)
    • life sciences
    • processing (primary and secondary)
    • information and communication technology
    • tourism
    • cultural industries

Types of Support: Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (EODF)

Business Projects

Funding amount

Up to 15% of eligible project costs.

  • Loans 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

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

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.


Eligibility checklists can be submitted at any time.

There are four application intake periods per year for full applications. Applicants will be notified of decisions within 60 business days of the application deadline.

  • Application Period One:
    • Intake will begin December 2, 2019 with a deadline on January 20, 2020. Last day to notify applicants April 16, 2020.
  • Application Period Two:
    • Intake will begin March 5, 2020 with a deadline on April 20, 2020. Last day to notify applicants July 15, 2020.
  • Application Period Three:
    • Intake will begin June 5, 2020 with a deadline on July 20, 2020. Last day to notify applicants October 15, 2020.
  • Application Period Four:
    • Intake will begin September 3, 2020 with a deadline on October 19, 2020. Last day to notify applicants January 15, 2021.

Our Focus:

  • Writing application package for the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund
  • Profitability analysis of the proposed project
  • Preparing project financial calculations
  • Assisting in report writing once SWODF application is approved

Examples of Projects Funded by Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF)

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF)Through its Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) Ontario is partnering with Guelph Manufacturing to invest in new equipment and expand its capabilities, creating 31 new jobs and retaining 523 positions in Guelph. Guelph Manufacturing specializes in welding, metal stamping, and tube and wire forming for the automotive sector. With a grant of $874,800 from the province, the company is investing more than $8.7 million to increase its manufacturing capabilities. This expansion will allow Guelph Manufacturing to offer larger parts, improve production efficiencies to become more competitive and develop in-house design engineering capabilities to better meet client needs. Source