There are many incentives and programs available for business at almost any size and stage (start-up, growth, expansion). Below are the most commonly utilized programs.

Community Improvement Plans are a way that municipalities can offer targeted incentives in partnership with business and building owners to encourage new investment in priority areas. While these priority areas will vary slightly between municipalities, in general the priority areas of investment are: attainable housing, brownfield/vacant land development, agriculture investment, heritage support, façade and structural improvements. Contact your local municipality or Grey County Planning for more details.

Municipal CIPs:

You can get money to plan or implement a project. When you apply, choose the category that best suits your project:

Category 1: Planning

  • develop plans and strategies
  • conduct research and analysis

Category 2: Implementation

  • implement sector development plans
  • diversify the local economy
  • undertake marketing and branding activities
  • attract and retain skilled workers

Read the RED program guidelines for details about eligible projects and the application process.

Business Stream

To be eligible for the business stream, businesses need to:

  • employ at least 10 people
  • commit to creating at least 10 new jobs
  • be able to provide 3 years of operations/financial statements
  • be located in, or plan to locate in, a community in southwestern Ontario
  • invest at least $500,000 in their project

Funding amount: up to 15% of eligible project costs for a maximum grant of $1.5 million. Investments of more than $10 million that also create more than 50 new jobs may be eligible for a loan of up to $5 million. Successful applicants: you will need to contribute at least 50% of total costs from your own resources or through private financing.

Small Community Pilot Program

Businesses with 5-10 employees located in small communities may be eligible for funding from the Small Community Program. A “small community” is a municipality with a population less than 20,000 or with a population density of less than 100 persons per square kilometre. 

Projects need:

  • a minimum investment of $200,000 over 4 years
  • a 50% increase in current employment

Regional Stream

To be eligible for the regional stream, projects need to:

  • focus on economic and business development and job creation in the community or region
  • align with provincial and regional priorities, e.g., introducing new forms of innovation, taking part in province-led economic development initiatives
  • invest more than $100,000
  • have private sector support
  • be used for activities that are new to the organization
  • only municipalities, economic development organizations and aboriginal communities are eligible for the Regional Stream. If you are a business refer to the business stream.

Funding amount: up to 50% of eligible project costs for a maximum grant of up to $1.5 million. Successful applicants: you will need to contribute at least 35% of total costs from your own resources or through private financing. Business Stream and Regional Stream Eligible projects

Projects in these sectors are eligible for funding:

  • advanced manufacturing (automotive, aerospace, plastics, clean technologies)
  • life sciences
  • processing (primary and secondary)
  • information and communication technology
  • tourism
  • cultural industries

Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) provides opportunities for employers, individually or in groups, to invest in their workforce, with help from the government.

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides direct financial support to individual employers or employer consortia who wish to purchase training for their employees. It is available to small, medium and large businesses with a plan to deliver short-term training to existing and new employees. Important to know:

Employers can get up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs.

The training has to be delivered by an eligible, third-party trainer.

Employers with 100 or more employees need to contribute 1/2 of the training costs. Small employers with less than 100 employees need to contribute 1/6 of training costs.

For employer groups who want to apply for training supports the government offers a COJG Consortium Stream. The Consortium Stream allows a group of employers (more than 2 employers) to pool their resources to support common training objectives and goals. To apply as a consortium, the intermediary organization needs to ensure all the participating employers and trainees meet COJG requirements, and are able to make their required contribution towards the training cost.

The intermediary organization will be paid 15% of the approved COJG ministry contribution to cover the administrative cost related to the completion of the consortium application.

Do you need assistance starting your own business, or help growing your existing small business?

Starter Company Plus is a training and mentorship program for entrepreneurs over the age of 18 who are not returning to school. Participants receive training and business skills development as well as mentorship from local business leaders. Participants may also be eligible for a grant of up to $5000 to start, purchase or expand their business.

Contact the Business Enterprise Centre for further information at 519-371-3232


Are you a student who has always dreamed of running your own business?

Summer Company offers students between the ages of 15-29 the opportunity to start and manage their own summer business. Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to $3,000, and invaluable training and mentorship from local business leaders.

Contact the Business Enterprise Centre for further information at 519-371-3232

Futurpreneur Canada provides youth age 18-39 with the opportunity for low interest financing for their business, as well as an internationally recognized mentoring program.

For more information visit the Futurpreneur website (link is external) or contact The Business Enterprise Centre.

There are many specialty programs and funds available in addition to those noted above. If you are looking for something more, please contact our office to inquire about possible opportunities specific to your needs: