Funding Programs

As a business, you may be eligible for government funding to help you expand or modernize. Some of the most recently announced and popular programs are listed here, and may combine mentorship, and advice with funding, loans and/or grants. The listings below include:

  • Loan/lending programs which are accessible to most businesses from small start-up to large expanding businesses;
  • For businesses with demonstrated traction, including training and hiring employees/apprentices, or who operate in export, manufacturing, science, technology, autonomous and/or electric vehicles, research and development, innovation, clean energy, agriculture, film, television, gaming, digital media, publishing, professional artists, and in rural Ontario, additional grant funding and tax credit programs are available; and
  • For innovative and technology entrepreneurs, there are listings for local angel and equity investment organizations;
  • For underrepresented groups, youth, black and indigenous entrepreneurs, and loans for women entrepreneurs, the Government of Canada’s searchable database is included.

Contact us to learn about others.

Loans and Lending Programs

BDC Business Development Bank of Canada – Vaughan

Provides small business loans (online application), financing for larger projects and business consultation services

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Canada Small Business Financing Program

The Canada Small Business Financing Program makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders. The enhanced program provides lenders and small businesses with additional financing products, new class of loans, increased loan amounts and terms, improved loan conditions and decreased administrative burden.

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Futurepreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada is a non-profit organization supporting Canadians aged 18-39 to become business owners with loan financing, mentoring and business resources. Our experts are here to answer your questions and put you on the path to success.

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Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive (SR&ED)

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program is a federal tax incentive program that encourages Canadian businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, to do research and development (R&D) in Canada. It can reduce your after-tax cost between $37 and $61 for every $100 in R&D spending.

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Grant Funding and Tax Credit Programs

Government of Canada – public funds and financing programs for your business venture

Find programs and services to help your business grow.

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Government of Ontario – Entrepreneurship funds and resources for people under 30

Thinking about starting your own business? There are government support programs to help you get started.

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Funding for Small Business:  Canada – Ontario Job Grant

Ontario’s workforce is our most valuable asset. As new technologies, globalization and shifting demographics rapidly change Ontario’s economy, they alter the mix of available jobs and the skills people need to succeed in them. By building up education and training, we can maintain Ontario’s competitive advantage, helping businesses and workers adapt to change and achieve their goals.

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Starter Company Plus

The Vaughan Starter Company Plus program is designed to help your business start, grow or expand. Qualified program participants will receive tailored training and mentorship. The opportunity to apply for a provincial grant is currently fully subscribed.  Pending funding confirmation with the Province, additional cohort deadlines may be approved for future dates. Training and assistance with business plan development will continue to be delivered in the interim.

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My Main Street

The My Main Street Business Sustainability stream will provide non-repayable contributions for businesses located on main streets across southern Ontario that have demonstrated revenue growth, and provide a business case on how the funding will strengthen their existing capacity and support their growth.

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Digital Main Street

As part of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, Digital Main Street is proud to continue delivering these programs to support businesses across Ontario.

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Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)

Co-invests with the private sector to commercialize innovation from Ontario colleges, universities and research hospitals. Offers student entrepreneurship fellowships and programs

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National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP)

Helps small and medium-sized businesses develop new technologies with technical and business expertise, linking suppliers, customers and investors. Financially supports research and production development with commercial potential

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York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) VC Fund

Collaborates with private investors, angel investor groups and VCs to help client ventures obtain investment

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Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP): Max $10-million Grant
Solving Internal Technical Challenges and Collaborative R&D with Post-Secondary/Research Institutions

The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) provides a grant (typically 80 per cent direct labour, 50 per cent subcontractor costs) for either internal or third-party collaboration on technical feasibility studies, technology adoption, product development or process development projects, or production design projects.

Eligibility: 1 to 500 people on payroll, incorporated for two or more years, committed to internal R&D activities.

Timelines: Projects require approval prior to spending and funding runs from April 1 to March 31 each year.

Project Themes: Development of innovative products, processes and services. Projects must focus on solving an internal technical challenge by adopting/developing technology and processing enhancements.

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Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF): Minimum $10 Million In Grants/Repayable Funding
Innovative R&D, National Ecosystem and Collaboration

The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) supports industrial research and technology demonstration that accelerates the commercialization and scale up of Canadian businesses and innovation through collaborative industrial research, development and demonstration projects. Projects must lead to significant job creation, advance the ecosystem/industry and provide benefits to Canada.

Eligibility: Incorporated Canadian businesses with high growth potential and the ability to drive innovation. Must leverage significant private-sector co-investments.

Timeline: Streams 1 to 3 and 5 offer continuous intake and stream 4 has annual intake dates. Projects can go beyond five years.

Project Themes: Innovative technology research, development and commercialization, business expansion, capital investment and collaborative R&D with post-secondary or research institutions.

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Business Scale-up And Productivity (BSP) Program: 0 Per Cent Interest Loan/Up To 25 Per Cent Eligible Expenses
Large-Scale Business Expansion Projects

The Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) program helps businesses adopt/adapt innovative technologies that support productivity, grow Southern Ontario operations and increase exports to global markets. It is targeted towards large-scale expansion projects where new innovative technologies will be used to develop globally competitive products, services or processes.

Eligibility: Must maintain profitable operations in Southern Ontario for two or more years, have five or more employees, and be an incorporated business or Indigenous organization. Minimum spend of $4 million for manufacturers, $1.5 million for software.

Timelines: Annual application intake.

Project Themes: Early adoption or adaptation of innovative technologies and processes, expanding management capacity, commercializing/producing new products or processes, and researching/developing export markets.

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Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP):  Up to $150,000/50 Per Cent Grant
Technology Adoption for Manufacturing Productivity Enhancement

OAMP helps automotive businesses improve productivity through technology adoption projects. It builds off the success of the former Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) and focuses on integrating innovative equipment that reduces costs and expands manufacturing capabilities.

Eligibility: Ontario automotive-related manufacturing businesses with less than 500 employees and less than $1 billion annual revenue globally. At least 50 per cent of revenue must come from the automotive supply sector. Two or more years of financial statements.

Timelines: Annual intake for applications.

Project Themes: Adopting new manufacturing technologies to spur productivity and innovation.

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CanExport: Up To 75 Per Cent To A Maximum $75,000 Per Application Grant
International Trade Shows, Marketing and Translation Costs

CanExport supports marketing activities in high-potential markets where less than $100,000 or 10 per cent of international sales have been generated in the past 24 months. Projects should focus on improving sales and brand exposure in international markets, including exhibiting at trade shows.

Eligibility: 1 or more years incorporated with taxes filed, 1 to 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, and $100,000 to $100 million in annual revenue. Budget must be greater than $20,000 for one market where less than $20,000 or 10 per cent of international sales have been generated in the past 24 months.

Timeline: Continuous intake of applications. Apply at least six weeks ahead of incurring eligible project expenses. Up to two applications can be submitted per government fiscal year, but only one project can be open at a time.

Project Themes: Marketing activities including trade shows, marketing material translation and market research.

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Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG): Up To $10,000 Per Trainee
Workforce Training for Skills Development

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.

Eligibility: Canadian-based SME with $2-million liability insurance. Trainee must be a permanent Canadian citizen or granted refugee status. Trainer must be a separate entity from applicant company.

Timeline: Training must be completed within 12 months of application approval.

Training Themes: Post-secondary, technical skills, leadership, marketing, business systems, etc.

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Water Saving And Protection Incentives For Businesses

York Region offers a variety of financial incentives for businesses participating in water protection and efficiency programs. The programs are offered to owners and managers of businesses, institutional facilities, farms and multi-unit residences in York Region.

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Local Angel and Equity Investment Organizations

York Angel Investors

Accredited investors supporting early and mid-stage capital requirements.

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Keiretsu Forum Vaughan Chapter

Provides businesses with an audience of active angel investors through events.

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National Angel Capital Organization

NACO members have invested $1.54 billion into more than 2,400 Canadian companies. Incorporated in 2002, NACO is Canada’s professional association for 4000+ angel investors and the national umbrella for over 100 organizations including angel groups, venture funds, family offices, incubators and accelerators.

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Sources: Mentorworks, Government of Ontario, Government of Canada, Regional Municipality of York
Last updated: January 31, 2024