Calling non-profit organizations: apply for York Region’s Circular Economy Initiatives Fund

York Region’s Circular Economy Initiatives Fund (CEIF) returns this year! Non-profit organizations have the chance to receive between $5,000 to $25,000 in funding for their community-driven, innovative project that reduces residential waste and advances the circular economy within York Region. The circular economy extends the life of resources and items so they can be used and reused continuously – not just used once and discarded.

Organizations interested in applying can complete a preliminary application form online before midnight on Monday, July 4, 2022. York Region will contact applicants who meet the pre-qualifying criteria and invite them to submit a detailed application. Once the detailed applications are reviewed, successful applicants will be contacted in October 2022 and will receive between $5,000 and $25,000 in funding to start their circular economy projects in January 2023. For more information on the application process, who is eligible to apply, and important deadlines visit To receive news as it is released, subscribe to Vaughan News and follow the official corporate channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Learn how to successfully market your business in the food and beverage industry

The City’s Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre, in partnership with York University’s YSpace, is offering customized workshops to provide you with the tools, skills and connections needed to launch your business in the food and beverage industry. The second of four workshops in the Launch and Grow Your Food Venture series, Digital Marketing 101, will take place virtually on Wednesday, June 15, from 10:30 a.m. until noon. This session will help you understand how to successfully market your business in the industry and will focus on:

  • identifying your target audience.
  • defining clear marketing objectives.
  • introducing your product to the market.

Participants will also have the opportunity to apply for up to $5,000 in provincial grant funding through the Starter Company Plus program. To register for this workshop, visit To receive news as it is released, subscribe to Vaughan News and follow the official corporate channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

COVID-19 Resources


Living with and Managing COVID-19
Effective: March 1st, 2022
Updated: March 20th, 2022

Vaughan logo


Under the Living with and Managing COVID-19 plan the majority of public health and workplace safety measures have now been lifted , and key public health indicators continue to improve.


On May 20th, 2021, the Ontario government released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators.

The province has announced that as of March 1, 2022 proof of vaccination requirements for all settings will be lifted. Businesses and other setting may chose to continue requiring proof of vaccination.

As of Monday March 21, 2022 the province will lift mask requirements in most places (including schools), except public transit, long-term care, retirement homes and other health-care settings, shelters, jails and congregate care and living settings, including homes for individuals with developmental disabilities. By April 27th, 2022 all other indoor spaces will have mask mandates lifted.

For a complete list of spaces no longer requiring mask please visit the Living with and Managing COVID-19 plan.


For further questions regarding COVID-19 and provincial support programs, businesses can:

  1. Call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659, open Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or
  2. Visit Get COVID-19 relief funding for your business.
  • York Region continues to implement a flexible hybrid model for vaccine distribution and administration. This includes multiple fixed clinics sites in various sizes, drive-thru and mobile clinics along with offering booster shot for eligible age groups. Please visit the link below for more information on how to sign up for your COVID-19 vaccination.

    Book an appointment

  • York Region’s COVID-19 webpage is where the Region posts all of its COVID-19 updates, guidance and resources for residents and businesses.

  • Find sector-specific guidelines and posters to keep workers, customer and the general public safe on the Preventing COVID-19 in the Workplace webpage.

  • Learn the latest requirements for face masks and coverings at 

  • Advantage Vaughan is Phase 3 of the City’s economic development efforts to respond to COVID-19. It builds off Phase 1: the Vaughan Business Action Plan (March 2020) and Phase 2: the Vaughan Business Resilience Plan (June 2020).

    Advantage Vaughan will:

    • Provide additional funding to programs led by the Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre (VBEC) to deliver training, mentorship and microgrants for local entrepreneurs;
    • Create a new Talent City Vaughan program to support organizations providing opportunities for residents, and vulnerable groups, to enhance their skillsets; and
    • Provide additional funding to Recreation Services’ Fairs and Festivals Support Program to help strengthen in-person events when it is safe to hold them.
  • Talent City Vaughan provides micro-grants of up to $10,000 for eligible non-profit community and social service organizations delivering skills-development and training to Vaughan talent.

    The program helps residents access and undertake opportunities to enhance skills and learn new ones, with an overall aim to support workforce development throughout the city of Vaughan. Proposed programs by community and social service organizations must provide job seekers or existing employees with new skills and training that either help to secure gainful employment or maintain or advance employment with a current employer. Programs can be offered in-person, virtually or via a hybrid model but must comply with current provincial health guidelines.

    Applications will be accepted from Friday, April 1, 2022 until Friday, April 29, 2022. Details surrounding how to submit a Talent City Vaughan application will be shared once applications open.

    To learn more visit Talent City Vaughan.

  • Our newsletters deliver need-to-know information right to your inbox.

    Subscribe now to get the latest on funding programs, news, research, programs and events.

    • Vaughan Arts & Culture – For artists and cultural groups
    • Vaughan Business – For medium and large businesses
    • Vaughan Entrepreneurs – For small businesses and entrepreneurs
    • Tourism Vaughan B2B – For tourism businesses
  • Vaughan Economic Development (ED) is working with partners to host webinars on the latest trends and topics.

    These webinars—and other events relevant to Vaughan businesses—are listed on our Events page.

  • During this challenging time, the City is committed to supporting businesses, consumers and all citizens, and has developed an online list of local businesses that are open during the current state of emergency. This voluntary listing includes both essential services and businesses that have modified operations and provide goods and services by phone, online, take-out or delivery.

  • Residents looking to do their part to support the local economy can do so by shopping remotely with local businesses and restaurants with #ShopVaughanLocal. Citizens are encouraged to do any of the following to show their support for small businesses in Vaughan:

    • Order take-out or delivery from a local restaurant
    • Buy gift cards for use at a later date
    • Order from local businesses online
    • Share your local love #ShopVaughanLocal
    • Access government supports for businesses on this page
  • The Vaughan Rising Blog is a resource that aims to help Vaughan Businesses adapt to a post-COVID economy. The series will highlight bold and innovative ways that the Vaughan business community is demonstrating resilience and practical resources contributed by subject matter experts.

  • In response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada has introduced a suite of funding, tax credits and benefits. The programs most relevant to businesses are highlighted below.

    For more information, please visit: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan page.

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides 75 per cent of salaries for qualifying businesses, including all sizes and sectors, non-profits and charities.

  • Canada Emergency Business Account (part of the Business Credit Availability Program) provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits.

  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy provides direct support of up to 65 per cent of eligible expenses to tenants and property owners for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19.

    Qualifying organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly limit their activities under a public health order may be eligible for additional Lockdown Support of 25 per cent of eligible expenses.

  • Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) provides bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers, including certain not-for-profit businesses.

  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) provides interest-free loans for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are unable to access other federal COVID-19 relief measures.

  • The AIME@Home program offers grants of up to $100,000 per company to foster training that will lead to advancements in innovation within the manufacturing sector in Southern Ontario.

  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)’s Small Business Loan offers up to $100,000 and can be obtained online in as little as 48 hours, from time of approval.

  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)’s Purchase Order Financing helps businesses increase cash flow to fulfill domestic or international orders with very flexible times.

  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)’s Working Capital Loan​ offers extra funds to bridge cash flow gaps and support everyday operations.

  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)’s Capital Bridge Financing Program is for Canadian companies backed by a qualified venture capital firm, who have raised at least $500,000 in external capital before applying for the program, and  specifically impacted by COVID-19.

  • The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) will help businesses with their day-to-day operating costs during the COVID-19 crisis and enable them to invest in their longer-term prosperity.

    Through HASCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government-guaranteed, low-interest loans of up to $1 million. Hard-hit businesses, like a chain of hotels or restaurants with multiple locations under one related entity, could be eligible for up to $6.25 million.

    The HASCAP Guarantee is available until June 30, 2021.

  • BioEnterprise Smartgrowth Program provides funding to small and medium businesses in Southern Ontario’s agri-technology sector to support scale-up and expansion projects.

    Next intake period is set to open January, 2022.

  • The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits.

    The deadline to apply is June 30, 2021.

  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy provides direct support of up to 65 per cent of eligible expenses to tenants and property owners for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19.

    Qualifying organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly limit their activities under a public health order may be eligible for additional Lockdown Support of 25 per cent of eligible expenses.

    Claim periods have been extended to June 5, 2021. An application must be filed no later than 180 days after the end of a claim period.

  • The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

    If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

    You may apply up to a total of 19 eligibility periods (38 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

  • Qualified applicants of the EDC Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Guarantee can quickly improve their cash flow through their bank or credit union to help manage day-to-day expenses like buying inventory and paying suppliers, or for new costs  due to COVID-19.

  • If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium-sized business or organization and have received RDA funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations, you are encouraged to contact FedDev Ontario.​

  • Innovative Solutions Canada funds R&D and test prototypes in real-life settings. It has two streams with funding dedicated to Canadian innovators who want to start, grow and get to market.

  • Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) will be open to large Canadian employers who

    1. have a significant impact on Canada’s economy, as demonstrated by (i) having significant operations in Canada or (ii) supporting a significant workforce in Canada;
    2. can generally demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues; and
    3. require a minimum loan size of about $60 million.
  • Mitacs is expanding its effort to support Canadian businesses in the fight against COVID-19 by boosting funding, fast-tracking proposals and adding flexibility to project requirements.

  • The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)’s Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program offers grants of 70% up to $7,500 for Ontario agriculture and agri-food businesses to implement safety measures that protect employees against COVID-19.

  • Businesses that were required to shut down or significantly restrict services due to provincial public health measures (in areas with modified Stage 2 restrictions or categorized as control or lockdown) can apply for rebates, provided in the form of grants, for property tax and energy bills.

  • The Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant provides one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses in the tourism and travel sector.

    The deadline to apply is June 25, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

  • The Ontario Small Business Support Grant helps small businesses that were required to close or significantly restrict services under the Provincewide Shutdown effective December 26, 2020.

    The grant provides businesses with $10,000 to $20,000 in funding to help cover decreased revenue.

    Applications are now closed but successful applicants will automatically be entitled to a second payment in an amount equal to the first payment they received.


  • The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) is a liquidity lifeline for businesses and organizations impacted by the economic disruption associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in nearly every sector of the economy. It aims to address gaps in or supplement other federal relief measures, as well as complement those provided by other levels of government.

    Recognizing the importance of supporting the region’s tourism sector, a minimum of 25 percent of all national RRRF funding is earmarked to assist local tourism businesses.

    Applications for RRRF loans will be accepted until June 30, 2021, or until such time that the Fund is fully committed.

  • Other funding opportunities that are not specific to COVID can be found on our Funding Programs and Funding for Tech Entrepreneurs pages.

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is a subsidy covering 75 per cent of salaries for qualifying businesses, including all sizes and sectors, non-profits and charities.

    Claim periods have been extended to June 5, 2021.

  • Through the Career Ready Fund (PDF), Centennial College is offering up to $9,000 of wage subsidies to increase both the quantity and quality of experiential learning opportunities available to postsecondary students, recent graduates and apprentices in Ontario’s automotive manufacturing and advanced manufacturing sectors.

    Extended to March 2022.

  • The Government of Canada Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) and TECHNATION Career Ready Program covers up to 75% of gross wages for Canadian companies and scale-ups that leverage student talent during the COVID 19 pandemic

  • Mitacs is expanding its effort to support Canadian businesses in the fight against COVID-19 by expanding internship offerings and bolstering industrial post-doc fellowships.

  • Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)’s Work-Sharing program is designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity, beyond the control of the employer.

  • The Magnet Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) brings together employers, students, and post-secondary school stakeholders to create quality work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities.

    The program provides employers with wage subsidies to hire post-secondary students for paid work experiences. Students in turn benefit with quality work experience so they can secure employment in their chosen fields of study.

  • Other relevant programs that are not specific to COVID can be found on our Funding Programs page.

  • Businesses and organizations are encouraged to deliver on-site rapid testing to help stop the spread of 

    The Provincial Antigen Screening Program provides free rapid antigen test kits to high-risk communities, organizations and essential workplaces.

    If you are not eligible for free test kits, you can still buy them and hire or train people to do on-site  testing for you.

    Learn more

  • A stable and reliable increase in vaccine supply to Ontario is enabling the Province and York Region to expand vaccine eligibility to additional groups, including workers in multiple sectors. 

    This list continues to evolve. View the list to see all eligible groups. 

  • The Government of Canada’s PPE Supply Hub has resources and information to help organizations sell and buy personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The PPE Exchange is a marketplace for personal protective equipment (PPE) connecting customers in need of PPE with suppliers.

  • As Canada’s industries return to work, there is an increased demand for PPE. The Rapid Response Platform automatically matches supply with demand, simplifying supplier discovery during the procurement process.

  • The Actors’ Fund of Canada (The AFC) ​ is providing short-term emergency financial assistance to Canadian entertainment professionals.

  • The artsUNITE project is a sector-led wayfinding and support platform for the creative community.

    Its purpose is to:

    • Guide artists and creative organizations through the available resources for immediate relief;
    • Secure remuneration through paid work opportunities; and
    • Equip artists with adaptive supports for long-term sector recovery and regeneration from the pandemic.
  • The Bell Fund supports Canadian media content makers in creating for and
    connecting with, audiences here and everywhere.

  • Through financial support and industry research, the Canada Media Fund supports the Canadian television and digital media industries through two funding Streams:

    • The Experimental Stream encourages the development of innovative, interactive content and leading edge software applications for digital media platforms.
    • The Convergent Stream supports the creation of convergent television and digital media content which Canadians can enjoy anytime, anywhere.

    Program deadlines

  • The Canadian Artist + Musician Relief Fund provides support for low-income artists and musicians whose livelihoods are being affected by this pandemic. Whether it’s from cancelled gigs, lost jobs or a lack of business due to coronavirus.

  • Glad Day Lit’s Emergency Survival Fund supports paid work for LGBTQ2S artists and performers; grants to LGBTQ2S artists, performers and tip-based workers for food and housing; no-interest loans to artists, performers and tip-based workers; and Glad Day Lit admin costs and toward keeping Glad Day open.

  • This risk mitigation tool will assist workplaces/businesses in considering risks to employees, customers and clients during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and provide examples of measures that may be implemented at the workplace/business to mitigate potential risks.

  • Over 90 sector-specific guidelines and posters have been developed to help protect workers, customers and the general public from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario.

  • Use the Workplace Safety Plan template to create a plan to help protect your works and others from COVID-19.

  • To assist retailers in their reopening planning, Retail Council of Canada, in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group and retailers from across Canada, has prepared the Road to Retail Recovery Playbook to help Canadian retailers, large and small, plan for the reopening of retail sector across the country.

  • The UN World Tourism Organization’s COVID-19 webpage is a central source for data, webinars and other resources, including the COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Technical Assistance Package.

  • York Region’s COVID 19: Resources for the York Region Business Community page is a central source for:

    • Business reopening guidance and advice,
    • York Region Public Health resources and guidance,
    • Workplace PPE supplier directories, and
    • Other resources.
  • The Recovery Activation Program (RAP) is a no cost, immersive series of highly practical online programs that are designed to help you identify areas to modernize your business so that you can confidently take on all the challenges that are thrown at you in the wake of COVID-19, such as managing your workforce virtually, finding new customers without going to a tradeshow, and managing disrupted supply chains – just to name a few.

  • The Government of Canada is seeking manufacturers, businesses and skilled workers that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies.

  • Ontario Together: Help fight Coronavirus is seeking businesses, researchers and organizations that can supply emergency products and innovative solutions.

    Only have part of a solution? Look for partners with OCE’s COVID-19 Collaboration Platform.

  • Public Works and Government Services Canada is seeking businesses able to supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Entrepreneurial Spirit Grows in Vaughan: Summer Company 2020

Each year, the City of Vaughan offers the Summer Company program in association with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) to prepare young entrepreneurs with a pipeline of tools, skills, connections and resources required to succeed. Through the Summer Company program, Economic and Cultural Development has supported more than 220 students since the beginning of the program in 2002.

This year, four successful applicants were chosen to participate in this annual program, which provides students aged 15 to 29 years old with access to business advisory services and workshops to help them develop important skills, and mentorship from Vaughan’s business community. Participants will also receive up to $3,000 in provincial grant funding to invest in their businesses.

Due to COVID-19, Summer Company training will be available online through a web portal, which contains instructional videos, worksheets and resources developed by the City’s Economic and Cultural Development department in partnership with the City of Richmond Hill and Y2 Entrepreneurship Labs. Throughout the summer, students will also participate in Digital Boost workshops, meetings with mentors through the Vaughan Business Café and one-on-one business consultations with City staff.

2020 Summer Company Students

The selected student ventures for this year’s Summer Company program represent a number of industries including professional services, information and communications technology, and recreation.

Eric Pimentel | HIIT Excellence

HIIT Excellence is an Online Personal Training company focused on providing & developing increased body confidence for Women in their early – mid twenties through exercise, from the comfort of their own home.

Alan Nemirovski | Slingshot Media Solutions

Slingshot Media Solutions offers comprehensive, personalized social media consultation and management, as well as custom digital content creation, for small, local business and nonprofit organizations.

Anthony Tovbis | Best Press Printing

Best Press Printing manufactures custom designed t-shirts and other apparel for sale to local businesses to help them establish brand recognition and to support their promotional efforts.

Ananya Vishwanath | VQueues

VQueues is a virtual queueing platform that aims to eliminate the inconvenience of lineups by enabling businesses to create a virtual queue for customers to join remotely.


For more information on this year’s Summer Company students, browse the program directory here.

Canada’s Manufacturing Supercluster invests in Vaughan companies

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization leading Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has announced a collaborative funding effort worth $28.8 million to support nine cutting-edge projects across Canada, two of which involve Vaughan-based companies.

“The advanced manufacturing projects we support combine some of the best in knowledge, technologies and production capability that Canada has to offer,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen. “Collaboration allows Canadian companies to create leading edge solutions for Canada that can then be leveraged to capture new market opportunities around the world.”

The projects, which combine Canada’s manufacturing strengths with new and emerging technologies, were selected for NGen funding by a panel of independent experts.

Funded projects that involve Vaughan companies:

  • Concord-based Macrodyne Technologies is partnering with Conrex Steel and Source Industrial Services on a collaborative project that will create the world’s most sophisticated steel forming press. The project will bring new capacity and data to manipulate large thick panels for domestic shipbuilding needs on Canada’s East and West coasts, international sphere storage vessel forming and finally thick steel heads for pressure vessels throughout North America. The consortium aims to challenge conventional capabilities and push new possibilities within the industrial use of Canadian steel, strengthen Canadian supplier networks, and showcase unique Canadian IP and manufacturing capabilities in press and crane technologies.
  • Woodbridge-based Niigon Machines, in partnership with MPC, is developing a new manufacturing process that will transform the way automotive components are made, allowing cycle times to be cut in half, increasing productivity, and decreasing costs.

These projects are part of a portfolio of advanced manufacturing initiatives that NGen will fund from the Canadian Government’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative. NGen’s goal is to generate at least $13.5 billion in GDP growth and create 13,500 new jobs while addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems in health care, resource management, and environmental.

Funding for Tech Entrepreneurs

These public and private investors invest in high-tech startups and may also offer mentorship and technology advice.

York Angel Investors
  • Accredited investors supporting early and mid-stage capital requirements

Learn more

BDC Business Development Bank of Canada – Vaughan
  • Provides small business loans (online application), financing for larger projects and business consultation services

Learn more

Keiretsu Forum Vaughan Chapter
  • Provides businesses with an audience of active angel investors through events

Learn more

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

Learn more

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

Learn more

York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) VC Fund
  • Collaborates with private investors, angel investor groups and VCs to help client ventures obtain investment

Learn more

Corporate Visits

Are you short on time but eager to learn more about Vaughan’s economy or how the Vaughan Economic and Cultural Development team can help your business? We’ll come to you!

Request a visit by reaching out via our general contact email with the subject line “Corporate Visit Request,” or check out our Contact page to reach out to a specific team member.

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 and will also have the opportunity to apply for a provincial grant of up to $5,000.

The program will provide entrepreneurs with training to help develop their business plans, marketing strategies, budgeting and financial forecasts. Eligible applicants will be supported under one of the following two streams:

  1. Existing brick-and-mortar businesses with physical storefronts or office or industrial locations.
  2. New startup and home-based businesses that may be looking to start or expand.

For existing brick and mortar businesses, training will target and focus on:

  • supporting business owners in developing digital skills and improving their online presence.
  • adopting new business strategies, such as e-commerce, that will allow them to continue generating revenue amid the easing of COVID-19 measures and as the economy reopens.

For new startup and home-based businesses, training will focus on:

  • business plan development.
  • conducting market research and trends analyses.
  • marketing strategy, value proposition, advertising, promotional strategies, including digital and online.
  • operations (legal, human resources, risk and insurance).
  • budgeting and financial forecasting.

Start Your Eligibility Survey Now


To receive further information about the program, please complete the Starter Company Plus eligibility survey. All eligible participants will be invited to attend training sessions on an ongoing basis.

Important: The opportunity to apply for provincial grant funding through Starter Company Plus is competitive. Not all program participants will receive a provincial grant, but all are eligible to participate in training. Priority for grant funding decisions will be based on the quality and viability of the application in terms of the level of demonstrated traction (i.e., minimum viable product, sales, subscribers/users, pilot projects underway) and realistic prospects from immediate local impact (i.e., job creation, use of commercial property, business expansion). Final approval for a provincial grant lies with a Regional Grant Administration (RGA) made up of economic development professionals from across York Region. The City of Vaughan’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship team will help applicants prepare their grant applications for the RGA through training and mentorship programs.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for grant funding, participants must:

  • be at least 18 years old at the time of application;
  • not be attending school full time;
  • be a resident of Ontario;
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • not currently be enrolled in other self-employment or entrepreneurship training/financing initiatives financed by government-funded organizations;
  • not have previously received a Starter Company or Starter Company Plus grant.

In addition, for businesses to be eligible under the existing brick and mortar businesses stream, businesses must:

  • be located and operate in Vaughan;
  • have operated out of a commercial storefront or office/industrial space at a location other than the applicant’s principal residence;
  • have access to at least three months working capital (either cash savings or access to credit);
  • be an independent business and operate at arm’s length from family business ventures;
  • have less than 10 full-time employees (25 if a restaurant) (or equivalent).

Businesses not eligible to receive funding include:

  • distributorships;
  • franchises;
  • incorporated businesses that are controlled directly or indirectly by a person who would not be eligible for a Starter Company Plus Award;
  • commissioned sales;
  • not-for-profit or charitable enterprises;
  • multi-level marketing ventures.

Dates and Deadlines

For those interested in applying for the grant, application intake is ongoing. The upcoming application period ends Wednesday, June 7, 2023,training should be completed and a business plan and budget submitted by this date. We encourage participants to submit their completed business plan and budget early, as spots are limited and may fill before each application period ends.

Please note that pending funding confirmation with the province, ongoing cohort deadlines are approved.

Bonus Offer*

All program participants will receive:

  • 50 percent off two weeks of co-working space;
  • 50 percent off for three months of storage;
  • 75 percent off showroom space; and/or
  • a free mailbox for one year when becoming a customer at the HUB Vaughan.

Successful grant applicants will also receive a $200 credit voucher to the HUB Vaughan services.

*Subject to change, limited quantities available.

Be part of the largest startup community in Vaughan

THE HUB VAUGHAN’s mission is to provide our community with a complete and comprehensive modern multi-space for individuals and small businesses.  We provide high end storage solutions and office space solutions to meet the ongoing demand for space.  We advocate an honest and open communication work environment with the utmost respect and consideration for our coworkers and for our community.  We will strive to bring the latest technology and security systems to our environment that would foster an innovative all in one storage and office complex.

The Hub Vaughan




VBEC Offers In-Person Office Hours at local Community Centres

Location Hours Date
Father E. Bulfon Community Centre Room 1 -8141 Martin Grove Road, Woodbridge 1:00–5:00 p.m. Friday, January 27, 2023
Vellore Village Community Cente Room 2 – 1 Villa Royale Avenue, Woodbridge 1:00–5:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Pierre Berton Heritage Centre – 10418 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg 1:00–5:00 p.m. Monday, March 20, 2023
North Thornhill Community Centre Room B- 300 Pleasant Ridge Avenue, Thornhill 1:00–5:00 p.m. Monday, April 17, 2023
Rosemount Community Centre Room 3 -1000 New Westminster Drive, Thornhill 1:00–5:00 p.m. Monday, May 15, 2023
VMC Library – 200 Apple Mill Road Vaughan, ON L4K 0J8 6:00–7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Starter Company Success Story

Summer Company

Interested students for the 2023 Summer Company program can submit their application using the link below. To stay updated, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Are you a student 15 to 29 years old and want to start and operate a full-time business over the summer? Access mentorship from Vaughan’s business community, tools, services and workshops to make your goals a reality. This is your opportunity to get up to $3,000 in provincial grant funding to kick-start your business. Apply now to the Summer Company program that prepares young entrepreneurs with a pipeline of tools, skills, connections and resources required to succeed.

The deadline for submission with the Vaughan office is Monday, April 17, 2023

Apply Here


For more detailed background on the Provincial Summer Company Program, visit: and to view the detailed program guidelines.

Not sure how to apply? Need help writing a pitch and budget that will impress the Province? Get all of your questions answered and more with one of our 1-hour virtual drop-in sessions from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Register for one of the Summer Company Drop-In Sessions here.


Vaughan Public Libraries Info sessions for Summer Company

Program Alumni

View the 2022 Summer Company Directory

View the 2021 Summer Company Directory

View the 2020 Summer Company Directory

View the 2019 Summer Company Directory

If you’re interested or have any questions, please email us at

Funding Programs

As a business, you may be eligible for government funding to help you expand or modernize. Some of the newest and most popular programs are listed here.

Contact us to learn about others.

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.

Learn more

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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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: Continuous application intake. Projects must be completed within three years. Minimum five-year term loan.

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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NGen Manufacturing Program: Up To 44.4 Per Cent Grant For R&D
Collaborative Technology Research and Development

As administered by Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the program taps into Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI) funding to support groups of businesses that develop high potential technologies, create groundbreaking process transformation and de-risk the adoption of technology to help manufacturers compete globally.

Eligibility: Projects must be transformational in scale or impact, and be of wider benefit to Canada’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem. Must have a minimum of three private-sector project partners; all NGen members.

Timeline: Open two-stage application process including an Expression of Interest (EOI) and, if called forward, a full application. Expected project length is 18 to 36 months; all projects must be complete by March 31, 2023.

Project Themes: Collaborative technology development and application. Should have wide-reaching impacts that expand the potential of Canadian manufacturers, even those not directly involved in the project.

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Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (OAMPNgen Manufacturing Program: Up To 44.4 Per Cent Grant For R&D): Up To $100,000/50 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: The application period for fall 2020 is now closed. Information about future application rounds will be announced in winter 2021.

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 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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Sources: Mentorworks, Government of Ontario, Government of Canada, Regional Municipality of York
Last updated: October 30, 2019
Sources: Mentorworks, Government of Ontario, Government of Canada, Regional Municipality of York
Last updated: January 13, 2020