20+ Small Business Funding Uses that the Ontario Government Funds
If you have ever wanted to start your own small business in Ontario, it is crucial to know that various government funding programs exist that help fund small business owners across Ontario.
These funds, government-provided, come via the various levels of government, including local government offices; the Ontario provincial government, and the federal government of Canada. They all funnel money towards small businesses and entrepreneurship in the province.
Knowing how to take advantage will give you a step up towards success by securing the needed funds for your business.
So; what does the Ontario government cover in terms of small business funding?
While the funding needs vary from business to business, the various agencies that fund Ontario small businesses focus on a number of activities, as they categorize them into 20+ different sections of “acceptable funds use”.
These 20+ different funding uses are not the only ones, but most others will fall into one of the mentioned categories.
20 Small Business Funding Uses that the Ontario Government Funds
Before you can apply for any funding in Ontario; be sure that you have a solid business plan completed. Your business plan should clearly explain your business model, show your business potential, list out the projected financial statements as well, breakdown your funding needs into the below-listed options:
- Business Development
- Consulting Services
- Financing Services
- Product Development
- Job Creation
- Trade Shows
- Business Planning
- Operating Capital
- Expansion Capital
- Business Startup
- Wage Support
Most funding needs that you as a small business owner may have, will fit into one of the above-mentioned funding uses.
When you are asking for funding from a government agency, it is always a good idea to break down your funding needs into the specific funding uses that are listed above. The more you can break down your needs, rather than ask for a lump sum, the more options you may be considered for.
As you apply for government funding, the various uses that the Ontario government may fund is crucial to know and understand; not only in your search for funding but in the application process as well.
It is also a good idea to avoid falling for the most common funding mistakes.
Common Government Funding Mistakes (and how to avoid them)
Simple mistakes are often the cause of many failed funding applications.
The Ontario government has a number of funding options available to help small business owners. In fact, there are hundreds of funding programs available and they constantly change as well.
The # 1 mistake business owners make when searching for funding is searching for a “too specific”, or “not specific enough” funding need.
I need $10,000 to start my business.
- While this seems to be a very simple and easy-to-understand approach, a funding agency may look at it and say “no”. Why? Well, since there are many different funding agencies, not all fund the “startup process”. Some fund marketing costs, some equipment purchase, some cover wages of staff and potential employees..etc”; but not all do the same thing.
A better way to approach this type of scenario is to breakdown your funding needs:
I need $10,000 in funding to start my business. With that, the following breakdown will help me accomplish my goals. I need $2,500 to cover training costs; $5,000 to purchase equipment and another $2,500 to pay for some marketing expenses.
The same idea; but broken down, utilizing the funding uses mentioned. This can allow you as a small business owner to apply for 3 potential program options. Options that cover marketing; training costs and equipment purchase.
Another example of a common mistake is asking for funding and being too specific.
I need $5,000 in funding to pay for the ladder on my work van.
If you are to contact any funding agency in Ontario and ask for funding to pay for a ladder on your work van; you will most likely be denied – or explained that there is no funding for that.
They are not wrong. There is no funding for a ladder on a work van – but there is funding for equipment purchase.
The key to a successful funding application and funding search is patience and a choice of words.
Don’t be too specific and don’t be too broad in your request.
If you need help and guidance, asking an expert at Ontario Startups what you may be eligible for is a good idea.