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Starting and running a small business can be a tough endeavor. With the costs of overhead, inventory, and labor, finding funding can make or break a small business. While getting a small business loan is an option, government grants offer a unique opportunity to receive financial assistance without the burden of additional debt. In this article, we will discuss how to get a government grant for your small business in Ontario.

What are government grants?

Government grants are sums of money provided by the government to help fund various projects or initiatives. Grants can come from a variety of sources, including federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be paid back, making them an attractive option for small business owners.

Do I qualify for a government grant?

The eligibility requirements for government grants vary depending on the specific grant. Some grants are targeted towards certain industries, such as technology or agriculture, while others are geared towards specific demographics, such as women or marginalized communities. Generally speaking, your business must be registered and located in Ontario and demonstrate a potential for growth and job creation.

What types of grants are available in Ontario?

Ontario offers a variety of grants for small businesses, including:

  • Ontario Innovation Tax Credit: This tax credit provides a refundable tax credit to small businesses that are conducting research and development in Ontario. The credit is 10% of eligible R&D expenditures.
  • Eastern Ontario Development Fund: This fund provides grants to businesses located in eastern Ontario to help with expansion projects. The grant can cover up to 15% of eligible project costs, up to a maximum of $1.5 million.
  • Southwestern Ontario Development Fund: This fund provides grants to businesses located in southwestern Ontario to support job creation, innovation, and regional economic development. The grant can cover up to 15% of eligible project costs, up to a maximum of $1.5 million.
  • Canada Small Business Financing Program: This program provides loans to small businesses for the purposes of purchasing equipment and expanding their operations. The loans are issued by financial institutions, but the government shares the risk with the lender.

How do I apply for a government grant?

To apply for a government grant, you will need to do the following:

  • Research available grants: Use government websites and search engines to locate grants that are available to you based on the specifics of your business, industry, and location. Ensure that you meet their eligibility criteria and understand the requirements to apply for the grant.
  • Create a business plan: A business plan will demonstrate that you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with the grant and how you intend to do so. Your plan should include details on the amount of funding you seek, how the funding will be used, the expected outcomes, and how your business will be sustainable once funding ends.
  • Complete the application: The grant application will require you to provide specific details about your business and how the funding will be used. You will also usually have to submit financial statements, tax returns, and other business documents.
  • Submit the application: Make sure that you review your application for accuracy and completeness before you submit it. Double-check that you have included all required documents to avoid any delays or denial of your application.


While the process of applying for a government grant can be time-consuming and challenging, the benefits can be substantial for your small business. It is important to conduct thorough research, determine your eligibility, and create a compelling business plan. A successful grant application can provide your business with a much-needed financial boost, helping to increase growth, create jobs, and achieve long-term success.

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