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Toronto Government Funding Programs

For small business owners across Ontario, especially in the city of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, there are a number of government funding programs for small businesses to benefit from.

The available government funding programs range from government grants, government loans, to tax breaks, credits and other incubator and accelerator programs that businesses across Toronto may benefit from.

Many of these government funding programs help support small businesses owners across the various sections, including those within the digital media space, healthcare, food processing, retail and many more industries.

While many government funding programs are offered Ontario wide, many of these are specific to Toronto based industries, demographics and have a special economic purpose.

As a small business owner in Toronto, consider getting help from Ontario Startups and utilizing the Funding Database to access all available government funding options for your small business.

Government Funding for Toronto Small Businesses

Below you will find a number of government funding programs for Toronto small businesses. If you are a small business owner looking to get access to funding for your small business, to startup or to expand, utilize the below list to get a head start with your funding search.

If you are looking for expert assistance to help narrow down which funding programs your Toronto small business may be eligible for, work with an Ontario Startups expert today.

Angel Investors and Venture Capital

Angel Investors Ontario  – Angel investing is more than just funding small businesses. It goes way beyond, providing small business owners in Ontario with the assistance they need with their startup businesses, in order to succeed and grow.

Angel investors groups in Ontario:

Funding for the Arts, Culture, Film and Television

Canada Council for the Arts Canada Council for the Arts government grant programs help Canadian small business owners who are artists and art organizations.
Government of Canada  Government of Canada – Canadian Heritage offers a variety of government funding opportunities including the Canada Book Fund, Canada Music Fund, Canada Media Fund, Canada Periodical Fund and many more. You can access these funding options right on the government website, or all in one place in the Funding Database available via Ontario Startups.
Ontario Arts Council Ontario Arts Council provides granting programs in different categories such as Art Education, Crafts, Dance, Literature, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts and more.
Ontario Media Development Corporation The Ontario Media Development Corporation, commonly known as Ontario creates, focuses on encouraging strategic business partnerships among the converging cultural media industries, including film and television production, book and magazine publishing, sound recording and interactive digital media. 
Socan Foundation Socan Foundation provides funding for Canadian small business music creators.
Toronto Arts Council Toronto Arts Council (TAC) provides grants to artists and arts organizations.

Government Funding For Black Entrepreneurs in Ontario

Black Entrepreneurship Loan Program This government funding program, provides government loans up to $250,000 to Black business owners and entrepreneurs. These loans can be used for capital investments, working capital, short-term receivable financing.

Funding for Indigenos Business Owners in Ontario

Waubetek Business Development Corporation Waubetek Business Development Corporation delivers business financing and economic support services to Aboriginal entrepreneurs and First Nation communities.
Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) offers a variety of services to support Aboriginal business and economic development, including financing, business support, community planning, and workshops and bookkeeping training.
Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario (IAPO) offers small business financing to support First Nations entrepreneurs and businesses. Funding is offered for equipment, business start-up and expansion, commercial real estate financing.

Government Grants For Hiring/Wage Support In Ontario

Ontario Apprenticeship Programs The Province of Ontario provides employers with financial incentives to train apprentices. This funding comes in the form of a grant.
Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit available to employers or sponsors who hire and train apprentices in certain skilled trades.

Innovation and Technology Funding Options In Ontario

Agrilnnovation Program The government funding program is designed for small businesses in Ontario, with the agriculture sector, and provides government grants or loans for research and development of a new agricultural product or technology.
Collaborative Research and Development Grants Collaborative Research and Development Grants support research projects in natural sciences or engineering by covering part of the project costs.
MaRS – Investment Accelerator Fund Investment Accelerator Fund for life sciences, cleantech, ICT or digital media enterprises, is a seed fund program, provided by the Province of Ontario, that helps emerging tech companies bring their product and services to market.
Natural Research Council Canada The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) provides funding to qualified firms and their innovative research and development projects.
Ontario Centres of Excellence – Collaborative Commercialization Programs Ontario Centres of Excellence – Collaborative Commercialization Programs bring universities, industry and government together to help turn science and technology into successful business endeavors.
Ontario Innovation Tax Credit If you are an owner of an Ontario-based corporation you may be eligible for a 10% tax credit on research and development carried out in Ontario for your business.
Scientific Research and Experimental Development The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program is a federal tax incentive program to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct research and development (R&D) in Canada. The Canada Revenue Agency, responsible for administering the program, offers tax credits for expenditures such as wages, materials, machinery, equipment, some overhead and SR&ED contracts.

 Market Expansion Funding

Business Development Bank of Canada Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Xpansion Loan helps Canadian companies with up to $100,000 in long-term financing.
Ontario Chamber of Commerce Ontario Exporters Fund assists SME’s increase access to international markets.

Small Business, Government Loans In Ontario

Access Community Capital Fund Access Community Capital Fund (ACCF) supports entrepreneurs with viable business plans with financing not available from other sources. The borrower may have no credit history, or may have a poor credit record due to unemployment, illness or unforeseen life events.
Futurpreneur Futurpreneur offers aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39 access to up to $15,000 in start-up financing and up to $60,000 in additional financing through a partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada.
Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program helps people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment or self-employment.
Rise Asset Development  Rise Asset Development (Rise) provides loans to entrepreneurs with a history of mental health and /or addiction challenges. Rise operates with the support of the Rotman School of Management and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
The Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund for Social Enterprises The Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund for Social Enterprises is about enabling social entrepreneurs and innovators to turn their ideas into reality by supporting promising early stage ventures with access to capital. This microloan fund is administrated by the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI).

In addition to the above government funding options for small businesses in Toronto and across Ontario, it is important to consider additional options that the Ontario government has to offer. Keep in mind that provinces outside of Ontario may fund business expansion into Ontario; as well, the Federal Government of Canada has options that small business owners may consider to fund their business.

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