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Small Business Funding in Ontario

Small business funding in Ontario

When it comes to starting a small business in Ontario the government has a lot of support provided towards small business owners startups and entrepreneurs

This support often comes from 3 levels in the government including the law including the local government, the Ontario provincial government, and the federal government of Canada.

The money that is available comes in a number of forms including funding from government grants, government loans, tax breaks, tax credits, and other funding options.

With such a variety of funding options available, small business owners don’t have to rely on personal funding and are not forced to utilize banks or 3rd party investors.

Accessing these government funds is one of the key challenges that most entrepreneurs in Ontario face.

Not because the funds are not available but they’re extremely difficult to access or find.

Why, you ask?

Since the funding comes from multiple levels of the government they are scattered across hundreds of websites from the various government funding agencies.

Most of these funding agencies don’t promote their funding programs. Instead, they rather use that promotional money to fund business owners.

To no fault of their own, their marketing just isn’t there.

So how does a small business in Ontario get funding?

Well, there are a few options.

1st you can start by accessing the government site. While there are dozens of government sites per city or per province, the federal government website can be of a lot of help If you know what you’re looking for.

2nd there are a lot of 3rd party options such as the Ontario Startups Funding Database that helps with finding and accessing all of the available government funding programs in Ontario and across Canada.

3rd, you can take some time on your own and Google the information. As most of this government funding info is public information as long as you have the time and patience you were able to Google and find most of the options on your own.

What type of funding programs are best to consider in Ontario?

There are many different options in Ontario to fund your small business. As mentioned, some of these come from forms of government grants or government loans. What you want to obtain entirely depends on you.

Government grants are some of the best options.

These options provide you money for your business for the various costs that your business may have. Most of the time the government grants are considered non-repayable. This means you take the money from the government, use the funds for your own purpose that you initially applied with and you don’t have to pay it back.

Government loans on the other hand are funds that you do have to pay back. However, these government loan programs are much better than any bank loans.

The interest rates are a lot better, the repayment terms are a lot better and the conditions of the loan, much better in most cases.

These government loans are easily attainable and more available in comparison to government grants.

Tax breaks and tax credits are also available.

They’re not as fun simply because you first have to spend the money in order to take advantage. In most cases, money that you don’t have, in order to qualify for a tax credit or for a tax break.

The tax breaks or credits are often obtained at the end of the year during tax filing season. In order to be qualified for most of these, you have to keep receipts of your purchases and they have to qualify for the various criteria that these tax programs offer.

If you had a choice to pick whether to go with the grant a loan or a tax program, grand options are the best. However, loans are the easiest to obtain.

What do I need to qualify small business funding in Ontario?

If you’d like to qualify for a small business funding program in Ontario made available by the local provincial or federal government, you have to have a few things.

You need to have a business registered. A business however does not have to be active or make revenue just yet.

You have to have a formal business plan. One that explains your business model, your funding requirements, shows a little bit of your financials, and gives an idea of what you do to the funding agency.

You have to find the right program. Programs that cover the specific needs you have, but also programs that you can meet the criteria for as well.

Lastly, you have to apply on time. If you miss the deadline, or the program option is no longer available and you will be denied.

Is there a funding program for my business?

Currently, in Ontario there are approximately 500 different funding programs. As mentioned these programs come from the local, Ontario provincial, and the federal government.

To determine if you’re eligible for a funding program you first have to have a completed business plan that breaks down your funding needs. This information will be used to help determine which program options you may qualify for.

As most funding agencies have certain factors that they consider they will be looking at your location,  the industry that you’re in as well as how you intend on using the funds.

Accessing the Ontario Startups Small Business Funding Database, you will have access to all of the funding programs available. With a simple search or guidance from an expert, you will be able to locate the right options that are available for your small business in Ontario.

What if I apply and am denied?

If you apply to a funding program in Ontario for your small business and you’re denied funding, it’s not the end of the world.

Getting denied funding is a common issue. An issue that you have to learn from adjusting and simply re-do.

The most common denial reasons from a government funding agency across Ontario will be the lack of information in your business plan, applying at the wrong time, past the deadline, or not having the application properly completed.

This is something that your Ontario Startups experts will assist you with to ensure that the common mistakes are avoided. Whatever the reason is for your denial of government funding you would be notified by the various agencies as to the reason why. This reason why is crucial to improve your business plan, fix your applications and update your criteria for the next time you apply.

Your Government Funding Questions

Your government funding questions answered

The Ontario government provides funding to small business owners and entrepreneurs across the province. In addition to that, The Canadian federal government and the various local governments provide funding as well.

As a small business owner trying to find these funds, it might get a bit confusing or time-consuming.

The funding available is scattered across over 1,500 different programs. These programs come from the various levels of the government, each with its own website, requirements, and a unique process to apply.

Getting expert help to find the available government-finding programs is definitely recommended.

Using tools such as the Funding Database provided by Ontario Startups will ensure that you have all of the options in one place. Saving you time, And a lot of frustration.

With all of the confusion around government funding programs in Ontario, below is a list of questions that commonly come in, so we thought we’d share.

Does government funding really exist in Ontario?

Government funding is real.

Each province has its own funding program. These programs are set in place to help boost the economy.

The government hands out the money in order to help you succeed with your business and then in return, they expect you to hire staff and to pay tax.

This creates a cycle. A cycle that is ongoing and helps support entrepreneurship across the province each year.

Funding comes in various forms including government, government loans, and tax breaks.

How much funding can my small business in Ontario get?

As a small business in Ontario applying to any government funding program you should go in with a few prerequisites. The most important one is to know how much funding you actually need.

While there is no maximum or minimum that a funding agency can provide you unless they specify, your funding needs should be based on your business plan and on how much you need to succeed.

While applying for a million dollars would be ideal, it does not mean that this is what you actually need within the 1st year of your business. Consider your start-up cost and evaluate what you need money for urgently. This is what you apply for first.

Funding agencies often have limits that generally sit around $25,0000. However, if asking for funding, it’s a good idea to break down your funding requirements into smaller amounts that are specific, so that way you can apply to multiple funding programs covering a larger range if needed.

How do I know if I will be eligible for any government funding in Ontario?

To find out if your small business in Ontario is eligible for any funding, you have to access the government funding program requirement.

Unless you know which program to apply to, working with an expert will help determine this.  Each government funding program has its own requirements that have to be met in order for you to be eligible.

Certain factors such as your location, your industry, and the specific funding needs that you have will be the ones determining your likeliness to apply successfully.

Why would the government give my business money?

The government supports entrepreneurship. With that in mind, the government gives funding to small business owners that are looking to succeed. In return, you spend the money locally, you hire local staff, you pay your taxes, and this cycle helps boost the economy, and ultimately creates a new round of funding for another business to obtain.

What if there is no program available for my business?

If you are looking for government funding in Ontario and you have no success finding any applicable programs, it doesn’t mean that they’re not there.

The government agencies often don’t promote their funding programs, and this means that they are extremely difficult to find.

But in the case that you are not eligible for any of the options, the good news is that the funding programs constantly change. So if you don’t qualify, tomorrow is another day.

Working with the expert will ensure that you stay on top of the funding search and then you are matched to programs that may help with your funding needs.

What is the maximum that I can get from the Ontario government?

There is no maximum amount that you can get in government funding. At least this is not very clear as each funding agency has its own maximum figures.

To ensure optimal success and then you get as much as you need, break down your funding needs and apply to multiple funding programs that cover each of those needs individually.

After I apply for funding how soon can I get the funds?

Once you have successfully completed a government funding application, and you have submitted it, it can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks on average to hear back.

The speed depends on a number of factors including the time of the year, program deadlines, number of applicants, and more. All of these factors can impact the speed of your applications and fund approval.

Do I have to pay back the government money?

Depending on the type of government funding you are applying to, it may require repayment.

The money that has to be repaid will come in the form of a government loan or similar.

Tax breaks, credits, and government grants are often the non-repayable funds.

Keep in mind however that if you use the government funding incorrectly, try to fool the system, you may be asked to pay all of the funds back with a penalty.

What do I need to have in order to apply to a government funding program?

In order to apply for government funding successfully, you have to complete the funding application provided by the agency. As each agency has its own criteria, these are the items your small business must meet in order to qualify.

Remember the key to a successful application starts with a completed business plan.

These are just a few of the questions that are our members have in regards the government funding for small businesses in Ontario.

If you have any questions of your own, be sure to ask.

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