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.