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A Deep Dive into Ontario Small Business Grants: Paving the Way to Entrepreneurial Success

The entrepreneurial journey is often as thrilling as it is challenging, especially in the early stages when financial support can make or break the venture. Recognizing this, the Ontario government offers a suite of grants designed to bolster small businesses, acknowledging their pivotal role in driving economic growth.

Don’t miss out on potential funding for your startup! Access our Funding Database and unlock over 1500 government grants, loans, and tax breaks in Ontario

This article takes a comprehensive look at the range of Ontario small business grants and their impact on stimulating business expansion in the province.

Ontario Small Business Investment Program Grants

  • Description: The Ontario Small Business Investment Program aims to give early-stage businesses a financial leg-up, stimulating growth at a critical juncture in their development. It focuses on sectors where Ontario has strategic growth opportunities, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, and renewable energy.
  • Eligibility: The program caters to entrepreneurs with a robust business plan demonstrating a commitment to investment, job creation, and revenue generation within Ontario’s eligible sectors.
  • Benefits: Grants under this program can defray various eligible expenses integral to business growth. These include equipment purchases, hiring specialized consultants, implementing targeted marketing campaigns, and other business development initiatives.

Ontario Innovation Tax Credit

  • Description: Designed to spur innovation, the Ontario Innovation Tax Credit supports small businesses undertaking research and development (R&D) initiatives. It provides financial backing for eligible R&D expenses, helping businesses stay competitive in the rapidly evolving technological landscape.
  • Eligibility: Small businesses conducting qualified R&D within Ontario, focused on creating or improving products or processes, are eligible for this tax credit.
  • Benefits: Businesses can secure a tax credit of up to 8% on eligible R&D expenses. This can be used to offset tax liabilities in the current fiscal year or carried forward to future years, providing much-needed financial relief to burgeoning enterprises.

Ontario Exporters Fund

  • Description: The Ontario Exporters Fund boosts small businesses’ forays into international markets. The fund offers both financial aid and support services, helping businesses navigate the intricacies of export activities.
  • Eligibility: Ontario-based businesses that generate at least 10% of their total sales from exports qualify for this fund.
  • Benefits: The fund assists with various export-expansion activities such as market research, participation in international trade shows and missions, hiring export-specific consultants, and creating marketing materials tailored for foreign markets.

Ontario Youth Entrepreneurship Fund

  • Description: The Ontario Youth Entrepreneurship Fund focuses on fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in young Ontarians. It aids in both the inception and growth of businesses led by entrepreneurs aged 18-29.
  • Eligibility: Entrepreneurs aged 18-29 residing in Ontario with a viable business plan can apply for this fund.
  • Benefits: The fund caters to an array of start-up costs and provides young entrepreneurs with valuable resources such as mentoring programs, networking opportunities, and workshops focused on honing their business acumen.

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC)

  • Description: The NOHFC is committed to stimulating economic development in Northern Ontario. It offers financial support and business resources to aid regional growth and community development.
  • Eligibility: Entrepreneurs and businesses operating in Northern Ontario can tap into this fund.
  • Benefits: The fund encompasses various grant programs supporting business expansion, start-up costs, business partnerships, and community economic development initiatives. The quantum of funding varies based on the specifics of each project.

Ontario Capital Growth Corporation (OCGC) Funding Programs

  • Description: The OCGC offers a suite of funding programs aimed at different stages of business growth. Its primary focus is to facilitate small business’s access to capital, thus enhancing their growth prospects.
  • Eligibility: Small businesses operating in Ontario and meeting the criteria stipulated for each program can apply for these funds.
  • Benefits: The OCGC houses programs such as the Ontario Venture Capital Fund, the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) Ventures, and the Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund. These initiatives provide the much-needed capital to scale businesses and access guidance from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors.

Ontario small business grants play an indispensable role in fueling the growth engine of the province’s economy. They provide comprehensive support for every phase of the entrepreneurial journey, from managing start-up costs to fostering innovation, aiding expansion into international markets, and facilitating capital access. Existing and budding entrepreneurs can capitalize on these diverse programs to overcome financial hurdles, accelerate growth, and enhance Ontario’s thriving business ecosystem. If you’re on the cusp of turning your business vision into a reality, it’s time to explore these grants and seize the opportunities they offer.


What are the most common government loans that businesses in Ontario receive?

Starting a business in Ontario, Canada is an exciting endeavor, but it often requires financial support to turn your dream into reality. Thankfully, the government of Ontario offers a range of loans specifically designed to help entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground. In this article, we will explore the most common government loans available to companies in Ontario and provide valuable insights into each of them.

Take the first step towards success with our Small Business Startup Platform. Collaborate with our team of experts, utilize our powerful Business Plan Builder tool, and gain access to our Funding Database to secure government funding for your Ontario-based business.

Small Business Loans

– The Ontario Small Business Assistance Program offers loans to support the growth and development of small businesses in the province.

– These loans are available to businesses with fewer than 100 employees and can be used for various purposes, including purchasing equipment, inventory, and expanding operations.

– The loans typically range from $5,000 to $500,000, with interest rates and repayment terms varying based on the business’s specific needs.

Export Market Access Loan

– Ontario businesses looking to expand their customer base internationally can benefit from the Export Market Access loan.

– This loan assists businesses in covering eligible costs for export market development activities, such as trade shows, marketing initiatives, and export training.

– The loan can provide funding of up to 50% of the eligible costs, with a maximum loan amount of $50,000.

– It helps businesses increase their competitiveness in global markets and supports their efforts to explore new trade opportunities.

Eastern Ontario Development Fund

– The Eastern Ontario Development Fund supports businesses in the eastern region of the province by providing financial assistance for their growth and innovation initiatives.

– Eligible businesses can receive grants or loans to support projects related to job creation, regional economic development, and commercialization of innovative products/services.

– The funding ranges from a minimum of $150,000 up to $5 million, depending on the scale and impact of the project.

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund

– The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund is specifically designed to support economic development, business growth, and job creation in the northern part of the province.

– This fund grants and loans to businesses and organizations to promote competitiveness and innovation.

– Funding is available for various purposes, including infrastructure development, research and development, and business expansion.

– The amount of funding varies depending on the specific project and its potential impact on the region.

Canada Small Business Financing Program

– The Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP) is a federal initiative that assists small businesses in obtaining loans to finance the purchase of equipment and other eligible assets.

– Administered through financial institutions in collaboration with the government of Canada, this program helps businesses access affordable financing, even if they have limited collateral or operating history.

– The maximum loan amount under the CSBFP is $1 million, and the funds can be used to purchase or improve assets, such as buildings, equipment, and leasehold improvements.

Agricultural Funding Programs

– For entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector, Ontario offers specialized funding programs to support farm businesses and promote agricultural innovation.

– Programs like the Canadian Agricultural Partnership provide grants, loans, and other financial incentives for projects related to farm productivity improvement, technological advancements, and market development.

– These funding programs aim to enhance the competitiveness of Ontario’s agriculture industry while fostering sustainable practices and supporting rural communities.

As an entrepreneur in Ontario, understanding the various government loans available to businesses is crucial to accessing the financial support you need. Whether you are a small business owner, an exporter, or operating in a specific region or industry, there are tailored loan programs to help you achieve your goals. By taking advantage of these government loans, you can propel your business toward success and contribute to the economic growth of Ontario.


Small Business Success Grant Program

“Unlock Your Success Story: Propel Your Small Business Forward with the Small Business Success Grant

Provided by: SBSG Canada

Current Stage Deadline: September 8th, 2023

Apply via the Funding Database

The early stages of a startup can often be the most challenging.

SBSG understands that getting your new business off the ground can be an exhilarating yet challenging journey. The Small Business Success Grant Program, which offers up to $1,500 in non-refundable funding, is designed to support small businesses like yours and help you turn your great ideas into successful ventures.

Small Business Success Grant Overview

The Small Business Success Grant is a program specifically created for new, for-profit, privately owned businesses located in Ontario.

If your business has generated no more than $10,000 in annual revenues, you’re eligible to apply. What’s even better? You can use this grant as you see fit to further the growth of your business. There are absolutely no strings attached!

Here’s a sneak peek into what this program offers:

$1,500  – a Non-Refundable / Non-Repayable Grant
No credit checks required – or minimum revenue requirements
Grant Writer Not Needed
No Restrictions on how you can use the funds
Matching Contributions are not required to be eligible

Applying to the Small Business Success Grant Program is unlike any other program currently available – as it is available to you with the bare minimum in requirements and eligibility.


Finding Government Funding For Your Small Business


SBSG Program Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Small Business Success Grant, you must meet the following criteria:

Your Location:

Your business must be located in Ontario.

Business Age:

Your business should be less than 1 year old – from the registration date.


Your business should have generated no more than $10,000 in revenue since its inception


Your business registration process should be completed. This can be done via federal or provincial incorporation or a Canadian resident sole proprietorship.


You must provide a complete business plan and PitchDeck presentation to be considered.


You must have a valid membership with Ontario Startups, which you register for here – or submit a $20 application if you are a non-member.

Securing a grant can significantly boost your business’ potential by providing the much-needed capital to move your startup forward.
Whether it’s for purchasing essential equipment, funding marketing efforts, managing cash flow, or covering payroll, the grant can cater to various needs.

The Small Business Success Grant provides an excellent opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs. Unlike other grant programs, there are no
strings attached. You can use the funds as you see fit to drive your business growth.

Application Process

To start the application process for the Small Business Success Grant offered by, complete the initial form found on the website to put in the request. Shortly after, the application steps will be emailed to you.

Along with your completed application form, compile all the necessary documents and information and submit your application before the deadline presented on

Remember, providing accurate information and a well-prepared business plan is essential to increase your chances of receiving the grant. The application process is straightforward, and no professional grant writer is needed.

Good luck with your application!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Small Business Success Grant?

The Small Business Success Grant is a funding program offered by Canada Startups, providing up to $1,500 in non-refundable funds to new, for-profit, privately-owned businesses in Ontario.

Who can apply for the grant?

To be eligible for this grant, your business must be less than a year old, located in Ontario, have an annual revenue of no more than $10,000, and be either federally or provincially incorporated or a Canadian resident sole proprietorship.

How can I use the grant funds?

The grant money can be used for any business-related expense, including purchasing equipment, marketing and advertising, managing cash flow, covering payroll, and more. There are no restrictions on how you can spend the funds

Do I need to have good credit to apply for the grant?

No, a credit check is not required for the application. This grant program aims to support new businesses and does not require a credit check or a minimum revenue requirement.

Do I need to hire a grant writer to apply?

No, you do not need to hire a grant writer. The application process for the Small Business Success Grant is simple and straightforward.

When is the application deadline?

The next deadline to submit applications for the Small Business Success Grant program is September 8th, 2023.

How competitive is this grant?

Grants are generally competitive, as they are a popular form of funding, especially for new businesses. However, the exact level of competition varies based on the number of applications received during each application period.

Do I have to repay the grant?

No, the grant is non-refundable, meaning you do not have to repay the money

How can I apply for the grant?

To apply for the grant, you need to complete and submit the application form, along with the required documents and information, on the Ontario Startups website before the application deadline.

Can I apply for the grant if my business is not incorporated?

Yes, you can apply if you are a Canadian resident sole proprietor. However, the business registration process must be completed.

Application Checklist

It is always a good idea to follow a checklist to determine that you have all that you need to successfully apply for the grant program.

Before you start, it is essential to confirm the following:

  1. Is your business located in Ontario?
  2. Is your business less than 1 year old?
  3. Ensure you have under $10,000 in revenue
  4. Your business must be registered
  5. Have your valid membership to Ontario Startups (or be prepared to pay the $20 application processing fee)

In terms of the documentation required to apply; you must have your 3-year financial statements and proper business plan – ensure this is reviewed by an expert and given the go-ahead. Be sure to have your PitchDeck presentation ready to go, and approved by an expert. If you have a website, ensure it is reviewed by an expert to evaluate and increase your chances of success with the Small Business Success Grant.

For added security, you can register as a member of Ontario Startups here: – to ensure you can get expert help with your business plan, financials, pitch deck, and funding search, and application steps.

The top 10 Ontario government grants for small businesses

The Top 10 Ontario government grants for small businesses

Government grants can be a great way for small businesses to get the financial assistance they need to grow and succeed. There are a number of different government grants available in Ontario, and each one has its own set of requirements and guidelines.

To be eligible for a government grant, you must first meet the eligibility criteria. 

This includes things like having a certain number of employees, being located in a certain area, or meeting certain revenue or asset thresholds.

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you then need to submit an application. This can be a daunting task, but if you follow the tips below you increase your chances of success.

Tips for successful grant applications

When applying for a government grant, it is important to remember that the competition is fierce. Only a small percentage of applicants are successful in obtaining funding, so you need to make sure you put your best foot forward. Here are some tips for successful grant applications:

1. Make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria. This includes things like having a certain number of employees, being located in a certain area, or meeting certain revenue or asset thresholds.

2. Clearly outline what you plan to use the grant money for and how it will help your business grow.

3. Have a solid business plan and financial projections ready to submit with your application.

4. Be prepared to answer questions about your business and why you need the grant money.

5. Follow up with any required documentation promptly.

6. Keep your application concise and well-organized.

7. Check the website of the granting agency for more tips on how to apply for funding.

If you are successful in obtaining a government grant, make sure you use it wisely to help your business grow. And remember, always read the terms and conditions carefully before accepting any money from the government!

Top 10 government grants for small businesses in Ontario:

1. The Small Business Innovation Fund

2. The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation

3. The Investing in Business Growth and Productivity Program

4. The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund

5. The Eastern Ontario Development Fund

6. The Northern Industrial Electricity Incentive

7. The Business Growth Initiative

8. The Rural Economic Development Program

9. The Northern Ontario Prosperity Initiative

10. The Investing in Commercialization Partnerships Program

To see all government funding options in Ontario that your small business may be eligible for, be sure to use the Funding Database.

Government grants can be a great way for small businesses to get the financial assistance they need to grow and succeed. There are a number of different government grants available in Ontario, and each one has its own set of requirements and guidelines.

To be eligible for a government grant, you must first meet the eligibility criteria. This includes things like having a certain number of employees, being located in a certain area, or meeting certain revenue or asset thresholds.

Government Grants for a Small Business in Ontario

Government Grants for a Small Business in Ontario

When deciding to start a small business in Ontario one of the lacking components of most business owners is the limited amount of funding or capital that they have available.

Funding can often be the reason why a business is successful, or why a business fails.

During the initial months of starting a small business as a business owner, you will have numerous expenses to cover.

These expenses include your regular startup costs, such as; purchasing the needed tools, the equipment, paying staff wages, covering your marketing expenses, purchasing inventory and supplies, your rent, and much more.

Unless you are using your personal funds, or savings for this, in most cases you will have to borrow.

Borrowing money is no easy task.

Sure you can borrow from your family and friends but to get some real money going you’re looking at bank loans, lines of credit, utilizing your credit cards, working with a business partner, using an investor, or accessing government funding options.

Government funding options are some of the best forms of funding that you can obtain.

While they may not be the easiest options to find, once you do, the chances that you’re able to fund each of your expenses are far greater than those of other options.

The various government funding options available include government grants, government loans, tax breaks, or credits.

The best type of program available would be a government grant. Government grants are considered non-repayable which means you can use the funds as you wish for the various needs that you initially applied for and these funds don’t have to pay back.

This way, your business has a chance of succeeding, and the government benefits as well.

Small business government grants are available in Ontario, you just have to find them.

Finding the available small business government grants is a challenge.

As the various government grants come from a number of agencies including local agencies, provincial agencies as well as federal government agencies, they can be difficult to locate.

With access to a platform such as the Funding Database here at Ontario Startups you would have access to all available government grant options as well as other forms of funding.

This will definitely help with the search process, to save you some time, frustration, and obviously allow you a focus on your business.

Government grants are considered the best funding options to apply for.

While government grants don’t always cover all aspects of your expenses, they can be used for the most beneficial ones. This is something you have to determine.

The various government agencies will fund small business owners looking to hire staff, provide training, improve their manufacturing, to go green, and much more.

How does the government make money on government grants

The government provides government grants as a way to boost the economy, create jobs and allow small businesses to succeed.

The government makes money on taxes.

The more success that you see, the more likely the government is to collect more taxes.

A win-win situation for both parties.

What small business grants are available in Ontario?

Government grant programs along with other forms of funding constantly change. Sometimes by the day.

Accessing the Funding Database here at Ontario Startups will allow you access to all options that are available. This way you can access all grants, all loans, and all tax programs with the click of a button.

The government grant programs that are easiest to access are the ones related to hiring, training, going green, and things that benefit more than just your business but the economy or the community as a whole.

What do I need to apply for a Government Grant?

To apply for a government grant in Ontario your small business will need to be registered. You will be required to have a formal business plan and 3 year financial projections. This is all that Ontario Startups can help you with and guide you step-by-step as you work with an expert.

What are the types of government grants?

The term government grants often simply means, free money.

While it is free money, there is a number of different types of government grants as well.

These different types of government grants include:

  • Non repayable government grants
  • Partial contributions
  • One time and renewable

As a small business, when applying for a government grant in Ontario, your goal should be to obtain one of the non repayable government grants.

However in most cases, you don’t really have a choice but you have to rely on what is available at the time of your search, your application, your industry, and your business location.

This may mean that you have to pick and go with what is available rather than what’s best for you.

A non repayable government grant is the best option, however not the only option to consider.

The non repayable government grants are exactly what they’re called, non repayable.

This means that once you apply for a non repayable government grant to cover a specific funding requirement and you are approved, the money that you are provided with does not have to be paid back.

On the other hand, you have partial contribution government grants. Another very common government grant program type.

While this is still money that you don’t have to pay back, in order to get the program or get approved, you have to have money of your own to invest.

An example of how the program works:

If you are looking for a grant of $50000, the partial contribution can approve a certain amount, as long as you have the other amount to put in yourself. As an example, the government can give you $35,000 dollars as long as you can put in the other $15, 000. Now the risk is shared.

The 3rd type of government grant is the one time or also call the renewable grant. This is a very specific program type that allows you to get funded once and keep going back for more if needed.

This type of government funding program is often used for hiring, training, renovations, and other activities that happen more than once in the lifespan of a business.

The money you take on is also considered non repayable in most cases.

If possible and if you qualify to take on a government grant, no matter the type will always be beneficial to your business. It is money that you don’t have to pay back and money that you can use to build your business up.

If you are not eligible for any government grant programs in Ontario for whatever reason, don’t give up.

Government grants are constantly announced, The programs are regularly changing and in order for you to not miss any options, it’s a good idea the keep regular searches going.

The OntarioStartups Funding Database can assist with this and keep you on track with all available government finding options including those government grants.

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