The food & ag processing industry is driven by innovation.
After all, it's innovation that keeps costs down, excites the
market and positions your business for success. However, sometimes
a lack of financial resources can be the thing that stands between
your great ideas simply being ideas or actually coming to life. One
source of funding to move your business forward are government
Grants come in a variety of types and sizes and chances are,
there is a grant that will meet your organization's needs.
Whether you've had a profitable track record and are looking to
expand or you're hoping to bring that next great idea to
fruition, there are plenty of funding opportunities. However, the
competition for grant funding is fierce – and the application
process can be complicated.
Where to Find Government Grants
The first step to securing a grant is to to identify what grants
are available to your business. The Government of Canada's Canada Business
Network website identifies a wide variety of national and
regional grant programs, including ones tailored to R&D
projects, marketing and more.
While the Canada Business Network does include some
province-specific initiatives, there are still a wealth of other
grants available on a province-by-province basis. For example, the
Ontario government offers a range of incentives to encourage a
vibrant business community as part of their
Invest in Ontario program. In addition, the
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs offers
a variety of grants.
Real Life Success Stories
There are several programs that have benefitted food & ag
processing businesses in particular. While there are no guarantees
that your project will be funded – or be a runaway success
– the following examples demonstrate how grant funding can
help your business prosper.
Growing Forward 2
Growing Forward 2 program is aimed at encouraging innovation,
competitiveness and market development within Canada's
agri-food and agri-products sector. With grants of up to $350,000,
this popular program is scheduled to run until 2018. One success
story already realized from this program is through the Canadian Livestock
Genetics Association (CLGA), which has received a $1.7 million
Eastern and Southwestern Ontario Business Development
Both Eastern and Southwestern Ontario are full of agri-food
processing businesses, making these economic development funds
valuable resources to tap into. The goal of the
Southwestern Ontario Business Development Funds are to create
jobs, encourage innovation and attract private sector investment.
Up to 15% of your project cost may be funded (up to a maximum of
$1.5 million), but 50% of total costs must be contributed from your
To cite one success story, a Spanish company called Natra opened
up a 100,000 square foot chocolate factory in London, Ontario, with
$2.8 million in support from this fund. After investing $16.3
million of their own funds, the factory is expected to produce
12,000 tonnes of product and employ approximately 60 Londoners.
Where to Go From Here
The above examples demonstrate the range and wealth of funding
opportunities available – but it can be challenging to
identify which programs best align with your proposed project or
how to maximize your chances at getting your project funded.
Working with a professional experienced in grant applications can
help streamline the process and increase the potential for
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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