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Incentives and Supports

The federal and provincial governments are active players in the province’s agri-food economy providing different supports to help grow the sector.  Financial assistance and incentive programs for food and beverage companies in Ontario come from a variety of different locations.

The Following list provides information of some of the more popular programs available to agri-food companies within Ontario.

Province of Ontario Government Programs

Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit (Ontario): Eligible companies that hire and train apprentices in skilled trades can enjoy tax credits up to $10,000 per year to help cover eligible expenses incurred by the company while helping the apprentice to receive their education.

Market Access Initiative supports the agri-food businesses that are looking to access new markets by cost-sharing expenses for business development, market and/or export planning.

Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides opportunities for employers to invest to their workforce.  The Grant provides direct financial support to individual employers who wish to purchase training for their employee(s).

Eastern Ontario Development Fund provides support for projects and investments to businesses for economic development in eastern Ontario.

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund provides support for projects and investments to businesses for economic development in southwestern Ontario.

Rapid Response to Business Opportunities aimed to solve immediate impediments to commercialization of agricultural and agri-tech products or service. 

Save on Energy Programs for Business provide support and tools to invest in energy-saving techniques, projects and capabilities by businesses in Ontario.

Co-operative Education Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit, available to employers who hire students enrolled in a co-operative education program at an Ontario university of college.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a cost-sharing program between the federal and provincial government to provide support to innovation in the agri-food sector.  The Partnership provides several streams related to the current needs of the sector.

Community Improvement Plans  is a tool that allows a municipality to direct funds and implement policy initiatives toward a specifically defined project area.  The Community Improvement Plans are intended to encourage rehabilitation initiatives and/or stimulate development.  Many communities within the Province of Ontario have specialized programs developed for their region.

Government of Canada Programs

Foreign Buyers Financing provides financing to international customers, meaning that the federal government takes on the risk of non-payment.  Your customer receives extended payment terms and your business receives payment according to your contract terms.

Export Market Access helps business enter new global markets by providing support to attend trade shows, participate in market research, upgrade e-commerce and more.

CanExport SMEs funding to cover up to 75% of a business’ international market development activities.  Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises may choose up to five (5) export markets to target, where the business has no or minimal business activities.

Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program uses tax incentives to encourage businesses to conduct research and development in Canada.  These tax incentives come in three forms: income tax deduction, investment tax credit or a refund.

Canada Sumer Jobs is an initiative which aims to provide young Canadians with skills and gain paid work experience as they transition from the educational institutions to the labour market.  Employers can receive funding for providing summer jobs to Canadian youth.

AgriInnovate provides repayable contributions for project that aim to accelerate the commercialization, adoption and/or demonstration of innovative products, technologies, processes or services that increase agricultural sector competitiveness and sustainability.

Protein Industries Canada supports collaborative product or process research, technology development and export market development projects related to expanding Canada’s plant-based protein sector.

Business Scale-Up Productivity helps to accelerate the growth of firms and assist with the adoption of new, innovative technologies that support scale-up, productivity, and the development of and entry into new markets.

R&D Institutional Supports

Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit claim a non-refundable tax credit on eligible scientific research and experimental development expenditures performed in Ontario.

Ontario Innovation Tax Credit is for a refundable tax credit for eligible costs by a business that has conducted innovative research in Ontario towards product development.

Ontario Business Research Institute Tax Credit, business can claim up to 20% refundable tax credit for qualified expenditures on scientific research and experimental development work performed in Ontario by an eligible research institution.

Industrial Research Assistance Program provides advice, connections and funding to help Canadian businesses increase their innovation capacity and take new ideas to the marketplace.  Funding is available to support research and development at various stage of the innovation cycle.

Please note:

The programs above include mainly financial incentives programs, but a few information and support programs are listed as well.  Some are relevant only for sectors/associations and some for individual companies.  Please refer to details at the source pages and contact program coordinators for eligibility requirements.