It never ceases to amaze me of the opportunities available for those in industry from a funding perspective. As entrepreneurial companies, small businesses, medium or large enterprises, we are fortunate to be able to tap into a variety of sources to enable business growth and development!
We were extremely pleased to host two dedicated Food, Beverage and Bio Sector Funding Workshops in Eastern Ontario this month with Bernadeen Mcleod, President and Alex Barlow, Business Development Executive, of Mentor Works. Bernadeen and Alex are both very knowledgeable and passionate when it comes to funding and keenly aware of what programs might be most advantageous to industry. After narrowing down the best of the best programs, they jointly shared ideas and thoughts to help those present consider the various opportunities that could potentially be available to them.
Should you be thinking of business expansion, human resource requirements and training, research and development needs, future or further capital investment, product-material-process-packaging- labelling changes or new product development - there are pools of money available from a funding perspective. Most of the funding programs require at least two years of Income Statements. Funding can come Regionally, Provincially or from organizations like EDC (Economic Development Corporation). Some of the programs are stackable, some regenerative - and the key is finding the programs that will work best for you.
A quick snapshot of some of the programs discussed follows:
Business Innovation Access Program (Solving technical challenges)
Yves Landry (Training that supports any area that leads to innovation)
Export Market Access (Tradeshows outside of Canada)
Agri-Marketing (Has to be outside of North America)
Growing Forward 2 Funding (Environment & Climate change/Animal & Plant Health/Market Development/Labour Productivity/Assurance Systems/Business & Leadership Development)
Local Food Fund (Anything that impacts the supply chain/existing product or launching a new product)
RED Program (50% Grant)
Agri-Innovation (Federal program - novel or innovative product for Canada - has to chemically/physically change a food product)
Growing Forward 2 Funding (Federal program - Agri-Marketing Program)
Canadian Small Business Financing Act (Federal Loan product)
BDC (ERP implementation/market expansion)
CFDC (Federal Development of Ontario - lending budget/summer companies)
SOFII (Loan product for working capital)
Digital Media Tax Credit
Canadian Youth Business Foundation (Young entrepreneurs under age of 39)
CME SMART Prosperity Now (Capital equipment)
EODF - Eastern Ontario Development Fund (Job creation component - Cobourg to Ottawa)
SWODF - Western Ontario Development Fund
Hiring Programs (Skilled/No Skilled/2+ years of employment) - Several Different Programs in Ontario
Youth Employment Fund
Food Career Focus Program 2
Career Focus - Regional
Marketing & IT - Career Connect (ICTC)
Sectorial Youth Career Focus
Ontario Exporters Fund
Ontario Co-Op Tax Credit
Canada Summer Jobs
Apprenticeship Tax Credits
NSERC - Colleges and Universities
MITACS - Accelerate Ontario (Masters & PHd Students)
OCE Voucher Programs
CAPP - Canadian Agriculture Adaptation Council
Per some of the exporting program opportunities above, there is an International Trade Show Database. This database lists shows around the world and the following three websites might also be of interest:
Our speakers both stressed the need to build solid business plans with short and long-term visioning so that you can prepare for growth accordingly with a good funding program plan in place that best suits your company's needs. They also made an interesting suggestion with respect to plotting in your Outlook Calendars, the dates of programs - keep in mind what's new, what's changed, what should you be aware of.
If you would like to know more about funding and to connect with our preferred vendors in this regard, please contact Amanda Doman, Director of Finance at 866-323-4362 or email@example.com!
Special thanks to our Host in Ottawa - HFS-Healthcare Food Services - for the very warm welcome, to our Guest Speakers - Bernadeen and Alex - and to all of the participants who joined us in both the Capital and in Belleville!
All the best as always!
Bren de Leeuw, Sr. Community Development and Food, Beverage and Bio Sector Program Initiative Manager
Excellence In Manufacturing Consortium