Government grants, loans, tax credits and support services for Ontario businesses

While Ontario offers some of the world’s most welcoming immigration programs, a highly skilled workforce and strategic access to the North American market, we know that government programs and incentives can drive the decision-making process to relocate or expand new and existing operations. That’s why we offer programs and services that speak to the needs of your business, spanning research and development, site selection, talent attraction, future-skilling, business costs, exporting and industry-specific supports.

Below is a snapshot of the types of programs and incentives available to businesses operating in Ontario.

To find out what supports may be available to your company, please connect with us.

Attracting Business Investment through Invest Ontario

Ontario has created the Invest Ontario Fund, which supports Invest Ontario and encourages investments in the key sectors of advanced manufacturing, technology and life sciences.

R&D and Technology

Ontario is where bold ideas come to life, tackling some of the biggest challenges the world has ever seen. Whether in the science lab or the computer lab, we have supports in place to help advance innovations across all sectors through research and development projects and at the forefront of the global tech breakthroughs.

  • Customized Working Capital—A loan program for tech companies that want to raise working capital for growth through financing from $250,000 to $35 million.
  • Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive (SR&ED)—A tax credit for companies to lower costs for key inputs, including wages/salaries. Some credits include:
  • CanExport Innovation—A federal program that provides innovators from Canadian organizations access to up to $75,000 in funding to assist with research and development (R&D) for a single technology. The program covers up to 75% of eligible costs to pursue and sign collaborative R&D agreements with international partners and investors.

Regional Programs

Ontario is home to a mosaic of communities, each with unique attributes and opportunities that help local businesses succeed. Depending on your company’s site requirements, locating in different regions across the province could unlock additional incentives.

Labour and Hiring

From advanced manufacturing to medical technology, financial services to forestry, Ontario companies have access to a robust pipeline of talent through the province’s 44 colleges and universities that produce workforce-ready graduates at all skill levels, including 63,500 STEM graduates annually. To complement our steady supply of talent, Ontario layers on employment programs and tax credits to further assist businesses to access new talent and upskill or reskill their existing workforce—critical factors to compete successfully in the global marketplace.

  • Canada-Ontario Job Grant—Receive one-sixth of eligible training costs, to a max of $10,000 per person to train new or existing employees in Ontario.
  • Co-operative Education Tax Credit—Hire business-ready undergrad, master’s and PhD talent from Ontario universities and colleges with help from this 25-30% refundable tax credit (to a max of $3,000 per placement).
  • IRAP Youth Employment Program—Companies looking to develop new products are eligible to hire an intern to work on R&D innovation products.
  • Mitacs—An internship program for Ontario R&D projects covering 50% up to $15,000 and a postdoctoral fellowship program for companies looking to develop an in-house R&D team covering 50% of the $60,000 stipend per fellow per year.
  • Skills Development Fund—A fund for innovative projects that address challenges to hiring, training or retaining workers, including apprentices, to drive Ontario’s economic growth.
  • Workforce Development Stream—The intent of this program is to strengthen and develop Northern Ontario’s workforce through business partnerships by offering internships. This program covers salaries/wages and the employer’s portion of Mandatory Employment Related Costs (MERCs) for a limited-term internship position of 52 weeks.

Supporting Business Costs

Businesses operating in Ontario can tap into incentives and usage optimization programs for “cost of doing business” items such as utilities and capital investments.

  • Capital Cost Allowance—Businesses in Ontario can free up more capital for investments in business growth, innovation and productivity by writing-off a larger share of their capital costs in the investment year.
  • Save-ON-Energy—A program to help industrial consumers manage and conserve their energy usage better.
  • Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI)—An initiative that supports large electricity consumers by charging global adjustments based on their contribution to the top five peak demand hours in a year, rather than on the total volume of electricity consumed.
  • Northern Energy Advantage Program (NEAP)—A program that assists Northern Ontario’s largest industrial electricity consumers to reduce energy costs and sustain jobs. This program provides electricity rebates to qualifying participants that commit to the development and implementation of a comprehensive Energy Management Plan and work to achieve energy efficiency and conservation targets.
  • Natural Gas incentive programs—A program to help natural gas industrial consumers manage and conserve their energy usage better.

Export Support

Robust supports are in place to help you succeed in your exporting goals—whether you’re a new exporter exploring possibilities or a seasoned exporter ready to expand global market reach.

  • CanExport Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Program—A federal program that provides financial assistance to SMEs to develop new export opportunities. The program reimburses up to 50% of eligible expenses (between $10,000 and $50,000 in funding per project).
  • Export Guarantee Program—A federal program that helps businesses acquire more financing to expand their sales into a new market. The guarantees cannot exceed $10 million.
  • Export missions, programs and events—In addition to 1:1 export advisory services and exporter preparation workshops, the Ontario government organizes and delivers virtual and in-person export business missions, incoming buyers missions, and market and sector-specific webinars for Ontario businesses looking to export outside Canada.

Industry Programs

Ontario offers a wide range of incentives and programs that are designed to support businesses operating within specific industries. Connect with us to learn more about what industry-specific supports are available to your business.

  • Canadian Agricultural Partnership—A five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors. In Ontario, cost-share funding under the Partnership supports projects in economic development in the agri-food and agri-products sectors, environmental stewardship to enhance water quality and soil health and protection and assurance to reinforce the foundation for public trust in the sector through improved assurance systems in food safety and plant and animal health.
  • Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program (FSIIP)—An Ontario government program that provides funding for strategic investments in the forest sector that improve productivity and innovation, enhance competitiveness, support new market access, provide benefits to Ontario’s broader forest sector and strengthen regional economies.
  • Interactive Digital Media Fund (IDM)—This fund is aimed at strengthening and stimulating economic growth in the interactive digital media sector. Programs include Concept Definition and Production; Global Market Development; Marketing Support; and Industry Development.
  • Ontario Critical Minerals Innovation Fund—A fund supporting projects that help strengthen Ontario’s critical minerals sector. It provides a maximum of 50% of eligible project costs, up to $500,000 per project.
  • Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit—A refundable tax credit based upon eligible Ontario labour expenditures for a qualifying Ontario production. Generally combined with the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and jointly administered by Ontario Creates and Canada Revenue Agency.
  • Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC)—A refundable tax credit based on eligible Ontario labour expenditures and eligible marketing and distribution expenses claimed by a qualifying corporation with respect to interactive digital media products.
  • Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) programs—Programs that support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing, testing and validating innovative technologies and connects them with partners to advance the commercialization of products and solutions.
  • Women in Technology Fund (WIT)—A fund that supports Canadian women-led technology companies, of any size, at every stage of growth.

Last updated December 5, 2022