Building Regional Innovation – Southwestern Ontario Development Fund

Southwestern Ontario is full of communities that are booming with growth. Such communities are building off of new developments and innovative businesses. Growth and development require the right support from the government, whether that be funding or personnel support. The government of Ontario has a regional economic development fund which supports businesses across Ontario in different sectors.

The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund provides support for projects and investments to business, municipalities, and not-for-profit organizations to help foster more economic development in eastern Ontario. This is an opportunity for businesses to not only get the funding that they need, but also support from partner ministries throughout the process of the project.

Type of Funding available 

This program will provide an interest free loan for the duration of the project (to a maximum of 4 years) which will cover up to 15% of project costs to a maximum of $5M. If a company achieves their investment and job targets, up to 30% of the loan (to a maximum of $500,000) may be forgiven.

Grants are available only for specific circumstances:

  • If your company has fewer than 100 employees and is based in rural Ontario (the population of your community is less than 100,000 or the population density is less than 100 people per square kilometer), then you are eligible for a grant that covers 15% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $500,000
  • Strategic projects which are foreign direct investments, or companies that are competing against other jurisdictions (in limited circumstances) are eligible for grants that cover 15% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $1,500,000

Eligible Applicants

Businesses need to:

  • Have at least 3 years of operations/financial statements
  • Have at least 10 employees (or 5 if you are in rural Ontario)
  • Commit to creating at least 5 new jobs (or 30% increase for companies with fewer than 15 employees)
  • Invest at least $500,000 in their project (or $200,000 if you are in rural Ontario)
  • Be located in, or plan to locate in, a community in southwestern Ontario

Businesses are not eligible to stack SWODF with any other provincial programs


The current Application period is open until November 17, 2022. Eligibility Checklists are to be submitted by November 3, 2022.

The next application period is January 12, 2023, to February 23, 2023. Eligibility checklists for this application period need to be submitted by February 9, 2023.

To discover more about government grants and funding opportunities, contact one of our Funding Experts today.

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