The Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF) is an Ontario government funding program created to support large-scale business expansion and capital investment projects. The initiative awards Ontario business grants for projects that enhance productivity, become more innovative, and compete in international markets.
JPF is divided into four unique streams; most streams support up to 10-15% of eligible project costs through a combination of Ontario government grants and loans. Businesses can apply for funding to help reduce the cost of investing in innovative products and processes.
If you’ve read the program’s overview and still have questions regarding eligibility factors, use this article to help determine whether you qualify for JPF funding for business expansion.
Jobs and Prosperity Fund Supports Business Expansion Across Ontario
The Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF) helps Ontario businesses become more competitive by supporting capital investment projects that lead to productivity improvements. This source of capital will allow applicants to access new markets and create high-quality jobs. The program is divided into four funding streams, including:
- New Economy: Innovative projects leading to enhanced productivity and international competitiveness.
- Strategic Partnerships: Industry partnerships focusing on the development of enabling technologies for Ontario’s priority sectors.
- Forestry Growth Fund: Forestry-sector projects seeking to improve productivity, innovation, and competitiveness.
- Food and Beverage Growth Fund: Innovative food and beverage technology projects for Ontario’s food processing and bioproduct sectors.
Eligibility Requirements for JPF Ontario Business Grants
Each stream has its own specific eligibility requirements businesses and projects must meet to qualify for funding. This includes:
New Economy Stream Eligibility Requirements
Businesses participating in JPF’s New Economy stream may be eligible to receive up to 20% in government grants or up to 40% in small business loans. Depending on the project’s objectives, applicants may receive a combination of grants and loans to cover up to 40% of total project costs.
- Business Eligibility: Ontario-based businesses must be in business for at least 3 years and operate within one of the province’s key economic sectors.
- Project Eligibility: Projects should increase innovation capacity, boost productivity and competitiveness, develop new exporting opportunities, and create new jobs. Project proposals must demonstrate at least $10 million in eligible project expenses.
Strategic Partnerships Stream Eligibility Requirements
Through the Strategic Partnerships stream, Ontario-based businesses can access up to 66% of project costs to a maximum $5,000,000 – $25,000,000 in business expansion grants.
- Business Eligibility: Collaborations between businesses and at least one other company, supplier, research institution, investor, or customer. Applicants must be a member of Ontario’s priority sectors and have been business for at least three years prior to applying to the program.
- Project Eligibility: Projects should develop productivity-enhancing technologies for priority sectors such as advanced manufacturing, information technology, life sciences, and financial services. Project proposals must include least $10 million in eligible expenses.
Forestry Growth Fund Eligibility Requirements
Businesses participating in the Forestry Growth Fund stream may receive up to 20% in Ontario government grants or up to 40% in small business loans. Depending on the project’s objectives, applicants may receive a combination of grants and loans to cover up to 40% of total project costs.
- Business Eligibility: Ontario manufacturers and processors operating within the wood and forest biomass industries. This includes pulp and paper mills, secondary wood manufacturers, and saw mills.
- Project Eligibility: Eligible projects must demonstrate how they will improve the business’ productivity and competitiveness, boost innovation capacity, create new trade and exporting opportunities, and strengthen the supply chain. Project budgets must include more than $5 million in eligible expenses.
Food and Beverage Growth Fund Eligibility Requirements
Businesses applying towards the Food and Beverage Fund can access up to 20% in Ontario government grants, up to 40% in small business loans, or a combination of Ontario business grants and loans that cover up to 40% of project costs.
- Business Eligibility: Ontario food, beverage, and bio-product processors.
- Project Eligibility: Food, beverage, and bioproduct manufacturing activities. Applicants must demonstrate how the project will create new job opportunities, increase new market access, enhance production capabilities, and improve supply chains. Project budgets must possess more than $5 million in eligible expenses.
Jobs and Prosperity Fund – Expense Eligibility Requirements
Regardless of which stream businesses apply towards, the Jobs and Prosperity Fund will provide Ontario government funding to help offset:
- Facility upgrades necessary for installation of project-related equipment;
- Upgrades or installation of infrastructure needed for the project’s new equipment and/or processes;
- Materials for developing prototypes, product testing, and clinical trials;
- Accessing Ontario training programs to upskill employees;
- Transportation and accommodation costs within Ontario (some exceptions may be made for travel outside of Ontario);
- Wages and salaries for employees directly associated with the project; and
- Accounting and legal fees.
Ineligible Project Expenses
The JPF program will not provide Ontario business grants and loans to offset project costs, such as:
- Purchasing land or facilities;
- Building expansions and/or upgrades;
- Per diems and meal expenses when travelling;
- Employee relocation expenses (in some cases, applicants may include this expense within the funding agreement);
- Ongoing operational and production labour;
- Internet connectivity and telecommunication devices; and
- Resources and materials required for the regular production of commercial goods.
How to Apply for the Jobs and Prosperity Fund
Interested Ontario-based businesses must complete a two-stage application process for the Jobs and Prosperity Fund. The first stage requires submission of a Statement of Intent (SOI); if successful, the business will be will be invited to submit a full application. The application process can take an upwards of 10-12 months to complete, therefore businesses must be proactive when applying to the program.
Contact Mentor Works to confirm your business’ eligibility for the Jobs and Prosperity Fund. Our team can help complete your application and accelerate the submission process.
This post originally appeared on Mentor Works. Mentor Works helps established for-profit companies find and leverage Canadian business grants and loans.