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Province of Ontario and Canadian federal government incentive programs

Along with the federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, the Government of Ontario is an active player in the province’s agri-food economy. Financial assistance and tax incentive programs for food and beverage companies in Ontario come from a wide variety of institutions, including the Canadian Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs, among others.

Incentive programs of interest to innovative, food and beverage companies are provided below:

Province of Ontario government programs

Export Market Access: A Global Expansion Program: A $5 million initiative, jointly sponsored by the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises increase their access to global markets. The program covers 50% of eligible costs in four specified areas.

Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit Ontario (ATTC): Eligible companies that hire and train apprentices in skilled trades, including millwrights and food process operators, receive a tax credit up to $10,000 per year.

More information on these and other programs is available here.

Federal government programs

Growing Forward 2: 2013-2018, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) initiative, represents a $3 billion investment, over five years. Under Growing Forward 2, three new federal programs will come into effect:

  • AgriInnovation Program: Will focus on investments that expand the sector's capacity to develop and commercialize new products and technologies
  • AgriMarketing Program: Will help industry improve capacity to adopt assurance systems, such as food safety and traceability. It will also support industry in maintaining and seizing new markets through branding and promotional activities
  • AgriCompetitiveness Program: Will target investments that help strengthen the agriculture and agri-food industry's capacity to adapt and profit in domestic and global markets.

Investing in Business Innovation: A FedDev Ontario initiative that boosts private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and brings them to market.

Agri-Food Trade Service (ATS): Provides centralized access to market information, trade counselling and export support activities.

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit Federal (AJCTC): Designed to help employers offset the cost of hiring and training apprentices. Maximum credit: $2,000/year for each eligible apprentice.

Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program (SR&ED): Eligible companies can earn an investment tax credit (ITC) of up to 35% on the first $2 million of qualified expenditures for SR&ED carried out in Canada, and 20% on any excess amount. The program encourages Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct R&D in Canada.

NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP): The IRAP program provides financial support to qualified small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada with fewer than 500 employees to help them undertake technology innovation.

More information and more programs listed at this page.

Please note

The programs above include mainly financial incentive 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.