Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Money Matters: Financial support for manufacturing jobs and growth


PHOTO: KIWIS / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the worst economic recession since the Great Depression and has affected businesses in every sector, including manufacturing. To help recover from these recent significant instabilities, the newly announced federal government funding program known as the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) is investing a total of $700 million to help Canadian businesses achieve long-term growth opportunities, including the retention and creation of many new jobs across the country. 

Upwards of $70 million from the JGF is exclusively being set aside for small business applicants established after January 2020 and that meet the program’s eligibility criteria. This is a valuable commitment, as most government funding programs cater to mature businesses established for longer periods of time — thus, there is typically less funding support for start-ups and entrepreneurs. 

Government funding support is more important now than ever before as the country reopens to a world that continues to endure COVID-19. Canadian businesses should stay aware and updated about accessing grants and loans available to help them succeed. 

The JGF financial support is being administered federally by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs), including FedDev Ontario for Southern Ontario applicants, FedNor for Northern Ontario applicants, and Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) for applicants in Western Canada. Applications are now being accepted on a continuous intake basis until Mar. 31, 2024, or until funding is fully allocated. 

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The following information will provide your manufacturing business with insight about application details and eligibility criteria to determine whether the federal JGF financial support is right for you. 

Eligibility and timeline

In relation to manufacturing industry businesses, the Jobs and Growth Fund will support projects that contribute to job creation and long-term economic growth to focus on rebuilding the Canadian economy following negative impacts of COVID-19.

Funding amount

  • Eligible industry businesses, including manufacturers, could receive interest-free repayable contributions for up to 50 per cent of authorized costs
  • Eligible not-for-profit organizations could receive non-repayable contributions for up to 90 percent of eligible costs
  • Eligible Indigenous organizations may receive contributions for up to 100 percent of eligible project costs

Project contribution amounts cannot normally exceed $10 million

Applicant eligibility

  • Small and medium-sized businesses, including co-operatives
  • Not-for-profit organizations and community economic development partners
  • Indigenous organizations

Project eligibility

To be eligible for the Jobs and Growth Fund, manufacturing projects must: 

Foster an inclusive recovery by:

  • Increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in the economy by supporting not-for-profit organizations that provide funding, business services, training, etc. for a more equitable workforce
  • Supporting businesses owned or majority-led by underrepresented groups

Preserve Canada’s competitiveness and future-proof SMEs through digital adoption by:

  • Investing in technologies that help scale businesses, enhance their capabilities, and increase resilience
  • Supporting the development or adoption of digital and technological solutions (i.e. Industry 4.0) to increase and promote business productivity

Strengthen the capacity in sectors critical to Canada’s recovery and growth by:

  • Developing emerging areas of global competitive advantage
  • Supporting scale-up and market expansion activities
  • Supporting supply chain adaptation and diversification opportunities in critical sectors such as food production, medical supplies, and biomanufacturing

Support the transition to a green economy by:

  • Helping communities and businesses plan and drive clean, sustainable economic growth
  • Partnering with organizations to catalyze the development of green regional clusters
  • Supporting the development and adoption of clean technology
  • Working with organizations supporting businesses to transition to a green economy

Program timeline:

  • Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until all funding is allocated
  • Certain costs may be eligible on a retroactive basis up to 12 months before the receipt of the project application, but no earlier than Apr. 19, 2021
  • All projects must be completed prior to Mar. 31, 2024

Even though most Canadian provinces are no longer in COVID-19 lockdown mode thanks to Canada’s vaccination rates being higher than any other country, many manufacturing businesses are still on a challenging road to recovery following a year and a half of significant delays and impacts brought forth by COVID-19. In addition to the new Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF), there are a variety of other government programs dedicated to providing Canadian manufacturers with funding support to get through this time.

Alena Barreca is a marketing coordinator at Mentor Works, a business support organization specializing in Canadian government funding. To find out your business’s eligibility for grants and tax credits, visit mentorworks.ca.