Various financial incentives are available to small businesses in Ontario, whether you want to improve your business performance with the help of government grants or make the most of your profits through tax credits.

Small business grants in Ontario can help your business move forward with training, hiring, making environmentally friendly upgrades, and more.

There is a wide variety of grants available to small businesses in Ontario, but to qualify for these benefits, you will need to know what they are and how to apply.

What is a small business grant?

The Ontario government offers different types of financial support. Grants are only one way to boost your corporate success. They differ from contributions, loans and tax credits. If you aren’t sure precisely what your options are, try contacting a corporate accountant for professional advice!

A business grant is a financial award. It does not need to be paid back, and in some cases may not even need to be accounted for once eligibility has been confirmed and the grant has been awarded. Grants are available to startups and to established businesses. Most grants are funded by the government, but some are made available by philanthropists and corporations.

How business grants work in Ontario

A grant is awarded to a business for a specific purpose. Grants are usually categorized within "programs". For example, there may be grant programs for indigenous entrepreneurs, or student entrepreneurs, or for businesses in the entertainment industry.

For businesses who aren’t sure which grants they might be eligible for, the Ontario government has also organized their grant programs according to purpose of funding and industry. Ontario Business Grants offers tools to help you sift through the many funding possibilities available.

Before you apply for a grant

No matter what type of small business grant you are applying for in Ontario, you will need the following:

  • A completed business plan
  • 3-year financial projections
  • A breakdown of your specific funding needs, in the appropriate format

Each individual grant application usually requires many other specific elements, including proof that you are eligible to operate in Ontario and that you are not receiving other funds for the same purpose (for example).

Who is eligible for Ontario small business grants?

Ontario small business grants are available to specific types of business ventures. The following categories of Ontario businesses currently have grants available to them:

  • Agriculture/Farming
  • Arts/Media/Entertainment
  • Manufacturing
  • Technology
  • Startups
  • Indigenous entrepreneurs
  • Artists
  • Famers
  • Young entrepreneurs
  • Student entrepreneurs

There are also grants for specific types of activities within sectors, including hiring, training, export development, energy efficiency and research and development.

Grants for hiring and training employees

Some grant programs aim to help businesses and individuals with mutual needs. Here are a few examples of grants that help businesses find and pay for qualified employees:

  • Opportunities Fund Program: Helps individuals with disabilities enter the workforce
  • Canada Summer Jobs Grant: Provides incentive for small businesses to hire youth
  • Canada Ontario Job Grant: Encourages businesses to invest in advancing their employees’ skills
  • Young Canada Works Program: Provides incentive to hire students

Grants for businesses in Toronto (GTA)

In addition to province-specific grants, local small businesses can also benefit from grants specific to Toronto. These tend to focus on projects for developing or redeveloping commercial and industrial buildings, with a strong focus on activities that bring environmental rewards.

These grants can be put toward either starting or running a business, and range from $500 to $5,000,000.

Grants to go green

Ontario and Toronto business grants put a special emphasis on the environment. They include funding especially for retrofits, capital improvement projects and purchasing new and/or automated equipment that deliver energy savings.

Some are awarded to businesses using natural gas for specific equipment and processes, and others are awarded to companies whose activities offer both environmental and economic benefits to Canadians.

To qualify, your business must be industrial or commercial, and registered and incorporated in Canada.

T2inc can help your small business apply for a grant

There are many grants available to small businesses in Ontario. As a busy entrepreneur, you may find it difficult to find the time to sift through the many programs and figure out which grants your business could be eligible for. And once you find a possible match, you will still need to prepare your financial paperwork and complete your grant application.

Our small business tax accountants can help you keep your paperwork in order year-round so that you can easily apply for a grant as soon as it becomes available. Contact us today to learn how we can help your small business succeed!

Frédéric Roy-Gobeil


As President of T2inc.ca and an entrepreneur at heart, I have founded many start-ups such as delve Labs and T2inc.ca. A former tax specialist at Ernst & Young, I am also a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés CPA and have a master's degree in taxation from the Université de Sherbrooke. With a passion for the world of entrepreneurship and the growth mindset, I have authored numerous articles and videos on the industry and the business world, as well as on accounting, taxation, financial statements and financial independence.

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