Government funding will be available for resources like sales, marketing and commercialization. On November 6, 2009 The Federal Government of Canada announced a new $100 million funding initiative for 2009-2010 called the “Southern Ontario Development Program” (SODP). The SODP was set up to help small and medium sized businesses (under 1000 employees) in Southern Ontario grow their revenues, drive job creation and help build sustainable communities in Southern Ontario.
The great aspect of this funding is that it can be used for “commercialization” activities versus the classic R&D funding that is normally provided. The only downside is that monies accessed through the program are repayable in the form of an interest free loan. The SODP program is fairly broad in that the funds can be used to cover a portion of the eligible expenses for both Capital and Non-Capital costs.
The eligible project categories include:
- Expanding capacity
- Improving technology or equipment
- Improving the productivity and competitiveness of your businessAccessing new markets
- Innovation of products or services
- Commercialization of innovations
- Improving community owned tourism facilities
For our clients we feel it would be most beneficial to look at applying and using the funds for particularly non-capital projects like marketing, business development, and consulting advice. However a few of our clients may be able to take advantage of the capital project component especially for those looking to upgrade backend IT hardware. SODP will provide funding for up to 75% of the project costs for non-capital and 50% for capital. I have copied a few of the relevant program spending areas below:
Marketing plan development, hiring marketing expertise to help implement and associated collateral development.
Includes the cost of hiring a qualified consultant to prepare a business plan, feasibility study, investigate licensing opportunities, conduct a venture capital search, technology transfer search or provide advice to improve your business skills.
Machinery & Equipment
As it pertains to improving the technological capabilities of the firm.
I have taken a look at the application Form and the supporting documents (Business Plan or Business Case depending on what funding you need) and to be honest the application Form is fairly straight forward however, the supporting documents are very labour intensive.
Please note that applications for this round of funding are due on December 1st, 2009.
For more information on the “Southern Ontario Development Program” click here.
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