The following article is written by guest blogger Ryan Weaver.

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Ryan Weaver
has a BA in Economics, an MSc in Management, and several published works including two books. As Marketing Analyst at Mentor Works, Ryan enjoys communicating with business owners & executives about government grants and funding available to help overcome obstacles to growth.


Growing Forward 2 Ontario

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario is home to North America’s third largest food and beverage manufacturing centre, with close to 3,000 multinationals, home-grown giants, and niche companies producing $35 billion in goods annually. But with opportunity for growth in the food processing sector, competition from other developed nations is growing fierce, and so Ontario small businesses are looking for ways to strengthen their competitive advantage by improving productivity and expanding existing product lines. These activities come with a cost; and while business owners recognize their need to innovate often a key piece of the puzzle is missing: adequate funding.

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Meeting Customer Expectations and Seizing New Market Opportunities Important to Manufacturers

According to a recent survey called the Manufacturing Industry Survey (MIS 2014), conducted by Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) nearly 75% of business owners see meeting customer expectations as a top concern, followed by 62% that state “new market opportunities” as a main challenge facing their business.  Respondents also said that government incentives for growth activities were important, with 37% answering “very important” and 37% describing government money as “somewhat important.”

CME Manufacturing Industry Survey [MIS 2014]

Ryans survey results chart CME

Provincial and Federal Governments Offer Support for Growing Food Processing Sector

With food and beverage processing expected to remain a leading growth engine, the federal and provincial governments are continuing to offer funding opportunities to small and medium-sized businesses interested in growth and productivity improvement activities. One of the most significant of these programs is Growing Forward 2 which offers both a federal (Canada) and provincial (Ontario) funding stream.

Success Story: Riz Global Foods Receives up to $340,750 in Ontario Government Funding

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Riz Global Foods is receiving $340,750 in government funding support through Growing Forward 2 to complete a collaborative project to design, build and execute marketing development plans for exporting Ontario produced and Halal certified meat products into their international markets, according to the Agricultural Adaptation Council [ACC].


Riz Global Food’s President, Syed Ali told AAC

Riz Global Foods, one of the largest halal beef exporters to the Middle East, has the market knowledge, supply chain expertise and distribution relationships required to penetrate these markets successfully.”

Growing Forward 2 has helped hundreds of businesses from Canada’s agri-food and agri-product by offering funding to encourage innovation, improved competitiveness, and market development.

Growing Forward 2 Ontario Details

Here are the main details of Growing Forward 2 government funding:

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  • Amount: Maximum $350K non-repayable contribution at up to 35% cost share of projects and 50% for innovative projects. Total amount on capital assets funding capped at $100K.
  • Eligible Activities: Consulting, contractors, incremental hires, incremental materials, supplies, marketing design, print, translation, software projects, trainers and $100k towards new capital assets or alternation/modification to existing assets.
  • Eligible Applicants: Ontario based for-profit businesses and collaborations, not-for-profit organizations or academic institutions.
  • Timelines: All projects must end on, or before January 31, 2018 and cannot span across more than 24 months. The next application deadline is December 11th, 2014 for project implementation projects.
  • Project Themes: Labour Productivity Enhancements, Market Development, Export Growth Plans, Business Strategic planning, Leadership Development, Training, Audits, or Assessments. Also includes Assurance Systems such as ERP Implementation related to Traceability, Bar-code Scanners, Consulting, Hardware, and other Software.

Learn More about Funding Offered through Growing Forward 2

Mentor Works offers free workshops and webinars to help educate business owners on government grants and loans available to help grow their business. You can also sign up to receive our free Canadian government funding weekly e-newsletter!


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