GUELPH, ON, Nov. 10 /CNW/ - Ontario's food and beverage processing sector will benefit from a new $20-million investment announced by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). FedDev Ontario will now accept applications under the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP) for projects submitted by small- and medium- sized businesses involved in the manufacturing and processing of food and beverages.
"Our government is committed to providing opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses in Southern Ontario to innovate and create new jobs," said Minister Goodyear. "This investment will help food businesses in communities all over the region become more competitive and better able to serve consumers."
"Innovation in the food and beverage processing sector has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years," says Craig Richardson, Chair of the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors. "This investment will ensure Ontario food and beverage processing businesses can make the investments they need to remain competitive and keep jobs in Ontario."
This initiative will help existing food and beverage businesses with a proven track record that are looking to expand, modernize, innovate, and/or improve their competitiveness.
Eligible projects include those that expand capacity, improve technology or equipment, improve the productivity and competitiveness of a business, provide access to new markets, innovate products or services, and promote the commercialization of innovations.
Applications for this intake, which is targeted at food and beverage processors, will be accepted until December 22, 2009. FedDev Ontario will favour projects that can be started quickly and completed by March 31, 2010. Applications will be assessed based on merit and against SODP criteria, adjusted for this specific intake, and will be reviewed as they are received by the Agency.
Launched on October 2, 2009, the SODP builds upon the assets and strengths of communities to create an environment where businesses can thrive, and maximize the potential of Southern Ontario with a focus on economic development, innovation and diversification.
Overall funding for the SODP is $100 million in 2009-10; of which more than $90 million has now been announced. Other aspects of the program will be announced shortly.
For additional details on program eligibility, please see the SODP Backgrounder.
To download an application form, please visit www.southernontario.gc.ca.
The Southern Ontario Development Program was established to promote economic development, economic diversification, job creation and sustainable communities in Southern Ontario. The SODP is just one in a series of initiatives introduced in the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan designed to address the short-term effects of the economic decline on communities across Canada, while preparing our communities for long-term growth.
This news release is available online at: www.southernontario.gc.ca and www.actionplan.gc.ca.
Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP)
Food and Beverage Processing Intake Investment
Announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) was established to deliver federal economic development programs to support the priorities of workers, businesses and communities in Southern Ontario. Budget 2009 allocated $1 billion over five years for the new Agency.
The Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP) was established as a core program of FedDev Ontario. It will build upon the assets and strengths of communities to create an environment where businesses can thrive and maximize Southern Ontario's potential to succeed in the knowledge-based economy.
Funding for this multi-year program will go towards projects that can stimulate local economies and enhance the growth and competitiveness of local businesses and communities. Approximately $100 million has been allocated to the SODP in 2009-10, including the following:
- $55 million for the first intake process;
- $15.75 million for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters' (CME)
SMART Program to fund an estimated 300 projects that will help
small- and medium-sized manufacturers increase their productivity and
competitiveness in the global economy; and
- $20-million intake for food and beverage processors.
Eligibility Criteria for the Food and Beverage Processing Intake
Your enterprise may qualify for SODP funds if it:
- is located in Southern Ontario;
- is a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SME), with priority being
given to those SMEs with up to 1,000 employees;
- is involved in the manufacturing and processing of food and
- operates as an establishment whose Statistics Canada North American
Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code begins with 311 or 312.
The focus of this program will be on existing businesses with a proven track record that are looking to expand, modernize, innovate, and/or improve their competitiveness. Business start-ups will not be supported.
Include projects that:
- expand capacity;
- improve technology or equipment;
- improve the productivity and competitiveness of a business;
- provide access to new markets;
- innovate products or services; and
- promote the commercialization of innovations.
Financial assistance awarded under this program is provided in the form of contributions, which must have a direct economic impact on the region.
Contributions to commercial enterprises are repayable.
A straight-forward application form is available to download online at www.southernontario.gc.ca. Applications should be submitted by email to email@example.com or by mail to 151 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto ON, M5C 2W7. Each project must have a separate and fully completed application form to be considered. If an applicant submits more than one project, these must be ranked in order of priority.
Applications to access funding in 2009-10 will be accepted from November 10, 2009, to December 22, 2009. FedDev Ontario will favour projects that can be started quickly and completed by March 31, 2010. Applications will be assessed based on merit and against SODP criteria. Applications will be reviewed as they are received by the Agency.
Projects will be assessed on the degree to which they meet the following selection criteria:
- conformity with FedDev Ontario priorities;
- compatibility with SODP objectives;
- economic impact of the project;
- long-term economic viability of the project;
- incremental nature of the assistance;
- demonstrated financial need for implementation of the project, taking
other existing funding sources into account;
- evidence that the project meets a recognized need and significantly
contributes to a region's economic development;
- applicant's management capacity;
- track record and viability of the enterprise or organization;
- applicant's financial contribution to the project;
- degree of leveraging of commercial financing and other sources of
- level of risk involved; and
- adverse impacts on competition.
Priority will be given to organizations or enterprises located in communities in Southern Ontario with populations of 500,000 or less, as well as to communities whose economies are less diversified and/or are reliant on a limited number of employers.
For more information, please refer to the Program Guidelines available on the web site at www.southernontario.gc.ca, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-593-5505.
SOURCE FEDERAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR SOUTHERN ONTARIO
For further information: For further information: Gary Toft, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, (613) 943-7599; Media Relations, Industry Canada, (613) 943-2505