Grant Guidebook for Small Businesses in Ontario
What kind of small business grants are available in Ontario?

In Ontario, there are three primary ways that small businesses can leverage grant funding: hiring, training, and expanding.


  • Grants can help bridge the gap between where your business is, and where you want it to be.
  • There are three primary types of government grant funding in Ontario: Hiring, training, and expansion grants.
  • If you’re not looking to hire, train, or expand but you have big ideas for your business initiatives, there is likely a grant program out there to help you. Anything is possible with the power of grants!

If you own or run a small business in Ontario, you’ve probably wondered what kinds of grants are available to you. Grants vary across provinces as there are federal and provincial grants. The types of grants are consistent across Canada, but the breakdown and ratio between the categories are where it differs. Why do grants differ across provinces? The simple answer is that each provincial government has its own goals and priorities which is reflected in the non-dilutive funding available to small businesses. For example, Manitoba may be more focused on creating jobs and thus more hiring grants would be available, while British Columbia might be focused more on greening initiatives, and might offer more cleantech and green economy grants. This is in addition to the federal grant programs, which reflect the goals and priorities of the federal government. 

In Ontario, there are three primary ways that small businesses can leverage grant funding: hiring, training, and expanding. 

Hiring Grants

A hiring grant serves to help businesses grow their staff. It can be used to cover a portion of the new hire’s salary and some onboarding expenses. This means that you can get funding to fill vacant roles in your business and grow! Most commonly, hiring grants come in the form of wage subsidies. Many of the hiring grant programs in Ontario exist to help Canadian youth and minorities find new and meaningful employment opportunities. This means that there are lots of student hiring, internship, and co-op grant programs available to SMEs in Ontario. 

Training Grants

As you may have guessed, training grants are designed to help employees acquire new knowledge and skills in a specific field. The Ontario government wants to equip the workforce with new skills that contribute not only to personal and professional growth but the evolution of the province. Small business training grants help subsidize the learning cost for employees and even business owners to go through training courses. You can use a training grant to subsidize the cost of course fees so you can give your employees opportunities to learn and expand their skill sets. 

Market Expansion Grants

Expansion grants exist to support small businesses in expanding to new markets or sectors. At Granted, we call these ‘market expansion grants’. These programs vary more than other grant types depending on the program’s mandate. This could be growing your company’s presence domestically or even internationally. Expansion grant programs will help lower the financial burden of expanding to a new market, which can be expensive for Canadian small businesses. 

There are many grant programs available in Ontario that don’t fall within these categories. Commonly, these are research and development (R&D) grants. R&D grants serve to nurture the quest for valuable knowledge and product development that will benefit the Canadian economy at large. These types of grants are less about supporting your small business specifically, and more about positively contributing valuable research initiatives to our country. 

Other grants available for small businesses are more niche in nature. This can be anything from microgrants for web development, equipment purchasing, electric vehicle subsidies, and everything in between. The sky is the limit with government grants in Ontario!

Next Chapter – Who qualifies for small business grants in Ontario?

For small businesses, each grant will have its own eligibility criteria that you must meet in order to be considered for approval.

Calculate your potential grant funding

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