Archived — Harper Government Launches Southern Ontario Development Program

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Harper Government Launches Southern Ontario Development Program

MP Ben Lobb with MPs Jeff Watson, Bev Shipley, Joe Preston, Terrance Young, Paul Calandra and Tim Kavanagh, President of the Small Business Centre (back L-R), MP Harold Albrecht, MP Ed Holder, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Diane Finlay, Minister of Human Resources Skills Development, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), MP Peter Braid and MP Mike Wallace (first row) celebrate the launch of the Southern Ontario Development Program, delivered by FedDev Ontario, at the Small Business Centre in London.
Source: Steve Martin, The Canadian Press Images.

LONDON, ON  — FedDev Ontario is now accepting applications under the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP) for projects that will stimulate local economies and enhance the growth and competitiveness of southern Ontario businesses and communities.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), was at the Small Business Centre today to announce that eligible small- and medium-sized businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits, Aboriginal organizations, colleges and universities are invited to submit applications.  

"Our government is creating jobs and stimulating the southern Ontario economy," said Minister of State Goodyear. "FedDev Ontario will support people, communities and businesses in the region and promote long-term growth."

The SODP takes into account consultations with community leaders and economic development stakeholders throughout the southern Ontario Region. It will build 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; with $40 million available for this intake process.

Applications to access funding in 2009-10 will be accepted from October 2, 2009, to December 1, 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 and will be reviewed as they are received by the Agency. The Agency, at a later date, may further refine the criteria for future calls for proposals. 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 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.

For more information on the Agency, please see the FedDev Ontario Backgrounder.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Gary Toft, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, 613-943-7599

Media Relations, Industry Canada, 613-943-2505


Backgrounder
Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP)

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.

One of the Agency's new programs, the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP), will be a multi-year funding program to support productivity, innovation, commercialization, community economic development and diversification in southern Ontario.

Overall Agency funding in 2009-10 is $206 million. Of this amount, approximately $100 million has been allocated to the SODP, including $40 million for the first intake process. Other aspects of the program will be announced shortly.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible applicants

Your organization or enterprise may qualify for SODP funds if it is located in southern Ontario and meets one of the following criteria:

  • Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)* with a focus on those with up to 1,000 employees;
  • SME groups and/or associations;
  • non-profit organizations whose primary mission is business support or economic development;
  • organizations or institutions dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of knowledge and know-how, including colleges, polytechnic institutes, universities and teaching institutions;
  • Aboriginal organizations; or
  • Municipalities.

* With respect to commercial enterprises, 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.

Eligible Projects

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; 
  • promote the commercialization of innovations; and
  • improve community-owned tourism facilities (e.g., conference centres, exhibition halls).

Funding Available

Financial assistance awarded under this program is provided in the form of contributions, which must have a direct economic impact on the region.

The contribution may be repayable, depending on the nature of the project and the requested financial assistance. Generally, contributions to commercial enterprises are repayable.

Application

A straight-forward application form is available to download online at www.southernontario.gc.ca. Applications should be submitted by email to sodp-pdso@feddevontario.gc.ca or by mail to 151 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto ON, M5C 2W3. 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.

Deadline

Applications to access funding in 2009-10 will be accepted from October 2, 2009, to December 1, 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. The Agency, at a later date, may further refine the criteria for future calls for proposals.

Selection Criteria

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 financing;
  • 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 sodp-pdso@feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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