Community Economic Development in Northern Ontario

Important note:

The program currently has limited budget availability due to a high demand. Please contact a FedNor officer to discuss your project prior to submitting an application under the program.

FedNor is committed to working with economic development and industry stakeholders to build strong and sustainable communities in Northern Ontario. FedNor supports communities' efforts to plan and mobilize their resources, enhance business growth, and exploit new opportunities for economic development and diversification.

Recognizing the unique challenges facing Northern Ontario communities, many of which are small, rural and remote, FedNor will target its support to help them create the conditions necessary for economic growth and development.

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Expected Results

Results generated by FedNor's investments in community economic development (CED) will include:

  • increased community mobilization to identify and prioritize viable economic opportunities through enhanced decision-making and planning.
  • strengthened community economic competitiveness through implementation of identified priorities to diversify and stimulate business investment and growth in the short- to medium-term (up to five years).
  • enhanced collaboration among stakeholders to achieve shared regional economic development goals in the short- to medium-term (up to five years).

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include:

  • Not-for-profit organizations;
  • Indigenous (First Nation/Métis/Inuit) communities and organizations; and
  • Municipalities and municipal organizations.

Eligible Activities

Activities related to community economic development, including those that leverage key economic sectors, such as mining and forest industries, tourism, agri-food, information and communications technology, renewable energy and manufacturing.
Examples of eligible project activities include:

  • strategic and business planning; sector or industry analysis; feasibility, marketing and engineering studies; recovery plans; workforce attraction and retention strategies; community investment readiness plans; inventories of community assets and community profiles.
  • strengthening communities' economic foundations, including industrial and commercial assets and industrial/business parks, downtown revitalization, and waterfront development.
  • implementation of priority initiatives identified in economic development plans that demonstrate strong economic results.
  • youth internships to assist with projects related to community economic and business development.

Other activities related to community economic development necessary to further an economic goal in Northern Ontario may be considered on a case-by-case basis

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs include all expenses directly related to the project and deemed reasonable and necessary for its execution.

Non-capital costs may include:

  • fees for professional and technical services, including project implementation, engineering services;
  • costs related to community engagement and planning, such as facilitation, rental of facility;
  • costs related to producing and disseminating results of studies/plans;
  • marketing costs, including design, promotional materials, advertising, product demonstrations and participation at trade shows; and
  • travel expenses and labour costs.

Capital costs may include:

  • servicing of industrial lands;
  • waterfront development;
  • leasehold improvements; and
  • machinery, equipment and technology.

Ineligible Costs

Certain activities and costs will not be considered eligible, including:

  • infrastructure supporting social goals, including educational facilities and health care services and delivery (e.g. hospices, long-term care facilities, health centres);
  • infrastructure related to retail, wholesale, accommodation and administrative facilities;
  • activities and infrastructure primarily of a social/recreational nature such as museums, libraries, cultural centres, recreation centres, tourist information/welcome centres, arenas and waste management disposal;
  • government services;
  • land and rolling stock; and
  • costs for which the applicant has entered into a legal commitment/incurred prior to the eligibility date

Funding Conditions

  • Assistance available from FedNor includes repayable and non-repayable contributions. Contributions will normally be repayable where proposed projects generate profits for the eligible applicant.
  • Generally, FedNor will support up to 33 percent of eligible capital and up to 50 percent of eligible non-capital costs.
  • Eligible applicants are expected to contribute a minimum of 10 percent of project costs.

Refer to Youth Internship for specific funding conditions.

Other Considerations

Project applications are reviewed and funding levels determined based on criteria, such as:

  • net economic benefit to Northern Ontario, especially in the short- to medium-term (up to five years);
  • development, growth and increased competitiveness of SMEs;
  • creation and retention of jobs in Northern Ontario;
  • competitive impacts on existing businesses;
  • alignment with community economic priorities;
  • need for assistance to make the project viable;
  • requested assistance complements and does not displace other available government funding programs;
  • availability of FedNor's Northern Ontario Development Program funds;
  • opportunities to leverage investment from other funding sources;
  • projects that are deemed to enhance the vitality and support the development of official language minority communities and/or foster the full recognition and use of English and French in Canadian society.

Where applicable, FedNor requires that:

  • projects address the requirements of the Impact Assessment Act, 2019 and reflect the spirit and intent of the Official Languages Act;
  • applicants use a fair, competitive and transparent procurement process to ensure the best value for money when supplies, equipment and services are purchased or personnel hired; and
  • an appropriate authority or regulatory body endorses the project.

Completing an application does not guarantee funding approval. All applications will be assessed as they are received. This will include a review of the business case and financial projections, the applicant’s past results, and the identification of any issues that may impact the project’s success. Approval may also depend on funding availability.

How to Apply

Please call 1-877-333-6673 to discuss your proposal with a FedNor Officer in your area or begin your application process.

FedNor is committed to providing effective, efficient and client-focused programs and services. Visit our service commitment to find out more.