Initiative measurement and financing

Investors can benefit from government programs exclusive to this region for locating their business in Northern Ontario.

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation offers five unique programs designed to grow a stronger and more prosperous North:

Strategic Economic Infrastructure Program

This program helps a region or community advance economic development opportunities and support investment through strategic infrastructure.

  • Partnerships and alliances comprising municipalities, First Nations, Aboriginal organizations, local services boards, not-for-profit corporations, educational institutions and private sector businesses and organizations.
  • Municipalities, First Nations, not-for-profit corporations and educational institutions may apply individually. Other organizations with a training or educational mandate may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Assistance available from the NOHFC includes conditional contributions, forgivable performance loans, and repayable loans. The maximum investment from the NOHFC does not exceed the lesser of 50 per cent or $1 million, towards eligible project components.

Northern Community Capacity Building Program

The Community Capacity-Building Program helps northern communities develop the capacity to promote, attract, and support economic growth in the existing and emerging priority economic sectors identified in the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. This program has two funding streams:

Northern Innovation Program

The Northern Innovation Program supports the vision of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario by supporting the development and commercialization of new technologies that will contribute to future prosperity in Northern Ontario, and by fostering collaboration and partnerships among the private sector, academic institutions and research institutes. This program has 4 different streams.

Northern Business Opportunity Program

The Northern Business Opportunity Program supports the vision of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario by encouraging business productivity and expansion, and global investment in northern communities. This program has four different streams.

Northern Ontario Internship Program

The intent of the Northern Ontario Internship Program is to strengthen Northern Ontario’s competitive advantage and build economic development capacity by attracting and retaining graduates in the North. The program provides recent graduates who are interested in launching and building their careers in Northern Ontario access to internships.

Funding is available for organizations located in Northern Ontario to provide first time full-time employment in a related field to recent university and college graduates. The program will support innovation, economic/community development and capacity building within communities.

Retail business activities where retail is the major or sole function of the position are not eligible. Positions that are operational in nature (such as clerical) are not eligible.

For more information visit Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation’s website.


FedNor is the agency of the Government of Canada responsible for economic development in Northern Ontario. Through its programs and services and with financial assistance for projects that create jobs and grow the economy, FedNor works with business and community partners to strengthen Northern Ontario.

Business Growth and Competitiveness

Activities that contribute to helping SMEs in Northern Ontario to establish, develop and enhance their competitiveness in key sectors such as mining, forestry, tourism and food processing, information technology and communications, renewable energy and manufacturing industries.

  • The assistance provided by FedNor includes repayable and non-repayable contributions. Contributions are repayable in cases where the proposed projects generate revenue for the eligible applicant. All youth internships are non-refundable ;
  • Generally , FedNor supports up to 33% of eligible capital costs up to 50% of eligible expenses ;
  • Eligible applicants must finance at least 10% of project costs ;
  • Expenses incurred by an applicant to implement a project before the financing decision is taken will not be refunded unless FedNor grant consent in writing;
  • For youth interns with nonprofit organizations , FedNor will contribute up to $ 31 500 (90%) for the salary and benefits of an employee;
  • For youth interns by SMEs, FedNor will pay up to $ 31 500 (50 %) for salary, fringe benefits, job skills and business skills, as well as the associated travel costs the employee.


Activities related to applied research and development (R&D) which are likely to create opportunities in the commercial market such as:

  • Proof of concept, technical design, prototype development, product evaluation and registration of patents;
  • Start-up Marketing and outreach, external and promotional initiatives, and certification of products, processes and services;
  • Market research and technical studies to determine the needs for R&D and to guide future R&D and other related studies;
  • Young trainees to contribute to projects related to R & D for a period of 12 months.

For more information visit the FedNor website.

Nord-Aski Regional Economic Development Corporation (REDC)

Services for small and medium businesses

Nord-Aski Regional Economic Development Corporation provides loans, loan guarantees and equity investments at competitive rates to new or existing businesses that have viable business plans; demonstrate personal commitment; will help maintain or create jobs; and cannot obtain sufficient financing from other sources.

The total amount of funds approved will not exceed $150,000, unless approved by Industry Canada/FedNor.

Need A Hand Program

Nord-Aski R.E.D.C. will provide a loan up to $10,000.00 to encourage the development of your business; your marketing and publicity campaign or your promotional tools; increase your productivity or refresh your equipments (photocopier, computers, cash register, etc.); leasehold improvements; increase your inventory and develop your business; help with working capital.

For more information visit Nord-Aski’s website.