How the Jobs and Growth Fund supports Canada’s economy through COVID-19


TradeReady Blog-

For many SMEs, there is a feeling of optimism in the air in regard to getting business moving upward and forward in the coming months. However, most will still need help and funding to get back on their feet and to offset the losses incurred over the past months.

The Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) is a new $700-million federal government funding program that aims to support Canadian economies with long-term growth and jobs creation following setbacks from the global COVID-19 pandemic. Also, JGF includes up to $70 million for small businesses established after January 2020.

“By investing in our job creators and the organizations that support them, the Jobs and Growth Fund will help to create quality jobs, pursue inclusive and clean growth opportunities, and empower businesses and communities from coast to coast to coast.”
– Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

These businesses must meet the program’s eligibility criteria. Highlighting this is crucial, as most grant and loan programs need businesses to be well established, meaning there is less funding for startups and entrepreneurs.

JGF financial support is being administered by Canada’s regional development agencies, including FedDev Ontario for Southern Ontario applicants and Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) for applicants in Western Canada.

Funding snapshot: Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) for Ontario and Western Canada

Applications are now being accepted on a continuous intake basis until March 31, 2024, or until funding is fully allocated. The Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF)  supports projects that stimulate job creation and long-term growth for Canadian organizations through a diverse focus on rebuilding the Canadian economy following the trials and tribulations of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding amount

  • Eligible businesses may receive interest-free repayable contributions for up to 50% of eligible costs
  • Eligible not-for-profit organizations could receive non-repayable contributions for up to 90% of eligible costs
  • Eligible Indigenous organizations may receive contributions for up to 100% of eligible project costs
  • Project contribution amounts do not normally exceed $10 million

Applicant eligibility

  • SME Businesses, including co-operatives
  • Not-for-profit organizations and community economic development partners
  • Indigenous organizations

Eligible projects

To be eligible for the Jobs and Growth Fund, projects must:

Strengthen the capacity in sectors critical to Canada’s recovery and growth:

  • Support scale-up and market expansion activities
  • Develop emerging areas of global competitive advantage
  • Support supply chain adaptation and diversification opportunities in critical sectors such as food production, medical supplies, and biomanufacturing

Foster an inclusive recovery:

  • Support businesses owned or majority-led by underrepresented groups
  • Increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the economy by supporting not-for-profit organizations that provide funding, business services, training, etc. for a more equitable workforce

Preserve Canada’s competitiveness and future-proof SMEs through digital adoption:

  • Support the development or adoption of digital and technological solutions (i.e. Industry 4.0) to increase and promote business productivity
  • Invest in technologies that help scale businesses, enhance their capabilities, and increase resilience

Support the transition to a green economy:

  • Support the development and adoption of clean technology
  • Help communities and businesses plan and drive clean, sustainable economic growth
  • Partner with organizations to catalyze the development of green regional clusters
  • Work with organizations supporting businesses to transition to a green economy

Program timeline:

  • Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until all funding is allocated.
  • Certain costs may be eligible on a retroactive basis up to 12 months before the receipt of the project application, but no earlier than April 19, 2021.
  • All projects must be completed prior to March 31, 2024.

If your Ontario or Western Canada organization wants government funding through the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF), please reach out to the Mentor Works team to help streamline the application and grant writing process.

Government grants and loans for COVID-19 recovery

Although many Canadian provinces are no longer in strict COVID-19 lockdowns, and national vaccination rates are higher than any other country, many businesses across Canada are still feeling the negative impacts of the virus.

In addition to the new Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF), there are other government programs dedicated to providing COVID-19 relief and recovery funding. Stay posted on the Mentor Works COVID-19 Funding Programs Page for resources, news, programs, and COVID-19.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forum for International Trade Training.

About the author

Author: Alena Barreca

As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Alena helps Canadian business owners by creating educational content about government funding.

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