Investment – Grow Stream

Who is Eligible?

Businesses expanding existing operations in Northern Ontario.

Applications under the NOHFC’s Invest North - Grow stream will be evaluated in competitive rounds.

Round 1:  Detailed business plan submission deadline April 30.

Round 2:  Detailed business plan submission deadline July 31.

Round 3:   Detailed business plan submission deadline October 31.

Round 4:  Detailed business plan submission deadline January 31.


What Projects are Eligible?

Eligible projects, activities and associated costs include, but are not limited to:

  • Capital construction
  • Leasehold improvements
  • New or used equipment including capital leases
  • Land servicing costs
  • Information & communications technology (ICT) investments
  • Marketing for new products and business initiatives (limited to a maximum of 20% of all other eligible project costs, or $75,000, whichever is less)
  • Training costs incurred with third parties (limited to a maximum of 20% of all other eligible project costs)

Evaluation Criteria

Factors that will be considered during evaluation of applications will include but not limited to:

  • Job creation
  • Level of investment from other sources to be secured by the applicant
  • Strength of the applicant’s detailed business plan
  • Does not unreasonably impact existing Northern Ontario businesses
  • Net economic benefits for Northern Ontario

Other business activities that, in the opinion of the NOHFC Board of Directors, will result in an economic development advantage for Northern Ontario may be considered.

The NOHFC Board of Directors may consider exceptions to these eligibility criteria for projects that address a priority economic need in Northern Ontario.

Funding

  • The NOHFC holds four application intake rounds during the year for the Grow a Business Stream.
  • Funding can be provided through three options:
    • Funding in the form of a conditional contribution only of up to 20% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $400,000.
    • Funding in the form of a conditional contribution of up to 20% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $400,000, plus a term loan of up to 30% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $600,000.
    • Funding in the form of term loan only of up to 50% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $1,000,000.

Funding for each project is determined by the NOHFC Board of Directors, and limited funding is available. Not all projects meeting the criteria will necessarily receive funding.

What is Not Eligible?

Ineligible projects, costs and activities include but are not limited to:

  • Retail and consumer service businesses that primarily earn revenue by providing products and services directly to individuals
  • Ongoing operating costs including maintenance
  • In-kind contributions
  • Restructuring or refinancing of existing business operations
  • Accommodation & food service businesses and related business activities
  • Businesses that are primarily involved in wholesale activities
  • Business plans / strategic plans / feasibility studies etc.
  • Assets acquired through operating leases
  • Research and development
  • Land purchase/lease
  • Rolling stock (e.g. cars, trucks & boats and motors)
  • Project management costs / consulting costs / administration costs
  • Mineral exploration, mine development and milling operations
  • Working capital
  • Cost of inventory
  • Cellular and internet service projects
  • Capital projects or leasehold improvements to residential or personal properties
  • Acquisitions and buy-outs of existing businesses
  • Electricity generation projects

The NOHFC Board of Directors may consider exceptions to these eligibility criteria for projects that address a priority economic need in Northern Ontario.

Program Requirements

  • The applicant is expected to secure balance of funding/financing necessary to implement the project.
  • For growing a business, it is expected that the project will result in full-time equivalent jobs creation or retention in Northern Ontario.

The applicant may be required to reimburse NOHFC if assets financed by NOHFC are sold after project completion.

FAQ

Q: If I receive NOHFC funding, can I access funding from other federal and provincial sources to finance the remainder of my project?

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A: The combined federal and provincial government funding (including any contribution from NOHFC) may not exceed 50% of eligible project costs for private sector projects. (Note: for the purposes of this rule, agencies that are arms-length from government, with an independent Board of Directors, are not considered “government funding”).

Q: Will I need to retain a lawyer?

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A: When negotiating legal agreements with approved clients, NOHFC will be represented by members of the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development, and Mines Legal Services team. Our legal representatives cannot provide you with legal advice. While NOHFC does not require that you retain a lawyer if your NOHFC funding offer involves a secured loan under $100,000. However if your funding offer involves a secured loan over $100,000, we require clients to retain the services of a lawyer.

Q: Can I re-submit my application if I am not successful in a funding round?

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A: Yes. You can reapply in one future round to have your decision reconsidered. Contact a Northern Development Advisor at 807-475-1648 to get help with re-applying.

Q: Can I submit more than one application to the Grow stream at a time?

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A: No.

Q: Are tourism businesses potentially eligible given that the Invest North – Grow Stream guidelines reference accommodation services as ineligible?

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A: Many tourism businesses that provide accommodation services are potentially eligible under the program. To clarify, these include tourism businesses that operate as a tourist destination for local, regional and international visitors for extended stays (e.g., remote outfitter, family vacation resort). Those business that only serve the overnight travelling public are considered ineligible (e.g. hotels and motels).