Northern Community Capacity Building Program

The Northern Community Capacity Building Program helps northern communities develop the capacity to promote, attract, and support economic growth in existing and emerging priority economic sectors.

Capacity-building allows northern communities to respond to their economic opportunities and challenges according to their individual priorities, and to pursue regional collaboration to advance common goals in order to strengthen Northern Ontario’s competitive advantages.

Who is Eligible?

Municipalities, First Nations, local service boards (for projects related to their approved powers) and not-for-profit organizations including educational institutions, either involved in economic development or representing an eligible sector, may apply individually.

Eligible applicants may include partnerships and alliances of municipalities, private sector businesses and organizations, educational institutions, the federal government, and other government-related agencies.

What is Eligible?

Eligible projects may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • identifying capacity-building and investment opportunities consistent with the objectives of the NOHFC
  • developing the necessary supporting information related to proposals for submission to the NOHFC infrastructure program, where the proposed projects meet the eligibility requirements for both programs
  • sector-based research projects that align with the priority sectors and are supported by existing community and regional strategic plans or initiatives
  • strategic planning (community economic development plans, investment priorities identification, etc.)
  • infrastructure requirement studies
  • capacity assessment
  • regional economic development plans that align with existing and emerging priority economic sectors and guide development of priority initiatives
  • business retention and attraction strategies
  • other non-capital projects that promote or support economic growth and would bring benefits to Northern Ontario, in the opinion of the NOHFC

Projects intended to identify capacity-building and investment opportunities are only considered for funding when the applicant demonstrates the ability to support next steps in project implementation.


Community applications require support by a municipal council resolution, a band council resolution, a local services board by-law, non-profit board of directors resolution, or other documentation as appropriate to confirm support.

Regional applications or applications from organizations representing a group of eligible applicants must provide a municipal council resolution, a band council resolution, a local services board by-law or other documentation confirming support from each of the represented organizations.

Applicants must provide a list of previous funding received by all partner organizations that are related to the proposed project or to similar activities funded in the previous five years.

Applications are assessed based on factors such as:

  • alignment with identified community and/or regional economic development objectives, including consistency with a community planning process such as a strategic plan for economic development, business retention and expansion, or the Investment Readiness Test
  • level of significance (economic impact); municipal, regional, provincial including jobs created and/or retained
  • adherence to guidelines


  • For community-based projects, the amount of NOHFC assistance will generally not exceed the lesser of 75% or $50,000.
  • For regional, partnership-based projects, the amount of NOHFC assistance will generally not exceed the lesser of 75% or $100,000.

In exceptional circumstances, the board may consider projects exceeding the normal levels of assistance on a case-by-case basis where a project demonstrates a significant economic benefit. Not all projects meeting the program criteria outlined above will receive funding. Applications will be accepted under this program until March 31, 2019. This is subject to change without any prior notice.