By Nicole Cornett, Expansion Solutions Magazine
With a world-class workforce, competitive business environment and state-of-the-art research and development facilities, Ontario has everything companies need to succeed.
Ontario’s Regional Development Program, which was launched in November 2019, takes a coordinated approach to supporting business growth in eastern and southwestern Ontario. The program supports eligible small- and medium-sized businesses investing in new equipment and training to expand operations in these regions, and also provides support to municipalities and economic development organizations investing in economic development projects.
Through Ontario’s Regional Development Program, $140 million is being invested into the economy to help companies across the province grow and expand. To date, Ontario has provided more than $100 million to support more than 90 projects through the program, leveraging more than $1 billion in new investments and helping to create more than 2,100 jobs in the province.
In 2022, the government launched the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream of the Regional Development Program. This stream supports Ontario advanced manufacturers across the province, including those in the automotive, aerospace, chemical, life sciences and steel sectors, to invest in the equipment, technologies and skilled workers they need to grow, improve competitiveness and create jobs.
The Ontario government welcomed a $4 million investment by CES Transformers in August 2023 with nearly $610,000 in funding through the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation and Competitiveness (AMIC) stream of its Regional Development Program.
Two other major investments included Beneco Packaging, a wholesale packaging firm, with an investment of $7 million and will also receive $500,000 in funding through the Regional Development Program’s Eastern Ontario Development Fund. And Custom Plastics International Limited, will invest over $1.4 million to their Cobourg facility and receive $217,050 in funding through the program.
Ontario, Canada has a long history of bringing scientific, medical and technological breakthroughs to life with one of the largest life science clusters in Canada with 70,100 workers and nearly 1,900 firms.
In 2022, Ontario launched the Taking Life Sciences to the Next Level program, the province’s first life sciences strategy in over a decade. The goal is to establish Ontario as a leading global biomanufacturing and life sciences hub by laying a strong foundation for new investments with plans to grow the province’s life sciences sector to 85,000 high-skilled jobs by 2030, an expected increase of 25 percent from 2020.
Over the last two and a half years, Ontario has attracted more than $3 billion in investments from life sciences companies. Global giants continue to come to the province to collaborate with some of the best in the fields of biotech, medtech, pharmaceuticals and beyond.
Centered around the Toronto, Waterloo and Ottawa regions, Ontario has one of the largest information and communications technology (ICT) sectors in North America and is home to over 400,000 ICT workers.
Developing and adopting critical technologies like cybersecurity will increase Ontario’s competitiveness around the world and create highly skilled jobs in the province’s growing tech sector. The Ontario government is investing up to $5M to help Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange (CCTX) launch the Ontario Cybersecurity Excellence Initiative that will help Ontario companies develop and adopt cybersecurity technologies that enhance data security and protect company assets from cyber threats and other advanced technologies.
As part of the 2023 Ontario Budget, the government introduced the Ontario Made Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit, which provides a 10 percent refundable Corporate Income Tax credit to help local manufacturers lower their costs, invest in workers, innovate and become more competitive. Through the Ontario Budget an additional $1 million per year for three years will be provided to Invest Ottawa to expand into a Regional Innovation Centre hub for Eastern Ontario and offer its extensive range of programs and services to help businesses launch, grow and succeed in the region.
By lowering taxes and cutting red tape, Ontario has reduced the cost of doing business by $8 billion annually. This support will not only create more jobs and help companies expand or relocate to Ontario but will also allow Ontarians to return to work in better skilled jobs. Overall, these programs and initiatives will build Ontario’s economy of the future and secure good jobs for workers and communities.