Ontario Announces Successful Applicants from the Rural Economic Development Program

Ontario Announces Successful Applicants from the Rural Economic Development Program

Program will support business attraction, expansion and retention

February 24, 2021

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

WOODSTOCK – The Ontario government is helping communities diversify their economies, retain skilled workers and create jobs by investing nearly $800,000 through the Rural Economic Development (RED) program. Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, today announced the 16 local projects that were selected.

“This new targeted funding is just one of the many ways our government is supporting job creation and economic development across the province,” said Minister Hardeman. “We’re encouraging local economic growth by supporting projects that help expand businesses and provide skills development and training for employees. These kinds of investments are particularly important as we lay the foundation for our recovery from COVID-19.”

This funding supports projects designed to enhance economic development efforts, such as:


  • Mentoring, coaching and helping youth in northern Ontario communities with job searches, hiring and starting businesses.
  • Providing supports for business attraction, expansion and retention as well as succession planning in order to overcome rural economic development barriers.
  • Develop and support industry partnerships.
  • To recruit and coach Indigenous women in non-traditional jobs throughout Northeastern Ontario increasing participation in the skilled trades.
  • Introducing asset management strategies to 30 economic development officers representing rural, northern, and Indigenous communities in order to better operationalize potential investments and build economic development capacity.


The targeted intake was directed at upper-tier municipalities and not-for-profit regional organizations with a mandate of regional economic development. Qualifying projects were eligible for up to 70 per cent of total costs to a maximum of $75,000 in provincial funding.

Quick Facts

  • The intake was focused on projects that remove barriers to business and job growth, attract investment, attract or retain a skilled workforce, strengthen sector and regional partnerships and diversify regional economies.
  • The RED program supports projects with tangible benefits to rural and indigenous communities that help to attract business, investment, and create jobs, while also providing greater value for taxpayer dollars.
  • The RED program is helping rural communities and partners create more competitive economic environments so they can diversify and grow their local economies – making economic growth more inclusive.

Related Topics

Rural and North

Information about the province’s Far North and rural communities. Get connected to business improvement organizations and learn more about funding and programs that support rural, northern and Indigenous communities. Learn more