Ontario manufacturers can qualify for up to $50,000 from a new provincial matched grant initiative called the SMART Program, which is available through Mississauga, ON-based Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).
“The SMART Program is a match-funds program with a total value of $25 million, rolling out at a maximum of $50,000 per manufacturer,” said Nadene Mahy, CME's event manager. “It's designed to assist approximately 500 small- to medium-sized manufacturers who are undertaking projects to improve productivity, IT practices or energy efficiency. It's available to companies that have been in operation for more than two years, have between 10 to 500 employees and manufacture in Ontario.”
Eligible companies' projects must be able to be implemented and finished within four to six months after funding. Additionally, applicants must receive a reference from an organization on CME's Approved List, which is available on its website. Manufacturers can apply for one project per facility that meets the eligibility criteria.
CME, an association that serves as advocates for Ontario manufacturers, approached the provincial government last year to obtain funding. After receiving approval last fall, CME has been accepting applications for grants from qualifying manufacturers. The company is accepting applications until the end of May.
Once an organization has been approved to receive funding for its project(s), CME conducts an audit to ensure spending is occurring where it is applicable.
According to Myriam Zitouni, CME's workshop manager, CME also hosts workshops across the province to help manufacturers “present their projects on the application form in the most attractive way.”
There is no cost for manufacturers to attend the workshops that can be signed up for online. CME has workshops scheduled in Oshawa, March 20; Niagara, March 31; Orillia, April 1; Bracebridge, April 2; Ottawa, April 14; and Orangeville, April 16.
For more information visit www.cme-smart.ca.