Small Business Grants for Peterborough Entrepreneurs

OntarioBusinessGrants is the largest free directory of government grants for Canadian businesses. They’ve published a comprehensive guide that includes a complete, up-to-date list of grants for Ontario businesses. In addition to grants for businesses, this site contains detailed information on loans, tax credits & more resources for businesses. And the information is all free to access! Along with a free searchable directory of grants, this site has articles summarizing the best ‎grants for many demographic groups, industries, and more.

Running a small business comes with its share of challenges, not least of which is securing funding to get your venture off the ground and keep it running smoothly. Fortunately, there are
many grants are available to entrepreneurs in Peterborough that can help bridge the financial gap.

In this introductory guide, we will demystify what business grants are, their uses, eligibility criteria, application process, and tips to increase your chances of receiving one.

Let’s jump in!


What is a Business Grant?

A business grant is a financial award given to a business that doesn’t need to be repaid. Unlike loans, business grants are essentially free money, making them an attractive form of funding
for entrepreneurs.

Grants are usually offered by government bodies and non-profit organizations, each with their specific goals and criteria. The primary purpose of these grants is to stimulate economic
growth, foster innovation, and support local entrepreneurship.


What Can I Use Business Grants For?

Business grants can be used for various purposes, depending on the terms set by the grant provider. They can cover a wide range of business needs, including but not limited to:

  • Startup costs: This could include anything from equipment purchases, leasehold improvements to initial inventory costs.
  • Hiring and training: hiring grants (also called “wage subsidies”) are one of the easiest and most common types of grants. These are an excellent way for businesses to staff up at limited cost.
  • Expansion projects: If you’re planning to grow your business, a grant could help fund expansion activities, such as adding new locations or increasing production capacity.
  • Research and Development (R&D): Many grants support innovation, so if your business is working on a ground-breaking product or service, a grant could fund your R&D efforts.


What Are the Eligibility Criteria for Business Grants?

While the specific eligibility criteria can vary widely from one grant to another, there are a few common requirements:

  • Business type and size: Some grants are targeted at specific types of businesses, such as tech start-ups, or specific sizes, like micro-businesses or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • Audience: Grant programs might target a specific underrepresented group, such as Indigenous entrepreneurs, Black entrepreneurs, or women-led businesses.
  • Use of funds: Some grant programs target specific business activities, such as hiring, training, equipment purchase, or research and development.
  • Location: Given that many grants aim to stimulate local economies, your business may need to be in a certain area, such as a specific region of Ontario or municipality.

Always carefully read the eligibility criteria before applying to ensure your business qualifies.

To help you get started finding grants, here are some resources to explore:

The City of Peterborough offers a variety of business grants and loans for entrepreneurs. You can learn more about these programs on their website here. 

The Government of Canada also offers a range of business grants and funding programs. You can explore these options on their website here.

Ontario Business Grants has a free online directory of grants for Ontario entrepreneurs.


How Do I Apply for a Business Grant?

Applying for a business grant typically involves the following steps:

1. Research Available Grants: Look for grants that match your business type, size, location, and funding needs. You can use online grant directories, subscribe to newsletters, or visit the
websites of government bodies and organizations that offer grants.

2. Prepare a Solid Business Plan: Most grant applications require a detailed business plan. This should outline your business’s mission, vision, products or services, target market, marketing strategy, and financial projections.

3. Fill Out the Application: Each grant will have its own application process. This could be an online form, a written application, or even a video submission. Follow the instructions carefully, and make sure you provide all requested information.

4. Submit Additional Documentation: Depending on the grant, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as financial statements or proof of your business’s registration.



How Do I Increase My Chances of Getting a Business Grant?

Here are a few tips to increase your chances of getting a business grant:

Fully Understand the Grant’s Purpose: Tailor your application to show how your business aligns with the grant’s goals.

Provide Detailed and Accurate Information: Be thorough and accurate in your application. Errors or omissions could lead to your application being rejected.

Highlight Your Impact: If your business has a positive impact on the community, the environment, or the local economy, make sure to highlight this in your application.

Seek Assistance: If you’re unsure about the application process, consider seeking help from a business advisor or grant writing professional. They can help you navigate the process and increase your chances of success.

By understanding the purpose of business grants and following the steps in this intro guide, entrepreneurs in Peterborough can take advantage of dozens of current opportunities to secure funding for their businesses.

Remember, applying for grants is a competitive process, but with thorough preparation and a compelling business plan, your business stands a good chance of being awarded the funding it


Moe Muise operates the website, the largest online directory of government grants for Ontario businesses.