Applications Open for Regional Development Program

Funds will drive economic growth in Southwestern Ontario communities

December 18, 2023

HURON-BURCE — The Ontario government is now accepting applications for the Regional Development Program’s Southwestern Development Fund. This program supports business growth in Southwestern Ontario, including in Huron-Bruce, by providing support to eligible small and medium sized businesses investing in new equipment and training to expand operations and to community economic development projects.

Program applicants can receive financial support and advisory services to help navigate government programs, such as guidance on compliance approvals as well as assistance with skills and talent.

“Our government recognizes that small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of our regional economies and that investments in local businesses create good paying jobs in communities like those in Huron-Bruce,” said Lisa Thompson, MPP. “Our communities need these jobs so I encourage all business owners who might be looking to expand to investigate this program and apply.”

As a quarterly program, applications open four times a year for the Southwestern Regional Development Fund. The most recent application period opened on December 7th and will close on January 14th, 2024. The following intake will accept applications from March 28, 2024, to May 16, 2024.

To be eligible, businesses in Huron-Bruce must be able to produce three years of financial statements, employ at least five people, commit to creating at least five new jobs or a 30 per cent increase for companies with fewer than 15 employees, and invest at least $200,000 in the project. Community economic development projects are eligible to apply if they are led by municipalities, economic development organizations or sector organizations, invest in infrastructure or implement strategies to advance regional economic development priorities, lead to measurable outcomes including private sector investment, growth, and job creation, have private sector support and invest more than $100,000.

To date, the government has provided more than $110 million to support 100 projects across the province through the Regional Development Program. This has helped leverage $1.1 billion in new investments by businesses and created more than 2,300 jobs.


  • Applications for the new Southwestern Ontario Development Fund will be accepted from December 7, 2023, to January 14, 2024 and again from March 28, 2024, to May 16, 2024.
  • Businesses and organizations can expect to hear back on the status of their applications within 60 business days.
  • The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund was first launched in November of 2019.