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Business funding

Community Economic Development Funding Program

Program description

The Community Economic Development (CED) Funding Program is an annual program that provides financial support to projects that advance: job creation, economic diversity, entrepreneurship and small business development, skills development, innovation, and tourism while also demonstrating environmental, social, and/or cultural benefits. Projects are expected to generate outcomes such as:

Economic: These outcomes support the community’s economic prospects with a focus on job creation and supporting growth of the local economy. Examples include, but not limited to: 

  • Increased economic diversity
  • Support for entrepreneurship and small business development
  • Business training and skill development opportunities
  • Attracting visitors to the region (ex. tourism marketing or major event attraction potential)

Environmental: These are the environmental benefits that a project brings to improving the community’s sustainability and liveability. Examples include, but not limited to:

  • Greening of the environment (ex. use of green energy)
  • Repurposing, reuse, and recycling of materials
  • Promotion of eco-friendly products

Social: These are the social benefits that a project brings to the community’s residents and visitors. Examples include, but not limited to:

  • Increased accessibility to services
  • Promoting inclusivity
  • Greater equity for a disadvantaged group
  • Improved health and well-being for the community

Cultural: These are the cultural benefits that a project brings to the community’s population. Examples include, but not limited to: 

  • Conservation of heritage
  • Identifying special and unique needs of a community
  • Promoting cultural identity
  • Celebrating diversity. 

Eligibility of Applicant

In accordance with the City of Ottawa Grants and Contributions Policy, funding can only be granted to organizations that meet these requirements and follow these practices:

  • Are registered as a non-profit organization
  • Operate in a non-discriminatory manner, as set out by the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
  • Are governed by a democratically elected Board of Directors
  • Demonstrate efficiency, effectiveness and fiscal responsibility
  • Remain in good financial standing with the City of Ottawa.

 The following types of organizations/programs are ineligible for funding: 

  • For-profit organizations or ventures
  • Non-profit organizations sponsoring for-profit organizations
  • Organizations with a political affiliation, or which participate in political activities
  • Organizations which act primarily as a funding source for other groups
  • Faith organizations where the services/activities include the promotion and/or required adherence to a specific faith
  • Programs within the legislated mandate of other governments or City departments
  • Provincial/national organizations, unless a local chapter/branch exists that serves the residents of the City of Ottawa.

Eligibility of Project

Proposed projects need to promote economic development in the City of Ottawa while demonstrating environmental, cultural and/or social benefits. The projects need to deliver broad, sustainable economic benefits and demonstrate continued benefits after the funding has ended. Additional consideration will be given to projects that advance and foster innovation, promote partnerships, and have other funding sources or in-kind contributions.

The projects/programs must meet the following principal criteria:

  • Demonstrate how they will positively affect the development of the local economy
  • Demonstrate the need for assistance and value for money
  • Demonstrate what environmental, social and/or cultural benefits will likely accrue to the community.

Funding will not be provided for the following initiatives:

  • Projects that are already receiving or have committed City of Ottawa funding
  • Retroactive costs – any costs incurred before a funding decision is made
  • Costs that are the responsibility of another funding program or level of government
  • Costs for which an organization might reasonably be expected to make provisions for in the general daily administration of their organization (e.g. accounting, legal costs, organizational planning, staffing), and which are separate from the project
  • Land maintenance or leasehold improvements
  • Programs within the legislated mandate of other governments or City departments (e.g. child care services)
  • Major costs such as buildings, vehicles, or large equipment
  • Sponsorships.

How to Apply for Funding 

Application Form

All applicants must complete the Community Economic Development Funding Program application form for project funding requests. The application form is available upon request from the CED Program Coordinator by email.

Project funding requests could range from $5,000 to a maximum of $50,000. For requests greater than $25,000, a detailed project plan and budget is required as part of the application. The project plan is a summary of the work to be done and details the goals, activities, outcomes, and resources. The plan should be linked to the budget and include timelines for completion. The purchase of goods and services should ensure value for money and must follow ethical and fair procurement practices. Please note that successful applicants must spend the total awarded funding and submit reporting requirements by December 31, 2018.

The application should be based on a well-developed proposal addressing the below assessment criteria.  Only one application will be accepted per organization. Completed application forms should be no longer than 10 pages.

Application Deadline

Economic Development and Long Range Planning (EDLRP) will begin receiving CED applications in February 2018. When the CED application is received by EDLRP, the applicant will be notified of receipt of the application.

Completed applications and submission packages (e.g. supporting documents listed in the Application Form) must be received by email, mail, or in person no later than Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 4 p.m. This is not a postmarked deadline. Electronic submissions are encouraged (scanned page of signatures accepted); however, not mandatory. Late applications will not be considered. 

Mailing, delivery, and email contact information:

City of Ottawa
Community Economic Development Funding Program
Attention: Ian Scott, Economic Development and Long Range Planning
Planning, Infrastructure, and Economic Development Department
4th Floor West (Mail Code 01-15)
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1 

Funding Criteria and Assessment

Upon receipt of the application, the applicant and project proposal will be assessed against the program’s eligibility criteria by the CED Program Coordinator. If the application meets the criteria, it will then be reviewed by the selection panel for project evaluation. The application will be assessed by the following categories:

  • Strength of Concept: Alignment with the City of Ottawa’s economic development strategy of supporting growth of the local economy and addressing identified needs of the community
  • Objectives and Outcomes: Clear objectives and realistic and measurable outcomes
  • Ability to Implement: Demonstrated ability and experience to execute the project
  • Project Sustainability: Project’s importance in the organization’s overall business/strategic plan, ability to leverage funds for project continuation or expansion and/or other initiatives, partnerships, and funding
  • Project Budget: Demonstrated value for money, project costs are realistic. Consideration given to in-kind contributions and other sources of funding secured
  • Quality of Submission: Accurate, concise, and complete information provided on the application form and supporting materials.  

Applications may be approved subject to clarification or additional information requested; if the applicant is unable to provide this information, funding may be reassigned to other projects. 

Release and Use of Funds

If applicants are awarded funding, they will receive a letter from EDS outlining the total amount awarded, terms and conditions, and a funding disbursement schedule. The letter will also include a Funding Agreement document, which describes conditions attached to the use of these funds (e.g., reporting requirements). Payment of funds for a project may be subject to the negotiation of a funding agreement between the applicant and EDS. The first funding disbursement is expected to be released in May 2018. Please note that all awarded funding must be used by December 31, 2018.

Funds shall be used only for the purposes outlined in the original funding application. Any changes to the scale and activities, including changes in budget and programming, must be reported in writing to and receive approval by EDLRP. 

Starting the Project

Starting work on a project before the execution of a funding agreement may make the application ineligible for funding. Project work is expected to commence within two months of the executed funding agreement or when as agreed. Funds may be withdrawn if the project has not commenced within the agreed upon timeframe. 

Reporting and Follow-up

All successful applicants are required to submit an activity report detailing how they used the awarded funding. This report and any other reporting requirements as outlined in the Funding Agreement must be submitted no later than December 31, 2018. Failure to provide report(s) may result in the applicant or applicant’s organization being ineligible for subsequent City of Ottawa funding.

2015 100% Municipally Funded Grants and Contributions Financial Information and Disclaimer


For the following grants and contributions, the amounts listed in this section represent actual grants and contributions disbursed in 2015 by the Corporation of the City of Ottawa, under Section 107 of the Municipal Act. The recipients listed in this section are the organizations or aggregate groupings of private households/individuals who received the funds directly from the City of Ottawa, without the City receiving goods or services in return. The administration of grant and contribution programs funded wholly by the City is governed by the corporate Grants and Contributions Policy.

The information reported may differ from information reported elsewhere on or to Committee and Council for the following reasons:

  • Certain programs report allocations when they are approved. Final payments to recipients could differ.
  • Certain programs combine municipal grants and contributions with other types of funding when reporting their activity.
  • Certain recipients listed are sponsors who redistribute the funds to other organizations or private households/individuals.
  • Payments made in 2015 may relate to a program that occurred in a prior year, and likewise, payments related to a 2015 program could occur in a future year.
  • Negative amounts represent funds returned to the City in 2015.
  • Recipient names appear as provided and may appear in English, French or in a Bilingual format.

Financial information does not include the following:

  • Purchases of service, which are conditional payments for services delivered by non-governmental organizations for services that are part of a City program, or for which the City has some other form of direct responsibility.
  • Federal and Provincial programs, where money flows through the City of Ottawa.
  • Goods in kind, services, assets and subsidies provided by the City that are not associated with funding programs.

Business Improvement Area (BIA) Mural and Architectural Design Feature Funding Program

GLEBE BIA4,450.00
Business Improvement Area (BIA) Mural and Architectural Design Feature Funding Program – Total19,450.00

BIA Research Grant Program

BANK ST BIA10,625.00
GLEBE BIA5,000.00
BIA Research Grant Program – Total102,204.00

Economic Development Core Funding

INVEST OTTAWA 4,090,000.00
Economic Development Core Funding – Total4,100,000.00

Economic Development Projects

OTTAWA TOURISM1,600,000.00
Economic Development Projects – Total1,845,500.00