Windsor Small Business Grants (2023): 17 Best Funding Programs for Windsor, Ontario Entrepreneurs

With its title of “the automotive capital of Canada” and its strategic location across the Detroit River from the US, Windsor has some compelling attributes for businesses. 

If you’re thinking about starting a business in Windsor, or you’re looking for money to grow and existing business, we’ve got you covered. In this complete guide to Windsor small business grants, we cover grants, loans, entrepreneurship programs, and more.

City of Windsor Mandate

The  City of Windsor’s mandate is to ensure resources are appropriately allocated to overcome the challenges the city faces.

The City’s challenges to manage are:

  • A high unemployment rate,
  • The economic restructuring,
  • The forecasted low growth expectations for population and future development, and
  •  Keeping the books balanced (making prudent decisions about how much to spend on what while maintaining Windsor’s stable financial position).

City of Windsor Priorities

The City of Windsor’s priorities include:

  • Creating and maintaining more jobs in Windsor by supporting a new diversified knowledge-driven economy.
  • Addressing Windsor’s reputation by making the city a dynamic place of civic pride, a hub for innovation, culture and creativity and attractive for people of all ages.
  • Improving the quality of life in Windsor by provide a high quality of life for all, supported by sustainable growth and a vibrant, caring community.

You can learn about City of Windsor’s priorities by reading its 20-Year Strategic Vision.

What Can Windsor Small Business Grants Be Used For?

Windsor small business grants can be used to pay for many aspects of starting or running a business. Here are some of the uses that are covered by programs in our grants database:

  • Covering the cost of monthly rentals on commercial spaces
  • Implementing capital improvement projects that will help save energy
  • Acquiring high-efficiency equipment for your business
  • Site remediation, development, and/or redevelopment of the building or property

See the section below with a complete list of grants available for Windsor small businesses.

Am I Eligible for a Windsor Small Business Grant? Common Eligibility Criteria

Two of the most common questions we get asked at Ontario Business Grants are “Am I eligible?” and “How do I qualify?”.

We analyzed the Windsor small business grants in our grants database, and these are the most common qualifications we identified:

  • Be businesses in the City of Windsor, including professional services, renewable and alternative energy, creative industries, manufacturing, and more.
  • Be businesses investing in the development or redevelopment of the building or property
  • Have properties requiring environmental remediation and/or risk assessment/management.
  • Be for-profit organizations in the City of Windsor, registered and incorporated in Canada

Note: these are just the most common eligibility criteria – there are many grants with different requirements.

Windsor Small Business Grants: Current Grants Available

In the table below we list the grants currently available to Windsor small businesses.

To learn more about each program, just click the program name and you’ll be taken to a web page that provides detailed information on the program, including eligibility, the dollar amount of the program, and how to apply for the grant:

Grants for Windsor Small Businesses

Best Windsor Small Business Grants, Loans & More

While there are lots of good programs available, below we highlight some of the best grants, loans, competitions & more for Windsor Small businesses:

Best Government Grants for Windsor Small Businesses

City of Windsor – Business Development Grant Program

The Business Development Grant Program provides new businesses funding for a percentage of the tax increment generated from the investments made in the development or redevelopment of the building or property in conformity with this Community Improvement Plan (CIP).

City of Windsor – Business Retention and Expansion Grant Program

The Business Retention and Expansion Grant Program provides existing businesses funding for a percentage of the tax increment generated from the investments made in the development or redevelopment of the building or property in conformity with this Community Improvement Plan (CIP).


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    City of Windsor – Small Business Investment Grant Program

    The Small Business Investment Grant Program provides new or existing businesses that are expanding funding for a percentage of the tax increment generated from the investments made in the development or redevelopment of the building or property in conformity with this Community Improvement Plan (CIP).

    City of Windsor – Development Charges Grant Program

    The Development Charges Grant Program provides eligible businesses a grant for a percentage of the development charges owing from the development or redevelopment of a building(s) or property in conformity with this Community Improvement Plan (CIP).

    City of Windsor – Feasibility Study Grant Program

    The purpose of the Feasibility Study Grant Program is to provide a financial incentive in the form of a grant to help offset the cost of conducting feasibility studies on brownfield buildings and lands in the Community Improvement Project Area.

    City of Windsor – Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Grant Program

    The Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Grant Program covers a portion of the cost of a Phase 2 ESA including Designated Substances and Hazardous Material Survey, Remedial Work Plan and a Risk Assessment.

    City of Windsor – Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant Program

    The Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant Program provides funding to help pay for remediation costs not fully disbursed by the Brownfields Tax Assistance program and non-environmental rehabilitation costs normally associated with brownfield site redevelopment.

    City of Windsor – Brownfields Property Tax Assistance Program

    If you’re interested in rehabilitating a brownfield site, you can benefit from the Brownfields Property Tax Assistance Program. The program aims to encourage the remediation and rehabilitation of brownfield sites by providing a grant that cancels part or all of the property tax increase during the “rehabilitation period” and the “development period” of a property.

    Additionally, the program provides a freeze of City property taxes on a brownfield property for up to three (3) years during and after remediation and construction. This can provide you with some financial relief during the process of rehabilitating a brownfield site.

    Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) – Save on Energy – Retrofit Program

    Get even more money to make your business more energy efficient and save you money with this program from IESO’s Save on Energy.

    This one has 2 options: the prescriptive track and the comprehensive track. The prescriptive is your best bet for quick projects and upgrades such as improved lighting, though the minimum incentive amount is $500. The comprehensive track is a better fit for larger, more comprehensive projects with lots of components. This one will get you an incentive of up to 50% of project costs.

    Chances are you qualify since most buildings are eligible: commercial, industrial, food services, agricultural, and more.

    Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) – Save on Energy – Energy Performance Program

    Sign up to continually improve your energy usage and you could be rewarded for it with this program.

    As long as you’re not an industrial or manufacturing business, you could receive a pay-for-performance financial incentive, plus a modelling incentive of $1,500 for each enrolled building, up to a maximum of $15,000 for 10 approved buildings. You get to choose which improvements and investments to make to achieve your improved energy efficiency, and your payments end up equal to 20% of the annual baseline electricity consumption of your building(s).

    Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) – Save on Energy – Small Business Program

    The Save on Energy Small Business program is designed to help small businesses across Ontario make equipment improvements to reduce their energy consumption, at no cost. Leveraging the success of the former Small Business Lighting program, this new and improved program offers small businesses direct-install incentives on an expanded range of equipment – both lighting and non-lighting.

    Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) – Save on Energy – Industrial Energy Efficiency Program (IEEP)

    IESO’s Save on Energy Industrial Energy Efficiency Program (IEEP) supports industrial customers across Ontario in improving their industrial processes and implementing system optimization projects. The program offers organizations up to $5 million in financial incentives for each large, complex industrial energy-efficiency project accepted into the program.

    Best Non-profit Grants for Windsor Small Businesses

    Downtown Windsor Business Association – Business Incentive Program

    The Business Incentive Program (CRSP) provides new businesses grant funding for a portion of monthly commercial rent; namely up to 25% of the rent, to a maximum of $625 per month, for a period of 12 months.

    Best Non-profit Loans for Windsor Small Businesses

    Fondation Franco-Ontarienne – Micro-credit Funds

    With support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and in partnership with the Prescott-Russell Community Development Corporation (SDCPR), the Franco-Ontarian Foundation (Foundation) supports Francophone entrepreneurs girls from Southern Ontario (Windsor to Hawkesbury). The micro-credit program provides borrowers with repayable financial assistance, offered in the form of loans.

    Best Competition

    Western Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship (Western University) – Proteus Innovation Competition (Proteus IC)

    The Proteus Innovation Competition is an intense four-month competition that will challenge individuals to create a viable commercialization strategy for 1 of 5 promising technologies, in hopes of winning a cash prize of up to $5,000. This three part competition allows contestants to hone their business skills, work with a variety of experienced advisors, and accelerate the commercialization process of discoveries coming out of Ontario’s institutions.

    Best Entrepreneurship Program for Windsor Small Businesses

    Foodpreneur Advantage – Foodpreneur Scale Up Program

    The Foodpreneur Scale Up program is designed specifically for food production and distribution businesses that demonstrate high growth potential.

    This 10 week program will provide business owners with access to industry experts, customized workshops and peer to peer discussion circles, that will provide the knowledge and tools necessary to successfully scale their businesses.

    The Accelerator – MIT Disciplined Entrepreneurship Program

    The Disciplined Entrepreneurship is a systematic and rigorous program to build new innovation-based ventures. The 24-step framework helps translate technology and ideas into innovative new products.

    City of Windsor Contact

    Windsor City Hall:

    350 City Hall Square West
    Windsor, Ontario

    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 1607
    Windsor, ON
    N9A 6S1

    Phone: Dial 311 (Alternate: 519-255-2489)

    For TTY, type 711
    Phone: 1-800-855-0511.
    Text: 311

    City of Windsor Social Media:

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