Working Capital Grants: 193 Programs to Keep Your Business Operating

Working capital grants are an attractive way to fund a business’s short-term obligations, and in our grants database we have 224 such funding programs.

In this comprehensive guide we cover the best of those working capital grants, along with loans, loan guarantees, tax credits, in-kind programs, and more.

What Can Working Capital Grants Be Used For?

Working capital 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 operating expenses, including inventory purchases, product shipping, marketing and advertising, payroll and more
  • Making energy-efficient upgrades and equipment upgrades
  • A working capital for your business, including procurement of raw materials, new and/or automated equipment that will lead to productivity improvements and energy savings
  • Developing commercialization of new innovations and promoting innovative business growth

And that’s just a sample! See the section below with the best working capital grants available for your business.

How Much Working Capital Grant Money Can I Get for My Business?

In our database we currently have grants ranging from $625 to $50,000,000.

Am I Eligible for a Working Capital 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 working capital grants in our database, and these are the most common qualifications we identified:

  • Be for-profit organizations, including businesses and corporations, sole-proprietorships, partnerships and co-operatives
  • Be agricultural producers in Canada
  • Be industrial or commercial businesses, registered and incorporated in Canada
  • Have its head office in Canada and carry out its activities in Canada
  • Have the authority to enter into a legal agreement

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

Best Working Capital Business Grants, Loans & More

While there are lots of good programs available, below we highlight some of the best business grants, loans, tax credits & more for working capital:

Best Government Working Capital Grants for Ontario Businesses

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) – AgriInsurance

AgriInsurance is a federal-provincial-producer cost-shared program that stabilizes a producer’s income by minimizing the economic effects of primarily production losses caused by severe but uncontrollable natural hazards. Some examples of possible eligible perils are drought, flood, wind, frost, excessive rain, heat, snow, uncontrolled disease, insect infestations and wildlife.

Canada Council for the Arts – Concept to Realization Component of Explore and Create: Project and Composite Grants

The Concept to Realization component of Explore and Create supports the full creative cycle– from the initial idea through to presentation, at any stage of the creative continuum. Canadian artists, artistic groups and arts organizations can apply to create projects intended for presentation. Grants provide support for artistic research, creation, project development, remounts, production post-production and presentation.

Canada Council for the Arts – Literary Publishers Component of Supporting Artistic Practice

The Literary Publishers component of Supporting Artistic Practice provides grants to Canadian publishers of literary books and magazines committed to developing and promoting Canadian literary writers through the publishing process.

Canadian Heritage – Business Innovation – Canada Periodical Fund (CPF)

Contrary to popular myth, magazines aren’t dead! And that’s in part thanks to this funding program from the federal government.

Small and medium-sized magazines and periodicals can get financial support to find new ways to adapt to the changing market and contribute to the diversity of content Canadian readers want. And digital publications can benefit too!

Your organization could get up to $50,000/periodical/year if you qualify. You could even get up to $75,000 if your project spans 2 government fiscal years. This is thankfully a stackable program, so you can have additional funding from all levels of government and other sources.

But know that all your government funding can’t total more than 75% of eligible project costs.

Indigenous Services Canada – Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program: Access to Capital

This program promotes entrepreneurship in Indigenous communities and seeks to increase the number of viable Indigenous-owned businesses. The program has 2 components: access to capital and business opportunities.


Guaranteed Government Grants

Get a FREE 45-page guide with proven steps to business grants success:

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    The Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program: Access to Capital provides Indigenous businesses with access to non-repayable contributions of up to $99,999 for supporting eligible business proposals and leveraging additional funds.

    Transport Canada – National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF)

    Transport Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund provides funding for infrastructure projects in Canada, including work to airports, ports, rail yards, transportation facilities and access roads.

    Ontario Creates – Ontario Music Investment Fund (OMIF) – Music Creation

    The OMIF Music Creation stream provides funding to support the development of competitive, sustainable music companies in Ontario that take risks discovering and developing talent – particularly emerging artists – and bringing it to market.

    Best Government Working Capital Loans for Ontario Businesses

    Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Small Business Loan

    The Small Business Loan helps Canadian companies get fast financing to use to:

    • supplement cash flow (purchase equipment, software, or hardware without using cash they need for everyday activities),
    • sell online to increase sales (upgrade your website, purchase inventory, run marketing campaigns, hire a consultant),
    • cover expenses (pay suppliers, landlords, employees).
    Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Working Capital Financing

    The Working Capital Loan helps Canadian businesses complement other lines of credit, launch growth projects (expand into new markets, develop new products, protect intellectual property, launch a marketing campaign) and improve profitability (pay suppliers upfront to get special discounts, obtain certification, train employees).

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – National Housing Co-Investment Fund: Indigenous and Northern Housing

    CMHC’s Indigenous and Northern Housing option of the National Housing Co-Investment Fund provides low-cost and forgivable loans to housing providers serving Indigenous people, and housing providers building and renovating housing in northern communities.

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) – Seed Funding: New Construction Stream

    CMHC’s New Construction Stream provides interest-free loans and/or non-repayable contributions to help with costs related to pre-development activities. This can include business plans, preliminary designs, development permits and more.

    Farm Credit Canada (FCC) – Credit Lines: FCC Advancer Loan

    The FCC Advancer Loan is a pre-approved, secured loan that continually re-advances funds as their clients (Canadian agriculture businesses) grow their operations.

    Farm Credit Canada (FCC) – Credit Lines: FCC Credit Line

    The FCC credit line provides funds to Canadian agriculture businesses to bridge the cash flow gap. It is a revolving, pre-approved loan that provides money for working capital.

    Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and FACE (Federation of African Canadian Economics) – Black Entrepreneurship Program: Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund

    The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund is a partnership between the Government, Black-led business organizations, and several financial institutions. It will provide loans up to $250,000 to Black business owners and entrepreneurs across the country.

    Loans can be used for:

    • Capital investments–equipment, leasehold improvements, property improvement, office equipment.
    • Working capital–inventory, payroll, lease payments, accounts management, rent, overhead costs.
    • Short-term receivable financing (i.e. financing to service a contact).
    Telefilm Canada – Development Program

    The Development Program finances Canadian feature films at the development stage.

    The Development Program has four streams:

    • Prequalified Stream;
    • General Stream;
    • Indigenous Stream;
    • Stream for Black and People of Colour.
    Agricultural Credit Corporation (ACC) – Commodity Loan Program (CLP)

    Could you use a short-term loan to buy operating supplies such as seed, fertilizer, or pesticides? Look no further! This program is administered by the Agricultural Credit Corporation to lend you what you need for your next crop, up to $750,000. And the best part is you only pay an interest rate of prime on the loan

    Best Government Working Capital Loan Guarantees for Ontario Businesses

    Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) – Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP)

    The Canada Small Business Financing Program makes it easier for small businesses to obtain loans from financial institutions because the government shares the risk with the lenders.

    • Bank Loans for Working Capital

    If you’re not eligible for a government loan, you might consider one of the commercial loans available to entrepreneurs to meet their working capital needs. Below is a sample of current loan programs offered by the “Big 5” Canadian banks and by the Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited that are available specifically for working capital:

    • Bank Lines of Credit for Working Capital

    In addition to loans, there are lines of credit offered by some commercial banks specifically for the working capital needs.

    Here are some lines of credit currently available to businesses for working capital:

    Best Working Capital Tax Credits for Ontario Businesses

    Canada Revenue Agency – Provincial and Territorial Foreign Tax Credits

    The provincial or territorial foreign tax credit is available to corporations and can be claimed for taxes paid to another country on foreign non-business income. This credit reduces the provincial tax otherwise payable.

    Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) and the Canada Revenue Agency – Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC)

    The Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC) is designed to enhance Canada as a location of choice for film and video productions employing Canadians, as well as to strengthen the industry and secure investment.

    Ontario Creates and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) – Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE)

    The Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects (OCASE) Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit equal to 18% of the qualifying labor expenditures for eligible computer animation and special effects activities, incurred by a qualifying corporation in a tax year for an eligible production.

    Ontario Creates and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) – Ontario Film & Television Tax Credit (OFTTC)

    Eligible Ontario-based and Canadian-controlled companies can claim 35%—40% on the first $240,000 for first-time applicants—of qualifying Ontario labour expenses on acceptable film and television projects with this program.

    Ontario Creates and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) – Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC)

    The Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC) is a refundable tax credit based upon Ontario qualifying production expenditures (labor, service contracts and tangible property expenditures) incurred by a qualifying corporation with respect to an eligible film or television production.

    It can be combined with the federal Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit of 16% of qualified Canadian labor expenditures.

    Best Working Capital Rebates for Ontario Businesses

    Ministry of Energy – Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER)

    The Ontario Electricity Rebate currently provides a 11.7% rebate to eligible residential customers, small businesses, farms and other customers.

    Ministry of Northern Development – Northern Energy Advantage Program

    The Northern Energy Advantage Program (NEAP) supports Northern Ontario’s largest industrial electricity consumers with competitive, stable and predictable electricity price rates. The program helps them improve their competitiveness and their ability to secure investments, while continuing to create and sustain good jobs in Northern Ontario.

    Best Working Capital Subsidies for Ontario Businesses

    Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada – Nutrition North Canada (NNC) Program

    Nutrition North Canada is a Government of Canada program that helps make nutritious food and some essential items more affordable and more accessible.

    NNC subsidizes a list of nutritious eligible foods, as well as certain non-food items such as diapers and soap, hand-sanitizers and personal hygiene products, sold by registered retailers, suppliers, and country food processors.

    Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO) – Women in Health Initiative (WiHI): Wage Subsidies for Women in Business Leadership Roles

    Through the OBIO® WiHI program, wage subsidies of up to $50,000 CAD are available for women in leadership roles in the health science industry.

    Best Non-profit Working Capital Grants for Ontario Businesses

    Bell Fund – TV Program – Major Production Funder Envelope

    The purpose of the TV Program is to support the production of great, market-driven Canadian content in the genres of lifestyle, drama, comedy series and documentary series. For eligible projects supported by a Major Production Funder (MPF), funding will be allocated from a MPF envelope. The MPF shall provide a Bell Fund Broadcaster support form to the Producer that allows the Producer to submit an application for funding to the Bell Fund.

    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.

    WomensNet’s Amber Grant Foundation – Monthly and Year-end Amber Grants

    WomensNet awards a monthly Amber Grant of $10,000 and 4 monthly grants of $1,000 to women-owned businesses. The $10,000 Amber Grant winner each month qualifies for the Year-end Amber Grant of $25,000.

    Best Non-profit Working Capital Loans for Ontario Businesses

    FACE (Federation of African Canadian Economics), Alterna Savings and Vancity – Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund: Micro Loan Pilot Program

    The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, a component of the Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP), is a partnership between FACE, the Government of Canada, the BDC and private sector financial institutions. The Fund provides micro-loans ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 in Ontario and British Columbia.

    Alterna Savings (Ontario) and Vancity (British Columbia) will fulfill approved loans in their respective provinces.

    Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario (IAPO) – First Nations Farm and Business Financing

    IAPO’s First Nations Farm and Business Financing offers financing products to serve the needs of First Nation agriculture. Loans are available for farms, agricultural related businesses as well as value added enterprises.

    There are four types of loans: term loans (available for machinery, livestock, buildings, farm improvements and land); 0perating credit (lines of credit loans are available for input costs such as seed, feed, and fertilizer); tile drainage loans (for installing tile and drains on agricultural land); and HerdBuilder loans (cashflow for expanding beef herds).

    Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) – NADF Winter Road Financing

    This financing program is specifically aimed at those wholly or majority-owned Indigenous businesses, including Métis and Inuit, in Northern Ontario whose businesses rely on the winter road network.

    Buy the equipment and supplies you need right away so you can start transporting as soon as possible when you qualify for this funding. You don’t have to wait to apply, just make sure you have 10% equity if you’re between 18 and 35 and 15% equity if you’re over 35.

    Wellington Waterloo Community Futures (WWCF) – Rural Women in Business Loans

    Wellington Waterloo Community Futures provides rural women in business loans that help with startup funds or expansion plans. The maximum loan size is $250,000.00 to be used for the purchase of fixed assets, leasehold improvements, inventory, expansion, start-up or working capital or a combination of any along with some consolidation.

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *