The Ontario government is launching a new intake of the Rural Economic Development (RED) program on February 7, 2022 to help build rural Ontario by investing in projects that boost economic opportunities in rural and Indigenous communities, create jobs and strengthen the labour force. Details of the intake were announced today by Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, at the 2022 Rural Ontario Municipal Association virtual annual conference.
“Our government understands rural communities have been affected by COVID-19. This targeted RED intake focuses on initiatives that will attract new residents and workers to rural communities across the province, while also creating opportunities for youth, workers and job seekers, and supporting innovative initiatives that position local businesses on a successful path forward.”
This funding will support initiatives that address barriers to economic development and position rural communities for economic growth and job creation, such as:
– Marketing and outreach campaigns to grow rural Ontario’s workforce.
– Connecting youth and apprentices to job opportunities and placements.
– Creating dedicated spaces such as innovation hubs and youth centres to develop partnerships and foster innovation.
Minister Thompson also announced up to $3,847,999 in funding for 61 projects that have been selected through the previous RED intake. Funding from this intake is being used to help diversify local economies, retain skilled workers, and attract opportunities, workers, and investment to rural communities.
The RED program continues to support rural communities as they respond to the local economic impacts of the pandemic by supporting actions that will address barriers to economic development, and better position rural communities for economic growth and job creation.
Applications for the new targeted RED intake will be accepted from February 7, 2022 to March 7, 2022. The Government of Ontario has committed more than $15.2 million to fund more than 287 economic development projects through the RED program since 2019. Projects in the Economic Diversification and Competitiveness stream are eligible for up to 70% cost share, up to a maximum of $150,000 per approved project.
Projects in the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream are eligible for up to 50% cost share, up to a maximum of $250,000 per approved project.