The Regional Incentives Program is an initiative by the United Counties of Stormont Dundas and Glengarry.
SDG’s regional economic goals include activities that: will stimulate investment in tourism and in the agricultural sector by funding diverse, on-farm expansions and agri-tourism; encourage redevelopment and investment by the private sector in existing building stock within SDG to support employment, reduce the amount of vacant commercial, institutional and industrial buildings, and increase the tax base; as well as increase the amount of permanent roofed accommodations within SDG to specifically accommodate an increase in tourism establishments that cater to short-term accommodations.
The Regional Incentives Program aims to increase development initiatives in three areas: tourism, agriculture-related, agri-tourism uses, and facility improvement projects; adaptive re-use of commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings; and development of permanent roofed accommodations.
Overall, SDG aims to provide 50% matching grant funding, because it is one of the most direct, predictable, and simple ways to stimulate private sector investment while attracting and retaining businesses and increase taxable assessment within the region.
To this end, grants are available to eligible property owners, as well as authorised tenants. There are a variety of main categories for grants. Grants can be provided for improvements to a building’s facade, or to improve signage, or to help with providing parking or landscaping.
This could include painting, brickwork or cladding, eaves or windows, lighting, doors, or awnings. It could also include installation of permanent outdoor art such as murals, sculptures, paintings, local heritage-based art pieces and displays, or other types of artwork that will promote local heritage while enhancing tourism. Signage can improve the visibility of a business, and upgrade the image of a business.
Improvements to property could include adding landscaping such as trees, plants, fencing, benches, or planters. Improvement to parking or the additions of walkways or repairs are eligible.
Repairs and improvements intended to facilitate new construction or expansion such as land clearing, excavation, and well or septic. Grants can be provided to help with restoration to a building to bring it up to code, or to improve accessibility. Grants can cover some portion of the fees charged for planning applications and permits.
Applications are considered by the Regional Incentives Program Approvals Committee, made up of three members of County Council, including the Warden or designate, as well as two lay members appointed by County Council, and possibly County staff when required to provide clarification or guidance.
This Regional Incentives Program is specifically intended to compliment local Community Improvement Plans. The Regional Incentives Program will not fund the portion of a project approved for funding from a Community Improvement Plan, but complementary aspects of the same project may be eligible for funding.
For this reason, full disclosure of all funding sources is required. A property may be eligible for multiple grants, but the total of all grants for a project cannot exceed $50K per property.