The Rural Economic Development (RED) program aims to support rural communities in Ontario by opening doors to rural economic development. This program is a cost-sharing grant that advocates for activities that promote strong rural communities in Ontario.

Funding Categories

Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream

Funding is available to cover up to 50% of eligible  costs,  to a maximum of $150,000 for projects that: 

  • remove barriers to business and job growth
  • support investment attraction
  • strengthen sector and regional partnerships
  • diversify regional economies in rural Ontario

Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream

Funding is available to cover up to 30% of eligible  costs,  to a maximum of $250,000 for projects that: 

  • Focus on priority economic infrastructure projects that improve physical assets identified as strategically important to the community
  • Rehabilitate and renew the assets to preserve the unique character of a community and quality of life and enhance it for future generations

Who can apply
  • A municipality
  • A not-for-profit entity
  • An Ontario Indigenous community or organization
  • A Local Services Board

What is funded

Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream

  • Coaching/mentorship
  • Business succession support
  • Collecting business and market data
  • Writing and implementing action plans
  • Executing actions to support local businesses in the community
  • Growing customer traffic
  • Attracting business to locate in downtowns
  • Organizational coordination efforts
  • Core area promotion
  • Community improvement plans
  • Digital training
  • Community engagement
  • Improving development and planning approvals process
  • Network development
  • Skills training and development 
  • Collaborative marketing and outreach
  • Sector/Value chain development

Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream

  • Restoration of a historical building or structure
  • Trail rehabilitation
  • Redevelopment of vacant and/or underutilized buildings, including:
    • Development of an incubator or innovation hub
    • Youth centre
    • Agri-food hubs 
  • Wayfinding signage
  • Beautification
  • WiFi equipment/software for public use


Feb. 22, 2023

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