Ontario Driving Economic Growth in Rural Communities

Up to 80 projects receiving funding through the Rural Economic Development Program

Poster for the new Rural Economic Development (RED) program

PETERBOROUGH — The Ontario government is investing over $4.3 million in up to 80 projects across the province through the latest intake of the Rural Economic Development (RED) Program. The RED program supports projects that diversify rural economies, retain skilled workers, and create jobs in local communities.

“Our government values rural communities throughout the province, and this program provides municipalities, Indigenous communities, and not-for-profits with the funding they need for projects that contribute to local economic vitality,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “The Rural Economic Development program is another example of how our government is ensuring small towns and communities across Ontario continue to share in the province’s growth and economic prosperity.”

In Peterborough, the Innovation Cluster is receiving up to $73,750 for the launch of a new program that will support:

  • The hiring of a project coordinator, as well as experts to train, consult, and advise entrepreneurs throughout the program
  • The purchase or software subscriptions for virtual platform programming
  • Hosting project events and workshops for the innovation and technology program
  • The development and implementation of a marketing and promotional campaign with advertising to help support the innovation and technology program
  • Creating opportunities to further facilitate the growth of entrepreneurs through networking events.

The project will positively impact rural Ontario by supporting entrepreneurship in the region, strengthening the skills of community members, preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs, and strengthening partnerships among the economic development community.

“The Agri-food industry has been a key innovator in so many technologies that we take for granted in our everyday lives,” said Dave Smith, Member of Provincial Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha. “Good things grow in Ontario when we nurture local entrepreneurs and give them the tools they need to collaborate and innovate.”

The RED program provides cost-share funding support towards activities that create strong rural communities. This includes funding assistance to build local capacity and improve job prospects. The program aligns with the government’s priorities of removing barriers to investment, opening doors to rural economic development, and creating good jobs across the province.

Quick Facts

  • The latest intake of the RED program opened on January 23, 2023, and closed on February 23, 2023.
  • Since 2019, the RED program has invested more than $21.6 million to fund more than 380 projects that are helping to attract investment, create jobs, and boost economic development in rural communities across the province.

SOURCE: Province of Ontario

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