Aerial view of 401 and Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway

Location Incentives

There are a variety of funding opportunities and incentives available for foreign direct investments from the municipal, provincial and federal governments, as well as economic development organizations, when making investments in the Windsor-Essex region.

View our comprehensive list of employer support programs, further provincial government grants, loans and funds, or some of the more commonly accessed programs below.

Investment supports

Explore the following investment support opportunities:

  • Community Futures Essex County – This community-based, not-for-profit organization encourages entrepreneurship and economic opportunities. They provide business services and access to capital, particularly in rural areas.
  • Investment Ready: Certified Site Designation – Successful recipients of this industrial property designation can receive funding support, marketing and investment attraction support. These properties are also especially attractive to investors and site selectors for their investment readiness.
  • Investment Support Program – This City of Windsor program guides strategic investment projects through municipal approvals and requirements. It includes stakeholders from various municipal departments and external organizations to ensure timely and customer focused service.

Community Improvement Plans

Many of the municipalities and towns in the Windsor-Essex region have Community Improvement Plan (CIP) incentives to help attract investment opportunities within their jurisdiction. View the available programs:

Research and innovation support

The following research and innovation supports are available to businesses located in Windsor-Essex.

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) provides innovation assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses through financial help, advisory services and connections to the best business, and research and development expertise in Canada.

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario provides funding to bridge private sector investment in start-up businesses, women entrepreneurship strategies, business scale-up and productivity, regional innovation ecosystems and diversification.

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program provides a tax incentive for companies to achieve technological advancement to create new materials, devices, products or processes.

The Ontario Innovation Tax Credit provides qualifying corporations with a refundable tax credit for certain expenditures on scientific research and experimental development performed in Ontario.

Apprenticeship, training and job creation

Check out the following apprentice, training and job creation incentives.

The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund is available to business of all sizes and sectors based in Southwestern Ontario that are expanding operations, improving productivity and becoming more globally competitive. Funding supports help create jobs and build talent and may provide a 15 per cent (of eligible project costs) grant for job creation and investment, with a minimum of $500,000 investment and a minimum of 5 jobs created.

Loans of up to 15 per cent funding to a maximum of $5 million, interest free during the project period (up to 4 years). Grants are available only for specific circumstances, up to 15 per cent to a maximum of $1.5 million is available per project.

Through, Ontario Job Grant you can receive 1/6th of eligible training costs (to a max of $10,000 per person) to train new or existing employees in Ontario.

Ontario Works has an employer partnership with Invest WindsorEssex that provides funding for:

  • Pre-employment and on-the-job training
  • Employment related expenses
  • Job matching with the employer

The Government of Canada has launched the Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Service to help and support small and medium-sized employers (SMEs) to hire new first-year apprentices at level 1 in 39 Red Seal trades while helping, at the same time, first-year apprentices to acquire the hands-on work experience that they need to establish a career in the skilled trades. There are 39 Red Seal trades eligible for the support from the Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program. There are four providers of the program in Ontario. These organizations give financial support to small and medium-sized employers to hire first-year apprentices: $5,000 for each eligible new first-year apprentice hired and $10,000 if the apprentice hired is from an equity-deserving group. They also provide other supports to employers to help them take part in apprenticeship.

Rent subsidies

You may qualify for a rent subsidy to help cover overhead business costs. The Business Incentive Program, offered by the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association (DWBIA), utilizes rent subsidies to fill previously unoccupied ground floor buildings with new businesses.

Agri-food industry support

The following programs are available to businesses located in Windsor-Essex.

​This program offers repayable contributions to incent targeted commercialization, demonstration and/or adoption of innovative technologies and processes that increase agricultural and agri-food sector competitiveness and sustainability benefits. Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until March 31, 2028​.

This program offers up to 50% of funding for eligible expenses to a maximum of $50,000 per project. There is a maximum of $100,000 per applicant if they have multiple projects. Projects that help Canadian agricultural and agri-food sector SMEs get a third-party certification for the first time required to meet a specific export opportunity​. Application intake is from March 6, 2023, until Sept. 30, 2027​.

The Agri-Tech Innovation Initiative supports growth and productivity through innovation, advanced manufacturing, improved food safety and enhanced cyber security and energy efficiency within the agri-food sector.​ The initiative will be delivered under three streams, as follows: Stream 1: Agri-Tech Innovation (total eligible costs per project less than $100,000); Stream 2: Agri-Tech Innovation (total eligible costs per project $100,000 and greater); Stream 3: Agri-Tech Energy Costs Savings​.

Major sectors: mining, advanced manufacturing, construction and agri-food.​

This initiative addresses significant challenges in the sector and/or critical technology. The Sector Adoption Program will support a consortium of partners working together to address a set challenge statement and catalyze impactful change for the whole sector. Up to $1 million is available for a multi-partner consortium with a minimum of one SME.​

This organization provides several program, including the SmartGrowth Program that provides SMEs in southern Ontario’s food and agri-tech sectors access to acceleration financing to support scale-up and expansion projects.

The Agricultural Adaptation Council is an industry-led organization that stimulates growth and opportunity for Ontario’s agriculture and food industry through the delivery of funding programs, facilitating connections, and developing partnerships.