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Financing, Government Programs and Incentives


Economic Development

Town of Essex
33 Talbot Street South
Essex, Ontario
N8M 1A8
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T. 519-776-7336
F. 519-776-8811
C. 519-564-0604
Email Economic Development

It is often difficult for startup businesses to get the finances they need. Financial institutions and most government programs require personal equity or guarantees (skin in the game) and a sound business plan.

Essex Community Improvement Plan Incentives

The Town of Essex has two Community Improvement Plans - one for Essex Centre and one for Harrow. A Community Improvement Plan offers incentives to help revitalize downtowns as the social, economic and cultural heart of the community. A community improvement plan provides municipal funding incentives to property owners to stimulate physical improvements to commercial buildings, new business activities and residential accommodation in the downtown within a defined project area. For more information, view our Community Improvement Plans page or contact the Planning Department (see right-hand contact box for information).

Canada Small Business Financing Program

This is a loan program in collaboration with financial institutions. Loans can be used for:

  • purchasing or improving land and buildings used for commercial purposes
  • purchasing new or existing renovations to premises occupied by the business as a tenant
  • purchasing or improving new or used equipment (including commercial vehicles)

There are restrictions and requirements to qualify for these loans. To find out more visit Industry Canada.

Essex Community Futures Development Corporation

The Essex Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) is part of a network of Community Futures Development Corporations across the country. The Essex CFDC is a non-profit organization whose goal is to encourage economic development and create job opportunities within Essex County. They can provide small business loans and assist in other financing arrangements and business strategies. An application package is available on their website.

Business Development Bank of Canada

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) provides business financing and consulting services and can help you access the capital you need to purchase new equipment, technologies or property.

Programs for Youth

Futurpreneur Canada has a range of programs for youth, new immigrants, and veterans. Programs include Start-up Program, New Comer Program, Spin Master Innovation Fund and the Prince's Operation Entrepreneur Program. They also have a mentoring program to provide expert advice and support.

Ontario Self-Employment Benefit Program

The Ontario Self-Employment Benefit Program is a provincially funded government program that assists persons who are Employment Insurance (EI) eligible who would like to start and operate their own business. Offices are located in Windsor and Leamington.

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund

The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund gives money to businesses, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations for economic development in southwestern Ontario. Criteria apply.

The fund supports projects that:

  • create jobs
  • encourage innovation, collaboration and cluster development
  • attract private sector investment

The Funding Matrix

The Funding Matrix is compiled and updated by the regional office of the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. It is a comprehensive list of programs available through various government agencies. Programs include employer hiring incentives, tax credits for research and development, funding and financing programs.

Contact our Economic Development Office to obtain a current copy.