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The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) was established in 1988 with a mandate to promote and stimulate economic development initiatives in Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects that stabilize, diversify and foster economic growth in the region.

The NOHFC is an operational service agency established under the enabling legislation of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Act. The NOHFC has an appointed Board of Directors, chaired by the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. NOHFC’s objectives are set out in the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Act as follows:

  1. to advise and make recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor in Council on any matter relating to the growth and diversification of the economy of Northern Ontario;

  2. to promote and stimulate economic initiatives in Northern Ontario; and

  3. to commission studies and enter into contracts in connection with the objects set out in clauses (a) and (b) above.

The NOHFC provides economic development funding toward approved projects in the territorial districts of Northern Ontario, namely Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timiskaming.


NOHFC will be a catalyst for key strategic investments to stimulate economic development and diversification in Northern Ontario.


To partner with communities, businesses, entrepreneurs and youth across Northern Ontario to create jobs and strengthen the economy.

Who We Serve

For the NOHFC, Northern Ontario is defined as all areas North of, and including, the districts of Parry Sound and Nipissing.


Jobs and Growth Fund 

The Jobs and Growth Fund provides funding to businesses and organizations to help create jobs and position local economies for long-term growth. Nationally, the fund is valued at $700 million over three years. This includes up to $70 million dedicated to businesses created after January 2020 that meet eligibility criteria.


Here in Northern Ontario, FedNor is investing $26.6 million over that period through this new program. Funding will help job creators and the organizations that support them to future-proof their businesses, build resiliency and prepare for growth by transitioning to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery, enhancing competitiveness, and creating jobs across the region.


Eligible applicants include businesses, including co-operatives and Indigenous-led organizations and/or businesses, not-for-profit organizations and community economic development partners.


Eligible activities


Activities that support the transition to a green economy, including those that:


  • Support the development and adoption of clean technology.

  • Help communities and businesses plan and drive clean, sustainable economic growth.

  • Partner with organizations to catalyze the development of green regional clusters.

  • Work with organizations supporting businesses to transition to a green economy.


Activities that foster an inclusive recovery, including those that:


  • Support businesses owned or majority-led by underrepresented groups, such as Indigenous peoples, members of racialized communities, women, youth, LGBTQ2, persons with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, and members of official language minority communities.

  • Increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the economy by supporting not-for-profit organizations that provide funding, business services, training and access to resources to build a more inclusive and equitable workforce.


Activities that preserve Canada’s competitiveness and future-proof SMEs through digital adoption, including those that:


  • Support the development or adoption of digital and technological solutions (i.e., Industry 4.0 solutions) to increase and promote business productivity.

  • Invest in technologies that help scale businesses, enhance their capabilities and increase resilience.


Activities that strengthen capacity in sectors critical to Canada’s recovery and growth, including those that:


  • Support scale-up and market expansion activities that bolster traditional areas of strength.

  • Develop emerging areas of global competitive advantage.

  • Support supply chain adaptation and diversification opportunities to build Canadian capacity in critical sectors such as food production, medical supplies and biomanufacturing.


Assistance available


  • Eligible businesses could receive interest-free repayable contributions for up to 50 percent of eligible costs.

  • Eligible not-for profit organizations could receive non-repayable contributions for up to 90 percent of eligible costs.

  • Indigenous-led organizations and/or businesses are strongly encouraged to apply and may be eligible for up to 100% of project costs.


Contact a FedNor Officer prior to submitting an application


The Government of Canada has just launched the Tourism Relief Fund, to be delivered through FedDev Ontario. The Tourism Relief Fund supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. This fund has a $500 million budget (ending March 31, 2023) and will focus on product development and destination development. The fund will empower businesses to create or enhance tourism experiences and products to attract visitors and to help the sector provide the best Canadian tourism experiences. 


Contributions to businesses will be either non-repayable contributions up to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible costs OR fully repayable contributions up to $500,000 for up to 75% of eligible costs. 


The fund will offer a minimum of $50 million to support Indigenous tourism initiatives and $15 million will be dedicated to national initiatives that support the advancement of national tourism priorities. Eligible applicants include tourism entities that cater mainly to visitors, such including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and band councils or other Indigenous organizations and cooperatives.  


To be considered eligible for this fund, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria: 


  • Be a key supplier or operator in the visitor experience; 

  • Be part of a defined tourism cluster or a tourism dependent community, including supporting downtown cores; or 

  • Provide an anchor product or service in a tourism destination. 


Contact a FedNor Officer prior to submitting an application

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Blue Sky Economic Growth Corporation - Business Technology Improvement Fund (BTIF)


BTIF is a FedNor-funded initiative that assists businesses to develop their capacity for e-business and in effect their ability to compete and thrive in the digital age.


Eligible businesses could receive up to $5,000 towards broadband, e-business, and marketing solutions AND up to $25,000 towards investing in digital technology, such as software and in each scenario would be required to contribute a minimum 50% toward the project.



Canada Community Revitalization (CCRF)

The Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) aims to help communities across Canada build and improve community infrastructure projects so they can rebound from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a national investment of $500 million over two years, the Fund’s purpose is to support not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and other community groups, as well as Indigenous communities:

  • build new community infrastructure and revitalize existing assets

  • bring people back to public spaces safely as health measures ease

  • create jobs and stimulate local economies


Canada Recovery Hiring Program

With the recently announced Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP), hard-hit businesses will be able to hire the workers they need to recover as local economies reopen. The CRHP supports payroll as businesses grow, whether it’s related to hiring staff, increasing shifts or increasing overall pay. 


The CRHP and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) both support the payroll of eligible employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while the CEWS was designed to help eligible employers keep their employees on their payroll during the worst of the pandemic, the CRHP is designed to encourage businesses to (re)hire and grow as the economy recovers. 


The CRHP is designed to interact with the CEWS. From June 6, 2021 to September 25, 2021, the subsidies overlap so that, as CEWS rates gradually decline, eligible employers would still be able to receive support from the CRHP if they hire more workers or increase workers’ hours or wages. Eligible employers will be able to apply for either of the two subsidies, based on whichever subsidy will provide the higher amount of support.