SIMCOE – The province’s Rural Economic Development (RED) program is open to municipalities and non-profit organizations as part of the government’s commitment to creating jobs, boosting growth and encouraging investment in rural communities.
The funding is to support activities that create strong rural communities in Ontario and opens doors to rural economic development.
Applications for the fourth intake of the RED program opened on Dec. 11, and will be accepted until February 1, 2021. During this intake, two program streams will be available to apply for.

Eligible projects under the Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream will help remove barriers to business and job growth, attract investment, provide skills training and development and aids in diversifying regional economies. Projects could include revitalizing downtown areas to bring more businesses to the area, help for current businesses to attract customers, employee and youth training and promotional or marketing campaigns (e.g. to promote investment or tourism).
The Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream, which was created last year, is designed for minor capital projects that advance economic development and investment opportunities in rural Ontario. Project examples include rehabilitating or restoring cultural, heritage or tourism attractions, redeveloping vacant or under-used property and improving the design quality of public spaces (e.g. through lighting, banners, murals, street furniture, public art and trees).

Eligible applicants are:
• a municipality
• a not-for-profit organization
• an Ontario Indigenous community or organization
• a Local Services Board

For more information on the RED program and how to apply, please visit www.ontario.ca/page/rural-economic-development-program. You can also call 1-877-424-1300 or e-mail RED@ontario.ca to connect with a Regional Economic Development Advisor who can assist you with your application.

For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or toby.barrett@pc.ola.org