Tourism Growth Program in southern Ontario: How to apply as a business

Tourism Growth Program in southern Ontario

Please read this guide before submitting an Application for Funding (For-Profit Applicants).

Not-for-profit organizations: please refer to How to apply as a not-for-profit.

5. How to apply as a business

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How to complete the Application for Funding – for businesses

Application for Funding will become available when the next intake opens.

Application Guide for Businesses

Purpose of this guide

The application guide is to help businesses complete FedDev Ontario's Application for Funding form (For-Profit Applicants). This guide explains how to complete each section of the form and how to tailor your responses for the Tourism Growth Program (TGP).

Applicant Information (Q1-18)

  • In question 1, provide your business legal name as it appears on your articles of incorporation document(s). Do not include your own name. If your company conducts business publicly by another operating name, please state this in  question 2.
  • In question 5, if you are an Indigenous applicant, a CRA business number is not mandatory to apply and you may, instead, include your 3-digit band number in question 6. If you are an Indigenous applicant with a CRA business number, please enter it into the field provided.
  • In question 8,  we want a full picture of your company, its founders and your business operations. Answer all parts of the question. Describe your role in the tourism industry and how it primarily caters to tourists. Include details on your company history before incorporation, if applicable. Clearly outline how your firm is managed and governed now and in the future. Tell us about your company's growth and your growth opportunities. Provide background information on key shareholders, board of directors and your management team. To supplement this information, submit the following documents using the "Add Attachments" button on the Application for Funding:
    • a copy of the company's incorporation document(s), including any amendments and information on ownership (names and percentage of ownership)
    • biographies of key management team and project team members
  • In questions 11-13, indicate the current number of employees for each category. Do not include people employed by suppliers or contracted services.
    • Full-time employees (FTEs) working in Canada are those who work a minimum of a 35-hour work week. They can include employees who may be working remotely in Canada.
    • Part-time employees (PTEs) in Canada are those employees who work less than a 35-hour work week. They can include employees who may be working remotely in Canada.
    • Number of employees outside of Canada is the total number of employees (full-time and part-time) working for the business outside of Canada, if applicable.

Authorized Project and Financial Contacts (Q19-20)

We are looking for the names and contact information for the primary contacts for communicating with FedDev Ontario on matters involving the application and project financials (if they are different). Ideally, the authorized contact person is a signing officer for the company who has full authority to bind the company through funding agreements. If the person is not a signing officer of the company, confirmation of that person's right to represent the company may be required. Neither the Authorized Project Contact nor the Financial Contact can be a consultant or third party.

The applicant and/or any parties authorized by the applicant to speak to FedDev Ontario on their behalf must comply with the Lobbying Act throughout the application process and the life of any funded project. Before communicating with FedDev Ontario about an application, please review the provisions of the Act. For more information on lobbying and the Lobbying Act, consult the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada.

Project Information (Q21-35)

This section provides a detailed account of the proposed project, including duration, location of activities and overall plan. When completing this section, please note the following:

  • In question 22, please enter "Tourism Growth Program" in this field.
  • In questions 23, the start date cannot be before March 29, 2023.
  • In question 24, the end date cannot be after March 31, 2026.
  • In question 26, indicate whether any of the proposed project's activities are expected to occur on federal lands as defined in the Impact Assessment Act, 2019. Activities on federal lands could be subject to additional requirements.
  • In question 28, please describe your project plan and include the detailed steps required to successfully achieve your expected outcomes. Your plan should demonstrate links to the eligible project activities as stated in Section 2: How funding works. Note: depending on the nature of your project activities, you may be expected to complete all federal requirements related to the Impact Assessment Act 2019, and the duty to consult with Indigenous Groups as set out in Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. To find out more, visit the Government of Canada and the duty to consult.
  • In question 29, briefly describe the objective and expected outcomes of your project. This section should serve as a rationale for why this project should receive funding. In providing your response, consider:
    • How and the extent to which the proposed project aligns with one or more of the program priorities. Note: if your project aligns with the economic, environmental and cultural sustainability priority, use the space in question 30 to provide details.
    • Explain how your project is aligned with the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy (if applicable).
TGP program priorities
  • supporting the Indigenous tourism industry
  • increasing tourism benefits for communities by driving visitation from urban areas to rural areas
  • supporting economic, environmental and cultural sustainability
  • supporting active outdoor experiences (e.g., projects that provide more opportunities for physically active tourism offerings such as rock-climbing, trails, watersports, etc.)
  • extending the tourism season (e.g., projects that promote and/or develop product, services or experiences with an aim of increasing tourism activity outside the traditional high season or extending their services year-round)
  • complement support provided through provincial programs
  • In question 30, indicate and provide details as how on the clean growth benefits of your project, including environmental benefits to be realized. If 'yes' is selected, provide information on how your project is focused on greening of your operations or adopting green practices across your offerings. For more information and examples of sustainable tourism, refer to the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy. Where possible, provide metrics to quantify the impact (e.g., percentage of energy or water saved, amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced, amount of waste diverted from landfill, amounts of air pollutants reduced, etc.). Include a timeframe over which these benefits will be realized.
Definition: Clean growth

Clean growth is about fostering economic growth that reduces environmental impacts and strengthens resilience to a changing climate.

This is done through initiatives that promote and support clean growth outcomes (e.g., emissions reductions, waste reduction, sustainable jobs, etc.). This can include the introduction of practices to reduce carbon footprint or waste, the adoption or commercialization of clean technologies, circular economy initiatives, greening communities, and supply chain localization.

  • In question 31, provide information about diversity, equity and inclusion at your organization.

    The Government of Canada is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion so that all Canadians have the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the growth of the economy. Gender, equity, and diversity data collected may be used for research, statistics, program and policy evaluation, risk management, strategy development, reporting, and gender-based analysis (including GBA+). This information can help the Government of Canada monitor progress on inclusive access to federal support programs and services, identify and remove barriers, and make changes to improve inclusive access. Aggregate and anonymous data may be shared with other federal organizations and published for reporting and monitoring purposes.

    Question 31 has 3 components:

    1. The first column of the table is a voluntary self-declaration of the applicant's status in relation to 1 or more underrepresented groups for statistical purposes only. This section can be left blank if you do not wish to self-declare.

      Note: "led or majority-led" describes organizations where members of underrepresented groups are involved in long-term control and management of the organization and play an active role in both strategic and day-to-day decision-making.

    2. The second column seeks to understand whether the project will benefit or encourage the inclusion of 1 or more underrepresented group. The responses to this column are linked to the third section of this question, where applicants are asked to explain how their organization will influence federal inclusive growth priorities.
    3. In completing the third section, describe in detail how your organization and project promotes diversity, equity and inclusion, and include any supporting documentation as attachments, if applicable. Please explain both ongoing and planned methods in which your company is addressing the representation of underrepresented groups. Examples of initiatives could include developing new, inclusive tourism experiences (e.g., enhancing accessibility or creating a welcoming environment for diverse clientele) and/or your organizational diversity plan or policies and participation in the 50-30 Challenge. Describe relevant results and the timeframe in which they will be achieved. Refer to the guidance in question 36 when describing results.
The 50-30 Challenge

FedDev Ontario continues to champion the 50-30 Challenge, where applicants are encouraged to take voluntary actions to achieve gender parity (50%) and significant representation (at least 30%) of underrepresented groups on their boards and in senior management. If you are already a participant, please include this on your application. If you are not yet a participant but wish to join, please note this on your application. Refer to the 50-30 Challenge.

  • In question 32, list any key project partners and their role(s) in the project. These may include other businesses (suppliers or customers), financial partners, industry or other levels of government or departments invested in the completion and the success of the project. Describe in detail the nature of these partnerships.

    Note: You will also be asked to describe the financial contributions to be made and the status of each contribution (e.g., confirmed, pending confirmation, to be requested) for each identified key project partner in the Project Budget section. Any letters of intent/support from partners should be attached to the application. If your project is approved, you will be expected to confirm all sources of the matching funding within 30 days of being notified.

  • In question 33, describe the market opportunity that your project will address and list your major competitors in the industry. Describe how your project will help differentiate you in the marketplace. Include a list of your key competitors, where applicable. Describe in detail, with metrics, the impact the project will have in supporting tourism destination development in southern Ontario and enhancing Canada's competitiveness as an international tourism destination. This could include, but is not limited to, the estimated value of annual revenue (broken down by domestic and international tourists) your business receives historically and as an expected result of this project.
  • In question 34, indicate key risks associated with the project (e.g., financial, regulatory, implementation, any risks that may impact a successful project outcome) and potential risk to the broader economy (e.g., cybersecurity, privacy). Indicate whether permits for building or infrastructure-related activities are needed and/or whether they have been obtained. Also, please identify risk mitigation measures for the project.
  • In question 35, illustrate why financial assistance is required for this project and explain what the impact would be if the requested funding was not received. This section could include the broader impact(s) on the tourism cluster or industry if funding was not received.

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Project Results (Q36)

All values provided under this section must be measurable and verifiable. Recognizing that not all indicators apply to every project proposal, applicants can select "No" for any of the options and will not need to complete the corresponding "Amount" column.


Businesses applying for support under the Tourism Growth Program are not necessarily expected to have results for many of the pre-populated results fields in question 36 of the Application for Funding. Use the + button in the table in this section to add the following "program specific indicators" as they apply to your proposed project. Please refer to Annex A for definitions of each indicator.

The + button Result Amount
+ Partnerships maintained Yes No Enter value (# of partnerships proposed to be maintained)
+ Collaborations maintained Yes No Enter value (# of collaborations proposed to be maintained)
+ Tourism products created or adapted Yes No Enter value (# of products proposed to be created or adapted, excluding festivals)
+ International Tourists Yes No Enter value (estimated # of international tourists to be impacted)
+ Domestic Tourists Yes No Enter value (estimated # of domestic tourists to be impacted)

All amounts reported in this section must be measured from the estimated Start Date of the project to the End Date of the project. Any details provided in this section should be as realistic and achievable as possible, as you will be asked to report on these results throughout the project's duration. Any benefits that fall outside of this timeframe may be highlighted in question 29 instead.

Project Budget (Q37-38)

By completing this section, you are providing FedDev Ontario with the key project financing information needed to assess whether the resources requested are both incremental and appropriate for further review, including:

  • estimated total project costs, how much funding you are requesting, and a breakdown of this funding by fiscal year and cost category
  • whether you have secured your portion of the financing, and the source(s) and status of any other funding

Information provided in this section may be supported with a more detailed project budget and breakdown of costs submitted as an attachment. If your project is approved, you will be expected to confirm all sources of the matching funding within 30 days of being notified.

Important notes:

  • All eligible costs must be incremental, reasonable and directly related to eligible project activities. Please see Annex B for more details on eligible and ineligible costs.
  • State costs in Canadian dollars (CAD) over the span of the project duration (Note: fiscal year is defined as April 1 to March 31).
  • Costs incurred prior to March 29, 2023, or after March 31, 2026, cannot be considered as eligible costs. Note: if your project is complete or substantially complete by the time of your application then it is not eligible for support under this program.
  • If there are no costs associated for a cost category, enter "0" in the amount column for that cost category.
  • All projects and associated costs must be completed by the estimated End Date of the project.

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Financial Information (Q39-41)

This section will allow FedDev Ontario to assess your company's capacity to undertake the proposed project, including:

  • If you have received government funding from any level (federal, provincial, municipal) in the last 5 years (question 39) and, if applicable, use some of the space provided in question 40 to explain the status and outcomes of this funding. When completing this section, please reference any past support received from FedDev Ontario (e.g., Tourism Relief Fund) or funding received from a Regional Tourism Organization supported by FedDev Ontario.
  • Your company's financial performance (e.g., assets, liabilities, cost structure, revenue streams). Note that forecasted revenue cannot be leveraged as a source of project financing.
  • As FedDev Ontario funding does not support ongoing operating costs, please indicate how your business will sustain operations, programming, if applicable, and direct jobs created and/or maintained post-project.
  • In question 41, be sure to include how your business remains financially sustainable both for the duration of the project and after project completion, and how the project improves the future outlook of your business.


Please ensure the certification section is completed by the authorized contact, who is also the member of your business with signing power/authority to enter into a legally binding agreement with FedDev Ontario. Note:

  • Certification is the act of signing a formal document to confirm that you are bound by its contents.
  • Making a false statement or providing misleading information may result in the Minister exercising any remedy available to him/her at law.
  • You must review each statement and sign the Certification, this includes certifying that the applicant is not engaged in any illegal or criminal activity, and does not promote violence, incite hatred or discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, identity or expression, sexual orientation, colour, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, age, or mental or physical disability, contrary to applicable laws.
  • Checking 'I Agree' provides an authorized signature of your business certifying both the information provided on the application and that you are duly authorized to submit the application on the business's behalf.
  • Funding for the purposes of the Project should not be knowingly used, either directly or indirectly, in a manner that breaches economic sanctions imposed by Canada as described under the Special Economic Measures Act. Information on Canadian sanctions and export and import controls can be found here: Canadian sanctions (

Confidentiality, Reporting, and Visibility Requirements

FedDev Ontario may consult external experts as part of the application assessment process (for example other government departments and agencies) and share applicant information with such experts. Any confidential or proprietary information should be marked as such. In addition, all information provided by the applicant is subject to the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act. If approved for funding, the names of recipients, amounts awarded, and project descriptions will be disclosed publicly. Recipients will also be required to submit reports and other statements that provide details on project performance, and comply with official languages and visibility and funding acknowledgement requirements in the contribution agreement.


FedDev Ontario reserves the right to modify these guidelines at any time without notice and may waive certain requirements on an exceptional basis.

Application Checklist

Please be sure to attach all mandatory and other supporting documents to your application.

Mandatory documents include:

  • Financial statements (interim/annual, balance sheets and other financial documentation) for the last 2 years. Financial statements with Audit or Review Engagement are preferred.
  • Financial projections capturing the timing of project spending and revenue growth.
  • Articles of incorporation/amendments or similar documents.
  • Biographies of key management and technical staff required to complete the project and a diagram of the company structure.
  • A work plan or project schedule that outlines major activities, milestones and detailed project budget (as already summarized in the Application for Funding).
  • A breakdown of the types and numbers of jobs to be created or maintained immediately following project completion and 2 years post-project completion (as already summarized in the Application for Funding).
  • Copies of letters of intent/support or similar documentation from partners, building permits or similar technical requirements identified/obtained, as already detailed in the Application for Funding.
  • Optional and supplemental documents may include:
    • Additional information summarizing how the project contributes to one or more of the program priorities (if additional space is needed)

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Annex A – Project Indicator Definitions

The TGP program uses the same application form as other FedDev Ontario programs. Not all indicators listed in question 36 are relevant to the TGP, and there are five (5) specific indicators that may need to be added to your TGP application form that are not pre-populated in the table. Please find the definitions for these 5 program specific indicators below, and the definitions for the remaining indicators listed thereafter in the order they appear on the Application for Funding.

Indicators specific to the Tourism Growth Program

Use the + button to add any or all of the following program-specific indicators in the table for question 36, if they are applicable to your project.

Partnerships maintained
Indicate if your project will maintain a partnership(s) with a business or organization that existed prior to the proposed project, but which would not have continued, our would have been unlikely to continue, if the project is not funded.
Partnerships: Businesses or organizations contracted to perform a service or supply materials in support of the project.
Collaborations maintained
Indicate if your project will maintain a collaboration(s) with groups or organizations that existed prior to the proposed project, but which would not have continued, or would have been unlikely to continue, if the project is not funded.
Collaborations: Groups or organizations that contribute in cash or in-kind in support of the project.
New tourism products adapted or created
Indicate the number of new tourism products your project will adapt or create as a direct result of this project.
Number of domestic tourists
Indicate the number of tourists (from any region in Canada) who are estimated to take part in the tourism activity as a direct result of this project. This number should exclude tourists from countries other than Canada.
Number of international tourists
Indicate the number of tourists from outside of Canada who are estimated to take part in the tourism activity as a direct results of this project. This number should exclude tourists from within Canada.

Pre-populated indicators

Not all of the pre-populated indicators are relevant to the Tourism Growth Program. Select "No" if they are not applicable to your project or where the instructions below indicate.

Increased domestic revenues
Indicate the total value of increased revenues within Canada for your organization as a direct result of the project activities. Estimates cannot include non-project activities or revenue generated outside of the estimated Start Date and End Date of the project.
Increased exports
Not applicable to the Tourism Growth Program. Select No in the table in question 36.
Increased clean tech sales
Not applicable to the Tourism Growth Program. Select No in the table in question 36.
New foreign investment in Canada
Indicate if the project will result in new foreign direct investment in Canada. This investment must be a direct result of the project activities and cannot include investments that would have occurred if the project did not proceed. Estimate the cumulative value of the investment from the estimated Start Date of the project to the End Date of the project. Do not include investments that will be made beyond project completion.
New partnerships/collaborations created
Indicate if your project will create new partnerships or collaborations:
  • Partnerships: Businesses or organizations contracted to perform a service or supply materials in support of the project.
  • Collaborations: Groups or organizations that contribute in cash or in-kind in support of the project.
New intellectual property (IP) created or licensed
Not applicable to the Tourism Growth Program. Select "No" in the table in question 36.
Number of new products or services commercialized
Not applicable to the Tourism Growth Program. Select "No" in the table in question 36.
New skills development, training/mentorship to be provided
Indicate whether project activities will include providing skills development and training/mentorship to employees and the number of employees that will receive this. Do not include skills development that will be provided beyond project completion.
Number of businesses supported

Indicate the number of private sector entities supported by the contribution through services and/or funding (e.g., incorporated company, proprietorship).

Note: the number to enter in the amount column is usually "1".

Number of organizations supported
Not applicable to business applicants in the Tourism Growth Program. Select No or enter "0" in the amount column in the table in question 36.
Total number of jobs created and maintained at the End Date of your project and 2 years post-project completion

Indicate in the respective fields how many full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs are expected to be created and maintained as a direct result of your project both in the near-term (i.e., immediately following project completion) as well as 2 years after the project is completed. Permanent positions are defined as a position without a fixed end date. A temporary (or contract) position indicates a position with a fixed end date.

  • A job created refers to a job that did not exist prior to the project but was created as a direct result of the project activities. This applies to the period immediately following project completion as well as 2 years post-project completion.
  • Maintained refers to employment that existed prior to the project but which would not have continued, or would have been unlikely to continue if the project had not been funded. This applies to the period immediately following project completion as well as 2 years post-project completion.

For reference, please review details in the above guide for Application for Funding questions 11-13 for details on how to calculate FTEs.

To supplement this information, please attach a list of the types (including permanent and temporary, management, technical, professional etc.) and the number of jobs that will be created or maintained immediately following project completion and 2 years post-project completion.

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Annex B – Cost Categories

Eligible project costs must be reasonable, verifiable, incremental, and directly support project activities. Eligible project costs do not include ongoing costs of production or operations. Generally, the following are eligible cost categories:

Annex B – Cost Categories
Capital Costs Non-capital Costs
  • Machinery and equipment: the purchase and/or installation of equipment, machinery or software directly related to, or necessary for, the completion of the project. Eligible costs exclude regularly scheduled capital expenditures, asset replacement and/or purchase/lease or operations of vehicles and off-site equipment.
  • Project facilities and infrastructure: costs for renovation, site or leasehold improvements directly related to the purchase or installation of specialized equipment or assets related to the project.
  • The purchase of land or building is not eligible.
  • Labour: incremental salaries and benefits for individual employees directly related to completing the activities of the project, other than those covered under Expertise (contracted services) or Project Management costs.
  • Expertise: incremental fees paid to professional and technical personnel, consultants, engineers or contractors. Eligible costs exclude costs of external (third-party) consultants paid to prepare an application.
  • Marketing, visibility, and outreach costs: where relevant to the project, include costs to promote project activities, commercial demonstration of products, processes and services resulting from the project, translation and other related costs. Eligible costs exclude hospitality and entertainment costs.
  • Training and talent costs: where relevant to the project, include training sessions, course material, external trainers and other reasonable training and talent costs not covered by another cost category.
  • Materials: cost of direct materials used for the completion of the project. For tourism operators, eligible costs could encompass materials directly associated with enhancing visitor experiences, such as software, signage, visitor information tools, supplies for visitor activities, and other non-capital equipment. Eligible costs exclude raw materials and materials consumed for regular operations or for inventory.

Project Management

  • Oversight and administration of a project such as incremental rental of space, insurance, environmental assessments, and meeting/conference fees.
  • Reporting: monitoring, results reporting and financial accounting for a project.