Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

New targeted intake opens under Ontario’s Rural Economic Development program

September 29, 2020  By Fruit and Vegetable

The Ontario government announced a new targeted intake under the Rural Economic Development (RED) program that will see $1 million in cost-share funding go toward diversifying the economy of rural communities.

“This funding will focus on diversifying regional economies and improving the competitiveness of rural businesses across the province,” said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman. “Due to the COVID-19 crisis many people are struggling, and this funding will support job creation and investment to help lift up individuals, families and businesses.”

The intake is directed at not-for-profit organizations with a mandate towards regional economic development and eligible projects would be eligible for up to 70 per cent of total costs to a maximum of $75,000 in provincial funding. Minister Hardeman also announced more than $3 million in funding cost-shared with applicants to be invested in 65 projects through a previous RED intake.


Applications will be accepted from Sept. 21 to Oct. 9, 2020. All costs must be incurred on or before March 31, 2021.

This funding will support economic development efforts such as:

  • Capital improvements to enhance an uptown arts and cultural hub to increase tourism;
  • Implementing new and accessible streetscaping to develop a more inviting downtown;
  • Waterfront development to expand and revitalize local trails.

“I am very pleased to see our government stepping up to the plate, now more than ever, to help rural Ontario,” said Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Leamington. “Assisting in the revitalization of downtown Leamington and supporting not-for-profit organizations are key to helping the region on its road to economic recovery.”

“The John Street Centennial Park and Shotton Parkette upgrades are just two projects in a series of initiatives we are undertaking to reinvent public spaces and attract renewed interest and investment into Leamington’s uptown core,” said Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald. “We are very thankful to the Province of Ontario for support through the Rural Economic Development program to help complete these key infrastructure projects.”

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