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Ontario invests $4.3M in Rural Economic Development program

September 6, 2023  By Fruit & Vegetable

On Sept. 1, the Ontario government announced an investment of more than $4.3 million in up to 80 projects across the province through the latest intake of the Rural Economic Development (RED) Program. The RED program supports projects that diversify rural economies, retain skilled workers and create jobs in local communities.

For instance, in Peterborough, the Innovation Cluster is receiving up to $73,750 for the launch of a new program that will support:

  • The hiring of a project co-ordinator, as well as experts to train, consult and advise entrepreneurs throughout the program;
  • The purchase of software subscriptions for virtual platform programming;
  • Hosting project events and workshops for the innovation and technology program;
  • The development and implementation of a marketing and promotional campaign with advertising to help support the innovation and technology program; and
  • Creating opportunities to further facilitate the growth of entrepreneurs through networking events.

The project will positively impact rural Ontario by supporting entrepreneurship in the region, strengthening the skills of community members, preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs, and strengthening partnerships among the economic development community.


“The agri-food industry has been a key innovator in so many technologies that we take for granted in our everyday lives,” said Dave Smith, MPP for Peterborough-Kawartha, in a press release. “Good things grow in Ontario when we nurture local entrepreneurs and give them the tools they need to collaborate and innovate.”

The RED program provides cost-share funding support towards activities that create strong rural communities. This includes funding assistance to build local capacity and improve job prospects. The program aligns with the government’s priorities of removing barriers to investment, opening doors to rural economic development, and creating good jobs across the province.

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