The Rural Economic Development (RED) is Accepting Applications

What is the RED Program?

Rural Economic Development (RED) is a cost-share funding program that supports projects that remove barriers to economic development in rural communities.

What are RED Outcomes?

RED applications are assessed on their ability to result in one or more of the following:

  • Jobs retained or created
  • Investments attracted or retained
  • Businesses attracted, retained and/or expanded
  • Enhanced strategic economic infrastructure
  • Regional partnerships that drive growth

Who is Eligible for RED?

To be eligible for RED you must be:

  • a Municipality
  • a Not-for-Profit Entity
  • an Ontario Indigenous Communities or Organizations, or
  • a Local Services Board

What Types of Projects are Eligible?

There are two new RED streams,

Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream; Projects that remove barriers to business and job retention/growth, attract investment, attract or retain a skilled workforce or strengthen sector and regional partnerships and diversify regional economies in Rural Ontario.

Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream; Projects that advance economic development and investment opportunities in Rural Ontario (e.g. rehabilitation of cultural, heritage or tourism attractions; redevelopment of vacant or under-used properties; main street minor capital improvements).

Applications for strategic economic infrastructure Projects should include previously completed work (e.g. plans, strategies, research, data) that identifies the Project as an economic development priority.

Available Support

The RED program is a cost-share program, this means your organization is sharing the costs with the Government of Ontario. Below is the Program funding breakdown:

Stream Maximum Provincial Cost Share Maximum Provincial Funds
Economic Diversification and Competitiveness 50% $150,000
Strategic Economic Infrastructure 30% $250,000

For more information about the RED program go to

Other Resources

New for 2019, OMAFRA staff will be conducting public webinars to provide an overview of the RED program, and the process for submitting an application to the program. Sessions are scheduled from 9:30-11:00:

  • August 13
  • August 20

Space is limited, and you can register for these sessions here.

Rural Economic Development Program Website

 Rural Economic Development Guidelines

Lead Application Form

Co-application Form


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