The Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Is Now Accepting Applications

What is the RED Program?

Rural Economic Development (RED) is a cost-share funding program that supports projects that create strong rural communities in Ontario.

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 Community or Organization, or
  • a Local Services Board

What Types of Projects are Eligible?

There are two 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. The majority of costs for projects in this stream will be non-capital.

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:

StreamMaximum Provincial Cost ShareMaximum Provincial Funds
Economic Diversification and Competitiveness50%$150,000
Strategic Economic Infrastructure30%$250,000

For more information about the RED program, go to

Other Resources

OMAFRA staff will be conducting a public webinar to provide an overview of the RED program, and the process for submitting an application to the program. The session will be on the following date and time

  • December 18, 10:00 – 11:30 AM

Space is limited. Click the link to register for the session.

Rural Economic Development Program Website

Rural Economic Development Guidelines


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