The Ontario government, along with the federal government, are providing up to $2.5 million in funding to support the agri-food sector expand its online sales presence, the Ontario government says in a news release on April 24.
“This investment will provide support as businesses quickly adapt to new and different ways of providing affordable and nutritious food to Canadians,” Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, says in the release.
The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will provide producers with more opportunities to grow their business and offer more food choices for families who are shopping from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the release says. Funding is being provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
The initiative will have two featured funding streams. The first will provide eligible organizations and businesses with a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. Funding under this stream will distributed quickly. The second will allow eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations to apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.
“COVID-19 has changed the way we shop, and our investment today in e-business will go a long way to connecting the people who grow our food with the people who buy it, while allowing them to practice physical distancing,” Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says in the release.
The Ontario Ministry fo Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will immediacy begin accepting applications and expedite the approval process, the release notes.