SDG Regional Incentives Program opens with changes

CORNWALL – The latest intake of the SDG Counties Regional Incentives Program has opened with one significant change for 2024 – there will be only one intake period.

The program, which has funded over $1.35 million in business improvements since 2018, offered up to three intake periods in previous years.

“In 2024 we will pivot to a single intake period so that we can ensure that the program remains as competitive as possible and that applicants have the best opportunity for equal consideration,” said Tara Kirkpatrick, SDG Counties manager of economic development. “This will also ensure that all funds can be dispersed by early spring so that potential candidates can begin their projects in advance of the seasonal thaw.”

This year, SDG Counties council approved a budget of $250,000 for applicants: however there will be additional money available.

The overall budget for the 2024 intake is $273.518.30.

One project that was approved in 2022 did not move forward, with the unspent amount being rolled into this year’s intake.

Kirkpatrick explained successful applicants have to begin a project within the 12 month period after being approved for the program, and that a one-time six month extension can be made if there are issues like weather, material, or construction related delays.

“This provides [applicants] a max total of 18-months to complete their project,” she said.

In the past, businesses have applied to the fund for a variety of business improvements from signage to facades to structural issues.

“The Regional Incentives Program is a tool to help grow and expand our businesses in SDG Counties,” said Kirkpatrick. “This program is reducing the number of vacant commercial buildings within our communities, while creating jobs, tourism and agricultural experiences as well as inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs to grow their business.”

Some recent successful applicants include the renovation of Whitteker Environmental Services Inc. in Brinston, Violet’s Vault in the former Bank of Montreal branch in Iroquois, and the Lost Villages Brewery in Long Sault.

The program is open to all commercial business sectors from tourism to agriculture and has funded on-farm expansions and agri-tourism.

Kirkpatrick said there is a trickle-down effect from the program spending – more than $10 million in local construction projects.

Grants for projects are calculated based on 50 per cent of eligible invoices up to a maximum amount. Funds from the program are paid once a project is completed to reimburse the business owner. If a project is under budget, the 50 per cent figure is still used. Businesses that have previously applied and not been successful are able to reapply. Past recipients can apply again if it has been two years since the last project was completed.

“All applicants are urged to contact me directly, or inquire with their local municipality about potential projects so that we may guide them through the process and ensure their applications are complete.”

The application window is open until February 29. Information on the application process is available on the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry website at

Editor’s Note – The deadline was corrected to February 29 from the originally reported February 28 date.

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