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40 Smart Cities micro-grants awarded

Seeding Our Food Future micro-grants are $5,000
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Today the Guelph-Wellington Smart Cities initiative, in collaboration with Innovation Guelph and 10C, announced the 40 recipients of the Seeding Our Food Future micro-grants.

There are an equal number of recipients from both Guelph and Wellington County, and the businesses cover all aspects of the food system from farm, processing and distribution, to retail, restaurant, technology, education, hospitality and infrastructure. Eleven of the recipients are new businesses, 25 are existing and four represent collaborations.

Seventy-six applications were received by Innovation Guelph for the grant program. While only 40 grants were available, the organization and partners are looking for ways to help the remaining 36 businesses, where possible.

Strong economies support strong communities

Seeding Our Food Future is one of 10 projects in Grow Back Better: Our Food Future’s 10-point recovery plan in response to COVID-19. This project also supports the City of Guelph’s and the County of Wellington’s overall COVID-19 economic and social recovery efforts.

At its core, Grow Back Better is designed to provide immediate support to our local food economy by supporting new and existing food businesses and strengthening our regional food system resiliency.

The 40 new and existing food system businesses, not-for-profits and social enterprises will receive a $5,000 non-repayable seed funding grant to support their economic recovery efforts while contributing to the creation of Canada’s first tech-enabled circular food economy.

Additionally, the program will provide up to 30 hours of expert advice with guidance from a lead mentor and industry specialists ($4,500 value), and a guaranteed spot in R-Purpose MICRO, a 12-week educational program focused on building sustainable practices, circularity and business resilience, delivered by Provision Coalition, a food industry advisory firm ($1,200 value).

The 40 successful applicants are now eligible to apply for one of 36 interest free loans of up to $10,000 through the Harve$t Impact Fund and the Waterloo-Wellington and Saugeen Community Futures offices. The $360,000 in total financing will support businesses shifting their practices in a way that contributes to the circular food economy.

Grant recipients (alphabetical order)

About Grow Back Better

Grow Back Better: Our Food Future’s 10-point COVID-19 recovery plan is part of the City of Guelph’s and the County of Wellington’s overall COVID-19 economic and social recovery efforts. For information on the City and County response and recovery efforts, visit and

About Our Food Future

Inspired by the planet’s natural cycles, a circular food economy reimagines and regenerates the systems that feed us, eliminating waste, sharing economic prosperity, and nourishing our communities. In Guelph-Wellington, we are working to build Canada’s first tech-enabled circular food economy that will achieve a 50% increase in access to affordable nutritious food, 50 new circular economy businesses and collaborations, and a 50 per cent increase in circular economic revenue by recognizing the value of waste.