Community Futures is currently offering micro-grants to Prince Edward County businesses within the licensed taxicab sector. Funding for this program is provided by the municipality of Prince Edward County through the Tourism Management Plan. The aim is to bolster sustainability, enhance safety, and improve services within this sector in Prince Edward County. Licensed taxicabs can strengthen the local economy by ensuring residents and visitors have access to safe and reliable transportation. Taxis are an essential part of a rural transportation ecosystem and meet a wide variety of needs within the community. This micro-granting program is designed to encourage sustainability and improvement for local taxi operators in the face of a rapidly evolving sector and increased costs of operating. Eligible businesses can receive between $2,000 and $18,000 to support projects that meet the criteria outlined in these program guidelines. The applicant will be required to contribute a minimum of 20% of the total project costs. 

Eligible Projects

Projects will be evaluated based on their ability to achieve the following objectives:

    • More vehicles and drivers available for hire in Prince Edward County, especially during peak demand times.
    • Safer, modernized and more comfortable vehicles and services.
    • Increased capacity to provide service to locations outside of Picton, and/or to increase service hours or days of week. 

The program will consider any project that will achieve one or more of these objectives. Applicants will be required to describe how their project will achieve these objectives and to describe how success will be measured. Preference will be given to projects that include a plan to sustain the project outcomes after the funding period is over. 

Project examples include, but are not limited to:

    • Adding new drivers and vehicles to the fleet. Project costs could include certifications, training, licensing, purchasing on-board technology, safety or accessibility features, and insurance costs related to new drivers/vehicles.
    • Recruiting and retaining drivers. Project costs could include a wage subsidy program that guarantees drivers will earn the living wage for Eastern Ontario ($20.60 per hour) when on shift, plus advertising costs related to a driver recruitment campaign.
    • Improving the safety, accessibility and comfort of existing vehicles. Project costs could include maintenance and repairs, adding accessibility features such as mobility ramps, extended seatbelts, and on-board amenities like security cameras and new car seats.
    • Modernizing the booking system. Project costs could include developing or integrating with an existing app for booking, vehicle tracking and digital payments.
    • Improving service through training. Project costs could include training for staff in customer service, safe driving, English as a Second Language, serving drivers with disabilities etc. 

Eligible Costs

Expenses must be directly related to implementing the project described in the application. Eligible costs include:

    • Wage top-ups*** to ensure living wage ($20.60/hour in 2024) while drivers are on shift, or other reasonable incentives to support driver recruitment/retention.
    • Minor capital costs (equipment, vehicle parts, technology etc.)
    • Accessibility or safety improvements
    • Mechanic, cleaning, or other professional services
    • Marketing and communications costs directly related to the project
    • Wages for new positions created to directly support the project (must be paid a minimum of living wage)
    • Training costs
    • Website or mobile app development
    • One-time costs related to inspection, certification, licensing of vehicles or new drivers
    • Costs of adding new vehicles or drivers to the fleet (insurance, licensing, vehicle rental costs) 

** For the purposes of this program, a "wage top-up" is an amount paid to the driver on top of fares collected to ensure that the driver earns a minimum of $20.60 per hour while on shift. Wage top-ups are eligible expenses only when implemented as part of a driver recruitment or retention program. Applicants must prove that they have reliable systems for tracking hours worked and fare revenues if they are requesting a wage subsidy. Costs related to establishing these systems are eligible. 

Intake Dates

The intake window is from May 15 - September 15, 2024. Only applications submitted during this period will be considered.

Goal-Setting and Evaluation

The applicant will be required to set goals/targets for what their project will hope to achieve. The applicant will be required to report on these goals/targets on a schedule that will be tailored to their project. 

Ineligible expenses

Any cost that is not directly related to implementing the project described in the application will be deemed ineligible. Explicitly ineligible costs include: • Major capital purchases such as vehicle purchases, land or building purchases, renovations • Gas or vehicle fluids • Wages for existing positions, with the exception of wage top-up programs as described above. • Marketing and communications costs that are unrelated to the project • Prize money, awards, travel expenses, food and beverage, alcohol or other hospitality costs • Reducing accumulated or annual deficits or loan repayment. • Fundraising costs • Ongoing operational costs and/or costs that the funder deems do not directly contribute to achieving the program objectives  

Goal-Setting and Evaluation 

The applicant will be required to set goals/targets for what their project will hope to achieve. The applicant will be required to report on these goals/targets on a schedule that will be tailored to their project. 

Funding Arrangements

The funder will advance a portion of grant funds at outset of project. The funder will advance the balance of grant funds following receipt of an interim project report that is satisfactory to funder, and after recipient has facilitated access to records (i.e. receipts or other proof of payment) and/or site visit, as required by funder to validate interim project report.    

Funding Agreements 

Successful recipients will be required to sign and adhere to a funding agreement that will describe the terms and conditions under which the funding is awarded.  

How to Apply 

As a first step, please complete an Expression of Interest form (below).