Canadian Business Grants
Fernanda Munoz - June 1st, 2023
What are Canadian Business Grants?
Business grants are non-repayable funds provided by the government or private organizations to business owners who meet certain criteria.
One of the primary advantages of business grants is that they provide access to capital without the burden of debt. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid, which frees up business owners to focus on growing their businesses rather than worrying about cash flow.
Business grants also offer a level of flexibility that traditional loans do not. Grants can be used to cover various expenses, from hiring personnel to marketing and advertising. This allows business owners to invest in areas that are critical to their success without having to worry about how they will pay for it.
In addition to providing financial support, business grants can also help entrepreneurs build their networks and establish important connections within their industry. This can lead to valuable partnerships, mentorship opportunities, and new clients.
Overall, business grants are an important resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to start or grow their businesses. They provide access to capital, flexibility, and networking opportunities that can help set them up for long-term success.
Types of Grants
Canada offers a diverse range of business grants and financing options to support various business activities and expenses. These funding sources can come from the government, non-profit groups, or private organizations and may be federal, provincial, or municipal. Here are the main types of funding you can find according to the Government of Canada:
- Financing your new business: To apply for financing for a new business, identify the funding source and contact the local representative mentioned in the application documents. Read the application details carefully and follow the guidelines and due dates. You may be required to write a statement of intent describing your organization and why you should receive financial assistance.
- Financing for innovation: The Canadian government offers grants to support research and development companies in creating innovative products and services. Programs such as the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC), and The Sustainable Development Technology Canada Fund (SDTC) are available. To apply, contact the respective program’s representative and follow their specific application process.
- Canada Small Business Financing Program: This program provides loans to small businesses for various purposes, including purchasing equipment and leasehold improvements. To apply, contact a participating financial institution, such as a bank or credit union, and submit a loan application.
- Workforce Development Agreements program: This program supports the training and development of new and existing employees. To apply, contact your provincial or territorial government and follow their specific application process.
- BDC Small Business Loans: The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) offers loans to small businesses for various purposes. To apply, visit the BDC website and complete the online loan application.
- Government financing programs support various business activities, such as hiring and training employees, research and development, capital investments, and global business expansion. To apply, identify the specific program that suits your needs and follow the application process outlined by the governing body.
- Hiring skilled workers at reduced cost with wage subsidies or subsidized interns: Programs such as the Canada Summer Jobs program and the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy offer wage subsidies and internships to businesses. To apply, contact the respective program’s representative and follow their specific application process.
Business Grants for Wage Subsidies
There are many government grants and funding opportunities available to support businesses in hiring interns and youth. These grants can help offset the costs of hiring and training, making it easier for small businesses to access the talent they need to grow and thrive.
Interns bring new perspectives and fresh ideas to the table, which can help your team think outside of the box and come up with innovative solutions. Additionally, interns are often eager to learn and motivated to contribute, which can help boost the energy and productivity of your team.
- Invest in the future. Canada offers various grants to support businesses in hiring interns. These programs provide funding to businesses that want to hire interns for a certain period of time to gain experience, learn new skills, and contribute to the business. Here are some of the most popular grants.
- Canada Summer Jobs. This program provides wage subsidies to employers who want to hire students for summer jobs. The subsidy covers up to 50% of the minimum wage and up to 100% for not-for-profit organizations.
- Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. This program provides funding to employers who want to hire youth between the ages of 15 and 30 for full-time or part-time jobs, internships, or co-op positions. The funding covers up to 50% of the wage costs, with a maximum of $14,000 per participant.
- Science Horizons Youth Internship Program. This program provides funding to businesses that want to hire recent graduates in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics for internships related to environmental science and technology. The funding covers up to 50% of the wage costs, with a maximum of $15,000 per intern.
- Career Focus Program. This program provides funding to employers who want to hire post-secondary graduates for internships related to their field of study. The funding covers up to 50% of the wage costs, with a maximum of $20,000 per intern.
Eligibility Criteria for Business Grants
Canada offers a variety of business grants and financing options for businesses, including grants, loans, private and public sector financing, and leveraging personal assets.
Eligibility criteria for each type of business grant in Canada vary, but some general requirements include the following:
- Most grants look for established businesses that have been running for at least 1-2 years. If this is not the case, you might not apply to the main grant but should look at specific options for startups. This will allow us to sort through all the options available.
- Another factor that will affect your eligibility will be whether the company is incorporated or not. Similarly to the points above, rather than limiting you, this characteristic will allow you to cut down the number of grants you want to apply for.
- Your business must have a business number (aka be registered as a Canadian business)
- You need to look at the number of people in your company. If you have less than 50 employees, you can apply for a grant for a small business. If you have more than 50 but less than 500 employees, you can qualify for SMEs.
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