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Government Grants You Should Know About

Governmental emergency relief programs were a regular feature during the pandemic. While the pandemic is mostly over, many small businesses are still struggling. Entrepreneurs across Canada and the world were forced to make financial cuts and change their business models to survive. 

Now that the pandemic is behind us, several private foundations and governments have changed their grants and loan programs. In some cases, a few were closed or even put on hold. Nevertheless, as a small business owner, you want to know your rights and if any grants can support your business to recover post-pandemic. 

Here are seven business grants offered by the Government of Canada, that you could put to good use. 

Canada Job Grant

The Canada job grant is a valuable way for employers to train and invest in their employees. With help from the Canadian government, employers can get up to $10,000 in financial aid to train each employee. The program is available across Canada and includes a few prerequisites. 

For example, employers with 100 or more employees need to contribute 1/2 of the training costs. Small employers with less than 100 employees need to contribute 1/6 of the training cost. The grant covers exams, courses, textbooks, and software resources. 

Canada Digital Adoption Program 

The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is a financial aid program designed to support small and medium-sized businesses to adopt digital technologies to increase their competitiveness. The program offers two grants to take your business online and utilize technology to expand its reach.

The grant provides up to $15,000 to develop a digital plan. It also offers up to $100,000 in 0 interest loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada to implement your plan. In a few cases, the CDA Program offers up to $7,300 to allow businesses to hire skilled youths to implement technologies that propel their business forward. 

CanExport SMEs

CanExport is a funding program by the government of Canada that provides up to $50,000 to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) registered in Canada to develop their international business activities. 

The program gives businesses the needed support to advance their export opportunities for products and services in new and emerging international markets. Eligible applicants for the program include for-profit businesses with 500 full-time payroll employees with an annual revenue ranging between $ 100,000 and $ 100 million. 

Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) 

Innovative Solutions Canada is an initiative by the Canadian government to provide grants and procurement contracts to businesses to stimulate technology research, development, and commercialization. 

The program helps start-ups and small businesses overcome any hurdles in developing their technology to enhance their products and services. Businesses interested in receiving financial support are encouraged to pitch their ideas. Through the program’s challenge stream,  all challenges are identified and addressed. 

The program provides three governmental grants programs. The first phase provides up to $150K, phase two provides up to $ 1 million, and phase three provides governmental procurement contracts with no fixed maximum. 

Agriculture Clean Technology

The Agriculture Clean Technology (ACT) funding program aims to create an environment that allows agricultural businesses to adopt and develop clean technology for a more sustainable outlook. The projects must help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generate a wide range of positive impacts, and promote sustainable clean growth.

The program provides funding through two distinct streams: 1- the adoption stream and 2- the research and innovation stream. Eligible applicants for both streams may be provincial or territorial governments in Canada, or for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

Industrial Research Assistance Program

The Industrial Research Assistance Program provides tangible assistance for small and medium-sized businesses to build their innovative capacity and expand their creative ideas. The program achieves this through financial assistance, advisory services, and connections, aiding businesses to develop and commercialize their technologies. 

Eligible business applicants must have 1-500 people on their payroll. In addition, businesses must be incorporated for two years and have internal technical research and development expertise. 

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada

The NGen Manufacturing Program supports businesses in Canada to scale up their innovative manufacturing capabilities. The program aims to drive more innovation and investment to generate new commercial opportunities for Canadian companies globally. 

It is open to all industries and sectors. Nevertheless, applying businesses must have a value-added presence beyond a sales office. They must also be for-profit or not-for-profit organizations that facilitate research on behalf of the manufacturing ecosystem. 

Eligible projects must be transformative, collaborative, and enduring. This means projects must have a significant competitive advantage and provide extensive benefits to Canada’s manufacturing ecosystem. 

Who Qualifies for Governmental Grants in Canada? 

As seen above, each grant has its own eligibility criteria that businesses must meet. Nevertheless, all small businesses must be registered. Typically, a business must also be incorporated to receive funding. 

Registered large businesses must meet a specific annual income. To be eligible, they must have proof of an average gross income exceeding the required minimum allotment. The minimum annual income criteria might vary from one program to the other. 

 David Messiha | Staff Writer 

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