Creating a plan for accessing Canadian government funding is a critical component of proper cash flow planning for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Although this is one of the most important phases of the government funding process, the variety and complexity of programs requires businesses to have accurate, up-to-date information and resources in order to successfully plan their funding approach.
What some small businesses may not realize is that Canadian government funding program information is abundantly available online, for free, from credible sources. Companies should familiarize themselves with these resources and become comfortable using them to improve the funding application process.
This article will dive into the process behind how to jumpstart funding research and planning.
Why is Researching and Planning Government Funding Programs Important?
Canadian government grant resources and information are most critical during the early stages of developing funding applications. At this point, companies are becoming more familiarized with the types of programs available, and which one’s they’re eligible to receive.
The research stage of the funding application process is where companies develop a sense for what funding is available to them. This encompasses a variety of eligibility factors, such as employee counts, maximum and minimum revenue thresholds, and the company’s incorporation status. This stage provides a broad range of programs that could work to offset project costs, but is not a tailored list of programs that should be applied for.
The planning stage of the funding application process is where analysis is applied to programs. At this stage, companies can determine what programs are likely to improve the outcomes of their project, ensure that the timelines of their project and the government funding program are aligned, and use strategic techniques such as ‘stacking’, where multiple government funding programs can be used to support the same project, to a defined maximum contribution.
Many companies rush these stages, or overlook them entirely, to proceed to the writing stage faster. This is a common pitfall for businesses taking a self-serve approach to funding, since without proper planning, it is impossible to realize their full funding potential.
Luckily, by accessing some of the top Canadian government grant and loan information available online, companies can greatly improve these stages of the funding process.
Canadian Government Grant Resources: Where to Research Funding Programs
When entering the government funding research and planning stages, there are several free resources that can assist you. Some of the best sources of government funding information include:
Canada Business Network
The Canada Business Network is a website administered by the federal government and regularly maintained to offer high-quality information on government services, programs (grants and repayable funding) and regulations. This site is ideal for small businesses and entrepreneurs wishing to gain greater insight on ways to grow their business, as it provides accurate and detailed information relevant to many areas of business operation.
Mentor Works’ Canadian Small Business Funding Directory
The Canadian government funding information found on this website is a comprehensive educational resource that can be used to greatly improve the funding research and planning processes. Our directory of small business funding programs provides a tailored list of the most valuable, beneficial grants and loans available. Website visitors also have access to business funding blogs, which are released daily and encompass a wide range of grants and loans, funding success stories, and application strategies.
We are also committed to developing industry-leading educational resources that introduce the main concepts of funding, provide ideas of projects likely to be competitive for funding, and provide greater insight into the government funding process.
Regional Economic Development Agencies
Alternately, businesses may search for Canadian government programs through their regional economic development agency. These organizations are at the forefront of federal government grants and repayable funding and even administer funding programs. There are six regional economic development areas to support businesses, including:
- The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev);
- The Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor);
- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA);
- Western Economic Development Canada (WED);
- Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED); and
- Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).
The Ontario Investment Office’s website, Invest Ontario, offers access to investment planning tools and resources, such as recent economic data and detailed industry profiles for Canada’s top sectors. It also delivers insight on taxes, regulations, incentives, and immigration procedures.
Next Steps: Discover Canadian Government Funding Programs
The resources listed throughout this article will give your business the information needed to plan your government funding application, however, it requires continuous work to navigate to these resources, then find what you’re looking for.
An easier way to stay up-to-date on Canadian small business funding information is by registering for Mentor Works’ weekly Government Funding Snapshot™ newsletter. Each week, we’ll send you updates on government funding programs, funding success stories, and new resources where you can learn more about optimizing your funding submissions. Register here.