Many forms of funding and capital investment can have more drawbacks then benefits associated with them, leading to many businesses not utilizing funding to fast track the development of innovative projects, or develop projects that would not be feasible without funding. This is what Canadian government grants, loans, and wage subsidies were developed to do.
Canadian government grants and loans are carefully distributed to support the development of competitive, growth-oriented companies. Considerable time and resources are devoted from the federal and provincial governments across Canada to support these initiatives and strengthen emerging industries. As result, significant incentives exist for mature businesses who prioritize domestic and international expansion.
There are many benefits of government funding when a strategic approach is taken to research, write, and submit applications.
For one, Canadian government funding can enable projects that would be unlikely to occur without additional support, which is an immediate benefit to businesses. This includes a wide range of strategic projects, from the purchase of innovative machinery, to the hiring and training of new employees.
Alternately, some small business funding programs are positioned to support the enhancement of projects, either to improve the scope, scale, or timeline of activities. Government grants and loans can inject extra money into projects, which in turn can lead to expanded projects that are completed faster. This agility builds competitiveness and allows businesses to become market leaders.
Benefit 1: Government Funding Supports Key Business Development
Government grants and loans support a wide range of projects. Your business’ growth priorities may already be well-aligned to small business funding programs; the key is understanding how to build a strategy that matches these key priorities to government funding programs. Companies who enjoy the most success with government grants and loans master this process, and in doing so, leverage significantly more government funding than those who do not develop a government funding strategy.
When used optimally, government funding can support four general project types. These include:
- Business Expansion: Facility expansions to improve production, and developing new markets through strategic marketing and sales missions.
- Capital and Technology Adoption: Purchasing new, innovative equipment that delivers new capabilities, significantly increases output, or reduces scrap.
- Hiring and Training: Developing a skilled workforce through post-secondary recruitment and continuous training for employees across the organization.
- Research and Development: Discovering new products and processes, either internally or in a collaborative research partnership, and bringing them to market through commercialization activities.
Benefit 2: Government Funding Improves Project Outcomes
Benefits of government funding go beyond enabling more projects; in fact, grants and loans can also greatly improve project outcomes. Companies who use government funding to inflate project budgets can strengthen the results driven through strategic action.
Projects that tap into government funding regularly see three spin-off benefits, including:
- Expanded Project Scope: By accessing government funding, project managers can expand scope to encompass additional activities that would have been impossible to include otherwise. This could mean installing a new conveyor line to complement the planned purchase of new production equipment. Whereas the original scope could have only included production equipment, funding can help accomplish a more ‘complete’ project that avoids bottlenecks or other inefficiencies from limiting project success.
- Improved Project Scale: Likewise, government funding can also improve the scale of original project plans. Funding does not always need to lead to new project components, but can expand the degree to which a current project/strategy is being deployed. For example, instead of a manufacturer replacing two of their five CNC machines, all five could be replaced, leading to a significant improvement in productivity.
- Accelerated Project Timelines: Not only can small business funding improve the amount that can be accomplished through projects, but it can also speed up the time it takes for projects to start and finish. This agility helps companies respond to market opportunities and drive long-term growth. This is constantly demonstrated in technology development projects where time-to-market is essential, but is also a key factor in other types of business expansion projects.
How Canadian Businesses Have Benefitted from Funding
Each year, thousands of businesses across Canada are awarded Canadian government funding to complete more projects and improve outcomes. These successful projects can serve as a model for other businesses who wish to get started with funding, but aren’t sure where to begin. To learn more about successfully-funded projects, check out some of the stories listed below.
- FedDev Ontario Invests $3.6M in Funding for Hamilton Community Revitalization Projects
- Bioenterprise Allotted $2M for FoodShift Program to Improve Food Industry with Clean Technology
- Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) Invests Another $27M in Cleantech
- ArcelorMittal Dofasco Receives $500 Million in Provincial Funding Towards Reducing Emissions
- 16 Canadian Businesses to Receive Funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada
Next Step: Learn About the Canadian Government Funding Landscape
After learning how other businesses have benefitted from using Canadian small business funding, you should begin exploring how grants and loans can support your business’ projects.
One of the best places to start is by downloading the Canadian Business Funding Guide, which is filled with information that will help you explore the funding landscape and learn which types of projects are best suited for funding.