The Canadian Small Business Funding Cycle

Small Business Funding

The Mentor Works Ltd. team is dedicated to providing you with industry-leading knowledge of Canadian government funding programs. Whether you’re seeking small business funding grants, loans, tax incentives, or other funding vehicles, you can trust that Mentor Works understands the programs and knows how to position your business to secure the highest amount of funding possible. We provide guidance and unparalleled support to our clients at each step of the process to ensure the highest satisfaction possible.

In 2014 over 90% of the applications that we wrote for our clients were successful which secured $240 million in funding to help expand their businesses. The companies that we help were able to use these funds at all stages of their business funding cycle, and were able to invest in the following areas.

How do we do it? Check out our Business Funding Cycle infographic to see for yourself!Canadian government funding through the business funding cycle

Government Funding for Research and Development

Canadian innovation for small businesses has remained stagnant for several years and is a high funding priority for the Canadian and Ontario governments. The automotive, aerospace, and agricultural industries all receive high amounts of funding support for innovative projects where research and development is of importance. Product and process development will often lead to higher margins and demand. If your business currently performs research and development, learn about these funding programs that can help you recover some of the costs.

Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) is a collection of government funding programs designed to support innovative research projects. If there are technical challenges facing your business, one of many IRAP programs will allow you to conduct research to formulate and implement a plan to solve the problem. Depending on the stream, you may be eligible for $50,000-$150,000 in grant funding to cover the cost.

The Experimental Stream of Canada Media Fund (CMF) is a repayable funding program which aims to provide funding for up to 75% of eligible costs towards the development (up to $400k), production (up to $1M), and promotion (up to $400k) of innovative content for use in the Canadian media industry or for public use by Canadians.

Small Business Grants for Capital Investment and Technology Adoption

You’ve done your research development, and are now ready to commercialize your new technology. Your plans for satisfying market demand are in place but purchasing equipment and machinery requires a substantial investment. For many businesses, this becomes a barrier to ever capitalizing on market opportunity because purchasing the equipment they need will draw too heavily on their cash flow. Fortunately, government funding is available to enable your business to have greater output and more efficient systems which leads to greater profit. Here are some of the best capital investment programs currently available:

CME SMART Advanced Technologies for Global Growth enables manufacturers to accelerate the planning and adoption of advanced technologies to achieve advantages over global competitors. CME smart involves two streams of government funding including Advanced Technology Assessments, which provides 50% of eligible costs to a maximum $15,000 to examine manufacturers’ current processes, and Advanced Technology Adaptation/Adoption which provides up to 35% of eligible costs to a maximum $100,000 investment to implement new technology.

Similarly, Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Ontario uses several different streams to divide the focus of the program and provide maximum benefit. This Ontario government grant for agri-businesses funds capacity building and project implementation initiatives. 35-50% of project costs to a maximum of $350,000 will be funded for processors and producers of agricultural products with a maximum funding allocation of $100,000 towards capital equipment.

Government Grants for Hiring and Training

Without the right employees, your business suffers and loses profitability. Canadian government grants and loans are available to help you acquire top talent and train existing employees to ensure that everybody is efficiently working towards a common goal. Create the conditions for a cohesive, productive team with funding programs such as:

Canada Job Grant (CJG) is a national government grant funding program which has provincial variants to better serve the unique needs of businesses across the country. The Canada Job Grant provides 50-83% of eligible third-party training costs to a maximum $10,000 per employee trained. To be eligible, applicants need to show the benefits to employees in the form of new jobs, layoff avoidance, wage increases, or position promotions.

FedDev Ontario Training Program is an Ontario government grant program which pays for up to 50% of eligible costs (to a maximum $50,000 per business) related to internal and third-party training. Training programs must improve production processes that allow established manufacturers to become more innovative and expand their markets internationally.

Market Expansion through Government Funding

Now that your business operations and human capital are all aligned for success, what’s next? Expansion into international markets requires time, expertise, and capital investment to ensure a smooth transition that will generate long-term profit. Many small business owners are not financially capable of exporting and do not personally have enough knowledge of foreign markets to make the risk worth the investment. In the interest of small business owners and the Canadian economy as a whole, the government has provided funds to spur export market expansion through a number of key programs:

Export Market Access (EMA) Ontario government grants assist small businesses in Ontario by providing funding up to $50,000, or a maximum 50% of project costs, per application in support of export expansion. Eligible activities include the development of contacts through trade shows, conducting market research, production of marketing materials, bidding on foreign projects, and product certifications required to enter international markets.

Likewise, the Ontario Exporters Fund (OEF) assists SMEs to increase the ease of access into international markets. These Ontario government grants provide salary contributions of up to 50% for a new Export Manager – up to $40,000 annually for a two year period. This new hire will assist small businesses in reviewing their current domestic successes and creating a detailed plan of how to expand internationally.

Mentor Works is Your Canadian Government Funding Expert

If your business is looking to expand to reach new levels of success, there are government grant and loan opportunities available to you. Mentor Works will not only help you through the government funding process, but we also want to help you prepare for it so that you can receive as much money as possible. We provide free, informative government funding webinars where you can learn from a funding expert about industry or activity-specific programs. In addition, we have many online resources for download such as a Comparing Funding Types info sheet, Guide to Export Expansion White Paper, and a weekly e-newsletter where we share the best funding news of the past week.

If you would like to connect with Mentor Works to discuss government funding programs, contact us at any time and a funding expert will promptly return your message. Make sure to follow us on social media for daily funding news from around the web! We’re located on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook which provide the very best in Canadian government funding information.

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