Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia, boasts a beautiful landscape with snow-capped mountains and wide valleys of preserved wildlife. Businesses from around the world choose to operate out of BC due to its thriving economy, natural resources, and pleasant people. B.C. is also home to many Canadian small, medium, and enterprise level businesses.
British Columbia contributed over $242 Billion to the Canadian GDP in 2020 alone. (source)
Is your BC business planning a strategic growth project? Click the links below to scroll down to the list of funding programs for each of the following activities:
Grants for Business Expansion
British Columbia has federal and provincial government funding programs designed to help support your strategic growth projects. Receive funding for entering new markets, or project that allow your business to scale itself.
Amount of funding: High-growth British Columbia businesses can receive repayable funding (no-interest loan) of 50% of project costs up to $5,000,000 per project and a max of $10,000,000 per business.
Eligible Applicants: Businesses located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba that has been profitable for at least two years and incorporated at the time of application.
Eligible Activities: This program funds projects that are focusing on projects must focus on advanced manufacturing, digital technology, value-added agriculture, clean technology, clean resources, or life sciences.
Learn More About the Western Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) Program.
Amount of funding: Up to 50% of project costs covered in grant funding to a maximum $50,000 per project.
Eligible Applicants: Businesses located in Canada that have under 500 employees, make between $100,000,000 – $100,000,000 annually, are incorporated, and are financially stable at the time of applying.
Eligible Activities: Eligible projects must have a minimum expense of $20,000+ and can include marketing and research costs for foreign markets, translation services, IP protection, and more.
Learn More About CanExport SMEs.
Hiring Wage Subsidies and Training Grants
Both the Canadian federal and provincial governments have wage subsidy programs that help to cover a portion of employees wages while they are working for your company for a specific duration of time or length of a project. While other funding programs may have the option to include wages within their eligible expenses, the following programs will focus on wage subsidies as the focus of their funding.
Amount of funding: BC businesses can receive between 60-100% of employee training costs to a maximum of $300,000.
Eligible Applicants: Businesses based out of BC that meet the eligibility criteria for one of the five training streams.
Eligible Activities: Projects include third-party trainer fees, tuition and exam fees, textbooks and course materials, training software, and more training related costs.
Learn More About the British Columbia Employer Training Grant (ETG).
Amount of funding: Up to 50% of minimum wage covered for youth hires in for-profit businesses and up to 100% of wages covered for non-profit organizations.
Eligible Applicants: Canadian businesses, non-profits, and public sector employers with 50 or fewer employees. Positions must be full-time (30+ hours/week) and span for 6-16 weeks.
Eligible Activities: Hiring opportunities for youth ages 15-30 that will benefit from temporary summer work experiences.
Learn More About the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) Program.
Capital & Tech Adoption Funding
Adopting new technologies within your business can provide a competitive advantage, but the cost to purchase the necessary equipment and train your staff on how this equipment works and how it will integrate into their new workflows is a daunting task that many B.C. businesses don’t take upon themselves to do. Therefore, the Canadian federal and provincial Governments have taken it upon themselves to introduce capital and technology adoption grant and tax incentive programs. These programs include funding for purchasing new equipment and training employees to use said equipment.
Amount of funding: British Columbia businesses can receive up to 50% of project costs (both repayable and non-repayable funding) to a maximum of $20,000,000 (must have a minimum project size of $20,000,000).
Eligible Applicants: Open to all Canadian businesses, but extremely competitive to apply. It is highly recommended to apply with a government funding application writing team.
Eligible Activities: Funding supports projects through the R&D, commercialization, and technology demonstration stages.
Learn More About the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).
Amount of funding: British Columbia businesses can receive up to 50-75% of project costs to a maximum of $1,500,000 per project phase.
Eligible Applicants: Open to all for-profit businesses with projects developed in Canada (minimum of 75%) are eligible to apply.
Eligible Activities: Interactive projects in Web 2.0 or higher, software apps, mobile apps, virtual reality & video games.
Learn More About the Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream.
Research & Development
British Columbia is home to many great inventions, such as the egg carton, cosmetic Botox, and even Chinese buffets! B.C. businesses have a history of creating innovative products and services which have become popular across the world. The Canadian federal and provincial Governments want to help fuel the creation of more R&D projects by introducing grant and loan programs that accelerate their development cycle.
Amount of Funding: No maximum amount of funding on retroactive tax credits. Labour can be covered up to 69% of eligible salaries including overhead costs, up to 36% of contractor costs, and up to 45% of material costs. Learn more about SR&ED tax credits.
Eligible Applicants: all applicants must be a Canadian-Controlled Private Corporations (CCPC), other corporation, individuals and trusts, or a member of a partnership. See the full breakdown of SR&ED eligibility.
Eligible Project Costs: All eligible projects must be a business led research and development project. Cists can include internal and contractor labour costs, overhead, materials, and more SR&ED expenses.
Learn More About the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program.
Amount of Funding: Up to $1,000,000 in grant funding towards eligible research project costs each year.
Eligible Applicants: Public, private, and non-profit organizations located in Canada are eligible to apply for the NSERC Alliance program.
Eligible Project Costs: Research labour, equipment, consulting fees, publication, and conference expenses.
Learn More About the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Alliance Program.
Apply for British Columbia Government Funding Programs
The Canadian federal and British Columbia provincial governments have a wide variety of funding programs available towards your business’ upcoming strategic growth projects. You can view the entire list of British Columbia government grant and loan programs on our Western Business Funding Directory page.
Apply for any of these federal or provincial British Columbia government funding programs with the assistance of Mentor Works for an estimated 95%-time savings compared to applicants who write their application in house.