Top Funding Programs for Business Expansion for Spring 2024

Pursuing business expansion is often motivated by the desire to reach new customers. While a business may already have a strong customer base, grasping an opportunity to add new customers through business expansion efforts can be worthwhile, especially if a project includes the development of new products and/or services that can attract diverse target markets and strengthen a business plan. 

Government funding exists to support businesses in working on and reaching their expansion goals. Read through this blog to discover grants, loans, and tax credit programs currently available across Canada that can help your business access funding for business expansion projects.  

In the list below, the selected government funding programs might help your Canadian business start exporting, develop new products or services, open a new location, or assist with other strategic growth projects. If you are reading this article in the future, a funding program listed below may or may not be open. Stay up to date with all programs by viewing our Business Expansion Funding Directory to find all programs currently open for intake.   

Canadian Grants and Loans for Business Expansion  

CanExport SMEs Program  

The CanExport SMEs Program provides Canadian government grants to support Canadian businesses seeking to develop new export opportunities and markets, particularly high-growth priority markets and sectors, by covering a portion of eligible sales and marketing activities. 

  • Funding Amount: Eligible applicants can access up to 50% funding to a maximum $50,000 grant per project. 
  • Applicant Eligibility: To be eligible for the CanExport SMEs Program, Canadian businesses must maintain 1 to <500 full-time employees; earn annual revenues ranging from $100,000 to $100,000,000; be federally incorporated federally or classified as a limited liability partnership (LLP); create eligible project expenses of $20,000 or more; and be financially stable and able to pay all project expenses not covered by the program. 

FedDev Funding 

FedDev Ontario offers no-interest, repayable contributions for incorporated businesses. Seeking innovation-driven initiatives, they prioritize projects focusing on clean economic growth, accelerating growth companies, advancing technology, and facilitating industrial transition. With a keen focus on sustainability, job creation, and sectoral transformation, FedDev Ontario is dedicated to supporting businesses in driving economic growth and fostering a competitive and resilient economy. 

  • Amount: No-interest, repayable contributions from $125,000 up to $10 million per project for incorporated businesses. 
  • Eligibility: This program is looking for businesses that:
    • Develop, commercialize, or produce innovative products, processes, and services; 
    • Improve productivity, capacity and competitiveness; and 
    • Scale-up and expand to develop new business opportunities, enter new markets, or reach new customers.  

For more information on this program, get in touch with us and determine your eligibility

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) / Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) 

The SWODF and EODF Business Streams support high potential growth in select Ontario regions to invest in new facilities and equipment that leads to job creation, revenue growth (domestic & abroad), productivity improvements, innovation, and broad regional economic impact. 

  • Funding Amount: Eligible applicants can receive up to 15% of project costs to a maximum of $5,000,000 in repayable loans, or up to 30% to a max of $500,000 of the loan may be forgiven if company meets project impacts. Grant funding for rural businesses is up to 15% to a maximum of $500,000. 
  • Applicant Eligibility: For-profit businesses incorporated for over three years in eligible SWODF/EODF regions. Advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and processing industries. Minimum project budget of $500k+ OR $200k+ in rural regions for SMEs. 

Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) 

The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) is a Canadian government funding program uniquely targeted at Canada’s industrial and technology sectors. It offers financial contributions (both repayable and non-repayable) valued at up to 50% of project costs with the purpose of promoting investment into the types of activities that drive sustained productivity and economic benefits.  

  • Funding Amount: The SIF program focuses on projects requesting at least $10 million in contributions. This means a minimum project size of $20 million. 
  • Applicant Eligibility: Although the SIF program is open to all businesses, potential applicants should keep in mind that this is an extremely competitive program. While your company may be eligible for funding, it must also demonstrate high growth potential and the ability to drive innovation. 

Creative Export Canada (CEC) – Export Development Stream (EDS)

The Creative Export Canada (CEC) – Export Development Stream (EDS) supports new and early-stage exporters to build capacity and expand into international markets. The EDS program additionally offers grants for seasoned exporters to expand into new international markets and build business networks.

  • Amount: Eligible applicants can access up to 75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $90,000 per fiscal year.
  • Eligibility: Eligible applicants must be for-profit or not-for-profit organizations with a maximum of $10 million in annual revenues and a minimum of one full-time employee.

Stay Updated About Government Funding Programs  

The Canadian government funding programs for business expansion listed in this blog are intended for small to medium-sized businesses.  If your business does not meet requirements of any given program, you can gain access to our free Canadian Startup Business Resources.  

If your business is looking to get started on accessing funding for business expansion, please connect with the Mentor Works, a Ryan Company teamto learn which program could fit your business’ needs, and make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Funding Newsletter to stay updated with the latest government funding news.  

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