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
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.
The Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) Program exists to support Canadian communities that have been hit hard by the COVID pandemic with a two-year initiative that offers $500 million in national infrastructure funding. Communal spaces, such as farmers’ markets and parks, are strong examples of structures that promote a well-balanced society.
- Funding Amount: The CCRF will be delegating up to a maximum of $750,000 – $1 million in government funding to cover up to 75% of total expenses for a project. Projects that will take place in an Indigenous community may receive up to 100% of funding to cover total costs. All contributions to applicants will be non-repayable.
- Applicant Eligibility: The Canada Community Revitalization Fund is accepting applications from not-for-profit organizations; rural, municipal, or regional governments; indigenous groups and communities; and public sector bodies that provide municipal-type infrastructure.
The Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) Program helps businesses with high growth potential adopt or adapt to innovative technologies that support productivity, grow operations, and increase exports to global markets.
- Funding Amount: Depending on which region in Canada, eligible businesses can receive government funding in the form of repayable loans for up to 35-50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $10 million per project.
- Applicant Eligibility: There are two program eligibilities to consider: The Southern Ontario BSP and the Western Canada BSP, each having their own eligibility criteria.
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.
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.
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 team to 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.
If you would like access to exclusive details about the programs listed in this blog, please register for an upcoming webinar where our professional team discuss high level details regarding government funding opportunities for Canadian businesses.