Did you know that Canadian businesses located in Western Canadian provinces can access government funding programs to support a wide range of strategic growth projects?
Canadian grant and loan programs are open to businesses in Western Canada including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon Territory.
By being proactive and applying for funding prior to the start of a project, businesses can access government grants and loans that provide an increase to company investments that can vastly improve the desired outcomes of a project. There are also retroactive tax incentives that allow businesses to recover a portion of their research and development costs from projects already completed.
Browse this blog and/or visit our Western Canada Funding Directory to learn more about which government grants, loans, and tax credits are currently available for Western Canadian businesses.
Government Funding Programs for Western Canada
There are several government funding programs available for Western Canada that are outlined here.
Alberta Innovates is a public corporation and economic development agency that provides access to research grants and other support options to offset the costs of performing research and development in collaboration with academic researchers, other businesses, and public institutions.
There are six targeted government funding program streams provided through Alberta Innovates. All of them are aimed at providing funding support to accelerate projects so that innovations can be commercialized faster.
Alberta Innovates has a variety of programs, all with varying eligibility criteria, timelines, and funding. For all specific program details, upcoming application deadlines, and how to apply, visit the Alberta Innovates program page.
The Alberta Media Fund supports organizations and individuals developing screen-based media, scripts, books and magazines, and sound recordings. The program encompasses several different funding streams that support a variety of costs, including Albertan labour, so that media producers can create Alberta content and advance products towards a more successful market release.
Eligible applicants can receive up to 18%–50% of eligible costs covered to a maximum $55,000–$200,000 depending on the Alberta Media Fund program stream.
For all eligibility details, upcoming application deadlines, and how to apply, visit the Alberta Media Fund Grants program page.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Alberta program is a government funding initiative which offers various streams of financial support to agriculture businesses in Alberta. These programs, available to Alberta Canadian businesses and organizations, support the growth and competitiveness of Western Canada agriculture. CAP Alberta is a subset of the Canada-wide Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) program available to all Canadian provinces and territories.
Through the CAP program, applicants may receive grants to offset a portion of eligible costs for a wide range of agricultural projects.
For all eligibility details, upcoming application deadlines, and how to apply, visit the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Alberta program page.
Federal Grants, Loans, and Tax Incentives for Western Canada Businesses
Additional support for Western Canada businesses may be found in the form of federal grants, loans, and tax incentives. We have highlighted a few of these programs below.
The CanExport Program offers grants for Canadian export projects such as creating and implementing marketing materials for international markets and carrying out foreign market research. The intent of the CanExport program is to help de-risk export market expansion plans.
Applicants may receive up to 75% of funds to a maximum $75,000 grant awarded per project.
For eligibility details, funding amounts, and program timelines, visit the CanExport program page.
The Canada Small Business Financing Program is part of Canada’s Small Business Financing Act strategy and was established to help support business growth through business loans with competitive interest rates.
For-profit Canadian businesses with an annual gross revenue of under $10M can access up to $1M for business expansion activities, including the acquisition of a building, leasehold improvements, purchasing new or used equipment, and software components.
For all eligibility details, including how to apply, visit the Canada Small Business Financing Program page.
The Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program is a government grant that provides support for employers offering supervised career-related work experience to youth employees. The experiences gained through student placements should further develop an applicant’s skills and knowledge, preparing them to transition into full-time career employment.
Public and private sector employers can receive hiring grants for up to 50% of an employee’s minimum hourly rate. Non-profits can receive grants for up to 100% of minimum wage plus Mandatory Employment Related Costs (MERCs).
This amount is limited at a maximum $300,000 per employer/province or territory. A maximum of 40 hours/week/employee can be included. For all eligibility details, including how to apply, visit the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program page.
For businesses in Western Canada, there are also research and development incentives that allow for retroactive support from the government. One of the best initiatives is the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program which helps business-led research and development projects. SR&ED applicants claim over $3 billion in tax incentives annually with over 20,000 claimants per year.
Tax credits for up to 69% of labour and overhead costs, 36% of contractor costs, and 45% of material costs. All expenses must include labour, contractors, materials, and overhead costs related to the activity required to resolve a technological uncertainty, obstacle, or challenge.
Businesses located in Alberta may be eligible for the Innovation Employment Grant, Alberta’s provincial variant of SR&ED as funding through these federal and provincial programs can be stacked.
For all eligibility details, including how to apply, visit theScientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program page.
Getting Started With Government Funding for Canadian Businesses
If your business is located in Western Canada and you are interested in government grants, loans, or tax incentives, please contact the Mentor Works team of professional grant writers to help with program assessment and eligibility.
If you’re looking for targeted grants and loans in your region or industry, try using our government funding directory to easily filter programs that fit your business.