If you are a small business planning to break into the scene soon, you may already have the product that you are sure to make waves in the market.
You have already got everything planned out – how to advertise, where to do it, and all the marketing schemes to make sure that it all works out. The problem is you do not have the necessary to perform your master plan.
Now, what can a small business do without the latest technology, barely any employees to hold things together, and diminishing finances to keep things going?
Put your attention on business grants.
What are business grants?
Business grants are incentive programs organized by your country’s government or local institutions.
They assist businesses and other entities with the notion that businesses will prosper whilst contributing to a cause or the economy. This can include everything from contributing to research, expanding the market, or through scientific gain.
Business grants may provide finances, technology, advisory, or legal support depending on the contract and relationship between a program and a grantee. When done right, business grants can either kickstart your business or make it reach its full potential.
Though they do sound like the best thing that a business could ever hope for, they are a bit tedious to receive, and there will be competition, just as hungry as you are, that will get in the way. Moreover, there will be strict requirements before you hope to be given a grant, so make sure you find the right grant for your business and get all the requirements in check.
Grants exist almost everywhere, and if you are a business located in Canada, a hefty number of programs may be looking for you. However, if you want to look for them, here are a few programs you want to check out.
Small Business Grants You Need To Check
1. R&D Credit from SRED Tax Incentive Program
When discussing funding programs within Canada, it is necessary to start with the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive program or SRED as it is the largest of its kind within the country. With over $3-4 billion being given in investment tax credit to around 18,000 to 20,000 applicants over the last few years, a majority of which are small businesses, SRED definitely shows how much businesses as a whole might want such an opportunity.
What is SRED looking for?
SRED is the government’s effort to enhance Canada’s science and development sector, hoping to ensure a steady place in the global market moving forward. By assisting businesses with the potential of contributing to the project or inspiring businesses to at least consider an innovation angle.
What can SRED do for you?
SRED invests over $3 billion worth of funding to businesses annually, and depending on the scale that your business performs on, benefits may vary. However, SRED benefits will often go in three ways namely:
- Investment tax credit that may either be refundable or non-refundable
- A deduction from income tax.
- A refund of eligible costs if there is no research and development tax owed.
On a federal scale, qualified expenditures may have a 15% non-refundable tax credit while certain Canadian private corporations may have a 35% refundable credit on the first $3 million of qualified expenditures.
Who can apply?
SRED is available for all Canadian-controlled private corporations, and they could up to 35% of R&D project costs. However, there are going to be fundamental requirements upon claiming an SRED tax credit, amongst which include:
- The project must pursue scientific research or be done for the sake of technological advancement.
- The project must be done in a research format, gathering necessary data in an orderly and systematic way.
There are also indicators that may tell you that your business may be eligible for the SRED program, some of which include:
- Budget overruns.
- Technological issues.
- Environmental compliance.
- Integration of new technology with old facilities.
- Development of new products.
- Capital spends
2. Canada International Innovation Program
One way for a small-scale business to prosper and reach new heights is for them to think big, and when we say think big, we mean go global. If a business transacts to newer markets, this can create many new revenue streams and increase your company’s exposure and stock.
Within Canada, there must be one body that can at least assist these small businesses to achieve that goal – enter the Canada International Innovation Program or CIIP. The CIIP is a government program that will support businesses to collaborate with partners from abroad. Some of these countries include Brazil, China, India, Israel, and South Korea.
Activities Funded by CIIP
The CIIP will encourage businesses to undertake and participate in activities that indulge in technological adaptation, validation, and co-development. Once you do quality, your projects will receive funding on 50% of relevant costs, up to a maximum of $600,000.
Who Can Apply?
Businesses that have the potential for commercial success are encouraged to apply, and small to medium-sized businesses that aim to enhance products, services, and processes are also encouraged to apply for the program. However, the foremost requirement is that these businesses must be willing to collaborate with foreign partners.
3. Strategic Innovation Fund
The Strategic Innovation Fund plans to keep Canada’s prospects top of the line, with businesses looking at the country for substantial investments in the near future. With growth being the focus, as well as an increase in productivity, the Strategic Innovation Fund will provide funding for projects that will contribute to the pursuit of this goal and the enhancement of Canada’s Innovation ecosystem.
What SIF can do for you
SIF will be available to businesses that prioritize innovation and have steady growth streams, and the program will support projects that have close to or over $10 million worth of expenditures. SIF will finances that may be used to pay up to
As SIF covers for-profit and not-for-profit organizations all throughout Canada, the program has high hopes for improving Canadian society and its innovative ecosystem.
This said the program aims to:
- Encourage research and development that will accelerate the technological aspects of production processes and services.
- Facilitate growth and expansion.
- Attract large-scale investments to Canada.
Are you eligible?
If you are curious on what are the requirements to be part of the SIF program, do not fret, as SIF is available to all sectors within Canada, being most endowed to projects that eye technological development and associating commercial efforts with R&D. this is because SIF is largely concerned with meeting the company agenda, and if you have the potential of being an integral part to the process, your chances can only go up.
However, there will be specifics that must be met to be eligible, and some of these include:
- Business must be a for-profit corporation incorporated into the laws of Canada.
- Request a minimum of $10 million in SIF contributions with total costs of at least $20 million.
- Projects are undertaken within Canada.
- Provide audited financial statements from the last 3 years of business.
- Be willing to make long-term commitments to Canada
4. Industrial research Assistance Program
If we are talking about small businesses, then we can not exclude the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program or the NRC IRAP. Being one of Canada’s leading funding programs, NRCP IRAP assists small businesses to innovate by bringing ideas to life and aiming to commercialize them successfully.
With assistance from financial aid, advisory from the most capable individuals, or R&D expertise, small businesses will be able to adapt to a more innovative environment much quicker under NRC IRAP’s wing.
What activities are eligible for NRC IRAP?
If you are wondering what constitutes being part of the NRC IRAP program, just look at the state of your business and if you see any lapses in the innovation department, then consider yourself eligible. NRC IRAP aims to help businesses jump over any hurdles that may interfere with reaching that innovation goal. Whether this is software, technology, design, or product marketing, NRC IRAP will be interested in lending a hand.
Businesses that are a part of the program will receive funding from up to $50,000 and capped at 150,000. This amount may be used to cover 80% of salaries and 50% of contractor costs, and all shall be done under the supervision of an industry technology advisor or ITA. Subprograms that are eligible for these benefits include:
- Medium-sized technology innovation projects.
- Small Technology Innovation Projects.
- Youth employment strategy programs.
To be eligible for the NRC IRAP program, the following criteria must be met.
- Must be a Canadian SME, profit-oriented business.
- Have a maximum of 500 employees.
- Must generate profits through the commercialization of improved, technology-driven products within Canada.
CanExport is one of Canada’s best funding programs with one of its most significant goals – to increase the country’s global business reach. Not only does CanExport aim to assist businesses to have a more international frame of operations as they head into 2023, but CanExport has been of substantial help to businesses stay afloat in the past couple of years due to the Covid-19 epidemic and its restrictions on conducting physical business.
Canadian businesses that already aim to export will be provided for, as funding given by CanExport is supposed to increase trade show participation, promote products that show Canada’s local traditions, and help businesses accelerate sales.
What can CanExport do for you?
Since its creation, CanExport has provided over $21 million in grants to 1,700 Canadian businesses, and these claims have pooled in an impressive $376 million in new sales. With CanExport, you will be covered for up to 50% of legible costs per project.
Eligible expenditures include:
- Promotion of local products.
- Research on global markets.
- Travel to foreign markets.
- Tradeshow attendance.
- Development of new marketing tools fit for international marketing.
- IP protection.
- Legal fees.
- Search engine optimization
- Expert advice
- Translation of marketing tools.
Moreover, your project must have at least 20,000 estimated expenses to be considered legible for a government grant.
Incorporated legal entities/limited liability partnerships with a maximum of 500 full-time employees are available for the CanExport program, as well as to declare between $100,000 and $100 million annual revenue.
When it comes to business grants, there is an abundant list that is just waiting for you to come to their doors. This may be your shot at making it big and bringing your business to the next level, so make sure that you get all your documents straight and all your assets in order because this is an opportunity you do not want to pass up.
Shelly Solis is one of the women behind SaaSLaunchr, a website specializing in SaaS SEO and blog outreach services. Read her insights on digital marketing, technology, and business at the SaaSLaunchr – SaaS Marketing blog!