In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government acted diligently to provide support and protection to the business houses in adapting its response to the pandemic. The government laid broad support measures in helping the small businesses across Canada.
As per reports, more than 8 of every $10 was spent to support Canadian businesses. The reason was either shut down due to restrictions or due to limited operations.
The government believed that small businesses are the backbone of the economy and needed that due attention.
With this view, the government launched grants and programs to recover small businesses and pave the way towards new technologies.
In this article, we will discuss the grants and processes to obtain along with:
• Introduction about Grants
• How the Canadian government is enhancing MSME growth through grants
• List of grants offered by the government
• Process to obtain grants
• How to apply and register for grants
• How can Deskera help small businesses
Introduction about Grants
Grants are rewards or funding programs offered by the government for a specific purpose. The grants are extended support for small businesses, large corporations, non-profits, or research institutions.
Through grants, the government aims to grow the economy by providing opportunities and flexibility to the MSMEs. Small businesses have a significant role in spurring the recovery and contributing towards the growth of the economy.
Grants also help small businesses to come back stronger than ever before.
How the Canadian government is enhancing MSME growth through grants
The pandemic forced the economy to take a turn towards digital transformation to conduct and push businesses online. Canadian businesses also need to adapt to the new technologies and digitalized working processes to compete.
With this concern, the Canadian government launched various programs under their Budget 2021 with the proposal to provide 1.4 billion in support to SMEs. The programs cover micro-grants, digital support, and working opportunities to people who can help SMEs adopt technologies and assist financing options.
Overall the grants offered by the Canadian government focus on the finance and technology adoption of SMEs.
The government is also supporting business investments, extending support to hard-hit businesses, enhancing business financing programs, and lowering the cost of doing business for SMEs.
List of grants offered by the government
The Canadian government has a list of grants to help SMEs to expand their business by every means via
• Financial Funding
• Providing physical spaces for business
• Access to supplies for reaching the more comprehensive market network
• For branding
• Providing digitized support
Let's take a look at the list of the grants that an MSME can apply for:
- Accelerating Innovations into Care
- Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP)
- Canada Agricultural Partnership (CAP)
- Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream
- Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP)
- Creative Export Canada (CEC)
- Dairy Processing Investment Fund (DPIF)
- SD Tech Fund
- SME in Action Program
- Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)
- Supply Chains and Logistics Excellence AI (SCALE.AI)
- Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)
- Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI)
1. Accelerating Innovations into Care
This grant is intended to support the commercialization of health tech via collaborations with SMEs belonging to the Alberta region.
The fund covers up to 50% of project expenses taken to a maximum of $150,000 contribution.
2. Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP)
The CSBFP grant supports SMEs growth by providing business loans under competitive interest rates.
The grant has covered up to 1 million dollars for business expansion activities that help finance small businesses and meet their needs.
3. Canada Agricultural Partnership (CAP)
As the name of the grant suggests, the CAP supports the growth and competitiveness of agricultural businesses and organizations located in the Alberta region.
As far as the funding is concerned, it varies depending upon the project's focus and what the funding stream matches.
4. Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream
The Canada Media fund aims to support, develop, produce and promote various innovative and interactive software development projects. The software development projects include applications and video games.
The grant is accessible to SMEs across the Canadian region and has a cap of up to $ 15k-1.5 million based on project phases.
5. Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP)
The CIIP grant aims to support the municipality in demonstrating innovative solutions or approaches towards solving environmental issues. This grant is accessible to all MSMEs across Canada and covers 50% of expenses up to a maximum of $1 million in grants.
The CanExport program aims to support the global expansion projects that include participation in trade shows or government-led trade missions.
The grant covers up to 75% of expenses to a maximum of $75000 in grants.
7. Creative Export Canada (CEC)
The CEC grant is intended to support the commercialization of technology and increase the productivity improvement of the MSMEs.
The grant's funding is accessible up to 50% of costs, a maximum of $500,000 per collaboration.
8. Dairy Processing Investment Fund (DPIF)
The DPIF grant was launched to support the daily processors who want to invest in the areas that can enhance their productivity and competitiveness. The grant covers up to:
50% of the cost, to a maximum of $10 million for expenditure projects and $250,000 access to the expertise.
9. SD Tech Fund
The SD Tech fund provides funding to the SMEs involved in cleantech projects. Overall, these projects aim to improve water, soil, and air quality to reduce climate change.
The fund is accessible up to 40% of the total project cost for an average funding contribution of $3000000.
10. SME in Action Program
The SME in action program is intended to help SMEs carry out feasibility studies before realizing investment projects. The program aims to cover 40% of the eligible expenses involved during the studies to a limit of $100000 to $250000.
11. Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)
The Strategic Innovation Fund supports projects that can drive towards sustained productivity and economic benefits. The MSMEs who wish to avail the grants need to submit a project budget of at least $20 million, and after that, they can get access to up to 50% of the eligible costs.
12. Supply Chains and Logistics Excellence AI (SCALE.AI)
The SCALE.AI program enhances Canada's existing supply chain practices by boosting economic development by adopting and integrating artificial intelligence (AI).
The grant is accessible up to 40% of eligible project costs without any maximum or minimum investment allocated for the project.
13. Western Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSF) program
The BSF program is launched specially for small businesses that have high growth potential in adopting innovative technologies. The program also aims to support the productivity and export expansion of SMEs.
The budget allocation is accessible up to 50% of costs to a maximum of $5 million per application and $10 million per applicant.
14. Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI)
The ZEVAI program supports projects that address knowledge gaps among Canadians on ZEV technologies and moving towards ZEV adoption. The SMEs involved in these projects can cover up to 50% of the total project cost with a maximum contribution amount of $300000 per project.
It is to note that the Canadian government has offered these grants in abundance. Businesses need to know the different types of funding required to get access to sources and funding. Through these grants, the government encourages SME players to come into action for their projects and explore them to their full potential.
The process to obtain grants
After going through the plethora of small business grants in Canada, it is essential to note that every business will get the grant. As a result, there are chances of more applicants going rounds, making the competition stiff.
But note that the application process of grants won't be challenging if you know your business's eligibility for the specific grant you are applying for. It is vital to give your undivided attention to searching for the right grant provided by the Canadian government.
Here's one tip!
When you start searching for government funding programs, there are three critical requirements to keep in mind before going through the process. It includes
- The amount of time required internally for the process
- The amount of internal work and skill required
- The necessary internal resources to co-ordinate and complete the process
The grant process varies with the level of support required in the beginning till the completion of the particular process. It may also depend on modifications attached to different sets of grants offered by the Canadian government.
How to apply and register for grants
The grant process is divided into four stages required to be fulfilled by the SME. The SME needs to approach each step strategically along with an appropriate level of knowledge.
Following is the complete guide and step by step process for the application of grants:
Step 1: Find and create a list of Government grants and programs. Later, align it with your project requirements.
Step 2: Build your business plan and ensure that it hits the program requirement.
The business plan should include the following:
- Overview of the business
- A person associated with the business
- Business structure and milestone
- Market research
- Financial health and projections
- Other documents related to eligibility
Step 3: After you are done with requirements, prepare and write a grant application suitable as per your industry
Step 4: Send the completed application form to the government and update progress reports.
And you are done!
How Can Deskera Help Small Businesses?
As a small business owner or a startup, you need to take care of thousands of things. In the above sections, we realized that so many essential factors could make a significant change in your business, such as barcoding, well-managed inventory, financial aid to manage your business efficiently, use of new technology, and proper marketing tools and strategy.
Of course, the Government of Canada has been involved in all the above initiatives so that you, as a small business, can rise and shine in Canada along with the global platform.
Small businesses are the backbone of every economy, and the irony is you don't hear about them often. But at Deskera, small businesses are the center of everything.
We at Deskera have always been committed to helping SMEs realize their dreams. Since its inception, Deskera has had a singular mission- To transform how SMEs run their business. We want them to grow and exceed expectations by using the best possible technology and tools.
This intuitive and hardworking software takes some load off the back of small businesses and startups by optimizing their accounting, operations, and process workflows. Deskera is an all-in-one cloud-based accounting software that helps small businesses run their business efficiently anytime, anywhere, on any device.
Deskera all-in-one does all the below-mentioned tasks and much more for your business.
It helps you track every business transaction across your organization.
Since Deskera automates most of the processes, all business transactions automatically populate the journal entry record. It also allows you to create recurring journal entries to save more time.
Deskera's inventory management software enables you to stay on top of your stock levels at all times and fulfill your customer orders with confidence.
The software updates your stocks in real-time and allows you to view the stock availability in each warehouse in seconds. Thus, helping you make informed decisions to optimize your inventory and reduce costs significantly.
With Pick-Pack-Ship, you can efficiently pick products from the warehouse, pack them in the carton, and promptly ship them out to customers.
Considering MSME as a driving force for economic recovery, the Canadian government is committed to supporting the success of business owners. They've already launched various schemes and programs to innovate working mechanisms, promote creativity and accelerate growth.
Following are the key takeaways of the article:
- The Canadian government acted diligently to provide support and protection to small businesses.
- With the help of grants, the government aims to grow the economy by providing opportunities and flexibility to MSMEs.
- The Canadian government launched various programs for MSMEs under the Budget 2021
- There are a total of 14 grants and initiatives for SME funding and technology innovation.
- The process to apply for the grant needs to be examined well based on eligibility requirements.
- There is a 4 step guide for applying for grants, from finding and creating a list to following up with updates