The Canadian Government offers a wide range of funding options to help alleviate small business struggles. With so much competition, though, you have to prove your small business is worth funding.
Most of the government funding options for small businesses come with strict rules about who can apply and how the money can be spent. Sometimes the government sets up funds to encourage businesses to employ marginalized groups. For example, some grants only target businesses that employ a certain percentage of women or indigenous Canadians. Other grants target specific industries, such as technology or agriculture. Search the Government of Canada website for listings of all the grants that are currently available. You can also search by category to find government funding options that are right for your business.
When you find a funding opportunity that seems right for you, make sure you read through all the fine print in the application guidelines. Often your first step in applying for funding is to contact the local government representative specified in the grant documents. This person can make sure your company meets the requirements for candidacy and give you up-to-date information about the funding opportunity.
Before you formally apply for a grant, you may need to submit a statement of intent to the funding body. This is a short document that outlines what your company does and why you think you should receive funding. Your statement helps the funding body confirm whether you should apply for the grant. The funding body may let you know you’re not the best candidate based on your statement, which can save you time so you can apply for something else. The formal application requires more detailed information about your business model, current financial status, and business history.
Applying for government funding can take time, so make sure you can support your business for several months while you wait to hear back. Keeping detailed records and having a long-term business strategy improves your chances of getting funding.