If you have small business owner clients who are seeking project financing in Québec, the Immigrant Investor Program offers them the possibility of accepting foreign investment to help their businesses grow. Investissement Québec manages the program, which takes interest on investments made by immigrant or foreign investors and distributes them to Québec businesses as nonrepayable contributions.
What Assistance Is Available Through the Business Assistance – Immigrant Investor Program?
The Business Assistance – Immigrant Investor Program is available for growth projects proposed by companies at all stages of development. If your client is looking to expand or modernize production, implement tech or design innovations, or commercialize products outside of Québec, their project may qualify, as do projects designed to earn certificates of compliance of various sorts.
Grants, which may cover up to 10% of each project’s costs, can range from $40,000 to $250,000, and are generally paid out over four years. The contributions made to your client’s company are nonrepayable, providing liquidity without the worry of coming up with repayment funds.
Requirements and Eligibility for the Program
The requirements for the Business Assistance – Immigrant Investor Program are very specific. To be eligible, a company’s consolidated assets must total less than $35 million. Eligible projects have a minimum cost of $300,000, though startup businesses only need to meet a $270,000 threshold. Qualified projects can last no more than two years. If a project has already started, it still has to be underway (your client can’t request funds for projects that are already completed), and only the expenses from the 12 months before the date on which the application is submitted are eligible for consideration.
How to Apply to the Program
Investissement Québec’s procedure for an application has three steps:
- Contact an accredited financial intermediary to submit an application. Your client cannot submit an application to the Business Assistance – Immigrant Investor Program directly. Instead, an accredited financial intermediary must submit it. Only 21 financial intermediaries have been accredited and may serve in this role. If your client has any questions, they can also contact an Investissement Québec advisor directly.
- Draw up the required information for the application. The financial intermediary assists with the application and provides a list of all required documentation, including a business plan, description of the project, budget, marketing plan, and more.
- Submit the application. Again, this is done by the intermediary. Your client must complete the Application for a Non-refundable Financial Contribution, the Application for Disbursement of Non-refundable Contribution, and an independent auditor’s report. The financial intermediary must also provide a letter of recommendation. The intermediary then submits the application to IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc. Investissement Québec will then review the application and make further contact.
Your clients may sometimes call upon you as their financial advisor to help them develop potential financing sources for the growth of their businesses. If you’re in Québec, consider checking out the Business Assistance – Immigrant Investor Program as a source of financing for them.