Canadian Government Offers Millions for Small Businesses

Wednesday, November 9, 2011   //   Business Articles, Business Financing  //  No Comments

For years, the Canadian government has distributed millions of dollars in grants in an effort to strengthen local economies. The intention is to invest in the development of businesses of various sizes and sectors, contributing to the economic growth of the nation. Many departments within the Canadian government accept relevant proposals for free grants. When a proposal is submitted to the appropriate department, basic eligibility requirements are checked and the proposal is evaluated based on the feasibility, sustainability and community impact of the project. Free Canadian government grants are awarded to projects deemed worthy based on these criteria.

Many individuals, organizations and companies have taken advantage of the availability of these free Canadian government grants. The awarded monies have been used for different purposes including business start-up capital, expansion and improvement. These grants are awarded to organizations of all sizes and the competition for them is high. One of the most important factors in submitting a successful proposal is the adherence very specific guidelines which can vary depending on the department awarding the free Canadian government grant and the type of grant requested. Gaining an understanding of the various grants available as well as their eligibility requirements is the first step to obtaining one of these free Canadian government grants.

For the purposes of determining the best grant to pursue, free Canadian government grants can be separated into two broad categories:

  • Grants awarded based on the applicant
  • Grants based on the proposed project or business

It is important to remember that both of these elements will be assessed during the evaluation process, but the grants themselves can be separated into these categories for the purpose of deciding which grant best applies to the applicant.

Grants based on the applicant would include awards for Canadian women of up to $100,000 for the expansion or start-up of a business. Young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 29 can apply for a grant from the Young Entrepreneurs Program to start full-time businesses which can range from $1000 to $10 million. There are multiple grants available for Canadians of aboriginal heritage which fund housing, education, starting a business and student employment. All Inuit, First Nation and Métis citizens are eligible for these free Canadian government grants.

Specific types of projects would be awarded free Canadian government grants from the departments to which they are applicable. The Cooperative Promotion Board awards grants to proposed projects promoting cooperative organization facilitating community development. The Feasibility Study Program awards grants paying up to 75% of the cost securing a consultancy to supply a detailed feasibility report on a given project proposal. Research and development of improved technologies intended to improve existing products or processes receives many annual free Canadian government grants. There are grants awarded to projects pertaining to art and culture which can be presented by individual artists or artistic guilds. Special consideration is extended to projects focusing on the environment. The Waste Reduction and Pollution Prevention Fund (WRPPF) awards several grants to projects related to waste reduction and pollution control. There are even grants awarded to projects designed to improve tourism in a specific location.

Once the applicant has chosen the appropriate grant for which to apply, a proposal must be written for the application process. Some people hire professional proposal writers because this is such an important factor in the grant evaluation process. That isn’t to say that sincere, plain-spoken proposals are not heavily considered. Proposals don’t have to be flashy, but they do need to be convincing and well articulated in order to convey the details as well as the intention of a proposed project. Proposals are carefully assessed. Some of the points to be evaluated are:

  • Effects on existing businesses or relevant organizations
  • Impact on community economy
  • Economic feasibility
  • Sustainable employment
  • Whether or not the project applies to a priority sector

Anyone with a good idea, plan or even a dream can apply for free Canadian government grants. The process is very detail oriented and the applicant needs to do research to find the most appropriate grant. However, it is important to remember that the purpose of making grants available is to give the average person access to the funds, not lock them out. Anyone has a good chance to obtain a free Canadian government grant.

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