BC Entrepreneurs Guide to Small Business Grants in Canada
This article is solely for the benefit of BC small business entrepreneurs needing grant or loan funding. Here I focus on Small Business Grants in Canada that are appropriate for British Columbia small business owners.
I also have two other articles to help BC small business owners find and apply for government grants and small business loans from the BC provincial government. They discuss How to Source Government Grants For Small Business In BC and How to Get Your BC Small And Medium Business Recovery Grant.
There is an overwhelming number of small business grants in Canada for business owners across all the provinces and territories. Nationally, BC companies are arguably in competition with ten times more applicants than in BC. So, it’s important to reduce the time spent evaluating federal grants and loans, then navigate the application for each of them.
You probably realize it doesn’t matter what stage your BC business is in, startup or growth stage, there will likely be a federal funding program that fits your company’s circumstances.
How to Apply For Federal Government Small Business Grants in Canada
Get Your Business Plan Together
If you haven’t written a business plan yet, do it now. It will help orient your business direction, elevate your business perspective, and add value to your grant or loan application. There are options for getting your business plan in order, from working with a professional business planner, to simply using an online template. If you choose to write the business plan yourself, be prepared for the extra work hours it will take.
Determine Your Business Sector
Tailor your search to the nature of your business, your industry/market, your customer needs and your region (i.e. the province of British Columbia). There will be grants broad-based funding programs like technology for the Canadian environment, Canadian biotech, Canadian agriculture, and even Canadian arts. Eligibility for Government of Canada small business grants can be challenging for some sectors like retail-based businesses or franchises, which often don’t qualify.
The current economic climate is also an influencing factor, as are the changes in customer or market needs and government political strategies. It pays to be aware of these and other variables when you are preparing to apply for funding.
Limit Research To Your Own Business Classification
To avoid wasting time, limit your research to programs designed for your own business sector. See which government of Canada small business loans and grantsare specifically designed to support a business like yours.
Use the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada and the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) to help narrow your focus.
Develop a Quality Grant Application
A grant application for a Canadian small business financing program is never as simple as completing an online form in under an hour. Be prepared to spend plenty of hours writing grant proposals for your applications. Begin well in advance, literally weeks or even months ahead of the listed deadline.
Here you will be able to use your business plan to a great extent...a grant proposal is very much like a business plan or at least uses many elements from your business plan.
When possible, get copies of prior successful and unsuccessful grant applications. Learn from the past experience of other applicants. To add another layer of perfection, get someone else to review and suggest edits to your proposal and application.
The Canadian Government’s Benefits Finder Tool
The Canadian Government provides their Benefits Finder tool to assist business owners like you to easily discover business Benefits and Services you may qualify for.
It’s incredibly simple to use. You are presented with several appropriate questions and your answers are used as a customized search filter. The greater number of questions you answer will ensure more tailored and suitable results.
Simply visit the Benefits Finder page on the Government of Canada website and follow the easy to follow instructions:
A. Type of Support
This is the initial page you’ll be presented with. Give thought to what your broad needs for financial help are…
B. Choose a Support Category
You have 3 options…
Support due to Covid 19
Other Government Support
All government support
C. Support for Covid-19
There are 9 categories of support specifically for Covid-19 to select from. Choose as many as you want…
To keep employees paid
Help for the self-employed
To defer/waive my taxes/payments
Help for landlords/tenants
Advice to help me through the crisis
To sell/manufacture supplies to fight Covid-19
Help for my innovative project to combat Covid-19
D. All Other Support
If your funding needs are not clearly associated with Covid-19 financial issues choose this section of 7 categories instead. Choose as many as you want…
Loans and capital investments
Wage subsidies and interns
Partnering and collaboration
E. Your Main Goals
What is it you want to achieve with your federal funding request? You have 12 choices here Choose as many as you want…
Conduct R&D, innovate, develop a product or service
Start or buy a business
Buy or lease equipment or property
Grow and expand my business
Hire or train employees
Increase working capital
Increase productivity, quality, safety or efficiency
Reduce pollution or improve energy efficiency
Develop the local economy or infrastructure
Sell or close a business
Province or Territory
Identify which part of the country your business operates in...
There are 18 business categories to choose from.
Choose one only…
Agriculture and food
Forestry, fishing and hunting
Mining, oil and gas, utilities
Education, healthcare and social assistance
Finance, insurance and company management
Business support, administration and waste management
Arts, athletics, entertainment and recreation
Broadcasting and telecommunications
Information technology (IT)
Real estate, rentals and leasing
Scientific research and environmental services
Tourism, accommodation and food services
Other services including repair and personal
Retail and wholesale
Transportation and warehousing
British Columbia small business owners looking for federal funding can benefit greatly by searching the Canadian Government’s Benefits Finder tool. It also remembers your search profile for future use of the tool. Even more impressive, it will email you whenever a new grant becomes available that pertains to your grant application profile.
Good luck with your efforts to prepare your business plan. Write a grant proposal and use the Canadian Government’s Benefits Finder tool for Canadian federal grant programs available to British Columbia small businesses!