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The Truth About Small Business Grants in Canada

Part 1: Do You Qualify for Any of These Canadian Small Business Grants?

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How to Start a Business in Canada

Canadian Government Grants

Image (c) DC Productions / Getty Images

A lot of the email I get is from people looking for small business grants. I have to tell them what I’m telling you here; your chances of finding (let alone getting) a small business grant in Canada are slim.

First of all, if by small business grant you mean free money, there just aren’t that many small business grants available in Canada. The federal government (sensibly in my opinion) prefers to invest in small business by operating loans programs or assistance programs that involve some sort of shared contribution rather than in small business grant programs.

Secondly, the few genuine small business grants that do exist are for particular groups of people doing particular things, for the most part. To make getting a small business grant even more challenging, it’s often the case that these people have to be doing these particular things in a particular part of the country to qualify.

These examples of small business grants in Canada will show you what I mean.

Small Business Grants for Particular Places & People

  • Grants to Small Business Program Northwest Territories - These small business grants are for small businesses, co-operatives, partnerships or sole proprietorships with less than $500,000 in gross sales. Artists and craft producers and licensed renewable resource harvesters can get a maximum $5000 grant over the lifetime of any one business.
  • Establishment Grant for Aspiring Farmers in Quebec - This small business grant is for aspiring farmers between 18 and 40 who reside in Quebec and are just starting out in agriculture as a primary activity. A grant of up to $10,000 is offered for projects involving sustainable development. (La Financière agricole du Québec).

Small Business Grants for Particular Industries

Particular industries have the edge when it comes to small business grants. For instance:

  • Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) - The purpose of this funding program is to "ensure choice of and access to Canadian-authored books that reflect Canada's cultural diversity and linguistic duality in Canada and abroad". Some of the funding available through the four funding initiatives is in the form of grants (nonrepayable contributions).
  • The Canada Music Fund offers a host of programs designed to support the recording industry. Some of this funding may be available in the form of small business grants. The Music Entrepreneur Program may be of particular interest; it provides funding to help music entrepreneurs move into the digital economy and become self-sufficient.

There are more Canadian small business grant programs that your business may qualify for on the next page. Click to continue reading...

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