How to Get Small Business Grants in Canada

Below are five tips to help you find small business grants, and help you submit a successful grant application.

1. Categorize Your Small Business to Ensure a Government Grant

Every business falls into a specific market sector and is likely to have its own set of special-interest groups surrounding it.  There are many Canadian business government grants that are offered exclusively to businesses in certain categories, which may include people of certain regions, minorities, ages, economic brackets and business sectors. Figure out which categories your business falls into, and apply first for government grants being offered exclusively in your area.

2. Determine How Your Business Helps the Canadian Economy

This can be on a local, provincial or country-wide level.  Anyone who is granting money will have their own agenda, so try to align yourself with someone who has a similar vision.  For example, if you own a local restaurant you will want to approach you local government who will be concerned about maintaining the local economy, and explain how your business can help create jobs, and perhaps increase tourism in the area.

3. Research Government Grants Online

The internet has a wealth of reliable grant information; you just need to know where to look.  The Canadian government websites are a great place to start with a large list of available government grants.  You will also want to do a search of private foundations offering grants. Websites such as Industry of Canada or The Business Link of Alberta are also quite useful.  And if researching isn’t your strong point, you may choose to access online databases of complete grant listings which will save you the hassle of tracking them down yourself.

4. Write a Business Plan

This is perhaps the most important part of your whole grant application, and the one that could surely make or break you.  You must present a complete and organized business plan that shows a clear focus of your company’s goals and practices. If you aren’t familiar with how to write a business plan you can consult internet resources on the subject, or you may choose to seek professional help.

5. Apply Early for Government Grants

Many grant programs have a limited amount of funds that once depleted mean no more grants until the new budget is approved.  This means that you need to get your small business grant application submitted early on.