If you’re not applying for multiple grants each year, you’re missing out on potential dollars for your business.
Is your business using grants to their full potential? What you need to know about government funding
Many companies rely on bank loans, tax credits and private investment dollars to fund their growth and development. But these aren’t the only options available to you—the government is offering substantial funding in the form of grants. BCBusiness caught up with Laslo Cesar, director of finance & innovation at Ayming, to discuss how businesses can successfully plan for and secure government grants.
What are a few common misconceptions around government funding?
“Most companies think that a few tax credits and one grant per year should cover them. But if you don’t apply for multiple grants every year, you’ll likely leave money on the table. Another misconception is that grants are for non-profits or R&D-based companies only; that’s simply not true. In Canada, there are roughly 1,800 to 2,200 programs for corporations alone. Let’s take R&D as an example. A lot of companies pursue tax credits related to scientific research and experimental development, but there’s a shift happening. Over the past five years, the SR&ED program budget has decreased by 14 per cent. That budget is being redirected into grant programs.”
What prevents organizations from pursuing or securing government funding?
“It comes down to lack of planning, time, knowledge. Lack of planning is the key issue. Most companies don’t include government funding in their financial and business plans, and that’s a mistake. It’s important to set aside time to find the right programs, develop a strategy, and submit early enough to secure grants. If you don’t have a plan in place, you could be walking away from money. Government funding seems so “nebulous” that a lot of companies don’t touch it and it can be difficult for non-specialists to navigate. But if you don’t take advantage of the funding that’s available, your competitors will.”
How can businesses secure the government funding they need?
“Every program has different funding requirements, so you need to understand the criteria and integrate that information into your business planning efforts. Build relationships with grant program managers so you can gain access to the right information. Subscribe to all government mailing lists on funding, and assign someone within your organization to review the material. Don’t make the mistake of relying on funding from years past; just because you received a grant last year doesn’t mean that you’ll continue to receive funding. Failure is a part of the process, and you should never stop applying for grants.”
Are there any industries that have a distinct advantage right now?
“All industries have government funding, but there’s a strong focus on automotive, aerospace and the agri-food industries right now. Health science is heavily funded too. There are also regional programs for rural areas, and some socioeconomic programs that support female entrepreneurs, youth, and individuals with disabilities. Right now Artificial Intelligence (AI) is booming in Montreal. While some grants are industry specific, others are focused on activities like R&D, hiring, training, large capital expenditures, export, and infrastructure investments.”
Backed by 30 years of proven results, Ayming provides strategic and operational expertise, enabling businesses to improve their overall performance in the areas of finance and innovation, operations and human resources. Ayming’s focus is on accelerating business growth, anticipating future changes and opportunities and securing a business’s long-term position.
Vancouver, BC, V6E 4A2
Tel: 604.734.0117 | ayming.ca