What is a grant? How is it different from a tax credit?

A government grant is a contribution of funds to a business from a government body, aimed at supporting the government’s target initiatives. These funds are provided as cash installments throughout the duration of a pre-approved project. They are generally non-repayable, but some may require repayment depending on the success of the project.

There are two main differences between grants and tax credits. Firstly, a government grant is awarded to fund future initiatives or to get a new project off the ground. Grants will not fund projects already completed or underway, or reimburse expenses already paid. Secondly, a government grant is not an entitlement, and simply meeting eligibility requirements does not guarantee approval. Grant programs are restricted by application deadlines and fixed budgets and may only approve a select number of applicants each year.

What grants are out there?

Canada has hundreds of grant programs in operation to support a vast array of initiatives. Based on government priorities, grant programs can be classified into five categories: Innovation, Marketing and Exporting, Hiring and Training, Green Energy, or Business Expansion. Please see our grants page or speak to one of our specialists for more information on the types of activities that qualify under these programs.

How do I know if my company is eligible?

Every program has different eligibility criteria and regulations. Some programs are only available in certain geographic areas or times of year, or are limited to companies of a certain size or industry. Grants are not welfare for struggling businesses – your company’s financial health and stability are strongly considered. You should have at least 15 employees and have been in operation for at least 2 years to be considered a good candidate for grants. You should also have plans for future growth or innovation, with an emphasis on new job creation and expansion into new markets. RDP’s team of funding specialists can advise you on your eligibility, and look over your plans for the next 12 months to help you to align them with available grant programs.

How much money can I get from a grant?

Depending on the type of activity supported, incentives can range anywhere from $5,000 to $1,000,000. Grants will typically cover a percentage of eligible project costs (between 15% and 75%), up to a fixed maximum amount.

How much time and effort is required to apply for a grant?

Each program has a unique application process. Often a preliminary application or meeting with a government representative will be required to screen potential applicants. A full proposal containing detailed information on project plans and objectives, company background and capabilities, and financial status is then submitted to the program facilitator for evaluation. Company financial statements, insurance certificates, articles of incorporation or other supporting documents may also be required with the application. This package must be submitted well in advance of project start, as applications can take anywhere from several days to several months to be processed by the government. It is recommended that you begin your search for funding at least 3 months in advance of your project. RDP’s team of experienced grant specialists can assist you in navigating the channels of funding, compiling documentation, and preparing the necessary paperwork, to ensure that you get maximum return for minimum effort.