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Why Look at Grant Programs?

In the past, direct government funding for business has not been heavily prioritized, and so businesses have had to rely on reimbursement from corporate tax programs to boost their innovation and productivity. However, new emphasis is now being placed on the importance of grant funding to stimulate business growth and competitiveness. Canadian companies now have access to potential funding of $10,000 – $1,000,000 per year for a wide array of business development activities and industry-specific innovation projects. Government contributions can reduce the upfront costs of these projects by up to 50% or more.

What Areas of Business Does the Government Typically Fund?

Currently, government grant programs for businesses can be classified into five categories:

Innovation: Funding for the research, development and commercialization of new products, processes or services.

Marketing and Exporting: Support for marketing and promotional activities or the formation of direct business contacts to increase the sales of Canadian-made goods and services, with emphasis on international marketing.

Human Resources and Training: The hiring and training of skilled young personnel in technical or entry-level positions, including full-time, internship or apprenticeship positions. • Green Technology: Funding to support the development of energy-efficient technology or clean fuels, or incentives for the implementation of these technologies to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

Capital Investment: Funding for the purchase of new capital equipment or construction of new production capacity to increase productivity.

Applying for Government Grants Should Be Part of Your Business Process and Strategy

If managed properly, applying for government assistance can be an integral part of a company’s system of funding. Every year, government grants and incentives should be considered as part of the strategic initiatives of the company. RDP typically files between 3 and 10 grants for their clients each year, and continues to seek significant total funding year after year.

Unlike tax credits such as SR&ED, government grants provide funding for prospective projects and objectives rather than compensation for work already completed. Programs will not cover any expenses incurred before an application is approved, and may even cancel a contract altogether if work is started early. Because of this, both RDP and our clients have to be proactive in planning and preparing for grant applications. Grants can allow smaller businesses the opportunity to undertake projects they may not otherwise have been able to afford.

RDP has a team of experienced and qualified personnel who constantly monitor changes to program requirements and availability, including staff who have previously worked for the government funding programs themselves.

RDP’s Process

First, RDP will conduct an assessment of the client’s objectives in order to develop a plan for pursuing funding. This will include:

• Meeting with the client for a free consultation to review the client’s current strategies, objectives and budgets to assess which of the client’s projects/initiatives are eligible for funding
• Presenting a report to the Client which includes a matrix of all programs applicable to each of the Client’s objectives, a descriptive summary of each program, and a timeline with recommendations on how to optimize funding by positioning projects and objectives based on the availability of funds
• Following up with the client on a quarterly basis to identify any new projects or objectives which may be eligible for funding
• Updating the client on any new and relevant funding programs as they come available

The client can then review RDP’s recommendations and select the programs for which they would like to apply.

Once an agreement has been made between the client and RDP as to selected grant applications and their pricing, RDP will work with the client to prepare, draft and submit applications. This will include:

• Gathering necessary data and supporting documentation for each eligible activity, including cost summaries and work plans
• Preparing and drafting necessary application(s)
• Submitting application(s) to the appropriate program administrators, or providing instructions for the client to make the final submission when necessary
• Following up with the application process and providing support on understanding correspondence from the government funding program, including inspections or requests for additional documentation

RDP will continue to monitor the status of the hundreds of grant programs available in Canada. When a new program comes available, RDP will notify the client to ensure they are taking full advantage of the funding available to them at all times.