For over 30 years, we at RDP have been assisting companies to apply for business grants; so we know a thing or two about government funding programs. 

The following are what we predict to be the best grants to apply for in 2020:

1. Canexport

This program is an RDP favorite. It funds up to $75K to cover marketing costs for entering a new foreign market. RDP had a 98% success rate with this program in 2019.  Given this is a government funding program, the turnaround time to process the application was good, ranging from 25 to 40 business days. The program officials were accessible, and we encountered few roadblocks to completion point. We believe this program will carry on in 2020 in much the same fashion as in 2019. We even received funding twice for our own operations under this program.

2. Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)

This funding program has been around for a while. It funds development and demonstration projects for clean tech innovations. What we like about it is its flexibility in funding both start ups as well as larger, established companies. Funding typically ranges from $500K to $5M, so it is a significant and generous business grant. The program covers up to 33% of the project costs. Eligible projects are those with significant impact on GHG emissions reductions and good commercial potential. To see what type of projects they fund, check out this link. The caveat is that your business must have sufficient funds to cover off its share of the project costs. 

3. FedDev

This program funds late-stage development and growth of businesses in southern Ontario. It was very active in 2019. While FedDev is not a grant but a repayable contribution (i.e non-interest bearing loan with no security), it is perfect for those businesses that are expanding and want to use a cheap source of debt financing. Especially for those companies that are seeking venture loans or have reached their conventional debt financing limits. The typical repayable contribution is in the range of $500K to $4M.

Honorable Mention

Innovative Solutions Canada

This program funds early-stage development and prototyping of technologies that solve a need for the Canadian government. Government departments put forth challenge ideas which companies can then apply to with their solution. Past challenges have been very successful, but few and far between, with none currently open. We hope that Innovative Solutions Canada will get its house in order and come out with the 200-300 or so challenges in 2020 they were touting when the program opened. We think this program is an excellent idea and is a win-win for SMEs and the government. All that needs to happen is for the government departments to start issuing challenges.

If you have large expansion plans to undertake in 2020, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free assessment of what type of government funding is available for your business.  

Note: these rankings are based on success rate of obtaining funds; the amount of funds obtained and ease of filing their respective applications.