You would be surprised at how easy it is to obtain Canadian small business grants. However, most people are put off by applying for small business grant when they simply look at the number of grants available. There are really two categories of grants in Canada, which are federal grants and state grants. There are some significant differences between the two.
Federal – Canadian Small Business Grants
The federal grants typically have a different purpose. Essentially, during recession as our economy is in now, more money is set aside at the federal government level in order to provide assistance to struggling business owners and those that have a desire to start a new business. The amount of money is sometimes changed depending on how the economy is doing. Often times you will look back on history and find that statistically more money was set aside for this during recessions than when it was much easier to obtain small business loans from their local banks. With banks struggling the way they are, the federal government has found it useful to step in and try to help these businesses and business owners stay afloat.
Another difference between federal small business grants and the grants at the Canadian state level is the amount of time that it takes to obtain federal ones. The Canadian federal government has hundreds upon hundreds of applications every year. Each one has to be evaluated and it is important to determine who has the best business model and the most beneficial business model to not only the business owner but to the communities surrounding that area. You should expect up to an eight month timeframe in order to receive a response from the federal government regarding your application for a grant.
State – Canadian Small Business Grants
Historically and when looking at the state level the purpose of state level business grants is often different. The federal government is often looking to help business owners whereas the state level has the same in mind, they are often more community driven so they often prefer helping those not for profit organizations. Generally, most of the small business grants are provided to those organizations so that everyone in the local communities benefit from the stimulation of capital provided to them.
The benefit of applying to the state level grants in Canada is that the application process is frequently shorter. This means that you are not stuck waiting around to get a response to determine if you have to tap into other resources in order to get the capital you need to begin your business. Also, if you do happen to be a non-profit organization, you should have a far better chance at receiving assistance from the state level.
Keep in mind that federal and state grants alike are not “free money”. You are considered to be in a contractual agreement with the state and/or the federal government when obtaining small business grant. For this reason, keep your intentions honest and always make sure to keep good records of where the money is being spent. You should expect a review process to take place typically within one to three years from the time you are approved for your grant.