If you have a small to medium size business registered in Canada and you are looking to expand into international markets, now is the perfect time. As of January 5th, 2016 CanExport earmarked over $50 million in subsidies to be used by these SMEs to assist in capitalizing on these international export opportunities. CanExport wants to bring down the barriers so Canadian businesses can take advantage of growing opportunities in global markets.
The CanExport program is designed to be simple to understand and fast to apply for. Applications are free and completed online. There is no need to send receipts and with little red tape, approval decisions are made in less than a month.
More about the program:
- CanExport will provide SMEs with matching contributions of between $10,000 and $100,000 toward export development costs. (Tradeshow participation eligible)
- The total amount of all Canadian government funding combined or stacking limit, is set at 50 percent of the total eligible project cost (Tradeshow participation eligible)
- Consultant fees are capped at 25% of total project cost (Tradeshow participation eligible)
Let us get to the important questions that will allow you to determine if you can apply.
- Who Can Apply?
You are eligible to apply if you are;
- For-profit company registered in Canada with revenues declared and verified via Canada Revenue Agency, of at least $200K and no more than $50 million
- 1-250 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
- Incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP)
- Canada Revenue Agency business identifier number
- No currently active CanExport projects
- What projects and expenses will CanExport cover?
In order to be eligible, your businesses project must promote export development and go beyond your businesses core activities, represent new or expanded initiatives and be part of a strategic export business case for your target market.
Some expenses covered include:
- Business travel;
- Participation at trade fairs and events;
- Market research;
- Adaptation of marketing tools for a new market;
- Legal fees associated with a distribution/representation agreement.
The program is open to companies in most sectors, with a few exceptions[i]. Projects can take place in any countries as long as Canada has a trade agreement and no sanctions in place. But you can only apply to have a project in one market that your business has not exported to in 2 years.
- Getting ready to apply
Now that you are excited and ready to catapult your business onto the international stage you need on hand the following:
- Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) number and authorized person in your firm able to sign Contribution Agreement
- Detailed overview of proposed export project
- Assessment of risks and mitigation strategies.
- Detailed project budget.
Archex can assist in the area of preparing a tradeshow strategy including preparation of budgets for construction of your booth, transport and all applicable tradeshow costs.
The assessment process will consider if the project goes beyond your business’s core activities, represents new or expanded initiatives and yields incremental results.
They also look for a complete strategy for the target market.
Is your business prepared and committed?
What are your expected results? Do you have details on activities and expenses?
Did you demonstrate the company has the resources at its disposal to ensure success of this initiative, benefits to Canada, etc.?
[i] sector exceptions: the sectors of agriculture, food and beverage and fish and seafood are supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’sAgriMarketing Program.