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Start-Ups

How to Secure Small Business Financing in Canada

By Townes Haas   |    June 5, 2019   |    1:15 PM

Your Guide to Acquiring Canadian Small Business Funds

Don’t let a lack of financing derail your dreams of growing your small business. In Canada, there are a variety of ways to acquire funds for your company. Some entrepreneurs bootstrap their operations with personal funds, others try crowdsourcing, and many scrimp and save for years to build their vision.

Those aren’t your only options, however. Small business grants and loans can be a great way to boost your business, and here’s your guide to both.

See if the Canadian Government provides grants or assistance for your business

Canada’s government offers various types of support for small businesses, ranging from grants and loans to resources on maximizing the benefits your company is eligible for.

Click here to visit the business grants and financing website. There’s a lot of information to sift through, so start with these helpful articles:

Understand the limitations of government grants

As The Balance Small Business explains, many entrepreneurs hope to secure government grants, which do not need to be paid back. It’s important to note that the Canadian government gives out relatively few grants.

When grants are available, they are typically designed for specific industries and regions the government wants to help develop. To find these opportunities, it can be helpful to diversify the language you use. Here are some additional keywords you can use when doing online searches for small business grant financing:

  • Awards
  • Contributions
  • Shared costs
  • Subsidies
  • Rebates
  • Tax credits or tax rebates
  • Non-repayable loans

How to secure a loan for your small business

Perhaps not surprisingly, loans are far easier to secure than grants. You can work with a financial institution of your choice, such as a bank or credit union. Applying for a loan from an entity that is familiar with you and your business can also increase your odds of being approved.

The government also facilitates loan programs. The Canada Small Business Financing Program “makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders.” If your for-profit small business has gross annual revenues of $10 million or less, you may be eligible (businesses in the farming industry should visit www.agr.gc.ca to learn about their financing options).

Borrowers can access a maximum of $1,000,000. Only $350,000 may be used to improve leased property, purchase or improve new or used equipment, and/or purchase leasehold improvements.

Since loans are approved by a financial institution, you can participate in this program through any bank, caisse populaire, or credit union in Canada. Be prepared to show investors that you will be able to make back the loan with a thoughtful business plan that demonstrates the potential profitability of your company, and get ready to take your operations to the next level.