Grants and Incentives FAQ

1. What are government grants and contributions?

Government grants and contributions (Gs and Cs) are awards of funding to businesses to support micro and macroeconomic policies, assisting individual companies to grow, and stimulating select industrial  sectors to achieve economic development objectives. This taxpayer-funded spending is an important  instrument for governments to stimulate economic development and achieve industrial policy objectives. It is common in developed countries around the world.

2. How much funding is awarded in Canada each year through business incentive programs? 

Our data measures awards of grants and incentives by federal, provincial and municipal levels in Canada, and in  other countries. Governments in Canada invest about $26 billion -$30 billion in annual funding in the form of Gs and Cs, which includes about $3 billion through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit.

The federal government accounts for about half of this sum. The larger provinces invest about $2-$6 billion each.

3. Are there government grants and contributions available for my business? 

There is only one way to find out. Search. Some programs such as Industrial Research Assistance  Program (IRAP) have helpful staff who pick up the phone and provide qualifying information. But not  many of the programs have these resources.

Use our Fundsearch tool, which is much like using common search tools such as or, to identify the best programs for your company or project in seconds. Otherwise, set aside at  least five days to find them, searching multiple government websites, department by department, program  by program instead.

4. Do grants and contributions need to be repaid?  

Repayable funding is generally referred to as a loan. Grants do not need to be repaid. Under some  programs, a contribution may need to be repaid, although this is the exception. Grants and contributions  are generally not repayable provided they are used to achieve the stated objectives of the program and the  business objectives specified in the funding agreement. Breach of the funding agreement can trigger  repayment obligations.

5. Are there other types of government funding for my company, in addition to Gs and Cs? 

Yes. In Canada, there is a wide array of government financing, funding programs, and solutions for  which your business may be eligible. While the private sector uses debt or equity to lend to or invest in  companies, governments use grants (non-repayable contributions), tax credits for certain eligible  investments including research and development (R&D), repayable contributions, low or no-interest  loans, loan guarantees, wage subsidies, and job creation funding.

Use Fundsearch to identify the best government incentives for your company, organization, or  project—in seconds.

6. What types of funding are included in Fundsearch? 

Fundsearch includes 6,000 funding sources for Canada alone—about 4,500 federal, provincial and  municipal public sector programs and 1,500 sources of private sector funding, including angel investors,  accredited investors and business growth funds. Enter your funding objectives and get matched to the top  twenty sources in seconds.

7. What kind of success rate can my company expect? 

Applying successfully to government incentive programs is a skill – much like writing court documents,  contracts or tax returns. Many companies have poor rates of success on their own. Subscribe to one of our  subscription services to get access to expert services for writing your grants, tax credits, business plans or  bids. Our success rate is 94%!

8. How much funding can I expect to get? 

Generally, governments will fund about one third of your investment—sometimes as much as 75%.  For example, if you are planning to spend $15 million on launching a new product, R&D,  commercialization, plant and equipment, hiring and other investments, you can expect to get about $5- $10 million. If you are planning to invest $100,000, expect to receive about $30,000 – $50,000.

Watch the ticker to view the flow of funding or subscribe to one of our subscription services to get  custom data and predictive intelligence on how much your application will attract.

9. How long does it take to get this funding?  

Governments are often seen to be slower than the private sector, but incentives is an area where  governments are often able to process an application much faster than applying for bank financing or  pitching private investors. We write your applications in fifteen days; then the average turnaround time by  governments is about sixty days.

10. Are grants repayable? 

No, a grant is not repayable—it is technically a gift. It is not a debt. There are some government programs  that offer low or no-interest loans and any such repayment obligation is highlighted in your Fundsearch results.

11. What are tax credits?  

Tax credits provide you with a credit for amounts expended on certain eligible investments, such as R&D.  Most incentives in Canada are grants, which have the advantage of being up-front money to fund a project  in advance. SR&ED is an example of a tax credit program.

12. What are wage subsidies and job creation funding?  

Eligible applicants may qualify to have part of their employees’ salaries paid to support job creation,  economic development and other economic objectives, such as employing postgraduates.

13. Can I identify equity investors using Fundsearch?  

Yes. The Fundsearch private sector database includes 1,500 sources of private sector funding, including  angel investors, accredited investors and business growth funds. Enter your funding objectives and get  matched to the top twenty sources in seconds.

14. What is Fundingportal? 

Fundingportal is an award-winning software and services firm. It owns and operates, an  online platform for industry to source and apply for funding from more than 10,000 government grants and  incentives programs in Canada, the US, and the UK.

Fundingportal also provisions applicants, advisors, and industry experts, including lawyers, accountants  and industry executives with white label or branded SaaS software and tools. Choose Fundsuite IMS, or any one  of our innovative data sets or tools.

Terri Kirk

Teri Kirk is founder and CEO of Fundingportal. Teri has 25 years’ experience as a lawyer, executive, and entrepreneur. As Vice President, Business Development, Bell Canada, she led important national e-commerce initiatives with federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Industry and community roles have included Director, Private Capital Markets Association of Canada, and Member, Dean’s Advisory Council, School of Public Policy, Queen’s University. She has delivered a popular TEDx Talk on Financing innovation and appeared often on BNN. Teri holds a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and a master’s degree from Queen's University focusing on digital transformation. She has been named a Top Entrepreneur and Innovator of the Year by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance.

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