Now that most of the COVID travel restrictions are winding down, tradeshows and business travel is happening again. If your company is looking to export to countries outside of Canada or looking to grow your export markets the CanExport Program a Government funding program is now opened and able to assist you.
The CanExport Program offered by the Federal Government was introduced in January 2016 and will provide up to $50 million over five years in direct financial support to small and medium-sized companies in Canada looking to develop export markets. CanExport is expected to assist up to 1,000 exporters per year across the country, that is up to $10,000 per company on average.
Companies applying for CanExport may apply as many times as they wish during the year. The company must however wait on one application to be processed before submitting another application. If you are denied once, you may apply again and be accepted for funding. Each application is processed separately and previous denials do not affect future application approvals.
Eligible Activities for Funding
CanExport provides financial support to Canadian companies for a wide range of export marketing and sales activities. Qualifying travel activities include:
- Business travel to visit prospects
- Participating in trade shows outside of Canada
- Market research
- Adapting marketing tools for new markets
- Legal fees associated with a distribution or marketing representation agreement
Ineligible Funding Activities
- On-going core or operational activities
- Activities in a market that is 10% of your export sales. Large countries like US, Brazil, China and India and divided into up into multiple marketsories.
The CanExport program:
- Reimburses up to 50 % of eligible expenses
- Requires that the company match funds on a dollar-to-dollar basis
- Provides a minimum contribution of $10,000 (requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $20,000) and a maximum contribution of $50,000.
Timelines for Filing an Application
Companies can file an application for CanExport funding at any time. Once you have filed your application you can expect to hear if your application has been approved within 60 business days of submission. CanExport will notify companies whether or not their application is successful. If you are approved funding is retroactive to the date you submitted your application. For example if you submit your application on June 1st you will not receive your confirmation on funding until August 1st, If the trade show you are attending is on August 15th, a lot of expenses will be incurred before you get your approval on the funding. If the application is approved all of the expenses that are incurred between June 1st the date the Travel application was submitted and August 1st the date of approval of the Travel Grant will be approved.
To be considered for possible funding, a company must meet the following basic criteria:
- Must be a for-profit company
- Must be an incorporated company or a limited liability partnership (LLP). Sole Proprietorships are not eligible for funding.
- Must have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business identifier number
- Must have between one and 500 full time employees. All employees must be on payroll and receiving T4 slips at the year. Sub-contracted employees are not included in the employee count.
- Must have sales of between $100,000 and $100 million in annual revenue declared in Canada in their last complete fiscal year.
Limits on Funding Requests
- Companies can apply for a minimum contribution of $10,000 per application (total cost of eligible activities be at least $20,000) and a maximum contribution of $50,000 per application (which requires that the total cost of eligible activities be $100,000);
- Consultant costs for the production of a market study, for market research, for business-to-business (B2B) meetings and matchmaking are limited to 25 percent of the total cost of the activity/project.
If your CanExport application is approved you must first spend the money and submit all travel receipts to the Government. Once the Government has received proof of payment of the travel expenses a refund cheque will be issued.