Last month we wrote about grants offered to homeowners but we thought you should know that a wide range of grants are also available to small businesses.
One of the better known programs is the Co-operative Education Tax Credit.
What are the benefits?
From the Ontario Ministry of Finance website:
Corporations can claim 25 per cent of eligible expenditures (30 per cent for small businesses). The maximum credit for each work placement is $3,000. Most work placements are for a minimum employment period of 10 weeks up to a maximum of four months.
The student has to be enrolled in a co-operative education program at an Ontario university or college, but a wide range of programs qualify. According to Centennial College for example, all of their three-year business programs apply, including Finance, Human Resources, and, you guessed it, Accounting.
EPC hires co-op students for our busier months and we receive a tax credit. It works for us because we’re able to bring in extra help for tax season.
A different type of business may not expect to bring on a co-op student, but perhaps something could be adjusted so that it gives a co-op student a glimpse of what a certain field looks like, with the understanding that their time is going to be limited. A short-term project that needs to be completed might fall under this category. A student gets experience, you complete a project and you may have found your next employee who will come to you already trained!
There are also $3 billion in tax incentives available from the Federal government for Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED).
This program illustrates the challenge of grants in general. Information is on the website, but there’s not a lot of fanfare made about it, which means you really have to dig.
Another type of grant is available for businesses that want to make it easier to hire people with disabilities.
The Enabling Accessibility Fund can help with projects ranging from building ramps to accessible washrooms to installing a visual fire alarm for an employee who is deaf.
In general, those in smaller communities tend to have an easier time of it – Kingston, for instance, has a Chamber of Commerce which may point business owners to options available as well as offering free educational webinars. If you’re in Toronto, there’s no nice central repository where you can look for them
We’re happy to speak about your search and help with specific programs, but because each business’s needs are different, finding the right grant is reliant on someone within the business.
Some good resources
A good place to start for Federal grants and tax credits is: https://innovation.ised-isde.canada.ca/innovation/s/?language=en_CA
Even the City of Toronto has some options: https://www.toronto.ca/business-economy/business-start-ups/funding-for-small-businesses/