If your company is currently selling to countries outside of Canada and you are looking to grow your export market, the CanExport program is a government funding program that may be able to assist you.
The CanExport program offered by the federal government was introduced January 5, 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.
The CanExport program is offered by the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) of Global Affairs Canada, in partnership with the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).
Eligible Activities for Funding
CanExport seeks to provide 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 tradeshows outside of Canada
Adapting marketing tools for new markets
Legal fees associated with a distribution or representation agreement
Ineligible Funding Activities
Activities that are not sales related, such as on-going core or operational activities
Activities in a market where you have been exporting within the last 24 months
Activities involving used equipment, unless the equipment is reconditioned or rebuilt, and the benefit to Canada would be close to or equal to benefits obtained from the sale of new equipment
The CanExport program:
Reimburses up to 50 percent 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 $99,999 (which requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $199,998)
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 25 business days. CanExport will notify companies whether or not their application is successful.
To be considered for possible funding, a firm must meet the following basic criteria:
Be a for-profit company
Be an incorporated company or a limited liability partnership (LLP). Sole Proprietorships are not eligible for funding.
Have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business identifier number
Have between one and 250 full time employees. All employees must be on payroll and receiving T4 slips at the end of the year. Sub-contracted employees are not included in the employee count.
Have sales of between $200,000 and $50 million in annual revenue declared in Canada in their last complete fiscal year.
Limits on Funding Requests
Applicants may seek a minimum contribution of $10,000 per application (requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $20,000) and a maximum contribution of $99,999 per application (which requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $199,998)
Applicants can only have one active CanExport project at any given time and will only be able to reapply once their current CanExport activities have been conducted and all claims have been processed
The maximum annual CanExport contribution per applicant is $99,999
The total amount of all Canadian government funding (federal, provincial/territorial, municipal) or stacking limit, is set at 50 percent of the total eligible project cost
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.
Additional information on the CanExport Program along with the online application can be found at: