Stephanie Sang is CEO of, and is writing this post in advance of her workshop at Lighthouse Labs on March 25th. Sponsored by SR&ED experts Boast Capital, they’ll teach you how to get free money for your business through grants! Register here!

Money you didn't know you have

Most business owners are shocked when we tell them that grant programs exist specifically to help them hire people, train staff, expand into new markets, et cetera. Of course, these grants differ by industry, but there’s often something available to general businesses. It is important that grants are a part of a business’ growth plan and opportunities are researched on an ongoing basis as new programs become available to counter industry or economic changes.

Government grants are usually tied to improving some level of the economy, be it reducing the unemployment rate, or developing innovative solutions that put Canada ‘on the map’. If your company is doing that, they can probably help you. We as a business have tapped into numerous grants that have increased our capacity to service more clients and improved our internal competencies; this has allowed us to grow from a 2-person company to one that now employs 9 employees.

Get paid to upgrade

The Canada Jobs Grant recently launched to help employers subsidize training costs to improve skills within an organization. The program pays for two-thirds of the cost of external training for business owner(s) and their staff. The courses covered include those offered by post-secondary institutions, as well as customized on-site training which targets your organization’s specific needs. It is also available to employers who want to hire staff and willing to pay for their training costs prior to employment.

For instance, Metalab worked with Lighthouse Labs to leverage this grant for their bootcamp. They contributed one third of the tuition for the course, and received a grant equivalent to the final two thirds (over $5000)! They did this by tying a work opportunity for their new hire in after he completes the course. Especially in a competitive industry where information-technology (IT) unemployment reached its lowest in 6 years (2.2%), this is a ‘win-win’ and creative way of securing talent.

Funding new hires

Hiring grants are available throughout the year at the federal and provincial level. The funding provided often covers at least one-third of the cost of wages and up to full reimbursements for post-secondary graduate internships to help them gain valuable work experience. Programs change on a regular basis and may also be industry relevant, so staying on top of what’s available at the right time is key.

Technology grants are another stream of funding that differs from most programs available to general businesses. Information about these grants can be obtained by the NRC-Concierges who share and connect a variety of resources, including grants and loans specific to the tech community. The definition of tech is not only exclusive to IT; it also includes companies in manufacturing, food processing, medical, mining, oil and gas, and more.

More than just grants

Grants are only a portion of what companies can tap into in terms of non-dilutive funding. Tax credits serve as refunds for expenses incurred by eligible companies for research & development (R&D) activities or firms engaged in digital media. The Scientific Research & Experimental Development fund (SR&ED) is an example of how the government is giving back to companies investing in R&D. Most businesses leverage these tax credits with the assistance of SR&ED consultants, like Boast Capital. They work with an organization to provide a full layout of what is required in the setup, documentation, and reporting requirements to be most successful in securing SR&ED credits, which could significantly impact whether you claim $10,000s or $100,000s back.

Finding grants can be a little like searching for a ‘needle in a haystack’, unless you have a team of people who are dedicated to doing just that. It is rewarding when you find that right match and leverage it in a way to grow your business. We look forward to sharing more information at the Lighthouse Labs event on March 25 on how to identify the best opportunity, when to leverage funding, and the right way to integrate grants into your business strategy.

Stephanie will be speaking about grants at Lighthouse Labs’ new #EmployerSeries on March 25th! Sign up below to learn more about the grants available to your company and how you can use, Boast Capital, NRC Concierges, and more to save your company thousands of dollars.