Global markets play a crucial role in the progress, expansion and success of a business. Grants for export expansion offers a great opportunity for Canadian companies however, it is usually accompanied by unpredictable and unforeseen challenges. These may include government regulations, target market, language barriers, lack of market intelligence, product certification, etc.
In order to encourage small and mid-sized Canadian companies to expand their products and services to global frontiers, Government of Ontario in association with Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has led a $5 million initiative called Export Market Access program to increase the access of the companies to global markets.
How it benefits your company?
The Export Market Access program covers 50% of eligible costs in four specific areas, namely market research, marketing tools, direct contacts and foreign bidding projects. The non-repayable contributions range from $5,000 to $30,000 per application. You are allowed to include three trade shows in one application and may apply for twice per year for up to $60,000 in government grants.
Do you qualify?
If your enterprise meets the following requirements, you may qualify for an EMA grant.
- The company is based and operating in Ontario
- It currently manufactures products or provides services in Ontario
- It is a registered company either federally or provincially for at least two years
- It complies with all government laws and regulation standards
- It has between 5 and 500 employees
- It is currently not receiving any other public funding for the activities listed in the funding application
- It reports an annual revenue of more than $500,000. Small-sized businesses with current annual revenue of less than $500,000 can apply to a similar program called Early Stage Exporters
What types of projects qualify for the export fund?
Expenses from project activities related to the following categories qualify the export fund:
Research projects aimed at identifying marketing opportunities in the international space, understanding consumer behaviour, external consulting to gather market intelligence, etc.
Developing a marketing campaign including advertising, branding, promotions and public relations. It covers both electronic and traditional media. Marketing and promotional material including product documentation, translating website and other material into target market local language and on-site translation are all included.
Active participation and involvement in international exhibitions, trade shows, trade missions, conferences recognized and supported by government or trade organizations. Renting a booth at an international trade show or exhibition, booth accessory rentals, display panels, information booths, freight costs, etc. are all eligible costs.
Projects intended for hiring professionals from fields of engineering, consulting, etc. to bid on foreign projects facing foreign competition.
Other eligible Expenses
- Travel expenses up to $125 per diem allowance for two representatives
- Product testing to meet the regulation and certification standards
- Purchasing tender documents
- Individual shipping of product samples other than for trade show purposes;
- Travel to Canada for consultants hired by applicants;
- Applicant officials’ travel within Canada;
- Web site hosting fees;
- Salaries and commissions with the exception of consulting fees subject to prior approval;
- All recoverable taxes;
- Capital costs such as office equipment, computers, office space;
- Entertainment and hospitality;
- Postage and courier fees;
- Building web applications targeting foreign customers;
- Creating content for web site(s) promoting export capabilities;
- Creating online tools promoting trade potential;
- Developing e-newsletters, online journals, e-commerce portal;
- Cost to modify existing products to meet foreign standards, consumer preferences, etc.;
- Cost to modify or design packaging to meet foreign regulations and local customs; and
- Purchase of generic and/or existing software applications.
The EMA program offers limited funding available for only a single project at any given point in time. In general, you can apply to any of the four categories and may apply more than once in a 12-month period. The approval period is about 30 business days before first payout for any travel or trade show expense.
We, at Kelid™, have a successful team of professionals who can help you with every step of the application to ensure that you receive the much-needed funding for your project. Our funding experts have an impressive portfolio of clients who have qualified for such funding. Contact us today for a free consultation and pave your way to exploring a new global market.