Millions in Government Grants to Jumpstart Your Service Business

  • November 12, 2014
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Throughout North America, the biggest impediment to growing a business is lack of capital. Thanks to millions of dollars worth of business grants available to service companies in the USA and Canada, that doesn’t need to be as big a challenge as you might think.

Government grants can help fund these kinds of important investments. Maybe you can only afford a part-time worker but need someone full time – that’s where apprentice training grants can help top up a salary as well as your business plan. There are grants for technology and equipment; grants for marketing; grants for training and more. Sometimes you’ll get the money free and clear; other grants require a matching contribution.

Here are some potential sources of government grant funding for service companies:

Grant Funding Programs in the United States

Don’t get discouraged by the first line from the US Small Business Administration portal’s About page under the headline, Facts About Government Grants: “SBA does NOT provide grants for starting and expanding a business”. Fine. Don’t call them grants. But this website is an excellent gateway for finding targeted programs providing matching funds or combining this… non-grant funding with a loan. Entrepreneurs in the service sector could be overlooking opportunities by ignoring some of these funds:

Real Estate & Equipment Loans. Potential funding for key parts of your brick-and-mortar business infrastructure.

General Small Business Loans. The SBA doesn’t directly provide the loan, but can work with a local provider within SBA guidelines.

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. This fund promotes economic revitalization in low-income communities through a range of programs, including both financial and technical assistance.

Grant Funding Programs in Canada

These grant funds may particularly apply to service businesses (See the complete list of Canadian government grants here):

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit (AJCTC). This is a wage subsidy program supporting training and accreditation for new trades apprentices.

Business Training Fund (Yukon). The City of Whitehorse and Yukon government might be able to cover 90% of the cost to upgrade employees’ skills.

R&D Vouchers (Newfoundland & Labrador). For smaller-scale, ‘test market’ service research, this investment could be critical, paying for up to 75 percent of a project cost to a maximum of $15,000 per project. From applied R&D to prototyping, field testing and more.

Economic Development Initiative (Southern Ontario). Providing services in French to a Francophone community in Southern Ontario? You could be eligible for up to $100,000 in funds to support a range of business activities.

Industry-Academic Collaboration Programs (Ontario). Apply for up to $250,000 to finance commercialization, lower the cost of hiring skilled professionals, access expert advice and more.

Northern Business Opportunity Program (Ontario). Apply for up to $1 million in grants or loans to finance expansion and other activities.

Western Innovation Initiative (Western Canada). Apply for a repayable contribution to finance technological development, pilot programs, marketing and more.

Don’t see the grant opportunity that aligns with your business – or your location? Municipalities, states and provinces throughout the USA and Canada offer a wide range of grants not listed here. A bit of research, good timing and a well-written grant application can put you well on your way to accelerating your business growth this year!


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