CanExport, a funding program administered by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) that gives companies incentives to develop and diversify their sales internationally, will now be enhanced and available to an even wider range of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Ontario water technology companies are invited to participate.
An additional $40 million was committed over the summer and more funds were announced in the Fall Economic Statement. The extra funding will make it even easier for businesses to obtain support for their expanding export needs.
Currently, more than 1,000 Canadian SMEs have been enrolled in the CanExport program, carrying out more than 1,200 approved projects that have resulted in more than $375 million in new exports. More than 42 percent of program participants report that they exported to the target market for which they received support within a year of completing their project.
CanExport shares the cost of eligible expenses for initiatives to develop new markets, such as participating in trade fairs or doing market research. The program is open to all markets, except for activities in countries where sanctions could apply. To be eligible, a company must be for-profit, incorporated or a limited partnership, and it must not have significantly exported to the target market within the past 24 months.
The non-repayable contributions are determined on a cost-sharing basis and can represent up to 50 percent of eligible expenses. These can include travel costs, event registration, translation and consultant fees. The payments can range from $10,000 to $50,000, with maximum overall funding per applicant of $100,000 per year. The remainder of the funds can come from other public sources, but the total of all government assistance cannot exceed 50 percent of the expenses for a project.
The original program applied to companies with a range of annual revenues in Canada from $200,000 to $50 million. That range will change to between $100,000 and $100 million.
CanExport’s coverage has also been widened. Large emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil were originally considered one single market under the program, but now SMEs active in one region of these countries can apply for support to target another region.
As well, eligible SMEs can get CanExport assistance through “grants” given up front before starting an activity (with a maximum grant amount of $30,000), while others will receive the funds as “contributions” (with a maximum contribution amount of $50,000,) and will be quickly reimbursed after the fact.