Funding Opportunities for Small Business Owners in BC

As a small business owner, it’s not always easy to find the funding you need in order to buy more equipment, hire new workers or expand your facilities. Between the challenges of the managing the day-to-day activities of your business and tyring to maintain your competitive edge, you need every advantage you can get to make sure your company not only succeeds, but thrives.

Luckily, there are many programs and funding opportunities available for Canadian small businesses to help with this end. Depending on what industry your company is involved with you can access thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars of government funding if you know what’s out there. The following are just a few examples.

Digital Media Tax Credit

If you’re involved in the booming digital media industry in British Columbia, there’s a program designed specifically to assist companies like yours. It’s called the British Columbia Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (IDMTC) and it is available for registered corporations that have or will develop interactive digital media products in B.C. after August 31, 2010 and before September 1, 2015. The tax credit is calculated as 17.5% of eligible salary and wages incurred in the tax year. Some examles of an interactive digital media product would be video games, simulators (eg. driving a car), and educational software.

Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)

Small business owners could be eligible for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program which has been the most lucrative funding program in Canada for over 25 years with over $3 billion in funding available annually.

The SR&ED program gives claimants cash refunds and/or tax credits for their expenditures on eligible research and development work done in Canada. Expenditures may include salaries and wages, materials, SR&ED contracts, lease costs of equipment, overhead, and third-party payments.

ICTC – Career Connect Program

Hiring new workers is important for any business, but can be even more critical when your business is small and still growing quickly. The need for talented, skilled workers to drive your product further can be supported through a program called the ICTC – Career Connect Program. This program assists companies to hire unemployed or underemployed graduates within the information and communication technology field for a minimum three month term.

Some eligible industries for the ICTC program include mining, fabricated metal, computer and electronic products, wholesale trade, retail trade, professional business services, and health (among others). The ICTC will subsidize 50% of the eligible participant’s salary up to $16,000.

Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program

If you’re looking to grow your business, then the Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP) administered by the National Research Council (NRC), is a great way to obtain that goal.  The program aims to increase the productivity growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada across all sectors through the adoption of digital technologies.

The program offers successful applicants up to $100,000 in the form of a non-repayable grant towards new technology adoption. It also covers 80% of direct labour, as well as 75% of sub-contractor costs. Certain eligible expenditures include labour, contractors, travel, training, and hiring of recent college graduates as part of the adoption process. One of the stipulations that must be met upon receiving the funding is that the money spent must result in a lower cost of production through the adoption of digital technology.

Just the Tip of the Funding Iceberg…

These few examples are only a brief overview of the many different kinds of funding programs available to small business owners in British Columbia that can help you achieve your business goals. With such a variety of funding programs encouraging small business owners to expand their facility, hire new workers, develop new innovative products or services, and create exciting new interactive digital media products, it’s easy to see why British Columbia is a great place to own or start a new business.