How to Increase Your Marketing Budget with Grants

At Good Commerce, we've teamed up with our friends at Grantfinders to help you get all of the information you need to apply for grants for your BC based-business. 

Aaron Kopelow founded GrantFinders after he started learning about how difficult it was to access Government grant funding. He knew there had to be a better way to get more resources in the hands of growing Canadian businesses. If you’re busy running a company, how would you possibly have time to do the research, writing, and execution it takes to successfully maximize your business’s grant funding? GrantFinders takes care of the entire application process from start to finish so you can focus on your business without missing out on free money. Continue reading for more information!

If you’re the owner of a Canadian company with over $100K in revenue and less than 500 employees, you’re in luck. The Government of Canada wants your business to grow and they’re willing to provide non-repayable funding to make it happen. As always with grant funding, there are some hoops to jump through but this blog will help you navigate what can be a confusing process. 

To start, you’ll need to find the right funding program for your business. The program you choose to apply for depends on what you plan to spend the money on. There are a few different marketing related activities that the Government is willing to invest in including: expanding your sales internationally, hiring young Canadians as employees, and paying for your employees (or yourself) to learn new skills. Below, I’ll go through these three main areas and get specific on how much money is available and what the eligibility requirements are to get funded! 

1. International Expansion: 

If you want to increase your sales in a new international market, the CanExport market expansion grant will provide up to $100K per year to fund this opportunity. This funding can be used for all sorts of marketing activities including up to $50K for online advertising through social media or search engines. It could also be used to hire a consultant for market research, building an ad campaign or other business development costs that would help increase sales outside of Canada. The basic eligibility revolves around the new market is a country or geographical area (for larger countries) in which your company has either less than $100K in annual revenue or provides less than 10% of the company’s total sales. The best place to start on the CanExport grant is by reading through the applicant’s guide. 


2. Growing Your Team:

Another way to keep up with digital marketing and social media is to hire help. If you’re interested in hiring a Canadian between the ages of 15-30 as a social media coordinator or digital marketing specialist there are programs to help subsidize the wages of these positions.

  1. Digital Skills for Youth: If you hire a Canadian that has a university degree but is still 30 or under you can apply for a 100% wage subsidy up to $30K. This grant is only for technology-related positions which include social media and digital marketing coordination. 
  2. Student Work Placement: If you hire a current university student for any type of business or technology related role, 75% of their wages can be reimbursed through grants. This is great for easy entry-level social media positions where students are already extremely familiar with the platforms involved. 
  3. Learning New Skills

Instead of hiring someone brand new to do the job, why not look to fill the gap with your existing resources? The BC Employer Training Grant subsidizes the cost of courses that will help you or your employees learn new skills, giving your team access to the best educators for digital marketing or social media courses. Due to Covid, this program is offering to cover 100%, of course, costs up to $10K per employee per fiscal year for businesses that have been impacted negatively by the pandemic. The courses must help employees acquire new skills to aid the business to survive, recover, and/or grow. Some examples of eligible training providers include but are not limited to are BCIT, UBC, and BrainStation. 

The basic eligibility for the BC training grant is that your business must have been operational for at least one year and that the grant application must be submitted before training starts. The grant is not retroactive and is a reimbursement, not an up front payment. The first step to getting started is to register for a Business BCeID if you don’t already have one.

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