Government help for export marketing costs

The Government of Canada recently announced a new program designed to increase competitiveness of Canadian companies.

The Government of Canada recently announced a new program designed to increase competitiveness of Canadian companies by supplementing their marketing costs in foreign markets. CanExport will provide up to $50 million over five years in direct financial support to small businesses in Canada seeking to develop new export opportunities.

Read more about this program to find out if your business can participate.

CanExport program summary

The new CanExport program announced by the federal government on January 5, 2016 will provide financial support to as many as 1,000 new Canadian exporters each year. The program, which is open to small and medium-size businesses in nearly every industry, will help finance eligible activities required to begin exporting to markets around the globe.

The CanExport program can make getting started with exporting quite affordable. Under the funding guidelines a business may be reimbursed up to 50 percent of the cost of eligible expenses with contributions ranging from a minimum of $10,000 up to a maximum of $99,999 per applicant.

Is your small business eligible?

The CanExport program is open to small businesses in every sector (with the exception of businesses in agriculture, fish and seafood, and wine, beer and spirits sectors for which other funding opportunities are in place). Small and medium-size enterprises in high-growth priority markets and sectors are particularly good candidates to receive direct financial support from this new program.

In order to be considered for CanExport program funding, your small business must be a for-profit company and meet these additional criteria:

  • Be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP);
  • Have a Canada Revenue Agency business identifier number;
  • Have no less than $200,000 and no more than $50 million in annual revenue declared in Canada; and,
  • Have at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee up to a maximum of 250 FTE employees.

Determine your eligibility for funding via the Applicant’s Guide to the CanExport program.

Eligible funding activities

Funding is available for activities that “aim to promote international business development” such as business travel (for up to two employees), market research and legal fees to cover the cost of a distribution agreement.

  • For example, the costs associated with registering for a trade show in a foreign market, setting up a display booth there and shipping promotional materials for the event are all eligible expenses.

Expenses associated with ongoing operational activities, salaries and commissions, capital costs or promotional efforts unrelated to exporting are not eligible – nor are any expenses that were incurred prior to the approval of the application.

For a full list of eligible and ineligible expenses under this funding opportunity, visit the Global Affairs Canada CanExport program website.

Next steps