Have you been following all of the media coverage and passionate Twitter discussions on Canada’s 2019 federal budget?
If not, that’s ok. That’s our job.
To recap, on March 19, 2019, Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau presented the Liberal government’s fourth federal budget titled “Investing in the Middle Class.” 2019 federal grants are heavily focused on investments in skill development and innovation. In total, the budget includes $22.8 billion in new spending over five years.
In case you haven’t read the 464-page budget, our team of grant gurus have taken the time to highlight the opportunities that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can take advantage of.
Don’t get overwhelmed with the sea of possibilities. Get excited! We’ll help you navigate the waters and connect with us anytime you have questions.
There are various Canada federal government grants for SMEs in 2019. Feel free to jump to the section that will help you achieve your business goals:
- Improve Employee Retention With More Skills Training
- Expand and Retain Your Team Through Apprenticeships and Skilled Trades
- There’s up to $7,000 Available When You Hire Young Professionals
- Hire Top Talent Around the World Through Global Talent Stream
- Get Money to Support Your Business Costs Through Strategic Innovation Fund
- Get Your Creative Solutions Funded Through Innovative Solutions Canada
- Apply for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program
- Buy a Zero-Emission Vehicle for Your Business
- Subscribe to Canadian Journalism
Money-Saving Opportunities for Businesses and Their Employees
SMEs can get free money through a range of funding programs, save money through tax credits and tell their employees about skill training opportunities at lower costs for their professional development. There are literally billions of dollars in government grants left on the table every year from companies who don’t grab the cash they are likely eligible to get.
It’s important to know that the budget will only go forward if the Liberal government is re-elected and an election is tentatively set for fall 2019. Even though programs and money are mainly aimed at consumers and we can’t predict the outcome of the election, SMEs can prepare for new investment proposals that could drive more money into their pockets.
Skills and Training Through Federal Grants 2019
It’s crucial to have skilled employees for businesses to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment. When employees have opportunities to develop professionally, they can continuously add value to your company.
Budget 2019 has new proposals to help cover the cost of training programs, encourage people to go into skilled trades and provide work opportunities for young people.
1. Improve Employee Retention With More Skills Training
The economy changes quickly and the Government recognizes that people will often change jobs or need new skills to keep their current jobs. As an employer, you can improve employee retention by encouraging your staff to apply for the new Canada Training Benefit to take courses or training programs to succeed and keep growing in their roles.
This program wants to address the most pressing barriers to ongoing learning, especially the cost. Canada Training Benefit cuts the direct cost of training up to 50% for workers by helping pay for training, providing income support during training and offering some job protection so that workers so they can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant.
Key points of the Canada Training Benefit:
a) A new non-taxable Canada Training Credit to help with the cost of training fees
Eligible workers between 25 and 64 years old would accumulate a credit balance at a rate of $250 per year up to a lifetime of $5,000. The credit balance would be included in the information Canada Revenue Agency sends each year.
For example, if an employee has training and tuition fees worth $2,000, they would accumulate $1,000 in Canada Training Credit balance after four years.
b) A new Employment Insurance Training Support Benefit will provide workers with up to four weeks of income support through the Employment Insurance (EI) system. This benefit would help workers on training leave and not receiving their regular paycheque to cover their living expenses such as rent, utilities and groceries.
To help employers, Budget 2019 proposes to introduce an EI Small Business Premium Rebate to offset the pressure on the employer premium rate as a result of the introduction of the new EI Training Support Benefit. Our Granted gurus will monitor these developments and you can connect with us if you want to be updated on these changes.
The programs are expected to launch in 2020 after the next Federal election. Budget 2019 plans to invest $1.7 billion over five years.
Here are the steps on how to apply for the Canada Training Benefit.
2. Expand and Retain Your Team Through Apprenticeships and Skilled Trades
People in skilled trades are in high demand and the Government wants more people to pursue these well-paid fields. They are investing a lot in programs that support a skilled, mobile and certified workforce across the country.
Budget 2019 proposes to develop a new strategy to support employers who face challenges in hiring and retaining apprentices and address barriers for people who want to work in the skilled trades.
To date, the government has spent over $23 million to buy advanced training equipment and innovative approaches to apprenticeship training. The targeted training supports over 28,000 Canadians, including more vulnerable populations including women, Indigenous people, people with disabilities and newcomers to Canada. They are also helping improve accessibility in training in remote communities through e-learning platforms and mobile training units.
See which of the current apprenticeship grants your business could apply for.
3. There’s Up To $7,000 Available When You Hire Young Professionals
Your company can benefit from hiring young professionals through the Student Work Placement for both short and long term projects in a cost-effective way. Businesses can get access to motivated workers who are very adaptable to technologies and can learn quickly.
How much your business could get with a hiring grant
- Up to $5,000 for every student you hire through the program
- Up to $7,000 for every student you hire that is in their first year or is from an under-represented group including women in STEM, persons with disabilities, newcomers and Indigenous students
To date, Canada’s Student Work Placement Program has been focused on placing post-secondary students in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM). The program has a strong track record of success, Budget 2019 proposes to expand the Student Work Placement Program to give students in fields outside of STEM, like the arts and social sciences, access to on the job learning opportunities.
The proposed $631.2 million investment over five years, starting in 2019-20, will support up to 20,000 new work placements every year for post-secondary students across Canada in all disciplines.
See how you can apply for wage subsidies to hire students in STEM or business.
4. Hire Top Talent Around the World Through Global Talent Stream
As a globally connected economy, businesses often look for top talent around the world to grow their operations. Bringing in professionals from other countries helps create better jobs for Canadians, share knowledge with other Canadian workers and helps Canadian companies innovate.
Since 2016, the Global Skills Strategy gives businesses a faster, more predictable way of bringing global talent to Canada where Canadian workers aren’t available. In 2017, the two-year Global Talent Stream pilot was launched to help innovative Canadian firms quickly access the highly skilled global talent needed to scale up, grow and help create jobs for Canadians.
Since the pilot, employers have made commitments to:
- Create more than 40,000 new jobs for Canadians and permanent residents
- Develop over 10,000 co-op placements
- Invest over $90 million in skills development and training for their workers
The Global Talent Stream is available to:
- Employers referred by Designated Referral Partners that include provincial and municipal governments as well as regional development agencies.
- Employers seeking to hire highly skilled foreign workers for occupations found on Employment and Social Development Canada’s Global Talent Occupations List. The Global Talent Occupations List includes occupations for which there are demonstrable shortages in Canada, including STEM occupations.
Because the Global Talent Stream was so successful, Budget 2019 proposes to make it a permanent program by investing $35.2 million over five years starting in 2019–20.
See the program requirements for the Global Talent Stream.
If You Innovate, There is Canadian Funding and Services For You
Canada wants to build a nation of innovators and are investing heavily to support Canadian businesses through new business grants, services and tools to push their ideas forward.
The Innovation and Skills Plan was launched in 2017 to help Canadian businesses scale up, establish Canada as one of the world’s most innovative countries and foster a culture of innovation. Check out all of the various funding programs for innovations here.
Below are the latest Budget 2019 additions that your innovative business can take advantage of.
5. Get Money to Support Your Business Costs Through Strategic Innovation Fund
The $1.2 billion Strategic Innovation Fund was launched in July 2017 to encourage Canadian innovation. The fund supports the costs of direct labour, consultants, equipment, land and other direct costs.
Budget 2019 proposes to provide another $100 million over five years, starting in 2019–20 to the Strategic Innovation Fund to support innovation in the food processing sector. The fund will leverage private sector co-investments to support the activities of the Clean Resource Innovation Network.
Strategic Innovation Fund has these five Streams:
- Stream 1: Encourage R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services.
- Stream 2: Facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada.
- Stream 3: Attract and retain large scale investments to Canada.
- Stream 4: Advance industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between the private sector, researchers and non-profit organizations.
- Stream 5: Support large-scale, national innovation ecosystems through high impact collaborations across Canada.
As of January 2019, the Fund had secured 31 investment agreements from leading researchers and manufacturers, worth a total of $8.1 billion. This shared investment is expected to help secure 50,000 good, well-paying jobs over the next 22 years.
See all of the streams your company could qualify for.
6. Get Your Creative Solutions Funded Through Innovative Solutions Canada
Under Innovative Solutions Canada, the government will act as a first customer for innovators to support the development of early-stage, pre-commercial innovations. And what a generous first customer they will be investing over $100 million by the end of March 2020 to scale up the growth of innovators, to create better jobs and grow the middle class.
Participating federal departments and agencies will come up with public challenges designed around a desired outcome. The challenges will be based on each department’s mission, federal government needs and where there is no current solution in the marketplace.
See if your business has a solution to one of the current innovation challenges.
How Your Business Can Save on Taxes
Every dollar counts when it comes to saving money for your business. Here are some ways you can take advantage of tax credits.
7. Apply for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program
Regardless of what sector you are in, the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program provides tax credit for businesses of all sizes to conduct scientific research and experimental development in Canada. This program encourages business innovation and is strongly supported to help Canadian firms stay competitive in a global economy.
Budget 2019 proposes to eliminate the income threshold for small and medium-sized enterprises to access the enhanced (refundable) SR&ED investment tax credits starting on or after March 19, 2019. This change is designed to support these businesses who are experiencing rapid growth, R&D efforts or have variable income every year. The capital threshold will continue to apply to ensure that the enhanced rate of 35% remains targeted toward small and medium-sized businesses.
Key points about the SR&ED Tax Incentive Program:
- Provides a basic 15%, non-refundable credit to all businesses performing SR&ED in Canada.
- Eligible small and medium-sized companies can qualify for enhanced 35% refundable tax credit rate of qualifying SR&ED expenditures up to $3 million per fiscal year regardless of their profitability.
- Eligibility for the 35% rate is determined by a business’ level of taxable capital and income from the prior fiscal year:
- The taxable capital threshold is between $10M and $50M
- The taxable income threshold begins at $500,000 taxable income in the prior year and reduces current fiscal year eligibility for the enhanced credit on a sliding scale until $800,000 taxable income in the prior year.
To make the claim, businesses must file their tax return along with the right forms and supporting documents listed here.
8. Buy a Zero-Emission Vehicle for your Business
If your business is ready to swap your gas-guzzling car for an electric one, you can enjoy some tax benefits.
Under Budget 2019, you could be eligible for a full tax write-off the year the electric vehicle is used up to a value of $55,000 plus the sales tax. This is higher than the capital cost limit of $30,000 plus sales tax that currently applies to vehicles with gas engines. Qualifying vehicles will include electric battery, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
You could help the environment and your savings.
9. Subscribe to Canadian Journalism
Because the government wants to support independent news media, they are offering a new non-refundable tax credit for SMEs that subscribe to Canadian digital news.
That’s it! Quick and easy savings.
“How Can I Access to all of This Canadian Government Funding and Tax Savings?”
All of the federal funding we mentioned in this article are just an overview of which areas your business can look into to get free money and save more on tax.
If you’re applying to any of these federal grants 2019, please fill out your application carefully. You’d be shocked to know how many avoidable mistakes people make in their grant applications and miss out on thousands of dollars every year. 60% to 80% of grant applications are not filled out properly for certain programs.
Also, grant requirements often change in the same program and there is usually at least one change in a fiscal year. For example, the Employer Training Program changed 86 in the past four years! Stay on top of the changes to a program you’re interested in to make sure you’re providing the information needed or that you are still eligible for the grant.
Our experienced team of consultants know all of the knitty-gritty details about funding that’s available and are up to speed on all of the changes. So far, we’ve helped companies secure over $15 million in government grants. Will you be next?
If you want to take advantage of all of the Canadian government funding and tax credits while saving your valuable time, connect with us today and we’ll do all of the hard work for you from beginning to end.
GetGranted App: Get Automatic Updates on Federal Government Grants for SMEs in 2019
If you’re not able to take advantage of our Granted consulting team, don’t worry!
Our convenient GetGranted app helps small and medium-sized businesses remove the tedious work out of researching which 2019 federal grants they could qualify for and program changes.
Simply enter your business profile and we’ll automatically send a list of eligible grants that are tailored to your business. The GetGranted app is operated by our experienced grant specialists who translate all of that government jargon into place English for you. Our team has a 92% success rate.
Right now, the grant results in the app are focused on programs relevant to businesses in Western Canada with a focus on hiring, innovation, market expansion and training grants.
Sign up for a free trial to try it out.
Conclusion: 2019 Canadian Government Funding
There are many Canada federal government grants for SMEs in 2019. Skills training is a key focus area for Canada’s Budget 2019. Small and medium-sized enterprises can get free money through a variety of government grants and save money with tax credits.
Companies share opportunities for their employees to enhance their skills at a lower cost thanks to training tax credits and expand their team with a talented workforce through:
- Canada Training Benefit
- Apprenticeship grants
- Student Work Placement Program
- Global Talent Stream
Innovative companies can access a range of existing programs and new business grants through:
- Strategic Innovation Fund
- Innovative Solutions Canada
Eligible small and medium-sized companies can also save a significant amount of tax by:
- Applying for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program
- Buying a zero-emission vehicle for the business
- Subscribing to Canadian digital news
To maximize your chances of securing all of the eligible Canadian federal funding you qualify for, contact our specialized Granted consultants. If you’re not able to use our consulting services, you can sign up for a free trial of our GetGranted app so you can automatically be updated on all of the government grants your company qualifies for based on your business profile.
Which Canadian government funding programs and tax incentives are you interested in? Let us know!