Grants for Food and Beverage Guidebook
Tips on applying for Food & Beverage grants

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you step into the Food & Beverage grant space.

It’s great to see that there is so much funding available to small businesses in the Food & Beverage industry, but we know that securing this funding isn’t always easy. Applying for grant funding is a major undertaking, and it can take a lot of time out of your busy schedule. Additionally, it’s easy to get confused about what sort of documents your application requires or how to maximize your chances of success. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you step into the Food & Beverage grant space. 

1. Start ASAP

This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned this. That’s because of how important it is! The last thing you want to do is start your application hours before the deadline and not realize the amount of work you are in for. Even for the simplest applications, it’s best to get started as soon as you know you want to apply. Plan ahead and take notes of everything your application will need. 

2. Know your limit, play within it

It’s amazing how many Food & Beverage industry-specific funding programs are out there. It means that your business is likely eligible for a wide range of grant funding opportunities. However, it’s important to only apply for the grant programs that align with your business goals, and are within your scope. If you apply to too many programs, you risk spreading yourself too thin, and you might not be able to complete the applications to the best of your ability. This is a great reason to get started with Granted! Our team of strategists focuses on finding you the best available programs that suit your needs, and take all the work off your hands. 

3. Have a vision

The most crucial aspect of any Food & Beverage application writeup is providing a vision, rationale, and plan for how you are going to use the awarded funds. Programs want to see that you’ve thought about the project and put time into strategizing how you would use the money. To begin constructing a rationale, we suggest thinking about where you want your business to be on the other side of the project.  

4. Use all available resources

All too often we see applicants not using all the resources available to them. At any point in the grant application process, it is important to remember that the grantor wants to reward you with funding. You represent a valuable part of the Canadian economy and by helping to grow your business. For this reason, don’t hesitate to reach out to any and all available resources that might help you better understand how to optimize your application. Everyone wants you to succeed!

5. Follow the criteria

We know how exciting it can be to get free money for your business projects. However, it’s important to not let this go to your head. Remember that each program has strict requirements for what they want to see in a project, and if your application doesn’t meet this criterion, you won’t be awarded funding. When drafting your application, think about what the program wants to see and how you can execute activities in line with its intentions. This method is the best way to ensure you secure the funding you’re looking for. 

6. Consult the application guide

As mentioned above, it is imperative to stay within the program criteria to ensure your proposal is in line with the requirements. The best resource to cross-check the program criteria is the Applicant Guide. This is a document that outlines the eligibility, purpose, and boundaries of any grant. The Applicant Guide is our best friend. Keep it on hand at all times when drafting your application and use it as a reference through every step of the process.

7. Get your specifics

If the grant you’re applying for is specific to the Food & Beverage industry, chances are the program is going to ask you for some industry-specific information about your business and its operations. So that you do not get overwhelmed, it’s good to have all of this info on hand and ready to provide when you go to fill out the application. Remember to always have a thorough look over the application questions early on so you are well prepared. For example, a statistical question we often see when applying to Food & Beverage grants is what percentage of the business’ food is made and/or processed in their home province or Canada. 

8. Plan long-term

Lots of clients come to us in search of funding for a project that is already in motion. We love to see how inspired our clients are to innovate and grow their business, however, in the Food & Beverage industry, planning out a market expansion or a new distribution project can take a long time. As you likely are aware, your business may need to have certain certifications and designations before you can sign partnerships with new distributors or retailers. If you want grant funding to cover a project you are currently working on, make sure that you have all the certifications before you apply so that once your project is approved you can hit the ground running.

9. Arrange your production timelines

If you are an agricultural business, you may need to plan your operations far ahead so your product will be ready when your project begins. When you plan to apply for grant funding that involves distribution of new crops, or ingredients derived from crops, it will be important to work with your producer or supplier. If you work from scratch with seeds or seedlings, you’ll need to plan far ahead so you have crops ready for when you start your project.

10. Ask for help

If you find yourself lost in the chaos that is navigating small business grants, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Fill out our Grant Calculator to get connected with one of our Grant Angels. Our team is well versed in the complexities of Food & Beverage grants, and we’re here to take the load off of your shoulders. 

Next Chapter – Top mistakes to avoid when writing Food & Beverage grant applications

Here are some of the top mistakes to avoid when writing Food & Beverage grant applications.

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