After you’ve done the hard work of preparing your application, you have to finalize your documents, hit the submit button, and put the rest in the hands of the program. Depending on the program and the program’s resources, this could look very different; let’s see how.
Perhaps the most important (and scary) part of securing grant funding is submitting the application. After you’ve done the hard work of preparing your application, you have to finalize your documents, hit the submit button, and put the rest in the hands of the program. Depending on the program and the program’s resources, this could look very different; let’s see how.
It’s common for provincial and federal-level programs to have their own portal. If the program is going to be around for many years, it’s much easier to have everything in one place. For portal submissions, you need to register before applying. It’s important to register with the portal before even putting your application together in case there are additional steps required. For example, the CanExport portal requires you to make an account and complete the basic eligibility form prior to submission. It takes up to 5 business days to process your basic eligibility form, so don’t wait until the last minute to do it!
Portal submissions usually consist of following the steps to answer the program’s questions. At the end, there will be the highly sought-after ‘submit’ button. Before you submit, it’s important to go through the steps and take note of the questions you will ask. This way, you’ll have time to prepare your answers and collect the data you need so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.
As you might have guessed, an email submission means you email your application package to the program. While this is one of the easiest ways to apply, it can also be the trickiest. There are usually specific instructions in the Application Guidelines that dictate the naming conventions, maximum file sizes, and accepted file formats for your application. It’s important to read these carefully; if you don’t adhere to the guidelines, you risk getting your application disqualified before it’s even reviewed. The upside is that programs with email submissions usually provide templates for you to fill out. This makes the application process easier since you can have it open and fill in the details as you get them.
While less common, some grant applications are submitted through web forms. These tend to be hiring or training grants that require a few key details and short-form questions, rather than research-intensive market expansion or R&D programs. The process is very simple and finishes with an email confirmation to give you peace of mind that your application was well received.
Regardless of the submission method, you will always need to have the required documentation on hand for your submission. This could be anything from a business plan to quotes, financial statements, resumes, and more. To find out exactly what you need to submit, read the Applicant Guide very carefully.
If you’re ever unsure about how to submit your grant application, not to worry! There are resources available to help you including program advisors, grant officers, and your friendly neighborhood Grant Angels at Granted Consulting.
In our years of helping small businesses in Canada secure grant funding, we’ve picked up a thing or two. We’ve put together our top tips on writing small business grants so you can apply these and enhance your applications.