Grants for Small Business Guidebook
What happens after I apply for a grant?

The time it takes to receive a decision can vary depending on the program. However, there’s some key information to be aware of during this period to prepare you for any outcome.


  • Processing and approval times vary depending on the type of grant and the specific program
  • Sometimes the program will reach out to clarify something prior to reaching a decision
  • Grant funding is sometimes backdated, meaning you can get reimbursed for expenses incurred prior to receiving your approval letter

Congratulations, you’ve applied for grant funding! The toughest part of the process is now over and the waiting period has begun. The time it takes to receive a decision can vary depending on the program. However, there’s some key information to be aware of during this period to prepare you for any outcome. 

While you wait for your grant application to be processed, there are some factors to keep in mind so that once a decision is made, you are organized and well-prepared to take the next steps.

Processing and Approval Times

Depending on the type of grant you apply for (hiring, training, market expansion) and the structure of the granting program, the time it takes to process and make a decision will vary for each application.

When submitting a market expansion grant application, whether a federal or provincial program such as CanExport or BCMDP, it can take between 7 and 12 weeks to hear back. Processing and assessment periods are subject to fluctuation based on the number of applications submitted to the program at any given time. 

Hiring and training grants on the other hand, do not take as long to get approved. Most training applications will have decisions within 4-5 weeks after submission. While a decision on a hiring grant can come as soon as one week after applying, most often you will receive notice within a month.  

Application Clarification

It is common for the granting program to have questions about your application before they render a decision. Don’t fret! This doesn’t mean that you are not eligible for funding or that you submitted an incomplete application. Simply, it means that the program needs a bit more information about your business and your plans for the funding before they can make an informed and appropriate decision. 

For market expansion grants, it is common for a program to ask more about why you have chosen a target market, the type of marketing/ad campaigns you plan to execute, and how your activities will help you reach any international development goals that you have published in your application. In hiring and training grants, it is most likely that the program will reach out if they have questions about the position you plan to hire for, your history as an employer, or more specifics about the training you are looking to do. 

It’s important to remember that while contact from the program about your application during the assessment process can be discouraging, it by no means reduces your chances of securing funding. Furthermore, as your personal grant consultant, the Granted Team is always ready to help navigate any complications or correspondence with the program to ensure your project meets all the requirements for full approval!


Backdating is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when waiting for grant approval. Given the time it takes for some programs to reach a decision, often you will not hear from the program until after your applied project start date. This means that if you are awarded a funding agreement after your project was scheduled to start, you may be able to claim expenses for your project back to this date. It is therefore crucial to start keeping track of all potentially relevant receipts and invoices as soon as you submit your application!

Backdated expenses are also important to keep track of if you are not approved. Granted is here to help, though! As part of our service, we are committed to managing all required documentation necessary for resubmission. Our team will not stop until you get the funding you’re looking for.

More information about what happens when you get approved or denied for grant funding will be outlined in the following chapters.

Next Chapter – What happens when I’m approved for a grant?

Before you begin hiring, training, or exporting, there are a few critical elements of the post-approval process to know so you can execute your project efficiently and easily.

Calculate your potential grant funding

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