Grants for Small Business Guidebook
Why do small businesses need grants?

If you’re a small business owner in Canada, you probably have tons of ideas on how you could grow and evolve your business. Oftentimes, it’s limited funds that hold back business development initiatives. After all, it takes money to make money.


  • Grants can help bridge the gap between where your business is, and where you want it to be.
  • There are three primary types of government grant funding in Canada: Hiring, training, and expansion grants.
  • If you’re not looking to hire, train, or expand but you have big ideas for your business initiatives, there is likely a grant program out there to help you. Anything is possible with the power of grants!

If this sounds like you and your business, well you’re in luck! The Canadian government offers many types of grants specifically to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Every dollar counts, and with government funding, you could get the resources you need to take your business to the next level. 

There are three primary ways that small businesses can leverage grant funding: hiring, training, and expanding. 

Hiring Grants

A hiring grant is designed to help businesses take on new employees. It can be used to take care of paying salaries and onboarding new staff. You can get the needed financial leverage to fill vacant roles in your business! Most commonly, hiring grants come in the form of wage subsidies. A significant portion of hiring grants are dedicated to helping Canadian youth secure new employment opportunities, resulting in a high number of student hiring and internship grant programs available to Canadian SMEs. 

Training Grants

As the name implies, training grants are awarded to help people acquire practical knowledge in a specific field of study. The government is very interested in equipping the workforce with knowledge and new skills that can contribute to the growth and evolution of the country. Training grants for businesses help subsidize the learning cost for employees or even business owners. You can apply for a training grant to ease the burden of the fees and provide learning opportunities for yourself, and your team. There is no reason not to get the professional training that you’ve always wanted!

Market Expansion Grants 

An expansion grant serves to support businesses in broadening their scope of operations. At Granted, we call these ‘market expansion grants’. Depending on the mandate of the program, this could be growing your company’s presence domestically, or even to international markets such as the United States, Asia, Europe, and more. These expansion programs help lower the financial risk of expanding to a new market, which can be daunting (not to mention expensive) for small businesses. 

There are many grant programs available that don’t fall within these categories. Most commonly, these are research and development (R&D) grants. R&D grants are usually awarded to institutions, companies, or people who are actively involved in the quest for valuable knowledge that will be beneficial to Canada at large. These programs are less about supporting your small business, and more about positively impacting the Canadian economy with a research initiative. 

Other grant types for small businesses are more niche in purpose. This can be anything from funding to support product development for tech companies, equipment purchasing for manufacturers, purchasing electric vehicles, and everything in between. The sky’s the limit with Canadian government grants!

Chapter 2 – What’s the difference between a grant and a loan?

There are times when loans outweigh the benefits of grants. It all comes down to what you need the funding for.

Calculate your potential grant funding

Curious about how much grant funding your company can get?